The chief aim of this book is to examine the relationship between the technical intelligentsia and the Soviet state in the late 1920s and the early 1930s. It is offered as a contribution to an analysis of the U SSR in a period of major social upheavals which brought certain critical shifts in the character of the Soviet state. The object is to try to throw light on some elements in that process through an investigation of its impact on the technical intelligentsia. The account rests upon, and at the same time attempts to explore, a number of general assumptions about the role of the Soviet state in this period. The first part of Chapter 1 sets out briefly what those assumptions are. The second part outlines the particular issues to be investigated and the way they relate to the general questions underlying the study.
KeywordsClass Struggle Critical Shift Left Turn Political Agency Soviet State
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- 1.A summary statement of this view can be found in I. Deutscher, The Unfinished Revolution (1967), Chapter 2. Deutscher is basically following the concept of ‘combined development’, especially as presented in Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution, for example in order to realise the Soviet state, there was required a drawing together and mutual penetration of two factors belonging to completely different historic species: a peasant war—that is, a movement characteristic of the dawn of bourgeois development — and a proletarian insurrection, the movement signalising its decline. That is the essence of 1917 (Ibid., vol. 1, p. 64).Google Scholar
- 7.M. Lewin, ‘Society and the Stalinist state in the period of the Five Year Plans’, Social History, no. 2 (1976).Google Scholar
- 12.Carr and Davies (1969); Granick (1954); Azrael (1966). Unfortunately, this book was completed before the appearance of the very thorough study by K. Bailes, Technology and Society under Lenin and Stalin (Princeton, 1978). This deals with some of the same issues that are considered here, although the theoretical questions raised in the present study are different in certain important respects.Google Scholar