What Mobilization Means for Russia
The End of Putin’s Bargain With the People
ONE could hardly imagine a less sensational headline than the title of this article. It is as though during a long, severe winter a newspaper had come out with the headline "Cold Weather Fails to Melt Snow." In Russia is a state whose ruler has greater and more unlimited power than has the premier, president or monarch of any other modern country. The state controls a greater range of human activity than any before in history. It has none of the traditional safeguards for control of the government by the people. No parliamentary opposition to the régime has ever existed. There is no protection for the individual in the courts against the arbitrary power of the state. There is an immense police force to insure internal control. The government has one of the greatest and most powerful armies of all time at its disposal. Surely it must be pure insanity to contemplate the possibility of the withering away of the Soviet state!
In the face of the complete contradiction between doctrine and reality, however, the orthodox Marxist dogma of the disappearance of the state under Communism has never been abandoned by the Communist Party. On the contrary, after a lull during the war and the immediate postwar period, the doctrine is once more the occasion of discussion and official statements of policy. One of the most comprehensive of these statements appeared as a leading editorial article in Izvestia of October 12, 1951, with the headline "The Socialist State--Mighty Instrument For Building Communism."[i] Other articles dealing with related subjects continue to appear in the Soviet press.
One must ask why these articles appear at all, and why they appear at this time? Why is there interest in a subject which seems to have so little to do with actuality? Indeed, why do the rulers of the Soviet state allow this subject to be mentioned, since it would seem to be so embarrassing to them? The answer must be found, in the first instance, in the impossibility of divorcing a system of political power completely from its ideological foundations, however fully the government controls the instruments of coercion and propaganda.
As Gaetano Mosca has pointed out in his book, "The Ruling Class," the task of governing a conquered population is made infinitely easier if the people of the country can be induced to accept the religion of the conqueror. Such a religion is bound to include divine sanction for the exercise of power by the ruling class. The modern totalitarian state, substituting its official ideology for a state religion, cannot afford to repudiate its basic doctrines as convenience might otherwise dictate. The prestige of the ruling class depends upon the maintenance both of the myth of the infallibility of the supreme ruler and of the immutability of the system's ideology. Given the powers of coercion and propaganda which the ruling class commands, arguments and rationalizations which could not maintain intellectual currency for a moment in a liberal society may prove quite adequate for this purpose. Furthermore, statements of rationalization may be intended as propaganda for particular objectives. The need to whip up support for the war economy among the Russian people no doubt explains the appearance of the Glaeserman article at this time.
That the Soviet state should have its ideological origins in Marx's and Engels' doctrine that any and all states are instruments of class domination and that when a truly Communist society had been attained the state would have wholly "withered away" is one of the most fantastic contradictions in the history of human institutions. In his Report to the Eighteenth Party Congress of March 10, 1939, Stalin cites "the classical formula of the theory of development of the Socialist state," given by Engels:
When there shall be no social classes which it is necessary to hold in subjection--when there shall be neither the dominance of one class over another class nor a struggle for existence based on the contemporary anarchy of production, and when the clashes and the violence caused thereby shall have been done away with--then there will no longer be anyone to crush and to hold in restraint and then the need for the state authority which now performs that function will vanish. The first measure in which the state will come forward as the true representative of all society--the turning of the means of production into social property--will be its last independent action qua state. Little by little it will become unnecessary for state authority to intervene in social relationships and such intermeddling will automatically cease. The government of persons comes to an end; and the management of things and the direction of production processes take its place. The state is not "abolished" --it withers away.[ii]
It is easy to understand why the doctrine that there can be a society which has none of the coercive powers of the state was essential to the Marxian concept of Communism. It seemed perfectly obvious to Marx that the existence of the capitalistic system depended upon the police power of the state, which protected the property rights of capitalists and guaranteed the functioning of a system of exchange which enabled the capitalist to extract his "surplus value" from the labor of the proletariat. Marxian Communists have been at one with the Anarchists in their designation of the capitalistic state as an instrument of exploitation which must be destroyed. It is not so generally understood, however, that their agreement with the Anarchists about the fundamentally undesirable nature of the state did not stop here. It is still orthodox Marxism, Leninism and even Stalinism that any form of the state is to be tolerated only temporarily, and that when Communism has been attained there is to be no state.
