chapter  15
13 Pages

Bukharin’s Political Thought in the Late Twenties

WithSilvio Pons

This chapter provides a deeper understanding of the particular character of Nikolai Bukharin's political thought as an opponent of Joseph Stalin. The struggle between Bukharin and Stalin lasted a relatively short time, from the Fifteenth Congress to the Central Committee Plenum of 16-23 April 1929. Speaking to the Central Committee, Bukharin denounced the triggering of a "tendency toward war communism", which seemed to him unjustified. First, it must be emphasized that Bukharin's political thinking does not seem to be a mere reflection of his economic thought, as Stephen F. Cohen seems to maintain. Bukharin's view of this democratization differed from the Western representative model of democracy, and also from the model that had given war communism its participatory impetus and iron authoritarianism. Tied to a rather academic view of theory, Bukharin, in the second half of the twenties, had faith in an adequately defined political plan.