Communist Political Systems: An Introduction (Comparative by John Gardner, Tony Saich, George Schopflin Stephen White

By John Gardner, Tony Saich, George Schopflin Stephen White

The 3rd variation of this article presents a historical past to the politics of China, jap Europe and what was once the Soviet Union. The ebook has been rewritten all through to mirror the emergence of pluralist multi-party platforms and non Communist governments are marked.

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Extra info for Communist Political Systems: An Introduction (Comparative Government & Politics)

Sample text

In all these states, the instruments of coercion were freely used to ensure the unchallenged hegemony of the elite, whether these challenges derived from social or national grounds. However, it is worth noting that where there was no conflict of interests the state did not necessarily interfere and did not necessarily seek a monopoly position. The objectives of the elites did not, on the whole, go much beyond securing their own positions; there was a rhetorical commitment to modernisation, which could be jettisoned as soon as conflict arose.

Many of those who profited from their lack of principle during these years still occupy prominent positions in Soviet life; it would not be surprising if this period, with the lives and careers it made and unmade, continued to influence Soviet political culture for many years to come. At the same time a number of Soviet citizens, particularly those now in leading positions, may have drawn the rather different conclusion from these years that the substantial achievements they recorded, such as industrialisation and the defeat of Hitler, could not have been attained without a high degree of central discipline.

To some extent, as before, official doctrines of this kind were used by the party leadership in an attempt to manipulate popular political opinion to their advantage. This was particularly the case during the Second World War, when Russian and Slavic patriotism reached an unusual pitch of intensity in part as a result of the deliberate encouragement of the authorities. 'We shall never rouse the people to war with Marxism-Leninism alone', as Stalin is 38 COMMUNIST POLITICAL SYSTEMS reported to have remarked at this time.

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