The Soviet State: A Study of Bolshevik Rule

By Bertram W. Maxwell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
CIVIL SERVICE AND JUDICIARY

CIVIL SERVICE

INTRODUCTION

After the overthrow of the autocracy in 1917, a great number of the old civil servants remained in the service of the Provisional Government. When the Soviets displaced the Kerensky régime, most of the old officials and those who entered the service after the March Revolution left the service, and hence the new authorities were compelled to employ an entirely new and inexperienced personnel without the necessary qualifications. The new government struggled along under this handicap, but gradually succeeded in sifting out the inefficient and creating a new civil service in accordance with Communist ideas.

The Bolsheviks attempted to make the position of civil servants under the Soviet régime different from that in most capitalistic countries by not granting them a privileged status, and by classifying them simply as employees of the state, having the same rights as other persons working for wages. Although to this day there is no special code regulating their status and rights, in recent years it has been found necessary to adopt special rules relating to the employees in governmental institutions and undertakings, whether national, state, or local. It has also been found necessary, from time to time, to divide Soviet civil employees into categories, and accordingly the Council of People's Commissars of the Union, after consultation with the central committees of the various professional unions, decided on a schedule of typical positions, which was later accepted by all national, state, and local institutions.

During the period of military communism, the personnel of state employees reached enormous proportions, but with the coming of the new economic policy and the necessity of cutting down

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