chapter  5
7 Pages

The Political Legacy: Bukharin’s Speech in Paris, 3 April 1936

WithSvetlana N. Gurvich-Bukharina

The message in Nikolai Bukharin's Paris speech, his political legacy, is not an open one, nor was it easily stated because it was a "report written under the rope". This chapter examines the programmatic part of the speech: the aims and content of socialism as a new civilization, and man in socialist society. Nikolai Ivanovich spoke about the key problems of democracy, while analyzing such questions as society and personality, freedom in socialism, and the problem of the collectives: Bukharin, as well as Vladimir Lenin, treated the dictatorship of the proletariat as offering democracy for the lower layers of society, a guarantee of every material freedom. But he also recognized the problem of "the tyranny of freedom", well known since the days of the French Revolution. In the domain of the immediate relations among people, such a test is the width of choice of creative talents.