Stalin and Machiavelli 1

  • E. A. Rees


The transition of the Bolsheviks from a revolutionary movement into a party of government brought enormous changes in the party’s organizational structure, membership, ideology and general outlook. Machiavellian ideas, as noted in Chapter 6, became infused into the discourse and organizational practices of Soviet institutions in the 1920s. But there was almost no public engagement with the ideas of Machiavelli. From 1917 to 1985 the number of articles and books published in the Soviet Union on Machiavelli can be counted on the fingers of three hands. In contrast to the discussion on Machiavelli in tsarist Russia from 1869 to 1917, there was a sharp reduction in the number of works published and a diminution in the quality of the debate. In a climate of political repression Machiavelli’s ideas were considered too dangerous for widespread public circulation. It is the great silence on Machiavelli during the Soviet period that is significant, but the works that were published are especially notable.


Class Struggle Soviet Period Revolutionary Movement Political Writer Soviet Institution 
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© E. A. Rees 2004

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  • E. A. Rees

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