Boundaries of Utopia - Imagining Communism from Plato to Stalin (Routledge Contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe Series)

Boundaries of Utopia - Imagining Communism from Plato to Stalin (Routledge Contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe Series)

Language: English

Pages: 248

ISBN: 0415703727

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The idea that socialism could be established in a single country was adopted as an official doctrine by the Soviet Union in 1925, Stalin and Bukharin being the main formulators of the policy. Before this there had been much debate as to whether the only way to secure socialism would be as a result of socialist revolution on a much broader scale, across all Europe or wider still. This book traces the development of ideas about communist utopia from Plato onwards, paying particular attention to debates about universalist ideology versus the possibility for "socialism in one country". The book argues that although the prevailing view is that "socialism in one country" was a sharp break from a long tradition that tended to view socialism as only possible if universal, in fact the territorially confined socialist project had long roots, including in the writings of Marx and Engels.

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communist utopia from Plato onwards, paying particular attention to debates about universalist ideology versus the possibility for ‘socialism in one country’. The book argues that although the prevailing view is that ‘socialism in one country’ was a sharp break from a long tradition that tended to view socialism as only possible if universal, in fact the territorially confined socialist project had long roots, including in the writings of Marx and Engels. Erik van Ree is an Assistant Professor at

industrialised Germany 115 x Contents 11 Socialism as autarky 123 12 Socialism as war economy 134 PART IV Revolution 151 13 Socialisation of the national economy 153 14 Socialism in one country 163 15 The Great Debate 176 Conclusion 188 References Index 197 230 Preface This book has been very long in the making. Writing it has cost me perhaps two years, but the theme of socialism in one country, which is at the heart of the work, had my attention for many more. The first

Gotha unification congress referred to the duties following from ‘the international character of the workers’ movement’, but the solemn formula of the joint efforts of a number of countries was missing.16 What is more, Bebel’s views did not become accepted in the party across the board. Opponents let themselves be heard. The first, October 1877 issue of the SAPD’s theoretical journal, Die Zukunft, carried an article probably written by editor Karl Höchberg, who defined the journal’s mission as being

socialist economy could have been constructed in Russia alone: Trotsky was precisely arguing in Results and Prospects that such a thing would be impossible in any country, even in those ripe for socialism. 6 The only other discussion of socialism in one country that I found in Russian social democratic writings prior to the Great War was in the left-wing Bolshevik, Aleksandr Bogdanov’s, science-fiction novel Red Star (1908). The Martian Sterni mentions the uneven character of the struggle for

proletariata’ (ibid.: 168). Sed’maia (aprel’skaia) vserossiiskaia konferentsiia, 1958: 112. Shestoi s”ezd, 1958: 138. KPSS, vol. 1: 389. For recent Stalin biographies, see Service, 2004; Kuromiya, 2005; McDermott, 2006; Creuzberger, 2009. See also Davies and Harris, 2005. For Stalin’s political thought, see van Ree, 2002. Shestoi s”ezd, 1958: 250, 257. For Stalin on the socialist character of the Russian revolution, see also 14, 111–12, 142–3. Tucker, 1974: 175. Trotsky and Bukharin rejected the

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