Second American Revolution, Anyone? (was Re: Faux on Cockburn)

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Sat Jan 8 10:57:52 PST 2000

>I think this analysis emphasises too much the role of mass struggle in the
>demise of Stalinism and under-estimates the role played by the bureaucracy
>in the process. The transition process in the Soviet Union/Eastern Europe
>was initiated from the top downwards. It was ironically the bureaucracy -
>not the masses - which concluded that it could no longer carry on in the old

I don't disagree with you. There's a pretty good book titled _Revolution from Above: The Demise of the Soviet System_ by David Kotz and Fred Weir, which seems to accurately explains the top-down nature of the transition process itself (except that Kotz and Weir seem to give too much credit to Gorbachev for trying, at least rhetorically, to reform the USSR within a socialist framework). The post-1975 stagnation of economic growth in the USSR, however, was in part attributed to the problem of "labor discipline," to which Perestroika was a response.


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