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Oktyabr’skaya Revolyutsiya i Fabzavkomy [The October Revolution and Factory-Committees], edited by Steve A. Smith, London: Kraus International Publications, 1983 Oktyabr’skaya Revolyutsia i Fabzavkomy, Volume 3, Second Edition, edited by Yoshimasa Tsuji, Tokyo: Waseda University, 2001 Oktyabr’skaya Revolyutsiya i Fabzavkomy: Materialy po istorii fabrichno-zavodskikh komitetov, Volume 4, edited by Yoshimasa Tsuji, St Petersburg: St Petersburg University Press, 2002

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The article re-examines the key debates concerning the relationship between the Russian factory-committee movement and the Bolshevik Party and Soviet state in 1917‐18. It does so with reference to a four-volume collection of documents in Russian on the history of the factory-committees in 1917/18 which first began to be published in 1927 and completed publication in 2002. Rather than the traditional totalitarian view of a movement which was cynically manipulated and dominated by an authoritarian party, what emerges is a much more complex and dynamic relationship. The article in particular argues that the so-called bureaucratisation of the factory-committee movement after the October Revolution emerged out of the practical dilemmas faced by the committees in the economic chaos of 1917/18 and the factory-committee leaders’ own desires to promote a rational, planned alternative to that chaos.

Affiliations: 1: University of Portsmouth, Email:


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