War communism and Soviet Socialism: a technocratic orthodoxy?
The civil war casts a long and distressing shadow over the period between June 1918 and the winter of 1920/21. Enormous devastation, terrible human losses and suffering, famine, deprivation and trauma engulfed Russia and beyond. That story has been related admirably well elsewhere, and is beyond the scope of this work.1 The organization of the system during the civil war has been the subject of intense dispute. The series of measures adopted-economic, political, sociocultural-have attracted the epithet of “war communism”. But the meaning of this term has been heavily contested.