Bryan A. Alexander bnalexan at
Tue Mar 28 11:03:07 MST 1995

I concur.  After all, if we consider (for a moment) the 'Soviet system'
to be a loose affinity-based aggregrate of localized, decentralized rule,
then this system was not 'abandoned'; rather, the revolutionary central
state dismantled, destroyed, or masked it.  An example would be the
Kronstadt rebels' call for a return to the Soviets.  This brief and
nearly hidden facet of the Soviet (in both senses) experience is vital
for political practice today.

Bryan Alexander
Department of English
University of Michigan

On Tue, 28 Mar 1995, Scott Marshall wrote:

> Ron Press wrote:
> >I submit that the birth of the USSR took place in the midst of the
> >chaos of the first world war. This gave rise to the system of
> >Soviets. This was also unique for it's time. The abandonment of
> >the Soviet system and it's transformation into the dictatorship of
> >the party (it was supposed to be the proletariat) lead to the
> >ultimate disaster of recent years.
> Abandonment and transformation into.... Was it really that simple? Is it
> really all we can learn? It strikes me that we are not anywhere near a full
> understanding of either the strengths (that many here don't want to
> acknowledege under any circumstances) nor the weaknesses of the Soviet
> experience. That such a complex and multifaceted struggle to try and build
> socialism can be so glibly summerized and dismissed is to me one of the main
> obstacles to learning anything from that experience.
> Scott
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