Is There a Ruling Class in the USSR?
This is a discussion article, not an inclusive survey of all, or even most, of the issues raised when one examines the Soviet social structure. Thus I will deliberately ignore so important a question as nationalities policy, and touch only briefly on problems of social mobility. This is not because they are either uninteresting or irrelevant, but because I wish to concentrate here on something else, which can be formulated as follows: given the existence of a ruling stratum, class or elite, why did it establish so dominant a position, and what should one call a stratum of this kind, a society so constituted? The last point is, for this article, the vital one.