Explaining Soviet Defence Spending

  • R. T. Maddock

Abstract

The Bolsheviks viewed the capitalist dynamic as one of inevitable collapse in societies rent by their own internal contradictions. If the indigenous proletariat was in a position to exploit the socio-economic contradictions, revolution need have no adverse impact on the international community, and hence on the socialist states already in being. However, no timetable could be established for the resolution of the proletarian struggle in any one capitalist country, nor in capitalism as a socio-economic system. Until that time the capitalist class would seek to mitigate internal discord by aggressive attacks on those states which had made the successful transition to socialism. Thus even in socialist states, which were by definition harmonious, military expenditures were a regrettable necessity. War, if and when it came, would inevitably be the decisive phase in the competition between the capitalist and socialist states, from which the USSR, as the only exponent of socialism, must emerge victorious. It was not enough that the Soviet Union match capitalist spending on armaments, it had to ensure superiority in the production and deployment of personnel and those armaments which were likely to prove crucial in war. Thus although Bolshevik intellectuals had argued that socialist states had no need of a standing army.

Keywords

Fatigue Economic Crisis Transportation Income Radar 

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Copyright information

© R. T. Maddock 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. T. Maddock
    • 1
  1. 1.University College of WalesAberystwythUK

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