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From The Twentieth Congress Of The Cpsu To The Repression Of The 'Prague Spring' (1956-68)

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Chapter Summary

The year 1956 marked a turning point in the world of 'actually existing socialism'. Khruschev made his famous secret speech at the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), in which he strongly criticised Stalin and Stalinism. Both in Hungary and in Poland, workers' councils were formed. Order was restored in the Danube republic with Russian tanks. As far as Marxist theorising about the Soviet Union was concerned, the period 1956-68 can be described as lacking significant creativity. The proponents of the theories of the 'degenerated workers' state' and 'state capitalism' for the most part just repeated themselves, which meant that, relatively speaking, the most important developments occurred in the area of theories of a new mode of production. The period 1956-68 marked an almost complete theoretical stagnation on the Western-Marxist front.

Keywords: degenerated workers' state; Stalinism; state capitalism; Twentieth Congress of CPSU



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