See discussion question below from Professor Guinevere Liberty Nell.

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Show 3 Answers (Taregh Abedzadeh's answer approved by Guinevere Liberty Nell)
user's picture

Doesn't Stalin rise to power coincide with the Marxist's theory that the first step towards utopian vision and higher phase of communism is by having a Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Trotsky himself agreed that there must be serve and obey structure. The whole party and as well opposition, couldn't go against much of what Stalin represented because that itself would go against their own views of regarding Marx and his views. Had the unity behind the Stalin's era was less forced by fear and more people conversing and agreeing in general how to direct the movement and actions towards certain plans of the nation then it would have been on the way to a Utopian vision if the further social experiment had gone more successful in Soviet Russia.

user's picture

Yes, I think you touch on some good points here - if the unity could have come about without force, it might have been very different. And you are right about why nobody in the party could go against Stalin.


Guinevere Liberty Nell approved 1 year 9 months ago.
user's picture

The party line allowed Stalin to rise to power by creating a presumption of behavior that could be used against deviations, and where this rule could be used against independent minded people. The problem was worsened by the fact that the USSR was concerned about ideological correctness in line with the new age(as noted in some of Bukharin's writings), and also the need for unity to form effective plans, but also with external pressures to perform(the USSR was not well-taken by the rest of the world, and had failing programs) and even internal pressures to perform(the USSR held itself as the fundamental change in human history).

I'm not sure that Stalin's concentration of power can be blamed for his rise to power.(At least without a model of power accumulation based upon the present level of power) Otherwise it seems like blaming heat for hotness.

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His concentration of power cannot be blamed for his rise to power -- but the party line and the expected unity within the party can perhaps, right? As you put it, "by creating a presumption of behavior that could be used against deviations" -- can you explain what you mean by this? Perhaps you can develop your thoughts here a bit more.


Guinevere Liberty Nell approved 1 year 9 months ago.
user's picture

I think concentration of power in hands of Stalin created that situation. "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely" - See more at: http://mruniversity.com/courses/economic-history-soviet-union/trotsky-pa...

OK, but this is too easy. What else can you say, based on the description here? Try thinking about questions like these:
We discussed 'learning' in an earlier section and again here -- could learning be possible when the party must select a party line?
Can the party learn from each line it selects or does having a party line preclude learning?
Could this system work if power did not corrupt, how would that look?
Is degeneration into tyranny inevitable--e.g., is it based on human nature or selection pressures?

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