From International Socialism 2:76, September 1997.
Copyright © 1997 International Socialism.
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Russia Twenty Years After was one of the very few books of the 1930s which was clear about the counter-revolutionary nature of Stalinism at the time. It tells the messy truth about Russia at the time of industrialisation. And in doing so, it comes surprisingly close to telling us about the nature of Russia today. In order to appreciate the quality of Victor Serge’s achievement, it is worth looking briefly at the circumstances in which he wrote this book. The rise of Stalin to the position of dictator over the Soviet Union was no ordinary defeat for the revolutionary left. There had been defeats before but the left had survived and regrouped. After the Russian revolution of 1905 had been defeated, for example, Lenin remarked that a beaten army learns its lessons well. This was entirely accurate: despite vicious repression, the Russian workers took power within little more than a decade. The coming of Stalin was more like Armageddon. Of the purges which followed, the first and most comprehensive was directed against the Left Opposition within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Serge quotes at length from one of the many Trotskyists who took part in the resistance to this political genocide:
On 22 January, 1931, the anniversary of Lenin’s death, all the deported Bolshevik-Leninists of Akmolinsk [Kazakhstan] were arrested and incarcerated in cells infected with typhoid. There were 12 of us, including two women; nine contracted typhoid ...
In the Verkhne-Uralsk prison the Bolshevik-Leninists, to the number of 450, began a hunger strike to protest against the despotism of the local administration. The year before, in the course of a hunger strike, the director Biziukov gave the order to douse our comrades with cold water – this in winter and in Siberia! The order was executed. When our comrades began to barricade the cells, the jailers directed the water hose into their eyes. Our comrade Pogossian lost his sight. In 1931, a turnkey fired a shot through a grille into the chest of comrade Essayan. On the days of revolutionary festivals, we had serious conflicts with the administration. We were either incarcerated or beaten up because we sang the International.
In the Petropavlovsk prison I saw 35 women, eight of them with nursing babies, shut up in a cell of 25 square metres. The only access to air was through the peephole. I shall never forget those piteous and puny children! Taking turns, the mothers held them up to the peephole so that they might breathe a wretched ration of fresh air ...
We began our hunger strike [in Verkhne-Uralsk, against the automatic doubling of sentences] on 11 December, 1933 ... They began to feed us forcibly. Unspeakable violence was the result, the voluntarily famished men battling with the jailers. Our comrades, of course, were trounced. At the end of our strength, they crammed rubber hose down our mouths and throats. The famished men were dragged to the “feeding cell” like so many dogs. Nobody gave in. On the fifteenth day we decided to suspend the strike because the attempts at suicide were becoming too numerous ... 
So complete was the destruction that when Russia emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, it contained no organised left of any kind. Stalinist terror obliterated revolutionary socialism in Russia for over 60 years. The same could not be said about other targets of repression: nationalism among the non-Russian peoples of the USSR, the Russian Orthodox Church, the dissident movement of the 1970s – let alone the more tolerated nationalist and monarchist groupings among the Russians themselves.
Trotsky and Victor Serge were prominent among the handful of voices in the 1930s which spoke out insistently against Stalinism without abandoning their socialist principles. But few listened to them. The left throughout the world had already been carved up between Stalinism and social democracy (Labourism, in its British incarnation). Accusations made by the Stalinised Communist parties that Trotskyites were in league with the fascists struck a chord with those for whom the Soviet Union seemed to be the great bulwark against Nazi barbarism. It was in Russia that the armies of fascism were decisively beaten. Stalin and the Red Army were publicly glorified by the left and by right wing leaders like Churchill.
In such circumstances, denunciations of Soviet bureaucracy were likely to get a hostile reception. Revolutionaries like Trotsky and Serge made their stand in the most difficult conditions. Trotsky was murdered. Serge effectively died of hunger a few years later. If they made mistakes, the wonder is that they did not make many more. Trotsky more than anyone kept alive a tradition of revolutionary socialism which was independent of either Stalinism or social democracy. It was a tremendous achievement.
