Advertisement

Stalinism and Intellectual Order

  • A. Kemp-Welch

Abstract

The conventional wisdom that the source of policy in the Stalin era was Stalin, aided at most by nicely calculated combinations of secretarial subordinates, corresponds quite closely to what we know about the later Stalinism, and most precisely to the phase into which its cultural policies were frozen after the war. Then the attack on Aleksandrov (1948) did take the philosophical establishment unawares, and seemed to illustrate the method of both ‘cult of personality’ and ‘totalitarian leadership’ in acting without regard for precedent or established orthodoxy, apparently by caprice. In further cases, arbitrariness was combined with ambiguity, intended to cause fear or isolation amongst the intelligentsia. Thus the posthumous attack on Marr (1950) was calculated to bring confusion, provoke faction-fighting and dispute over the ‘party line’ which extended far beyond the chosen field, linguistics, into all the social sciences, where scholars vied with one another in the ‘decoding’ of and ‘drawing of conclusions’ from Stalin’s statements. But was this always so? Does the conventional wisdom not stem principally from the memory of these last years, ones of policy stagnation and intellectual decline, which is then projected back in explanation of the pre-war period?

Keywords

Central Committee Dialectical Materialism Soviet Scholar Slavic Review Soviet Communist Party 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    L. B. Schapiro, The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (London, 1960 ) p. 343.Google Scholar
  2. 9.
    Stephen F. Cohen, Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution (London, 1974) p.285.Google Scholar
  3. 21.
    John Barber, ‘Stalin’s Letter to the Editors of Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya’, Soviet Studies, xxvm no. I (1976) 22–5.Google Scholar
  4. 47.
    A. Binevich and Z. Serebryansky, Andrei Bubnov (Moscow, 1964 ) pp. 78–9.Google Scholar
  5. 50.
    E. D. Polivanov, Stat’i po obshchemu yazykoznanyu, comp. A. A. Leont’ev, ( Moscow, 1968 ) pp. 23–4.Google Scholar
  6. 61.
    T. H. Rigby, Communist Party Membership in the USSR, 1917–1967 (Princeton, NJ, 1968) PP. 441–4.Google Scholar
  7. 63.
    N. Mandelstam, Hope Against Hope (London, 1971) pp. 140–1.Google Scholar
  8. 64.
    See N. Babel (ed.), Isaac Babel: The Lonely rears, 1925–1939 (New York, 1964 ).Google Scholar
  9. 69.
    David Joraysky, The Lysenko Affair (Cambridge, Mass., 1970) PP. 94–5.Google Scholar
  10. 73.
    P. H. Solomon, Soviet Criminologists and Criminal Policy Specialists in Policy-Making (London, 1978 ) pp. 19–20.Google Scholar
  11. 74.
    Contrast S. Frederick Starr, ‘Visionary Town Planning during the Cultural Revolution’, in Sheila Fitzpatrick (ed.), Cultural Revolution in Russia, 1928–1931 ( Bloomington, Ind., and London, 1978 ) pp. 207–40.Google Scholar
  12. 75.
    Anatole Kopp, Town and Revolution: Soviet Architecture and City Planning, 1917–1935 (New York, 1970).Google Scholar
  13. 80.
    Loren R. Graham, The Soviet Academy of Sciences and the Communist Party, 19271932 ( Princeton, NJ, 1967 ) pp. 110–14.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© A. Kemp-Welch 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Kemp-Welch

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations