chapter  2
29 Pages

The revolutionary settlement: state capitalism, technocracy and the transition to socialism

Russian reality provided a momentous and immediate challenge for the Bolsheviks. War, economic chaos, social disruption, international hostility and political flux constituted a less than ideal milieu in which to begin the process of constructing socialism. Within this context, the Bolsheviks were confronted with the task of administering the country on a day-to-day basis, of applying their principles to a bewildering variety of problems, crises and processes.1 Tracing the evolution of the Bolshevik understanding of the structure and content of their post-revolutionary society illustrates the way in which the conglomerate of values, principles, ideas and institutional prefigurements, which constituted the Soviet view of socialism, were modified and codified in the period after 1917.