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The Russian October Revolution dealt a devastating blow to Marxism from which Marxist sociology did not begin to recover until recently. Stalin's "contributions" to Marxist theory and practice had a particularly adverse effect on the fate of Marxism in the West. Whatever hopes were generated by the de-Stalinization campaign in the Soviet Union proved short-lived. By the time Soviet tanks entered Prague and Soviet authorities resumed show trials, few intellectuals in the capitalist West could speak of Soviet Marxism without acute resentment or at least tacit embarrassment.

In Mills's words, ". . . marxism-leninism has become an official rhetoric with which the authority of a one-party state has been defended, its expedient brutalities obscured, its achievements proclaimed."' Any attempt to revive the Marxist creed under these circumstances must have entailed a denunciation of what has come to pass for Marxism in the Soviet Union. Not surprisingly, the Marxist renaissance in the West was marked by the virtually unanimous rejection of Soviet Marxism.


Politics and Social Change | Social Psychology and Interaction | Sociology


Posted with permission, all rights reserved. Social Research: An International Quarterly

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