Class Struggles in the USSR, 1st period (1917-1923) by Charles Bettelheim

By Charles Bettelheim

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Sample text

The technicians, specialists, and engineers of middle rank also belonged to the petty bourgeoisie, and at first their enmity toward the Soviet power (apart from individual exceptions, here as elsewhere) was no less marked than that of the other petty bourgeois groups. Their "neutrality" seems, however, to have been won sooner than that of the others, through the material advantages granted to them, as a result of which their incomes were considerably greater than those of the administrative petty bourgeoisie whose lower stratum received very poor pay, sometimes less than the wages of manual workers.

3] The actual development of the class struggle during 1917 had led to the problem of workers' control arising in the form of a development of the factory committee movement. This movement had boomed between February and October, and the Bolshevik Party had given it resolute support. In the weeks following the October insurrection, the Bolshevik Party strove to transform the dispersed and anarchical activity of hundreds and thousands of factory committees into a coordinated system of workers' control, in conformity with the needs of a proletarian policy.

In the absence of such a priori intervention, coordination takes place a posteriori, somehow or other, through the market, or else results from the relation of forces between different branches of industry or different factories. In practice, it is possible that it may not even take place at all, in which case production becomes increasingly paralyzed. And this is what actually happened during the winter of 1917-1918. " This was to function on a wider scale than that of the individual factory committee, substituting, for the divided and fragmentary (and therefore illusory) "authority" exercised by the collectives of the separate factories, a coordinated and unified class control.

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