This doctrine of a society without a state has served Marxists as a device to avoid a fundamental answer to the question of who is to run the state after capitalism has been destroyed. Why should it be reasonable to expect that the rulers of a collectivist society would operate a state more in the interests of the whole population, and less in their own interests, than have the rulers of bourgeois states? Through their theory of the withering away of the state Marxists can deny that the question has reality, for they blandly assert that under Communism there is to be no state at all.
Of course, they say, a purely temporary caretaker's state has to be set up by the proletariat. For would not the capitalists, even if once overthrown, reëstablish the bourgeois state if there were no counter force to prevent this? Lenin claims that Marx and Engels foresaw precisely this difficulty. Consequently, he explains, in his "State and Revolution," "the particular power of suppression of the proletariat by the capitalist class . . . must be replaced by a particular power of suppression of the capitalist class by the proletariat (the dictatorship of the proletariat)."
How long was this new state, embodying the dictatorship of the proletariat, to last? On the eve of the October Revolution, Lenin maintained that "the particular power of suppression of the capitalist class by the proletariat (the dictatorship of the proletariat)" was to begin to wither away on the morrow of victory; ". . . the proletariat, according to Marx, needs only a withering away State--a State, that is, so constituted that it begins to wither away immediately and cannot but wither away. . . ." He goes on to say in another passage, "How can we otherwise pass on to the discharge of all the functions of Government by the majority of the population and by every individual of the population?" And still further along he says, ". . . the great majority of the functions of 'the old State' have become enormously simplified and reduced, in practice, to very simple operations such as registration, filing and checking. Hence they will be quite within the reach of every literate person, and it will be possible to perform them for the usual 'working man's wage.'"
By this device of the "temporariness" of the Soviet state, by the use of the amorphous phrase "dictatorship of the proletariat," and by a grotesque underestimate of the complexities and difficulties of administering a collectivist type of economy, Lenin evaded answering the problem crucial to all organized forms of human society--"How is the minority of men from a given society which is to rule the majority of the population to be selected, and how can this minority be prevented from developing into a tyranny?" Lenin simply took as axiomatic the right of the Central Committee of the Bolsheviks under his leadership to wield unlimited power in the name of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Neither Lenin nor Stalin felt the necessity of testing the validity of their mandate to wield this power by submitting to an election, the freedom of which could be guaranteed by any of the standard devices developed in democratic societies of the West.
The thoroughness and ruthlessness with which the Bolsheviks destroyed the organization of industry, the civil government and the armed forces of their Tsarist predecessors--by definition the instruments of the bourgeois exploiters--embarrassed Lenin, Trotsky and their colleagues and successors not at all in their task of erecting a new state power. The death penalty for infractions of discipline was reinstituted and used more freely in the Red Army than it had been in the Tsarist Army. It had to be, since the bulk of its soldiers had to be reclaimed from the dissolved masses of the old army. No one has ever expressed more succinctly the final basis upon which the discipline of armies rests than did Trotsky, in his reference in "My Life" to the task of creating discipline in the Red Army during this period: "So long as those malicious tailless apes . . . the animals that we call men--will build armies and wage wars, the command will always be obliged to place the soldiers between possible death at the front and the inevitable one in the rear."
The restoration of industrial discipline was not so simple. The application of the principle of "single responsibility and authority of the manager" was limited, so long as the managing personnel was still largely inherited from the old regime. As Soviet-trained personnel gradually took over industry, however, and the former managing personnel retired, or were otherwise liquidated, respect for authority was enforced with the same ruthlessness in this sphere of state power as in the armed forces.
In late 1929 the writer attended a conference on productivity held for worker representatives by the management of the First Cotton Textile Trust at Serpukov, a textile town not far from Moscow. At one stage of the conference workers were allowed to hand in written questions to the "praesidium" of the meeting, seated on a platform. The Director of the Trust was explaining why the last year's increase in production had not been greater. The principal cause, he said, was the activity of saboteurs. Then he unfolded one of the notes which had been handed in and declared dramatically: "We have such a saboteur in our midst at this moment!" He then read aloud the question which one of the workers had handed in. "Just before the October Revolution, when the Kerensky Government was in power, the Mensheviks urged us to work hard and produce as much as possible. The Bolsheviks, however, denounced the Mensheviks and urged us to go on strike and to do everything we could to hinder production. Now you Bolsheviks are saying just what the Mensheviks did, to work hard and produce much. What is the sense of this?" The Director then declared: "This shameless saboteur knows full well the answer to his question. The Mensheviks were urging the workers to produce for the capitalist exploiters. We Communists demand the utmost productivity from all workers now that industry is in the hands of the toiling masses." The anonymous "saboteur" naturally did not rise from his seat and ask, as he might logically have done, just how the toiling masses had decided that the man who denounced him was to be the Director of the First Cotton Textile Trust. The Director, in fact, as in all such cases, was no more elected by the workers of the plants in the Trust than would be the president of any corporation in the capitalistic United States. The disciplinary powers of Soviet management are, furthermore, far greater than are those of management in any unionized plant in the United States.
