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Vanguard of the RevolutionThe Global Idea of the Communist Party$
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A. James McAdams

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196428

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196428.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Monolithic Socialism

Monolithic Socialism

(p.222) Chapter 7 Monolithic Socialism
Vanguard of the Revolution

A. James McAdams

Princeton University Press

This chapter demonstrates how those parties that came into being as a result of their leaders' long years in Moscow and their postwar dependence on the support of the Red Army's troops were at a monumental disadvantage. Importantly, their association with the Soviet Union meant that they were deprived of the national narrative; indeed, they were regarded by their populations as agents of an enemy power. Since most of the Eastern European parties fell into this category, it is no wonder that they welcomed the black-and-white simplicity of the Communist Information Bureau, or Cominform. There was a cost to this conformity, however. Their acceptance of a Stalinist, state-centered model of leadership meant that they, like their Soviet overseers, were prepared to sacrifice the motivating idea of communist party rule. Given the fact that they had few alternative sources of legitimation than state power, most paid this price, even at the cost of ignoring their national identities.

Keywords:   Cominform, Communist Information Bureau, national identities, Soviet Union, national narratives, communist party rule, state power, legitimation

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