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A More Perfect Union

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The Construction of the Post-War Consensus of the Soviet Governing Elite

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wwii led to the creation of a more technocrat-oriented Soviet elite, whose managing ethos is still visible in the Russian leadership paradigm. The war filled the party with a vast number of the new Communists whose political and general, education level, remained low, forcing the party focus toward pragmatic rather than ideological aims and forcing the center to devolve a considerable degree of autonomy to the provincial party leaders.This situation led to the rise of G. M. Malenkov and the pragmatist faction, tasked to reaffirm the political authority of the party as the central feature of the Soviet system. Malenkov’s approach consisted of embracing rather than limiting the role of the party as the governing, managing institution, encouraging the ties between the governmental and the party apparatus. The Kremlin would acquiesce in the party direct management of the economic matters, in effect legitimizing the wartime compromises.Yet the change in course required a fundamental shift in party identity. By making economic growth the central priority, the party reoriented away from the role of the guardian of the ideological purity and toward a more conventional governmental structure, in many ways laying the foundation of party-state’s destruction.

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor, Humanities & Social Sciences Dept., Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL 32114, USA, stotland@erau.edu

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