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p. 784. Elite and masseslocked

  • Stephen Lovell


‘Elite and masses’ focuses on the contradictions of Soviet society. The problem for the Bolshevik party was how a centralized, minority party could claim leadership of the masses. In the Civil War, the need for leadership was a justification, but in the 1920s and 1930s, a cultural revolution was needed to create a new proletariat to join and support the party. The war saw mass recruitment to the party, and Khrushchev made efforts to reduce inequality. By the 1960s a mass, urban society existed. Egalitarian experiments fell away, as educated, white-collar workers created a Soviet middle class. In 1991, inability to rally this elite led to Soviet collapse.

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