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Communism and the French Intellectuals, 1919–23

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Document pages: 17 pages

Abstract: Whatever its author s intention, nearly every study of the history of Soviet Russia or of the international Communist movement contributes to the continuing controversy over Lenin s responsibility for all the policies that usually are lumped together under the label of Stalinism. Irving Howe and Lewis Coser wrote in 1957 that ‘from the party of Lenin to the party of Stalin there is a fundamental disjuncture marked by a violent counter-revolution’. In a more recent exchange of views on this subject, George Lichtheim, although he did not say that Lenin would have behaved as Stalin did, said it is his considered opinion that ‘Stalin s policy, broadly speaking, was within the context established by Lenin in 1923’. Lichtheim was referring in particular to Stalin s industrialization plans, but in the same article he makes it clear that his opinion holds for Stalin s policy in its entirety.

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