chapter
4 Pages

Introduction

The characteristic exuberance has vanished, and in its place there is an obvious fear that the New Leviathan has at last arrived—not in the capitalist countries, as originally expected, but in the shape of the Stalinist bureaucracy. “The Theory of” Organized Economic Disorder’ “is even less subtle: instead of implying the bankruptcy of Stalin’s leadership, Bukharin ends by openly encouraging his readers to observe the “formal similarity” between bureaucratic degeneration in the West and the triumph of bureaucratism in the Soviet Union. In both societies “the problem of leadership” appeared to have become central. By 1928–1929 Bukharin was as much a tragic figure as Trotsky had been in 1927, at the time of his expulsion from the Bolshevik party. In 1920 it had been Bukharin, together with Trotsky and Preobrazhensky, who led the way in celebrating the end of the market economy and the revolutionary triumph of conscious planning.