One of the most pernicious aspects of Stalinism was its ability to incorporate former revolutionaries and use their talents in the industrialisation drive before executing them as scapegoats. There is always a pressure on the defeated to accommodate to the victors. The greater the scale of the defeat, the greater the temptation to compromise. Stalinism had the additional advantage of appearing to offer the only way forward for the USSR through industrialisation and the collectivisation of agriculture (in reality, the smashing of the peasantry). A most painful and revealing passage in the postscript to Russia Twenty Years After is the one in which Serge describes the reaction to it of those closest to him:
I put the finishing touches to this book in January 1937. Many of my best friends hesitated to approve its publication. Their attachment to the revolution impelled them to ask if I was not drawing too black a picture of the Soviet Union of today; if the involuntary or even unconscious resentment of an outlaw was not playing some part in the book.
Serge’s response to this is a model of revolutionary courage in the face of adversity:
The past year shows that all the oppositions which, in the last 14 years, stood up against the bureaucratic regime, underrated its profoundly counter-revolutionary power and, still more, its inhumanity. The judgments formulated hitherto by the Left Opposition to which I belonged, sinned only in indulgence and optimism, because the Opposition stuck to preserving at all costs the last chances, however feeble, of a political redressment, of a great reform which would have brought the Soviet Union back to the road of socialism. 
It was necessary for revolutionaries to tell the truth about Stalinism. But it was excruciatingly hard to do so. Most of the people with revolutionary aspirations, and there were millions of them, believed the lie. They wanted to believe it. They needed to believe. Their illusions about Stalinism and about the Soviet Union were the product of the most terrible defeats: the defeat of the German Revolution, of the Hungarian Revolution, of the Italian Biennio Rosso, of the British General Strike, of the Chinese Revolution a year later and finally of the Spanish Revolution in the civil war. As Victor Serge shows in this book, Stalinism both grew out of these defeats and contributed to them. The more workers were defeated, the more people’s hopes of bringing about change by their own efforts were dashed. The more these hopes were dashed, the more they pinned their faith on the red star of the Soviet Union, shining bravely in the deepening gloom. The illusions bred by defeat are always about some agency other than the working class holding the key to the future. Of all such illusions, Stalinism has been the greatest and the most destructive.
One of the themes to which Serge returns again and again is how alien the early Soviet regime was to the bureaucratic tyranny which replaced it. In October 1917 the Bolsheviks had led a revolution based on the rank and file democracy of the workers’ and soldiers’ Soviets (councils). They had overthrown the unelected Provisional Government, taken Russia out of the First World War, decreed workers’ control over production and given the land to the peasants. The superpowers of the day – Britain, the USA and their allies – made a prolonged attempt to destroy the new regime, already beset by famine and industrial collapse. They invaded Russia, inspired a ruinous civil war and imposed an economic blockade. The civil war period left a terrible mark on the revolutionary regime. Its human foundation was destroyed: the workers of 1917 perished either in battle or through famine, or they disappeared into the countryside. Soviet democracy gave way to militarisation and then to the one-party state. It was a desperate situation, which dictated what Serge rightly calls ‘measures of public safety, sometimes terrible ones’. This ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ may have deprived the anarchists and the more right wing socialists, such as the Mensheviks and the Socialist Revolutionaries, of ‘the right to sabotage, even with the best of intentions’. But such doubtful allies of the Soviet regime, not to speak of dissidents within the ruling party (now renamed as the Communist Party), continued to publish their views quite openly. Only in 1927, the year in which the Trotskyists were expelled, could Stalin’s henchmen proclaim that under the dictatorship of the proletariat there could be a number of parties: one in power, the rest in prison.
In theory and in practice, the prison-state has nothing in common with the measures of public safety of the commune-state in the period of battles: it is the work of the triumphant bureaucrats, who, in order to impose their usurpation, are forced to break with the essential principles of socialism and to refuse the workers any freedom at all. 
Everywhere Serge looked, he found the same rupture, both in spirit and in practice. Under the slogan of “Socialism in one country,” the top priority of Soviet foreign policy changed, not without the odd zigzag, from spreading the revolution to cultivating the sympathies of other upper classes. Stalin delivered the Chinese Revolution into the hands of the executioners of the nationalist Kuomintang so as “not to frighten either the Chinese bourgeoisie or the powers”.  A brief lurch to the ultra-left had the German Communist Party refusing to unite with the Social Democratic Party against the Nazis, thus allowing Hitler into power. This disaster, though unacknowledged, frightened the Stalinists into a revamped version of their previous tactic. Known as the ‘Popular Front against Fascism’, it was an attempt to submerge the class struggle in an all-class alliance, in the forlorn hope of surrounding Germany with defence treaties which meant something. Even fascist Italy was apparently considered to be a potential ally:
In the August 1936 number of Lo Stato Operaio, official organ of the Italian Communist Party, we find an appeal for the reconciliation of all Italians, from which we quote the following remarkable lines:
Italian people! Fascists of the Old Guard! Young fascists! We communists adopt as our own the fascist programme of 1919 which is a programme of peace, of freedom, of defence of the interests of the workers, and we say to you: Let us fight unitedly to realise this programme! 
