The Technical Intelligentsia 1917–27

  • Nicholas Lampert
Part of the Studies in Soviet History and Society book series (SSHS)


The purpose of this chapter is to try to give a historical depth to the later discussions of the technical intelligentsia during Soviet reconstruction, and to make some sense of the emphasis on the dynamic elements in the situation after 1927. It has not been possible to give the same amount of attention to the postrevolutionary decade as to the later years. But the present discussion is nonetheless intended to be more than a backdrop. It forms a necessary part of the whole argument. The first section looks at the role of the technical intelligentsia during the revolutionary period and the civil war, and examines some of the disputes within the party which arose in this connection. The second section identifies some of the key changes affecting the technical intelligentsia during the NEP, focusing on party policy towards the bourgeois specialists and their response to it, on the relations between Bolshevik enterprise directors and non-party specialists, and on the role of the managers in relation to the workers and trade unions.


Trade Union Political Official Technical Personnel Chief Engineer October Revolution 
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  1. 3.
    For one of numerous accounts, see P. Avrich, ‘Workers’ control’, Slavic Review, vol. 22 (1963), p. 47f.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 6.
    For example, the situation at the Putilov works: The four engineers who headed the main subsections of the plant (artillery, engineering, carriage and metal production) refused the directorship offered after the resignation of the former director, and as a result the chairman of the factory committee took over as head of the plant. But while some engineers were being arrested for their refusal to cooperate, others promised to assist the factory committee (Istoriya Kirovskó vo Zavoda (1966), pp. 11–12, 15).Google Scholar
  3. 22.
    Grinevetsky cited in Voprosy Ratsionalizatsii (1925), p. 29.Google Scholar
  4. 35.
    For some left communist arguments, see N. Osinsky (1918), pp. 24–38; the democratic centralists were vocal at the 9th Party Congress in April 1920: see, for example, Devyaty Syezd RKP (1960), p. 115.Google Scholar
  5. 53.
    Evreinov in Stenograficheskii Otchet … (1923), pp. 29–30.Google Scholar
  6. 57.
    Sokolova in 13 Istorii Sovetskoi Intelligentsii (1966), pp. 178–9.Google Scholar
  7. 59.
    E. Rozmirovich in NOT, RKI i Partiya (1926), p. 60.Google Scholar

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© Nicholas Lampert 1979

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  • Nicholas Lampert

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