Leninism: Political Economy as Pseudoscience

Leninism: Political Economy as Pseudoscience

Leninism: Political Economy as Pseudoscience

Leninism: Political Economy as Pseudoscience

Synopsis

Leninism provides an in-depth analysis of the economic and political doctrines of Lenin, creator of the Communist Party that came into power in Russia in 1917. Based upon the author's comprehensive reading of Lenin's Collected Works (some 10 million words in Russian), the study dissects Lenin's political economy, and shows it to be pseudoscience, based on simple, arbitrary, and unrealistic assumptions. According to Dovring, Lenin was a politician, not a scientist, and his aim was power, not truth. The work begins by providing a brief sketch of Lenin's life and an overview of his career as a writer. Four substantive chapters analyze Lenin's treatment of the peasant problem, science, the proletariat, and democracy. Closing chapters deal with Lenin's personality, which is shown to be pathological in its inability to make concessions to intellectual argument, and the prevalence of pseudoscience in his doctrines. Lenin's doctrines became the groundwork of the Soviet system, and he is responsible for creating its,absurdities. The subsequent collapse of the Soviet system, therefore, must be seen in this light.

Excerpt

The towering figure of Lenin has for too long overshadowed the economic insanity that he mandated by the doctrines of Leninism. As the successor States from the debacle of Communist regimes now labor with the removal of the rubble from a Leninist past, the time should be ripe--indeed, overdue--to reassess the myths of Leninism. Its lingering influence across the world may be greater than we think.

A lifetime of work on the economy and society of the rural world led me to take on the problems of Soviet agricultural collectivization as well. Teaching economic history in Lund, Sweden, I gave a course on the Soviet kolkhoz, showing some consequences of the bulky rule books that were designed to tie the hands of a new class of rural administrators. Tackling the entire web of land and labor in Europe up to 1960, I found Soviet experiences looming large over one-half of the continent. From the 1960s until recently, I have repeatedly analyzed the economics of Soviet farming, finding the main problems to be derived from top-heavy organization and lack of individual incentives rather than from any lack of material means, which the Soviet State seemed to squander as if they were free goods.

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