In Spain, where republicans were fighting a civil war against the fascists, Serge predicted that the Stalinist bureaucracy was intervening “in order to prepare there the repression of the revolutionary tendencies that combat it and to profit by the aid it lends the republic in order to assure its own political hegemony within it”.  This is the theme of Ken Loach’s film Land and Freedom. Serge need only have added that the Stalinists achieved this aim at the cost of demoralisation, soon followed by defeat. But what of the situation inside Russia?
Serge lived in the Soviet Union for 17 years, from 1919 to 1936. He had been a machine-gunner in the civil war and had then worked closely with the Bolshevik leadership. Expelled from the CPSU as an oppositionist in 1928 (and briefly held under arrest), he managed to stay clear of the authorities for a further five years, during which he travelled around the USSR and lived for a time in the countryside. In 1933 he was arrested, held in solitary confinement and interrogated before being to deported to Orenburg, where he and his son nearly died of hunger, and here he remained until his expulsion from the Soviet Union in 1936. Serge’s testimony is therefore that of an eyewitness and a participant, someone who can communicate the feel and the smell of Russian life in Stalin’s heyday. He does this with incomparable skill. Two passages in particular stand out from the many which detail more dramatic instances of brutality and injustice. Both are about the struggle and drudgery of everyday life. The first gives the more general picture:
In order to get an idea of the life of the Soviet citizen during these years one must picture the worker preoccupied with obtaining, stamping, checking, and re-registering a bread card, which is refused to half the workers on various pretexts; the housewife, running from one empty store to another, and registering in a queue at the doors of a fishstall early in the evening, pauper No.758, in order to wrangle the next morning over a ration of salt fish; the worker exposed to spying in the shop, coming home to comment at the table on the arrests made the night before; finding rhymed apologies for the death penalty in his paper; not knowing where he can get a spare shirt; fearing to be driven out of the big city by being refused a passport, because his son has married the daughter of a former small merchant; wondering what risky combination to resort to in order to get hold of a dollar and buy some precious medicament at the Torgsin [the State Society for Trading with Foreigners] ... Hemmed in by the police, by poverty, by lies. 
The second passage is specifically about women. But since it depicts them in terms of class, it is symbolic of human, social relationships in the USSR as a whole:
The social differentiation obliges us to distinguish the various conditions of Soviet women. The upper strata of society, especially numerous in the centres, have produced the type of elegant and indolent lady, who follows the fashions, the theatre, the concerts, who is desolated when she is unable to get the latest dance records from abroad, who tans herself every year on the beaches of the Crimea or the Caucasus. I have heard the elegant in the literary salons praising the enthusiasm of the Donietz miners and the political wisdom of the Leader. I have seen others, fat and dressed in transparent silks, leaning on the arms of aviation officers, walking past children with bellies swollen from famine who moaned softly as they lay stretched out in the dust. Flies resting on their eyelids and lips tormented them. The ladies turned their heads away. After all, they were only little Kazaks or Kirghiz ...
Below this feminine aristocracy is the average housewife of modest means, as needy as she is everywhere else. Still lower – and she constitutes the majority – is the woman of the people, a worker or peasant, who does the washing, goes for water to the fountain or to the river (in winter, it is to a hole punctured in the ice), takes care of the animals, raises the children, receives the drunken man at the end of the week, stands in line in front of the stores, buys a few metres of satinette in order to resell them and, thanks to this brilliant stroke of business, is able to provide shoes for the youngest. The foreign litterateurs do not come to question her while travelling. Disfigured and aged at thirty-five, she sometimes takes to drink. Then you hear her – on the revolutionary holidays – singing in a discordant voice the old popular plaints. 
