Western Marxism and the Soviet Union: A Survey of Critical by Marcel van der Linden

By Marcel van der Linden

Jurriaan Bendien (tr.)

The ‘Russian Question’ used to be a completely valuable challenge for Marxism within the 20th century. a number of makes an attempt have been made to appreciate the character of Soviet society. the current booklet attempts to painting the improvement of those theoretical contributions on the grounds that 1917 in a coherent, accomplished appraisal. It goals to offer the improvement of the Western Marxist critique of the Soviet Union throughout a slightly lengthy interval in historical past (from 1917 to the current) and in a wide sector (Western Europe and North America). inside this demarcation of limits in time and area, an attempt has been made to make sure completeness, through being attentive to all Marxist analyses which in a roundabout way considerably deviated from or extra to the older theories.


“The quantity of assets the writer has studied is staggering...the ebook [has] an encyclopedic worth and [is] obtainable to all students drawn to political history.”
— Martin Kragh, Stockholm institution of Economics

“Since the Russian adventure remains to be used to vilify the belief of socialism, the talk is still correct. Van der Linden...has now produced a finished scholarly account of the arguments.”
— Ian Birchall, London Socialist Historians staff

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Extra resources for Western Marxism and the Soviet Union: A Survey of Critical Theories and Debates Since 1917 (Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume 17)

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86 Herman Gorter 1920a, p. 213. 85 40 • Chapter Two highly organised, and ſnds expression in the most solidly founded state governments of the world. 87 That explained why, East and West of the dividing line, very different tactics were called for. At approximately the same time that Gorter and Pannekoek distanced themselves from the Bolsheviks, Otto Rühle88 lost the last remnants of positive appreciation for the Russian Communists. After his return as KAPD delegate to the Second Comintern Congress89 (a congress which he and his fellow delegate Merges did not actually attend, having departed in irritation before it even started), Rühle ventured to speak from the heart in a few articles.

204) claim that Warski had remembered this passage ‘thirty years later’ is completely without foundation, as is evident from the dating of the pamphlet. 56 From the October Revolution to the Stalin Era • 31 Although she wrote me twice in the summer of 1918, I wanted to work through a scientiſcally-critical position about the Bolshevik politics with Franz Mehring, and although she mentioned to me about her own intended major work, she referred in her subsequent correspondence to this question as ‘settled’.

This is the ‘organic’ approach for which she was criticised by Lukács, which led her to characterise the social relations created by the October Revolution in a way which emphasised the ‘uncompleted’ nature of the situation: both a road going forward towards socialist relations, as well as a road going back to a capitalist restoration were among the possibilities. Although in this way she recognised that, on the one hand, a process was occurring in revolutionary Russia which so far could not be easily ſtted into 36 • Chapter Two ready-made schemata, on the other hand her thinking remained within the theoretical framework of unilinearism.

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