Developed Socialism and the New Programme of the CPSU

  • Alfred B. Evans
Part of the Studies in Russia and East Europe book series (SREE)


Throughout the history of the Soviet state, Marxist-Leninist ideology has attempted to define the current stage of development of Soviet society and show the relationship between trends of change in the current stage and the attainment of the higher phase of communism. Lenin came to view the prolonged institutionalisation and stabilisation of socialist relations as a necessary prerequisite for progress toward communism. In the early years of Stalin’s rule it was assumed that the Soviet Union was at such a rudimentary state of economic development as to make the goal of communism highly remote. However, in 1952 Stalin asserted that the USSR had begun a new, higher stage of development, and authored the notion that socialism would pass to communism through a series of distinct stages. Khrushchev departed from Soviet tradition by announcing at the end of the 1950s that the Soviet Union had entered the stage of direct transition to communism, and left the Communist Party of the Soviet Union with a Programme elaborating on this conception of the full-scale construction of communism. By introducing the concept of developed socialism, Brezhnev repudiated the argument that Soviet society was in a transitional stage and initiated a reassessment of the nature of the entire phase of socialism. Brezhnev also launched plans for the preparation of a new Party Programme describing developed socialist society. Since Brezhnev’s death, Soviet leaders have honoured his pledge to adopt a new Programme for the CPSU, but have advocated a more realistic interpretation of the process of improvement and perfection of developed socialism.


Burning Amid Income Nogo Concession 


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© School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London 1988

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  • Alfred B. Evans

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