Western Marxism and the Soviet Union

Book ann: Brill
New publication:
Western Marxism and the Soviet Union
by Marcel van der Linden

The "Russian Question" was an absolutely central problem for Marxism in the twentieth century. Numerous attempts were made to understand the nature of Soviet society. Marcel van der Linden's new book Western Marxism and the Soviet Union tries to portray the development of these theoretical contributions since 1917 in a coherent, comprehensive appraisal. It aims to present the development of the Western Marxist critique of the Soviet Union across a long period in history (from 1917 to the present) and in a large region (Western Europe and North America). Within this demarcation of limits in time and space, attention has been paid to all Marxist analyses which in some way significantly deviated from or added to the older theories. The book also contains a massive bibliography of the relevant publications; an effort has been made to ensure completeness, knowing however that it is unlikely to be realized.

Marcel van der Linden, Western Marxism and the Soviet Union. A Survey of Critical Theories and Debates Since 1917 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2007). XII + 380 pp. ISBN 978 90 04 15875 7. € 89.00; US$ 125.00

Contents
Preface
  1. Introduction
  2. From the October Revolution to the Stalin era (1917-29). 2.1. Kautsky and the Bolsheviks: three controversies: Kautsky versus Lenin; Kautsky versus Trotsky; Kautsky versus Bukharin. 2.2. Levi, Luxemburg and the Bolsheviks: criticism and counter-criticism: Levi; Luxemburg; Interpretations; Zetkin, Lukács, and Kautsky. 2.3. Left-communist criticisms: Gorter, Pannekoek, Rühle; Korsch. 2.4. Summary
  3. From Stalin's "Great Leap Forwards" to the "Great Patriotic War" (1929-41). 3.1. State capitalism: Miasnikov; Adler; Wagner; Worrall; Pollock. 3.2. Trotsky: the theory of the degenerated workers' state. 3.3. Theories of a new mode of production: Laurat; Weil; Rizzi; Burnham; Shachtman; Carter; Pedrosa; Hilferding. 3.4. Criticism: Criticism of theories of state capitalism; Criticisms of the theory of the degenerated workers' state; Criticisms of theories of a new mode of production. 3.5. Summary
  4. From the "Great Patriotic War" to the structural assimilation of Eastern Europe (1941-56). 4.1. The theory of the degenerated workers' state. 4.2. Theories of state capitalism: Grandizo/Péret; James/Dunayevskaya; Castoriadis/Lefort; Cliff; Bordiga. 4.3. Theories of a new mode of production: Guttmann. 4.4. Interpretations "without labels": Sternberg; Cycon; Frölich; Kofler. 4.5. Debates and mutual criticism: The Deutscher debate; Responses to Burnham; Mandel's critique of "state capitalism" and "bureaucratic collectivism". 4.6. Summary
  5. From the 20th Congress of the CPSU to the repression of the "Prague Spring" (1956-68). 5.1. Theories of state capitalism: The current around Cliff. 5.2. The theory of the degenerated workers' state. 5.3. Theories of a new mode of production: Djilas; Kuron/Modzelewski. 5.4. Theories "without labels": Wittfogel and his critics; Marcuse; Rosdolsky; Boeuve. 5.5. Summary
  6. From the repression of the "Prague Spring" to Perestroika (1968-85). 6.1. Theories of state capitalism: Cliff's current; Mattick; Maoist variants: Holmberg, Bettelheim and his critics; The operaïst variant. 6.2. The theory of the degenerated workers' state: Elaborations; Criticisms; Mohun's revision. 6.3. Theories of bureaucratic collectivism: Stojanovic; Critical Rizzi-supporters: Carlo and Melotti; Fantham/Machover; Sweezy. 6.4. Theories of the new mode of production without a (consolidated) ruling class: Pioneers: Arthur, Naville, Alvater/Neusüss; The debate in Links; Dutschke and his critic; Zimin; Digression: Sohn-Rethel, Damus and the `social synthesis'; Bahro and his critics; Schmiederer; Ticktin and his critics; The Hungarian "New Left": Bence/Kis (Rakovski), Konrád/Szelényi, Fehér/Heller/Márkus; Campeanu. 6.5. Summary
  7. The collapse and its aftermath: from 1985 to the present. 7.1. Theories of (state-)capitalism: The current around Cliff and its critics; Daum and his critics; Sapir; Chattopadyay and his critics; Fernandez; Aufheben; Sandemose; Resnick & Wolff and their critics. 7.2. The theory of the degenerated workers' state. 7.3. Theories of bureaucratic collectivism: Loone; Brenner and his critic; Finger. 7.4. Theories of a new mode of production without a (consolidated) ruling class: Füredi; Ticktin and his critics; Cox; Arthur; Behrens; Campeanu. 7.5. Summary
  8. In Lieu of a Conclusion
  9. Meta-theoretical note

    Bibliography

    Index