Author: John Marot
In a series of probing analytical essays, John Marot tracks the development of Bolshevism through the prism of pre-1917 intra-Russian Social Democratic controversies in politics and philosophy. For 1917, the author presents a critique of social historical interpretation of the Russian Revolution.

Turning to NEP Russia, the author applies Robert Brenner's analysis of pre-capitalist modes of production and concludes that neither Bukharin nor Trotsky's NEP-premised programs of economic transformation and advance toward socialism were feasible. At the same time, he rejects the view that Stalinism was pre-destined to supplant NEP. Instead, he hypothesises that the superior alternative to Stalinism was NEP without collectivization and the Five-Year Plans — a outcome that would have been possible had Bukharin and Trotsky joined forces to stop Stalin.
Author: John Marot

Lars Lih has contributed to our knowledge of Russian Social Democracy lately. However, serious methodological flaws bedevil this advance in knowledge. Lih’s overall approach displays a very static understanding of political ideas in relation to political movements. In the first section, ‘Lenin, the St Petersburg Bolshevik Leadership, and the 1905 Soviet’, I challenge Lih’s position that Lenin never changed his mind about bringing socialist consciousness into the working class ‘from without’. In the second section, ‘Lenin, “Old Bolshevism” and Permanent Revolution: The Soviets in 1917’, I challenge Lih’s revisionist view that Old Bolshevism’s pre-1917 goal of ‘democratic revolution to the end’ drove Lenin’s partisans to make a working-class, socialist revolution in 1917. On this singular account, Lenin’s April Theses, which called for the overthrow of the Provisional Government and the transfer of all power to the soviets, was merely a further expression of Old Bolshevik politics, not a break with it, as has almost universally been held.

In: Historical Materialism
In: The October Revolution in Prospect and Retrospect
In: The October Revolution in Prospect and Retrospect
In: The October Revolution in Prospect and Retrospect