Soviet marxism

   A single character or set of tenets cannot be ascribed to Soviet Marxism as the term refers to the theory and practice of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union over a period of some 70 years incorporating figures including Vladimir Ilich Lenin, Josef Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev and Mikhail Gorbachev. As such, Soviet Marxism covers Leninism and Stalinism, the transformation of a revolutionary ideology into an official doctrine aimed at rationalizing and justifying an oppressive regime, and the evolution of a dogmatic, monolithic belief system into an open, pluralistic school of thought that ultimately abandoned large parts of orthodox Marxist thought before collapsing as the Soviet Union itself collapsed. However, the term “Soviet Marxism” is most usually associated with the rigid, authoritarian theory and practice of the Stalin era, and the sterile, conservative form typified by the Brezhnev era. For many years Soviet Marxism dominated Marxism throughout the world imposing the Soviet model where it could (for example, Eastern Europe) and supporting Soviet-style and Soviet sympathizing movements and parties using such means as its control of the Communist International.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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