chapter
3 Pages

Introduction

Bukharin’s formative years as a political theorist lasted from 1915 to 1921, and were marked by several important texts. “Toward a Theory of the Imperialist State” introduces Bukharin’s preoccupation with the role of the state. The stateless society and the universalization of the state: these were the logical extremes within which Bukharin’s mind characteristically moved. In fairness, however, it should be emphasized that Bukharin was not alone in the theoretical difficulties he experienced while moving between these extremes. The Economics of the Transition Period also introduced the concepts that eventually allowed Bukharin to make the transition from War Communism to the New Economic Policy. For Bukharin the state, as the political “superstructure” of society, was “not simply a bell-glass, sitting on top of economic life”: rather, it was “an active force, a functioning organization that uses every means to strengthen the productive base upon which it arises.”.