Pluralism and Social Conflict: A Social Analysis of the Communist World

By Silviu R. Brucan | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

When the Russian Revolution began in October 1917 it was an immense surprise to most analysts, including leaders of socialist parties throughout the world, and even for the most part to the very Bolsheviks who led the revolution. Lenin is said to have had a very difficult time persuading his senior colleagues in the Bolshevik leadership to proceed with the insurrection. This is well known, of course, but it is worth reflecting upon the reasons why it was so surprising to so many.

When the so-called Gorbachev phenomenon came upon the world scene, it was not quite as sudden as the storming of the Winter Palace. Ultimately, however, it has been and remains as surprising to most analysts as was the October Revolution. Few predicted it. Most analysts had predicted, in the post-1945 era, and predicted with some vigor, that it was an impossibility. Silviu Brucan was one of the rare voices who anticipated these developments*. It is worth reflecting upon the reasons why the Gorbachev phenomenon has been so surprising to so many.

With the benefit of the wisdom of hindsight, it is possible to make a rather strong case that Leninist tactics could only have succeeded in certain countries and that Russia was indeed the most likely place (although of course the revolution was in no way inevitable and had as a necessary precondition the breakdown of the state machinery as a result of the war). It is equally possible today to make the case that the 'reform' movement in the USSR and throughout the socialist countries was equally highly likely.

____________________
*
Silviu Brucan, The Post-Brezhnev Era, New York Praeger, 1983

-vii-

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Pluralism and Social Conflict: A Social Analysis of the Communist World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Introduction ix
  • 1. Evolution of Classes and Class Policy 1
  • Notes 49
  • 2. Social Structure and Scientific-Technological Revolution 51
  • Notes 88
  • 3. Social Conflict Generated by Reform 91
  • Notes 169
  • Postface 175
  • Selected Bibliography 179
  • Index 181
  • About the Author 187
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