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A Public EmpireProperty and the Quest for the Common Good in Imperial Russia$
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Ekaterina Pravilova

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159058

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159058.001.0001

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(p.270) Epilogue
A Public Empire

Ekaterina Pravilova

Princeton University Press

This epilogue provides a glimpse into the history of property rights and the fate of the idea of public property during the Soviet period. Quite characteristically, the idea of a public domain was rejected in 1917 and then enjoyed a short revival in the 1920s. Eventually, it proved to be incompatible with the socialist order. However, although they were inherently adverse to socialism, prerevolutionary projects to create a public domain very much anticipated the reforms later conducted by the Bolshevik government, including the expropriation of publicly important resources. The idea of the collective freedom of society proved to be both controversial and ambivalent, subject to opposing interpretations—one liberal, the other totalitarian.

Keywords:   property rights, Soviet Union, Bolshevik, public property, socialism, public domain

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