Technocratic Socialism: The Soviet Union in the Advanced Industrial Era

Technocratic Socialism: The Soviet Union in the Advanced Industrial Era

Technocratic Socialism: The Soviet Union in the Advanced Industrial Era

Technocratic Socialism: The Soviet Union in the Advanced Industrial Era

Excerpt

Western observers have underscored the conservatism of contemporary Soviet politics and the stability of Soviet perspectives, aims, and institutions since the tumultuous regimes of V. I. Lenin, J. V. Stalin, and N. S. Khrushchev. Westerners acknowledge some changes in Soviet policies and policy making under L. I. Brezhnev. But they characterize Brezhnev's initiatives as tactical adjustments enabling Communist party (CPSU) leaders to preserve the "essential" features of the Soviet system in evolving domestic and international conditions. Not surprisingly, such interpretations minimize the actual and potential influence of worldwide scientific, technological, economic, and social developments on the Soviet polity and society.

In contrast, a handful of Western policy analysts and scholars have emphasized the changing nature of official Soviet ideology in the Brezhnev period, especially party leaders' views about what they term "the scientifictechnological revolution" (nauchno-tekhnicheskaia revoliutsiia) (NTR). Cyril Black affirms that "the most important development in Soviet ideology since 1917 has taken place almost unnoticed by American commentators" He identifies this development as "a new and dynamic appreciation of the role of science and technology as the critical factor in economic and social [progress]." Part of this "significant change in the Soviet world view" is the recognition that physical labor is no longer the chief element in production and that the USSR must look to Western nations for leadership in many areas of research and development. Black concludes that Soviet thinking about the NTR has transformed Marxism-Leninism, not abandoned it.

Assessments such as Black's have been occasionally challenged but more often ignored in the West. A few American researchers and government officials deny the existence of new Soviet perspectives. Some question the practical significance of innovative Soviet ideas and images. Others . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.