Internal Political Pressures
Our cautions regarding the obscurity of the Soviet political system are particularly applicable here, where the perspective of events is so short. But some tentative judgments are possible.
While many Western observers had regarded Khrushchev's position as unassailable, his abrupt removal suggested that significant independent political power resided in the institutions that he formally controlled. One can speculate on the possible parallel between the internal political struggle of 1954 and 1955, which led to Malenkov's downfall, and the circumstances under which Khrushchev operated in 1962- 1964. As we have seen, both men were committed to unsuccessful domestic policies tending to stress light industry and some increase in consumer investment. But where Malenkov failed to secure the kind of détente that in his view the "new course" and Moscow's foreign political situation required, Khrushchev made some progress in the form of arms control agreements. Without stretching the point, the parallel might be relevant in looking for the sources of internal oppo-