Lenin in Essen

nigel_irritable mmcdon at SPAMiol.ie
Fri Mar 16 06:50:27 MST 2001


> From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com>
> Sidney and Beatrice Webb once published a book called "Soviet
> Communism - a New Civilisation?", based on personal research which the
two
> decrepit old Fabians, both then in their 80s, conducted in Soviet Russia
in
> 1937. They were highly impressed with the industriousness and order they
found
> everywhere. Any residual doubts they may have had about the Soviet
schemes
> were gone by the 2nd edition, from which the question mark disappeared,
and
> the founders of British municipal socialism now hailed "Soviet Communisnm
- a
> New Civilisation".

I had the misfortune of wading through that depressing and large book a
year or so back. It memorably described the great purges as a mild, if
generalised, air of suspicion which was thankfully "almost wholly confined
to the officials and to the intelligentsia". Most of the book was just a
plodding trawl through model factories and false statistsics. It was
notable though that the Webb's anti-Marxism meant that they viewed the
voluntarist, elitist ethic of the Stalinised USSR in a good light.

Is mise le meas,
Brian Cahill





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