Lenin and the New Economic Policy

  • Alec Nove


The New Economic Policy, initiated in 1921, was a response to a number of circumstances and forces, understood by the politicians of the time in mutually inconsistent ways. In this chapter, I shall be arguing that Lenin’s own views were to some extent internally inconsistent. Among the factors involved were: revolutionary emergency, ideological preconceptions, political tactics, and just harsh overriding necessity, all of which tended to interact. Thus it is extraordinary how often the most cogent ideological reasons are found for doing what must be done. It would be wrong to present a clear but superficial picture.


Economic Policy State Capitalism Class Struggle Retail Distribution Bank Socialism 
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  1. 1.
    V. I. Lenin, Sochineniia, 5th edn (Moscow, 1955–65) v. 27, pp. 105–7;Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    notably A. Venediktov, Organizatsiya gosunderstvennoi promyshlennosti v SSSR (Leningrad, 1967).Google Scholar
  3. 14.
    V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th edn (Moscow, 1960–70) p. 121.Google Scholar
  4. 17.
    H. G. Wells, Russia in the Shadows (London, 1921) p. 137.Google Scholar
  5. 37.
    N. Bukharin, Put’k sotsializmu i raboche-krestyanski soyuz 3rd edn (Moscow, 1926) p. 11.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Alec Nove 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alec Nove
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowUK

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