The coercive powers of the Soviet state are not and never were reserved for use against the former ruling class, as Marxian doctrine forecast. The Soviet state may determine the kind of work an individual has to do and the place where it must be done. Organs of the state determine wage rates, piece-work rates, and working conditions without benefit of collective bargaining by labor unions. Labor discipline is sternly enforced with the aid of the labor unions, themselves organs of the state. The state and not the workers in any plant appoints the plant management. All this is well known. In large part it is entirely logical, and perhaps indeed inevitable, in the organization and operation of a fully collectivist economy. It well illustrates the fallacy of the claim of Marxist theorists that the operation of the economy involves the administration "not of men but of things."
From the earliest times the Soviet state has never hesitated to employ extreme violence against any individuals or groups, regardless of class origin, whom it decided at the moment to designate as "enemies of the people." There are few more pathetic documents than the appeals issued by the Kronstadt sailors, in 1921, when they had set up their own Soviet. Trotsky had earlier referred to the Kronstadt sailors as "the pride and glory of the Revolution," but now he put them down with heavy slaughter, using the armed forces of the Soviet Government.
When the masses of the peasant population resisted collectivization in 1929-30 with desperate determination, their leaders, and even ordinary peasants, were treated with no greater tenderness than the kulaki themselves. They were often dispossessed and exiled en masse to the northern territories or to the steppes of Central Asia. Hundreds certainly, thousands probably, were shot on various charges of resistance to the state. Later, when the peasants in 1932 tried to sabotage collectivization by a kind of passive resistance, hundreds of thousands in the Ukraine and elsewhere were allowed to die of famine by an administrative decision of the Soviet Government. Almost every conceivable semantic device has been employed at various times to represent the current victims of the coercive powers of the state as class enemies. When peasants who resisted collectivization could not possibly be called kulaki, they were referred to as podkulachestvo, "group under kulak influence."
In the great purge which began in 1935 following the assassination of Kirov and continuing through 1938, proletarian or peasant origin or record of service during the Revolution or Civil War offered no protection to Soviet citizens against the executioner. Not only were scores of well known Bolshevik leaders like Kamenev, Zinoviev and Bukharin liquidated. So also died Dibenko, a sailor who had played a great rôle in the revolutionary seizure of the Baltic fleet during the October Revolution and had been the leader in quelling the revolt of the sailors of Kronstadt against the Bolsheviks. So died Antonov-Ovseenko who had planned and led the attack against the Winter Palace which was the final act in the overthrow of the Kerensky Government. So perished countless "Old Bolsheviks," some of whom had fought at the barricades in the Revolution of 1905 and many more of whom had played heroic rôles in the Civil War. The record is clear and the evidence overwhelming. The "temporary" dictatorship of the proletariat has produced the most totalitarian state of modern times. As Stalin stated in the Political Report of the Central Committee to the Sixteenth Congress, 1930:
We are for the withering away of the state, while at the same time we stand for strengthening the dictatorship of the proletariat which represents the most potent and mighty of all the state authorities that have existed down to this time. The highest development of state authority to the end of making ready the conditions for the withering away of state authority: there you have the Marxist formula!
How has it been possible thus to put off, decade after decade, any application of the doctrine which was so fundamental to the thinking of Marx and Engels, which Lenin himself embraced and to which Stalin finds it necessary now and again to pay homage? How has it been possible to reconcile this failure of the state to wither at all both with current Communist doctrine and with actual events?
The concept of the withering away of the state is only one phase of the theory of the mature Communist society. The doctrine of the withering away of the state consequently has had to be integrated with the whole theory of the way the present Soviet system relates to the future ideal Communist society. According to the official doctrine, the present Soviet system already represents a fully Socialistic economic and social system. Private ownership of the means of production has ceased to exist and the exploiting classes have "long ago" been liquidated. There exists only one class, divided, it is true, into those who work with their hands and the intelligentsia who work with their brains. If it were not for the continued existence of capitalistic countries with which war is a constant likelihood, so the theory goes, the full realization of the Communist society would await, at most, only a few more decades of increase in the production of consumption goods; then the present system of distribution according to productivity would become distribution according to need.
