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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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The Party Comes Back

The Party Comes Back

(p.380) Chapter 11 The Party Comes Back
Vanguard of the Revolution

A. James McAdams

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks back at the diverse efforts to maintain order in the communist world. Here, one might reasonably credit the Soviet regime and its “small bloc” allies with seriously attempting to preserve some of the international movement's original ideals. In an important way, “developed socialism” meant that their populations could expect to enjoy relatively decent lives. Nonetheless, the chapter contends that the primacy of single-party rule made it increasingly difficult to sustain the basic elements of the Brezhnev consensus. Despite the best efforts of socialist planners to modernize their economies, these regimes could not keep up with their citizens' rising expectations. As conditions grew more uncertain, party members undercut their credibility by seeking to insulate themselves from these trials and using their positions to their exclusive benefit.

Keywords:   Soviet regime, international communist movement, developed socialism, single-party rule, Brezhnev consensus, socialist planners, communist party members

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