Decades of debate and discussion on the nature of socialism reach a moment of truth in the period after 1917. The Bolshevik Revolution took place in what was, in terms of both area and population, decisively the largest nation in Europe. But it was a distant land for the bulk of West Europeans, and was too poor and backward to be an appropriate venue for a Marxian transition to communism. Nevertheless, the existence of this gigantic ‘workers’ state’, in the context of the troubled postwar economic and political situation, profoundly affected the political and intellectual atmosphere in the West: a socialist transformation of the society and economy was no longer an abstract consideration.
KeywordsSocialist Theory Central Planning Socialist Economy Socialist Optimism Economic Allocation
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