If there is any doubt about the state in which the workers undertook the immense labour of industrialisation, one only has to know that in Omsk, a major Russian city and the capital of western Siberia, the first proper sewers were not built until 1939.  This kind of thing was not primarily to do with backwardness but with priorities. The regime which was demanding unheard of sacrifices from its workers was as unsympathetic to them as elegant Soviet ladies were to starving children. The workers and peasants who slaved to construct Soviet industry were the victims of low pay, shortages, absolute police power, famine and disease. Contrary to official propaganda, the welfare state had been all but destroyed and there was even a Soviet version of prescription charges.  The restoration of ranks in the Soviet army in 1935 followed the revival of privilege throughout Soviet society. Pay could vary from 70 rubles a month for a woman worker through 1,000 to 10,000 rubles for high communist functionaries and specialists to millions for the painters, poets and novelists who danced attendance on the top leadership. But these differentials were greatly magnified by other forms of privilege:
... the collaborator of a scientific institute gets only 300 to 400 rubles, but he works in two or three institutes, which comes to 1,200 rubles at the end of the month. The newspaper editor, at 250 rubles a month, collaborates on other publications, which trebles his income. The factory director, at 500 or 1,500 rubles, gets himself granted premiums for the execution of plans on the occasion of festivals and anniversaries. The party functionaries and the communist leaders receive gifts of garments made of fine cloth, are lodged by the party in comfortable quarters built for that purpose, have the benefits of watering places in the Caucasus or the Crimea, free of charge or at reduced rates ...
Every category of workers, every factory – and within each factory the ordinary workers, the shock workers, the technical men, the bureaucrats – has its private store, closed to other categories, with special rations and prices, confidential or secret. No displays, just a card that is open-sesame. As a rule, the reserved stores of the foreigners, the high functionaries, the GPU [the secret police], the well-paid specialists, are sufficiently supplied with merchandise. Those of the ordinary workers and of the population at large are dirty and virtually empty. The government intervenes in order to fix the minimum rations of the workers and fixes them at a level appreciably below requirements ... I saw this placard in a bureau: “Grandparents have no right to food cards” ... 
The leadership which boasted about having achieved socialism (in 1934!) reversed the great reforms made by the first Soviet government. The right to free abortion, “a capital conquest of the revolution,” was replaced by abortion as a crime in all but the narrowest medical circumstances. Other legal measures restricted divorce through penal taxation, effectively fining couples who wished to separate. New laws re-criminalised homosexuality and pornography – and there was no mucking about with unnecessary details like defining what pornography was. Capital punishment was restored, introduced as a punishment for theft and extended, along with other penalties, to children of 12 (according to Stalinist educationalists, this was justified by the high quality of Soviet education, which turned children into adults by the age of 12 – not, as Serge remarks, that they were allowed to vote or stand in elections, of course). Soviet criminal law had initially been the most advanced in the world, confining itself to defending society rather than punishing or avenging. Now it was no better than fascist law.  For such achievements, there was a constant and deafening chorus of praise and approval. The 1936 constitution, for example, was compared to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  But this was small beer next to the carefully manufactured and orchestrated leadership cult, for which worship is not too strong a word:
Pravda of 28 August, 1936, publishes the translation of an Uzbek poem which attributes to the Leader the creation of the world:
O great Stalin, O leader of the peoples,
There was no doubt in Serge’s mind that the changes of the Stalin era were profoundly reactionary. But, like Trotsky, he was not sure how far the process of reaction had gone. So on the one hand, he describes the Stalinist bureaucracy, in some detail, as counter-revolutionary, and on the other he argues that nationalisation and planning are for the Russian workers the surviving victories of the revolution. “It has proved possible to rob them of the fruits of these victories,” he adds, almost in the same breath.  In Alice in Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat disappears but his smile remains behind. Serge’s argument sounds rather similar. If the workers had been robbed of the fruits of their victories, then nothing remained of them apart from the memory – and nationalisation and planning were not necessarily incompatible with counter-revolution. The Russian Revolution is, as Serge says, “a historical experience of incalculable scope”, and it is partly thanks to him that an non-Stalinised memory of it has been kept alive. But memory is not the same as victory. The idea that from the victories represented by nationalisation and planning Russian workers would derive the confidence to rise up against their Stalinist masters (for this is what Serge was arguing) was profoundly misleading and was bound to lead to demoralisation. The truth was that the common people of the USSR had been bled white by civil war and isolation. They hardly had time to recover before the Stalinist dictatorship butchered a large minority and turned the rest into factory fodder. There was no prospect here of a revolutionary struggle for power in anything but the long term.