The need to rationalize the extraordinary contradiction between the doctrine of the withering away of the state and the actuality of the Soviet apparatus of government--"the most potent and mighty authority of all the state authorities that have existed down to this time"--thus gives official Soviet theorists no rest. Lenin, even though he continued to maintain that the state would begin immediately to wither away after the seizure of power in the name of the proletariat, confronted in August 1917 by the actual tasks of seizing and holding power, began in his "State and Revolution" the process of rationalizing the contradictions between the Soviet state as he visualized it after the triumph of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the ideal Communistic society. This he did by formulating the concept of two stages of Communism. According to Lenin, it was only in the second stage that the ideal Communist society would come into existence.
During the first stage, which Lenin called Socialism in contrast to the Communism of the second stage, the state was to continue to exist as the instrument of the dictatorship of the proletariat even though it would begin to wither away. Distribution would be according to productivity, instead of according to need, as it was to be under Communism. The population during this first stage would have to undergo the process of cultural reëducation essential to entrance into the ideal Communist society.
Stalin still further developed the concept of stages. In his report to the Eighteenth Party Congress in 1939, he described the stages which he considered finished.
Since the time of the October Revolution our Socialist state has passed through two principal phases in its development: (a) the first phase is the period from the October Revolution down to the liquidation of the exploiter classes, and (b) the second phase is the period from the liquidation of the capitalist elements, urban and rural, down to the complete triumph of the Socialist system of economy and the adoption of the new Constitution.
He went on to speak of the then current stage:
Accordingly, the functions of our Socialist state have changed as well. The function of military suppression within the country has subsided and died out, for the reason that exploitation has been annihilated and exploiters have ceased to exist and there is no one to suppress. In place of the function of suppression, the state has come to possess the function of safeguarding Socialist property from thieves and pillagers of the property of the people.
The function of the military defense of the country against attacks from without has been preserved in its entirety. . . . The function of economic coordination and cultural education by state organs also has remained and received full development. . . .
Development cannot, however, pause at this point . . . we are advancing further: to Communism. Will the state be preserved among us likewise during the period of Communism as well? Yes, it will be preserved unless capitalist encirclement shall have been liquidated and the danger of military attacks from without eliminated; of course the forms of our state will change once again with a change of the internal and external setting. No, it will not be preserved and will wither away if capitalist encirclement shall have been liquidated and replaced by Socialist encirclement.
This statement by Stalin of 13 years ago outlines the two major elements in the party line which are reiterated in the Glaeserman article in Izvestia and in all the recent pronouncements which deal with aspects of the withering away of the state or the attainment of the ideal Communist society. On the one hand, the failure of the state to disappear is explained on the ground that the essential preconditions to the establishment of a Communist society--first in the necessity for the liquidation of the domestic exploiting class, then the necessity for going through the stage of Socialism, and finally the necessity for the replacement of capitalist encirclement by Socialist encirclement--must all be gone through. On the other hand, a complicated system of semantics is relied upon to demonstrate that the Soviet system is steadily developing into the ideal Communist society. Glaeserman says:
In the second phase of development of the Socialist state, after the liquidation of the capitalist elements of town and countryside, the function of military suppression within the country withered away. It was replaced, as Comrade Stalin points out, by a new function, the function of protecting Socialist property from thieves and embezzlers of the public wealth. . . . The function of the economic organizational and cultural educational work of the state agencies was fully developed and became the basic activity of the state inside the country. . . . The transition was made from restricted suffrage to unrestricted suffrage, from not quite equal suffrage to absolutely equal suffrage, from indirect to direct elections, from open to secret balloting, all of which marked a further development of the Socialist democracy. . . . This also meant a further strengthening of the Socialist state as a mighty instrument in the hands of the working people in their struggle for the victory of Communism.
Thus Soviet theorists endeavor to resolve the paradox of the steady growth in the power of the state at a time when it should be withering away by the representation, totally contrary to reality, of a diminution in the coercive character of the state, and an equally unreal representation of an increase in the control over the state by the people.
