Ideology and Soviet Industrialization

Ideology and Soviet Industrialization

Ideology and Soviet Industrialization

Ideology and Soviet Industrialization

Synopsis

"Luke offers an alternative interpretation of the industrialization of the Soviet Union following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. He compares the inculcation of the work ethic brought about by the Protestant Revolution in Western Europe to the attempt by the Russian revolutionary intelligentsia to inculcate a similar work ethic based on Marxist-Leninist ideology.... After a detailed comparison of the ideas of the revolutionary intelligentsia to those of West European Protestant reformers, Luke turns to a detailed examination of Soviet efforts to inculcate mdoern working habits on a largely rural population during the two decades after the 1917 Revolution. After the first two chapters, the focus is entirely on the Soviet experience. Although a bit strained at times, the comparison drawn is provocative and well worth considering as an alternative view on Soviet industrialization. The book is best suited to readers with a good background in Soviet history and Marxist-Leninist philosophy. Upper division and up." - Choice

Excerpt

In the social sciences, works of research usually fit into one of two categories of analysis. On the one hand, there are very specialized studies that uncover fresh evidence or generate new data. And, on the other hand, there are broad interpretative investigations suggesting that existing bodies of evidence and familiar problems should be viewed in an alternative perspective. in large part, this analysis of Soviet industrialization is of the latter type.

This study engages in some unorthodox conceptual experimentation by extending Max Weber's interpretation of the formation of a capitalist work ethic, which he elaborates in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, to account for the genesis of a socialist work ethic in the Soviet Union. Following Weber's example, then, this analysis of the politics of industrialization in the Soviet Union is an exercise in historical social theory and political sociology. the basic perspectives employed in this investigation are those of a comparative politics generalist, grounded in the traditions of critical political economy, rather than those of a Slavic area studies specialist. the aim of this analysis is to compare and contrast the capitalist and socialist experience at forming an industrial ethic of work performance to make some tentative generalizations about the role of ideology and class in developing industrial values. By drawing parallels between or pointing to contradictions within the European capitalist and the Soviet . . .

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