MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE



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Bukharin's revisionism

 

Starting from 1931, Bukharin  played a leading rôle in the Party work among intellectuals. He had great influence in the Soviet scientific community and in the Academy of Sciences.

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Cohen,  op. cit. , p. 352.

As the chief editor of the government newspaper Isvestiia, Bukharin  was able to promote his political and ideological line.

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Ibid. , p. 355.

At the Inaugural Congress of Soviet Writers in 1934, Bukharin  praised at length the `defiantly apolitical' Boris Pasternak. 

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Ibid. , p. 356.

Bukharin  remained the idol of the rich peasants and also became the standard bearer for the technocrats. Stephen F. Cohen,  author of the biography Bukharin  and the Bolshevik Revolution, claimed that Bukharin  supported Stalin's leadership to better struggle against it:

`It was evident to Bukharin  that the party and the country were entering a new period of uncertainty but also of possible changes in Soviet domestic and foreign policy. To participate in and influence these events, he, too, had to adhere to the facade of unanimity and uncritical acceptance of Stalin's past leadership behind which the muted struggle over the country's future course was to be waged.'

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Ibid. , p. 354.

In 1934--1936, Bukharin  often wrote about the fascist danger and about the inevitable war with Nazism. Speaking of measures that had to be taken to prepare the country for a future war, Bukharin  defined a program that brought his old right-opportunist and social-democratic ideas up-to-date. He said that the `enormous discontent among the population', primarily among the peasantry, had to be eliminated. Here was the new version of his old call for reconciliaton with the kulaks --- the only really `discontent' class in the countryside, during those years. To attack the collectivization experience, Bukharin  developed propaganda around the theme of `socialist humanism', where the `criterion is the freedom of maximal development of the maximum number of people'.

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Ibid. , p. 362.

In the name of `humanism', Bukharin  preached class conciliation and `freedom of maximal development' for old and new bourgeois elements. To fight fascism, `democratic reforms' had to be introduced to offer a `prosperous life' to the masses. At this time, the country was being menaced by the Nazis and, given the necessity of great sacrifices to prepare resistance, the promise of a `prosperous life' was sheer demagoguery. Nevertheless, in this relatively underdeveloped country, the technocrats and the bureaucrats wanted `democracy' for their nascent bourgeois tendency and a `prosperous life' at the expense of the working masses. Bukharin  was their spokesperson.

The basis of the Bukharinist  program was halting the class struggle, ending political vigilance against anti-socialist forces, demagogically promising an immediate improvement in the standard of living, and democracy for opportunist and social-democratic tendencies.

Cohen,  a militant anti-Communist, is not mistaken when he calls this program a precursor of Khrushchev's. 

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Ibid. , pp. 361, 363.



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Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995