One of the attributes of state power through the ages has been the perquisites which its wielders have claimed as compensation for their pains. Power itself is, of course, the most valued of all perquisites. The more absolute the rôle of coercion in the operation of the state apparatus the more welcome is the possession of authority. Yet it is rare when power is accepted by the ruling class as the sole coin of payment. During the first decade of Soviet rule, nevertheless, efforts were made to limit the financial compensations of members of the Communist Party. As late as 1930, for example, a Party member could not retain for himself more than 500 rubles per month. It is true that compensation in kind for state and Party officials, such as better living quarters, the right to a car and a chauffeur and the like rendered this limitation illusory even then. It has long ago been dispensed with; the ethics of austerity are no longer honored. The principle of higher pay for higher productivity, and for responsibility and position in the hierarchy, is accepted as fully as in capitalistic countries. It has been extended to members of the Party as well as to the whole of the "intelligentsia"--the term now used whenever the Soviet rulers feel the necessity of explaining and defending the privileges of their class.
While the Communist doctrine of "from each according to his ability to each according to need" has never been repudiated as a goal, what is known, quaintly enough, by the contemptuous phrase of "bourgeois leveling" is often savagely attacked. It is assiduously argued that those who produce more, and who occupy more responsible posts, have greater needs; thus it does not conflict with Marxian doctrine that they should have greater rewards. As Stepanyan quotes Stalin: "Marxism proceeds from the fact that people's tastes and needs are not and cannot be identical and equal either in the period of Socialism or Communism. There you have the Marxist understanding of equality. Marxism has not recognized and does not recognize any other kind of equality. It is time to learn that Marxism is the enemy of wage leveling." In other words, it is very possible that if the Soviet rulers some day announce that the Soviet Union has become a fully Communist society, the present great inequalities in compensation will continue.
It is interesting to note that in the Izvestia article Glaeserman also elaborates Stalin's declaration that the state must be retained even under Communism if the threat of capitalist encirclement still exists. He says:
The Soviet Union is no longer isolated today; both to East and West its neighbors are countries that have been freed from the yoke of imperialism. However, it does not follow that the political concept of capitalist encirclement has lost its meaning. Comrade Stalin teaches that "capitalist encirclement cannot be viewed as a mere geographical concept." The frontiers of the capitalist world have been pushed further away from the Soviet Union, but this world still exists and consequently the threat of a military attack on the U.S.S.R. still exists. (Italics supplied by the writer.)
Stalin had put it even more flatly when he said that the Soviet state would not wither away until "capitalist encirclement shall have been eliminated and replaced by Socialist encirclement." Glaeserman also dutifully weaves in the needed counterpoint by reciting the educational and cultural achievements of the Soviet state, which are supposedly laying the foundations for the ideal Communist society. But he returns to the main theme at the end: "The works of the great theoretician of Marxian-Leninism, Comrade Stalin, light the road to Communism, arm the people ideologically and teach us to look constantly to further strengthening of the Socialist state--mighty weapon in the struggle for Communism."
All the current writers follow Stalin in developing the position staked out by Lenin that all the functions of planning and administering the whole economy may be carried on by a bureaucracy, however large, without there being any state at all. It is further claimed that neither the administration of the criminal law by the present Soviet state nor its administration in a fully Communist society, by which men are punished for crimes of violence, theft and the like, really represents the functioning of the state.
Even Pashukanis, one of the principal authors of the Soviet Constitution of 1936, who believed that law as well as the state itself would have withered away when a Communist society had been attained, admitted that "certain crimes against personality and so forth will not disappear." He maintained that such crimes should be regarded "per se as a task of medical pedagogy." In 1937 Pashukanis was denounced as an "enemy of the people" and disappeared. One wonders whether the type of "crime" for which he presumably forfeited his life would be prevalent in an ideal Communist society and whether its treatment would in such a case be considered a "task of medical pedagogy" rather than as a task for the secret police.
The argument is hardly compatible with the doctrine that crime is the product of capitalism but it does illustrate the incredible convenience of Marxian terminology in solving political, economic and social problems. By definition the state is an instrument of class oppression. By definition class oppression has disappeared. Hence the state disappears as well, even though the functions carried on by the bourgeois state and other enormously important added functions are still to be carried on. The contradictions between the present Soviet system and the ideal Marxian Communist society are in essence the same as those between the present Soviet system and anything which non-Marxian Socialist philosophers of the nineteenth century would have considered a Socialist society. There is nothing in Marxian doctrine, any more than there is in any other socialistic philosophy, which would justify the personal dictatorship of Stalin, accompanied as it is by truly oriental adulation. There is nothing which would foreshadow the current Red Army, with its measures to maintain discipline far more severe than those of any army of a modern capitalist country, with privileges and authority of the officer class over common soldiers proportionately great, paralleled by a corresponding system of privileges for the whole ruling class, civil as well as military. There is nothing which could justify or explain the employment of extremes of violence by the Soviet state against masses of the population who could by no stretch of the imagination be considered members of the former exploiting classes.
