By Abbott Gleason
In the tumultuous years after the revolution of 1917, the conventional cutlure of Imperial Russia was once either destroyed and preserved, as a brand new Soviet tradition started to take form. This booklet makes a speciality of the interplay among the rising political and cultural guidelines of the Soviet regime and the deeply held conventional values of the employee and peasant masses.
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Additional info for Bolshevik culture: Experiment and order in the Russian Revolution (A Special study of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, the Wilson Center)
At the local level, the party essentially crumbled. Members who had joined the party to get ahead professionally were no longer interested in it because it now hurt rather than helped their careers. Those who had supported the old system were alienated by PZPR deputies’ votes for the Balcerowicz Plan of economic shock therapy and also for political reforms made to end the communist system. By the end of the year, the PZPR group in the Sejm had essentially dissolved into small groups that eschewed any direct identification with the communist party: a “military group,” the “unaffiliated deputies group,” a “democratic left group,” and a “socialist g r ~ u p .
Among its target groups, women and youth, the SLD improved but not as significantly. 29 What ended the SLD’s control of the government in 1997 was the fragmented right’s decision to form a coalition essentially against the SLD and its Peasant Party partner’s self-destruction. Rather than face certain defeat as little parties that again could not make the requisite 5 percent voting requirement, the parties on the right papered over their differences before the election to form the AWS. 31 perEven with the right wing’s strength and the losses of the Peasant Party, the final defeat of the SLD remained a product of its history: no post-communist party would join with “former communists” in a coalition, no matter how close their policy interests were.
This Page Intentionally Left Blank CHAPTER O N E Poland’s ExCommunists: From Pariahs to Establishment Players June Leftwich Curry The Polish United Workers’ Party (Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza [PZPR]) suffered what seemed to be a terminal blow in 1989. In elections rigged so that the communists and their old allies were guaranteed 65 percent of the seats in the main house of parliament, the communists did so badly that their old allies deserted them. After what appeared to be a total defeat, all the communist reformers could do was turn the government over to the men and women of Solidarity they had interned and harassed for more than a decade.
Bolshevik culture: Experiment and order in the Russian Revolution (A Special study of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, the Wilson Center) by Abbott Gleason