1st Edition

Ideology and Rationality in the Soviet Model A legacy for Gorbachev

By Kristian Gerner, Stefan Hedlund Copyright 1989

    First published in 1989, Ideology and Rationality in the Soviet Model assumes that since the October Revolution the development of the Soviet Union has essentially been a process of trial and error. Economic rationality has been sacrificed to political expedients, and the cultural sphere has been put to use as a legitimating and rationalizing device. This book analyses the internal logic of this process from the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution to Gorbachev’s ‘revolution from above’, including coverage of the Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev eras. The book focuses on the structural determinants of the Soviet Model, thus seeking to reveal the specific rationalities that characterizes ‘Soviet man’. Its conclusion casts serious doubt on the likelihood of new policies defeating seven decades of Bolshevik rule and social indoctrination. It will be of interest to students of economics, political science and history.

    Tables Preface 1. Setting the stage 2. Searching for the economics of early Soviet planning 3. Formation of the Stalinist political system 4. The Bolshevik order and Russian tradition 5. Summary: political forces 6. The failure of intensification 7. The Khrushchev experience 8. Promoting patriotism: the era of mature Stalinism 9. Summary: the role of ideology 10. Stagnation and the reforms that never were 11. The politics of stagnation 12. Return to Russia 13. Summary: rationality and Soviet man 14. Opening Pandora’s box Notes References Index


    Kristian Gerner and Stefan Hedlund