Documentation of the fundamental and all-pervasive conflict between the current practices of the Soviet state, and either bourgeois or Socialist concepts of human liberty, would be a task of unimaginable magnitude. The documentation of the charges of the United States Delegation before the United Nations in New York, on June 29, 1952, with regard to forced labor in the Soviet Union, for example, weighed 44 pounds. Such a mass of detailed evidence with respect to the coercive character of the Soviet state is fortunately unnecessary, because in any real sense the facts are not in dispute.
It is individual incidents, microscopic but highly characteristic in the immense routine of running a collectivist society of some 200,000,000 souls, which can convey some feeling of the heaviness of the hand of the Soviet state in managing its affairs. When the writer was living in Moscow, there appeared in March 1930 an item in the Moscow press to the effect that the workers in a plant in Sverdlovsk had got out of hand: "hooliganism" reached such heights that workers tossed chunks of ore into the machinery just for the fun of smashing it. A Party control commission was sent into the plant and an investigation was made. As a result several of the workers were sentenced to various terms of "deprivation of freedom." The ring-leader was sentenced to "the highest measure of social protection, shooting."
In 1945 when the American and Soviet forces came into contact in a certain sector in Germany, a conference was arranged between the general commanding the Soviet forces and his American opposite number, a friend of the writer. The meeting was to take place near a crossroads. As the American general waited, a Russian soldier in a jeep approached the crossroads from another direction. The Russian military policewoman directing traffic signalled that one of the roads was closed. The driver of the jeep failed to stop. The policewoman called out. The Russian soldier still kept on his way. The policewoman raised her tommy gun, riddled the soldier with bullets and directed other Russian soldiers standing by to toss the body into the ditch.
The power of the Soviet state, reflected in a government not of law but of men, has, of course, continued to grow. There have been periods of some relaxation in the repressive power of the state over men. After the wholesale deportation of the kulaki in the very early thirties, accompanied by some of the early public spectacle trials, there was a relaxation of perhaps a year until the assassination of Kirov in late 1934. Then the terror was resumed and was continued into 1938 with a ferocity not shown since the days of the Cheka during the Civil War. When Russia entered the Second World War, the coercive powers of the state were still further extended.
First-hand experience by foreigners of life in the Soviet Union is now almost out of the question. Penalties for communicating information of whatever sort to foreigners have never before been so severe. Yet it is plain that the general character of the control of the Soviet state over the population has not changed. Some controversy over relatively innocuous subjects is indeed permitted in the current Soviet press. Pravda and Izvestia sometimes carry reviews of movies in which the dramatic critic of one paper praises the play while the other criticizes it, even when, as in a recent case, the play involves such a touchy subject as Ukrainian nationalism. These seem to reflect some slight and at least momentary relation in the monolithic control of thought by the Soviet state. They are minor details, however, which do not alter the totalitarian character of the state in any fundamental way.
It is profoundly significant that the one considerable period of relaxation of the terror and of the powers of the state in general was during the time of the New Economic Policy. It is wholly logical that this time of temporary retreat toward capitalism, from 1921 to 1928, should have been such a period, for the minimization of state power is fundamental to capitalism. By contrast the immense mass of evidence in the Soviet experience supports the conclusion that any fully collectivist society which is the product of revolution is certain to expand the power of the state over men almost without limit. Once this power has been established, it is unlikely to contract unless by another revolution.
[i] This obviously authoritative article is by a relatively unknown writer, G. Glaeserman. It is not unusual in Soviet Russia, however, for important statements of this type to appear over the names of obscure journalists, or even to appear unsigned. This article, as well as a number of others dealing with related subjects, have been excellently translated in the Current Digest of the Soviet Press, published weekly by the Joint Committee on Slavic Studies. The article in question appeared in the issue of November 24, 1951.
[ii] Most useful translations of statements by both present and quondam authoritative Soviet writers on the theory of the withering away of the state are to be found in "Soviet Legal Philosophy," by Hugh W. Babb and John N. Hazard. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1951.