Geopolitical Economy and Class Formation
Geopolitical Economy and Class Formation

The Russian Revolution at 100. The Soviet Experience in the Mirror of Permanent Counterrevolution

The Russian Revolution in this paper is analysed in the context of a conjuncture dominated by counter-revolution. Beginning with the repression of the 1850s, a process of permanent counterrevolution has become the over-determining trend of social-political history. The Russian Revolution was subject to several distinct aspects of this process. First, external counterrevolution, the attack on it from the outside. Whilst Anglo-America was the main bulwark organizing it, the Nazi/fascist counterrevolution and invasion of the USSR was an example of counterrevolution run out of control and ending in a defeat in Europe hat was only overcome through a long and risky Cold War. Internal counterrevolution affected the Russian Revolution as part of a longer process of adjusting socialist theory to successive defeats. In the Soviet case, Socialism in One Country was the decisive mutation in this respect and must be viewed as the decisive component of the triumph of counterrevolution. After the war, Anglo-America adjusted the counterrevolutionary strategy to surgical excisions of socialist tendencies until the USSR, isolated and ideologically exhausted, collapsed. Even so several of its legacies continue to be relevant, notably the nationality policy and internationalism. Also, today’s information revolution casts a new light on the Soviet planning experience that must be studied now that capitalism is slipping into a systemic crisis.

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