The disappointment of Serge’s own expectations seems evident in his 1947 article, Thirty Years After the Russian Revolution, also printed here. Stalinism was by now extending its grip from one state to eight – strengthening its hold throughout Eastern Europe and, in a different form, preparing for power in China. Yet Serge was, if anything, further away from an understanding of what had happened. His defence of the Russian Revolution is all the weaker for two accusations he makes against the Bolshevik Party. 
The first is that the creation of the Cheka (the Extraordinary Commission for the Repression of Counter-Revolution) was the “most incomprehensible error” of the Bolsheviks, and one which led directly to Stalin’s secret police, the GPU. The Cheka was not an exclusively Bolshevik creation: supporters of the revolution set up local Chekas for the internal defence of the revolution just as they responded to the call for a Red Army for external defence. The Cheka was a cruel necessity of the civil war, especially at the height of the White offensive in 1919, when the Soviet republic resembled a beleaguered fortress in an area occupying 600 kilometres around Moscow. There were misgivings in the Bolshevik leadership about the growth in the Cheka’s power and it was drastically reduced once the civil war was over.  Stalin had to more or less start from scratch when he developed the secret police into an instrument of control over all other institutions. Serge’s second allegation is that the suppression of the Kronstadt revolt in 1921 was a panic overreaction – a prime example of the kind of mistake that was made once the Bolsheviks were in power. The basic facts of the matter were that the fortress of Kronstadt commanded the approaches to Petrograd (later Leningrad, now St Petersburg). Had such a breach been allowed to open up in the heart of Soviet territory, it would almost certainly have restarted the civil war. The suppression of Kronstadt was extremely brutal but it enabled the regime to survive for a few more years. These accusations (criticisms seems too mild a word) let the great imperialist powers, whose pressure distorted the young Soviet regime, off the hook. They suggest by default that a socialist regime could have flourished in Russia despite the failure of the revolution to spread if only it had been nicer. And they imply that Leninism did lead to Stalinism after all, despite all of Serge’s protestations to the contrary.
In Serge’s defence, it must be said that – in addition to his worsening physical condition – the situation was less clear to him than it is with the benefit of hindsight. He sensed that there had been a change in the nature of the regime. We know it. We know that society and production were knocked into a completely different shape. We know that this was the greatest change ever to have taken place in Russia and the other components of the USSR. Even a typically conservative history of the Soviet Union describes it as ‘The Great Rupture’.  We know that the secret police with Stalin as its real head replaced the Communist Party, bureaucratised and Stalinised though it was, as the key motivating element in the state machine. Huge bureaucratic ministries controlled every branch of the new industry (there were about 65 of them in the late 1980s). We know that all institutions of any importance were remade and purged over and over again until their leaderships were entirely new, cut off from the past. About 60 percent of the active communists of 1931 had been purged by 1937. Of the 139 members of the CPSU Central Committee elected at the Seventeenth Congress in 1934, 110 (79 percent) were arrested before the Eighteenth Congress in 1939. Of the 1,966 delegates who attended the Seventeenth Congress, only 59 turned up at the Eighteenth Congress: 1,108 (56 percent) had been arrested. The purges led to the wholesale destruction of the industrial managers who had led the first phase of industrialisation. Studies in the mid-1930s showed that only 3 to 8 percent of directors had held the same post for over five years. In 1937-1938, on the eve of the Second World War, Stalin removed more than 75 percent of the officer corps and the high command of the Red Army. We know that the forced labour population was probably around 8 to 9 million and that something in the region of 20 million people died through forced labour, collectivisation and the purges. 
It is not simply a matter of political changes, profound though these were. In a matter of ten years the industrialisation drive transformed Russian society and sent it off in a new direction. The official figures are not to be trusted, of course, but they give an idea of the scale of the change. Between 1913 and 1928, the signs are that not only did the USSR not develop, it actually went into reverse. The number of manual workers fell from 14.6 percent of the population to 12.4 percent. At the same time the proportion of peasants rose from 66.7 percent to 74.9 percent. Then it happened. Between 1928 and 1939 manual workers as a percentage of the population rose from 12.4 to 33.7. By 1959 the figure was 50.2 and by 1979 it was 60.0.  Then there is the question of the way the new economy was organised. Leonid Polezhaev, the present day governor of Omsk and for many years a leading communist in the economic management of the region, recently wrote: “The Soviet economy – let’s face the truth – was created for war and in the expectation of war.” He exemplifies this in terms of the extreme centralisation, the military organisation of the enterprises and their direct supervision by the state.  A leading western academic has put it like this:
Political competition with the West was now transformed into an economic race, but one whose standards and measures of achievement were set in the West ... In the context of socialism in one country Stalinism was primarily a war machine, with the emphasis on heavy industry, a way of industrialising the country to sustain its military potential. 
