Book Review: U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe: The Governments of Communist East Europe

DOI10.1177/002070206702200236
AuthorZdenek Suda
Publication Date01 June 1967
Date01 June 1967
SubjectBook Review
BOOK
REVIEWS
343
of
Marxism
in
the context
of
student protest
in
the
United
States,
Japan,
and the
U.S.S.R.
Seeking
to
explain
the
influence
of
Marxism
upon
the
young
in-
telligentsia
of
the
underdeveloped
countries,
Peter
T.
Bauer
points
to
the
"attractions
of
an
all-embracing secular
materialistic
faith"
which
promises
"salvation
on
earth,
but
in
the
future"
and
offers
a
"haven"
(and
power)
to
alienated
native
intellectuals. Joseph
M.
Bochenski's
penetrating
essay
analyses
the
structure
and dynamics
of
contemporary
Marxism-Leninism.
Noting
the
contraction
of
the
"dog-
matic
core"
of
contemporary
communism,
Father
Bochenski
tends
to
view
the
continuing process
of
ideological
revision
in
the
Soviet
Union
and
other
communist-ruled
countries
not
as
"a
decay
of
Marxism-
Leniism,
conceived
as
a moral
and
metaphysical
faith,
but
rather
its
purification
from
spurious and
more
or
less
nonsensical
elements.
Darnel
Bell
disagrees
with this
conclusion.
While
admitting
the
im-
portance
of
the
theory in
the
U.S.S.R.
as
a "social
cement"
he
points
to
a
series
of
domestic
and
external
factors
that
have
been
eroding
the
twin
ideological
pillars
of
the
Soviet
system-the
belief
in the
Soviet
mission
to
realize
"communism"
and
the
recognition
of
the
Party's
legitimacy
as
the
"chosen
instrument"
to
this
end.
He
finds
that,
abated
in
its
dynamism,
Soviet
ideology
is
being reduced
to
a
"weapon"
against external
and
internal
"enemies"
of
the
regime.
The remaining
two
essays
deal
with Marxist
economics.
Gottfried
Haberler
examines
Marx's theory
of
value
and price
and
his
prophecies
of
"pauperization"
and
increasingly
severe
depressions and
concludes
that for
all
its
insights and
discoveries,
the
"Marxist
economic
system
has
slowly
lost
its
influence
and
has
no
future.
Yuan-li
Wo
compares
the
performance
of
communist
economic
planning with
capitalist
economy,
finding
the
Soviet
economy
suffering
from
such
alleged
capitalist
evils
as
external
("imperialist")
and
domestic
exploitation,
fluctuations,
low
rate
of
growth,
and
inefficiency
"Marxist
economics"
he
submits,
"might
work
more
efficiently
in
a primitive
society
using
little
capital;
it
cannot
work
efficiently
in
advanced
economies
unless
its
certain
ideological
taboos
are
removed
and
new
incentive systems
are
devised.
Despite
the
somewhat
loose
thematical integration
of
the
in-
dividual contributions,
they
appear
to
share
in
the
consensus
that
while
devoid
of
"scientific"
relevance, Marxism
remains a
potent
ideology
of
"revolutionary
messianism"
which,
in
its
ambiguous
"alienationist"
version,
supplies
an
"intellectual
tool of
total
social
critique"
that
can
be
used
both
against
the
"System"
in
the
West
and
against
the
existing
communist
regimes.
University
of
Alberta
BOHDAN
R.
BociuRKiw
THE
GOVERNMENTS
OF
COMMUNIST
EAST
EUROPE.
By
H.
Gordon
Skilling.
1966.
(New York:
Thomas
Y.
Crowell.
xv
256pp.
$2.50)
To
present
a
complete,
exact
and
fairly
aetaiiea
picture
oI
tne
party
and governmental institutions
of
eight
communist
countries
in

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