Topic 7 – The rise and fall of Stalinism

How and why did the bureaucratic dictatorship fail?

Statue of Stalin destroyed by the masses in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution against Stalinist rule

“The basis of bureaucratic rule is the poverty of society in objects of consumption, with the resulting struggle of each against all. When there are enough goods in a store, the purchasers can come whenever they want to. When there are few goods, the purchasers are compelled to stand in line. When the lines are very long, it is necessary to appoint a policeman to keep order. Such is the starting point of the power of the Soviet bureaucracy.”

Leon Trotsky, The Revolution Betrayed, 1936


Reading 1: The Rise of Stalinism (MWT)

(from The Legacy of Leon Trotsky, Chapter 2)


Reading 2: The Nature of the Soviet Regime (MWT)

(from The Legacy of Leon Trotsky, Chapter 3)


Reading 3: The Crisis of the Stalinist States (MWT)

(from South Africa’s Impending Socialist Revolution, Chapter 4)


Reading 4: From Perestroika to Capitalist Restoration (CWI)


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