Political Conflict

  • Neil Malcolm
Part of the Studies in Soviet History and Society book series (SSHS)


The crudest Soviet instrumental conceptions of the state, as an agency ‘subordinated’ to the monopolies, logically assume monolithic unity and unanimity in the ruling stratum of finance oligarchs and their total domination of the bourgeoisie as a whole. In the absence of a relatively autonomous political leadership such unity is a precondition for coherent and consistent state activity. This means that the present chapter, which is devoted primarily to how Soviet experts approach the topic of political conflict inside the ruling class and its relation to the wider class struggle will have little to say about the writing of ‘instrumentalists’ An exception must be made for those who do allow for a certain amount of disharmony in ruling circles, and in particular for authors such as Zorin, who, as we have seen, perversely combine a conception of politics as the more or less direct reflection of economics with a focus on monopoly disunity. But the process which we shall be examining is not the one of dismantling the late-Stalinist stereotypes of State Monopoly Capitalism which formed the theme of the previous chapter. It is rather one of constructing out of the intellectual heritage of the 1920s and 1930s a framework adequate for the analysis of American politics in the 1970s and 1980s.


Foreign Policy Party System Political Conflict Military Expenditure Political Consciousness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Neil Malcolm 1984

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  • Neil Malcolm

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