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2 Revolution and the Problems of Bureaucracy

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Chapter Summary

Soon after the October Revolution, many Bolsheviks began to assert that the problem of bureaucracy had not died with the old regime. Although there was a consensus that bureaucracy was a growing problem, there was little agreement on exactly what that problem was or how to account for its reappearance. A series of opposition groups, employing traditional Marxist analysis, defined the problem in terms of political alienation, and perceived bureaucracy in the elevation of Soviet political, economic, and military institutions above the control of the working class. However, in the first period of Soviet power his analysis was unusual in that it rejected both the view that Soviet bureaucracy involved the rule of officials and the notion that it was related to the use of bourgeois specialists. Instead, Trotsky identified the problem exclusively with the sources of inefficiency in Soviet military, economic, and political organs.

Keywords: Marxist; political alienation; Soviet bureaucracy; Soviet military; Stalin; Trotsky



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