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The Collapse And Its Aftermath: From 1985 To The Present

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Chapter Summary

The appointment in March 1985 of Mikhail S. Gorbachev as General Secretary of the CPSU heralded the demise of the Soviet Union. The downfall of the Soviet Union necessitated an important but seldomly explicitly recognised theoretical about-turn for Tony Cliff and his supporters. After all, they had originally assumed that state capitalism represented a higher stage of development than Western capitalism. The theoreticians of the new class society also began to relativise the power and efficiency of the bureaucracy. In a 1987 article, Ticktin argued, in line with his previous publications, that the USSR had no real social classes in the Marxian sense. A renewed growth occurred of theories of Soviet capitalism which, more or less in the tradition of Bordiga and Charles Bettelheim, often claimed that there had never been any state capitalism the Soviet Union, but, instead, a special variant of competitive capitalism.

Keywords: Soviet Union; state capitalism; Tony Cliff; Western capitalism



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