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Soviet Union

Editorial: Russia Never Was Socialist

This year marks the centenary of the Russian Revolution where the focus will be on the Bolshevik seizure of power in November 1917. The historic rivalry between the Western Powers and the world's first so-called "Communist" state has been presented as a struggle between Western ‘liberal democracy’ versus Soviet ‘totalitarian Communism’. Many believed that the fall of ‘Communism’ would usher in an era of global peace. However, despite the arrival of Western-style representative democracy in Russia, relations between Russia and the West appear to be descending into a new ‘Cold War’.

The Withering Away of the State - From Marx to Stalin

Socialists from Marx and Engels onwards have always held that with the establishment of Socialism the State will disappear. The State, which exists where society is divided into an owning class and a propertyless class, and is a coercive institution through control of which the dominant class imposes its will on the subject class, would lose its function when society ceases to be divided into classes. The Marxian view was put by F. Engels in his "Socialism, Utopian and Scientific":—

Jack Dash

When I last saw Jack Dash he lay dying in an East End hospital; he said he knew that his time had come, but hoped that he had contributed his bit to the struggle of his class. The time before that we sat in a pub and argued with the ferocity that good friendship allows. Although we were separated in age by half of a century, and in ideas by an even greater gulf, Jack and I were real mates. He was a marvellous story-teller, and able poet who could recite with passion and sing old cockney songs in ways that brought their class origins to life.

Book Review: 'Nomenklatura - Anatomy of the Soviet Ruling Class'

Russia's Capitalists

'Nomenklatura: Anatomy of the Soviet Ruling Class', by Michael Voslensky, (The Bodley Head, £12.95)

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