Rethinking Soviet Socialism

  • Alfred B. EvansJr


The Soviet political regime traces its origins to the revolution of October 1917, under the leadership of Lenin, which brought the Bolshevik wing of Marxism to power in Russia. That regime bases its legitimacy on the claim that it directs Soviet society in accordance with the principles of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, who in turn considered themselves followers of the ideas of Marx and Engels. Thus to an unusual degree the Soviet regime is justified by and identified with a distinctive and comprehensive set of ideas — the ideology referred to as Marxism-Leninism. By presenting themselves as the interpreters of that world-view, Soviet leaders stress the notion of a direct continuity of intellectual heritage from the Marxist classics through Lenin and the October revolution to the present day. Since 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev has embarked upon the most sweeping revision of Soviet Marxism-Leninism since the 1920s. But paradoxically, the questioning of many previously established tenets of the ideology has intensified the need for the reaffirmation of faithfulness to its original sources. Gorbachev continues to assert that correct Marxist-Leninist theory must be the source of guidance for the policies of the Soviet state. Therefore, contemporary Soviet reformers are engaged in the search for a new model of socialism which can combine the most valuable principles of Lenin’s thought with features adapted to contemporary conditions.


Communist Party Market Relation Socialist Society Soviet Economy Soviet System 
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© Alfred B. Evans, Jr 1990

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  • Alfred B. EvansJr

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