As Tony Cliff and others have argued, the subordination of the Soviet economy and society to the demands of military competition meant that the USSR had made the transition from the “bureaucratically deformed workers’ state” of the 1920s to state capitalism.  The position of the workers, their experience of the new order and their attitude towards it, was often best expressed in jokes like this one: Is it possible to build socialism in one country? It is. But its better to live in another country. 
The vivid, unforgettable impressions which crowd the pages of Russia Twenty Years After are its great strength and its weakness. Serge had some striking insights. He identified the discontent of the non-Russian nationalities as a threat to the regime 50 years before the USSR began to crack up along national lines. He understood that a regime of oppression which identified itself as the bearer of socialism had inspired a tremendous feeling of revulsion against socialism. The consequences of this are, of course, still with us. Nevertheless, this is not a work of analysis and Serge’s account of Stalinism is not always systematic. He devotes two chapters to Stalin’s foreign policy. But he mentions the rise to power of the Nazis in Germany only in passing, although this was a crucial event and one in which Stalinism had played a disastrous role.
On the other hand, Serge wrote this book very much as a companion volume to Trotsky’s The Revolution Betrayed, which he was translating at the time. In this role, Russia Twenty Years After is a superb piece of work which Serge completed in an artistic sense with his magnificent novel The Case of Comrade Tulayev. Russia Twenty Years After begins with the condition of the workers and ends with the prospects for working class struggle. At the time those prospects were in fact minimal. The class struggle in Russia is now an established fact and the common use of phrases like “fear of rising social tension” in Russia is a recognition of this. Serge may have been wrong to be over optimistic. But he was right not to give in to a defeat which seemed final, right to react against fatalism and despair. Out of the bitterness of unimaginable defeats, he transmitted a simple, shattering message of revolutionary hope: “Nothing is ended, everything begins”. 
I would like to thank Mike Haynes for his help, his advice and for those of his manuscripts which, for some inexplicable reason, remain unpublished.
1. Victor Serge, Russia Twenty Years After (Humanities Press, 1996), pp.72-73.
2. Ibid., pp.288-289.
3. Ibid., p.93.
4. Ibid., p.257.
5. Ibid., p.269.
6. Ibid., p.274.
7. Ibid., p.184; in the richly furnished stores run by the Torgsin (the State Society for Trading with Foreigners) Soviet citizens could get good quality food, soap, shoes, cloth, medicine and other goods unobtainable anywhere else in exchange for hard currency and gold.
8. Ibid., pp.25-26.
9. M.P. Zhuravlev, Omsk: vchera, segodnya, zavtra (Omsk, 1993), p.69.
10. Victor Serge, Russia Twenty Years After, op. cit., p.6.
11. Ibid., pp.5, 179-180.
12. Ibid., pp.24-25, 186-190, 244.
13. Ibid., p.206.
14. Ibid., pp.131, 206.
15. Ibid., p.287.
16. Ibid., pp.309, 313.
17. See, for example, T. Cliff, Lenin, Volume 3 (Bookmarks 1987); J. Rees, In Defence of October (London 1997).
18. M. Heller and A. Nekrich, Utopia in Power, (London, 1986), p.222.
19. R. Sakwa, Soviet Politics (London 1989), pp44-53; T. Cliff, Russia: a Marxist Analysis (London n.d.), p.259.
20. Ibid., p.48.
21. L. Polezhaev, Vpered, na medlennykh tormozakh ... (Moscow 1994), p.75.
22. R. Sakwa, op. cit., pp.47, 59.
23. See, for example, T. Cliff, op. cit.; P. Binns, T. Cliff, C. Harman, Russia: from Workers’ State to State Capitalism (London, 1987).
24. Iosif Raskin, Entsiklopediye Khuliganstvuyshchego Ortodoksa (St Petersburg 1995), p.380. I would like to thank Louis Loizou for providing me with this invaluable source of soviet humour.
25. Victor Serge, Russia Twenty Years After, op. cit., p.287.
Last updated: 12.4.2012