Revolution Online, February 21, 2010
An Historic Contradiction: Fundamentally Changing The World Without "Turning Out the Lights"
WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT...REALLY WENT OUT
FURTHER FINDINGS AND REFLECTIONS ON THE 1930s
I recently undertook more research into the Soviet Union in the 1930s. Some of this was related to going at the "Stalin-was-the-same-as-Hitler" charges—in particular, being able to speak to the actual scale of repression (purges, arrests, and executions) and the larger political-international context. There was need to sort out fact-based historical findings and analysis from Black Book-type historical distortion.
Some of the information regarding the numbers of executed and time-line of repression went into the reply to the attack on the tour in the Hyde Park newspaper—along with popularization of how Mao and Avakian have analyzed Stalin's errors and methodological problems, the Cultural Revolution, and what the new synthesis, building on yet going beyond the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, tells us about the kind of society socialism must be.
Your request prompted more research and thinking about the situation in the Soviet Union in the 1930s: the amplitude of repression and the calcification in society. The wave of arrests and executions of 1936-38 was not the culmination of an ascending arc of repression—on a surface level, the three years before were ones of "loosening," including the promulgation of constitution enlarging rights. Further, the repression was not the sum total or even essence of the lights going out, although it marked a terrible leap that exacted enormous and long-term ideological cost.
Clearly, as we have emphasized, historically contingent factors—escalating international tensions and domestic threats—were presenting new necessity. But, as we have also emphasized, how this was understood and acted on was influenced by the motion and development of revolutionary transformation and by the outlook of leadership.
The understanding that Bob Avakian has been bringing forward about contradictions and unevenness in socialist society as a motor of development, the need to bring forward emancipators of humanity from all quarters of society, and how this relates to solid core with a lot of elasticity—this opens new pathways for grappling with how the lights could and did go out in the mid- and late 1930s and how this was connected with preceding conditions and a mix of factors.
What follows are some findings and reflections.
The new Soviet state power was interacting with a vast and multifaceted society. It was unleashing and leading change and responding to change. There were enormous stresses in society. Just to name a few:
*Class strata dissolving and new ones forming, a phenomenon of the Civil War and the NEP (New Economic Policy) that took new forms with breakneck industrialization/collectivization, etc.;
*Unprecedented population movements, some planned and encouraged and some out of control—but in both cases presenting leadership with unanticipated and destabilizing phenomena;
*An economy and society of persistent shortage (owing to real needs of accumulation, excessively high rates of capital formation and transfer of surplus from the countryside, and military claims on social expenditure);
*The center's recurrent difficulties in applying and "enforcing" policy, and in monitoring and assessing the effects of policy—the more so the further away from the cities—and a modus operandi of resorting to ad hoc and emergency measures to deal with how this situation seemed to be presenting itself;
*New contradictions emerging from social transformation and cultural change—with some forces seeking more radical solutions and more radical experimentation, and others seeking to "settle in."
These phenomena were interpenetrating with real security threats to the new state power and the emergence within the party and society of oppositional and new capitalist forces. At the same time, leadership was confronting a complex international setting filled with great danger and threat to the new socialist state but also filled with potential for world revolutionary advance.
All this posed enormous challenges to leadership: the need to prepare for war; to wage the class struggle; to revolutionize the new state so that it was indeed a radically different type of state power; and to transform relations between leadership and led.
The question of unevenness looms large in trying to make sense of how social reality was presenting itself to leadership. In some respects, the unevenness of Soviet society relative to pre-1917 Russia was intensified: by the combined effects of the revolutionary transformations that had taken place and the emergence of new contradictions linked to incomplete transformation. Moreover, consolidation in the face of difficulty and new necessity was conceived and carried out in ways that tended to freeze and aggravate differences, like those between town and country, rather than providing a foundation for further advance.
The social contradictions arising out of unevenness, e.g., dissatisfaction among different sections of peasants, tended to be viewed by leadership through the optic of the potential for further dissatisfaction and counterrevolution. I don't know exactly how to assess this, but several studies I have examined, as well as some of the archival materials now available in translation, indicate a leadership that at times seemed overwhelmed by the "unanticipated." As the international situation worsened, leadership deployed ideological fetters, like patriarchy and nationalism, as mechanisms for stabilization and mobilization.
And here is an important fact. Some of the more interesting historical research done by scholars working with new materials reveals that there was more popular support than had been previously understood to be the case for the conservative consolidation beginning in 1934 and for the repression of 1936-38.
On the one hand, there was genuine desire to defend the new society, and there was receptivity to quashing those segments of society publicly identified as founts of counterrevolution. On the other hand, among broad sections of society, there also seems to have been widespread unease about political instability, the danger of renewed internal disintegration, and a certain desire for cohesion. This seems to have been especially pronounced among sections of the urban working class and the new professional-technical strata—which were becoming a kind of stable "socialist citizenry" (my phrase) enjoying rights and social protections.
1). Fear of Losing Control Versus Being Willing to Go to the Brink.
The socialist offensive of 1929-32 produced seismic social and economic changes—in terms of the socialization of industry and collectivization of agriculture. Stalin and the leadership were responding to and acting to overcome the objective constraints and obstacles thrown up by the New Economic Policy (NEP) to carrying forward socialist transformation, solving the food problem, and countering renewed class polarization. They were responding as well to mass sentiment (especially from the young and more downpressed) for more radical social change, for arresting backsliding and holding to the unfulfilled promise of the revolution.
On the other hand, as we know, this offensive had strong top-down character—"military-style" campaigns, especially in the countryside, where the collective farms were in the main organized at the village level by forces sent in from cities. But this was truly radical change. There is overwhelming, and inspiring, evidence of real initiative and involvement by the masses, including women in the countryside.
There was real social revolution: the struggle against veiling and Sharia law, and a historically unprecedented project to overcome national inequalities (all discussed in the material I wrote up in the summer of 2008). The dictatorship of the proletariat meant something, meant something liberating.
By 1932-33, a new social order had been forged based on the leaps in social ownership, vastly expanded social production and the extension of social benefits to growing sections of the urban population, and what leadership was calling a cultural revolution (conceived in part as the modernizing assault on cultural backwardness and in part as the bringing forward of new proletarian-socialist culture, values, and discourse).
Not surprisingly, the swirl of change also led to considerable disorder, opposition, and confusion. In 1932-33, there was also famine; growing peasant opposition to state procurement policies; acts of urban sabotage, populations moving around the country in unfathomable ways (young males from the countryside seeking and being drawn into employment in the cities, kulaks and suspect middle strata being expelled from villages and resettling in others, etc.); the resurgence of religious (even millennial) belief.
Politically, student groups were issuing incendiary pamphlets against the government; letters were coming into the center complaining of mistreatment at the hands of local party officials; regional party leaderships, as in the Ukraine, were pulling in different directions (and some, again in the Ukraine, seeking to break away). At the party center, Arno Mayer suggests that, "judging by Mikhail Ritutin's remonstrance [protesting the pace and thrust of collectivization and industrialization] and Sergei Kirov's assassination, political dissension and opposition were very much astir during the first half of the 1930s." Party members were writing opposition platforms. There were kulak terrorists and murders of collective organizers.
The situation in the Soviet Union during the socialist offensive of the late 1920s and the 1930s was hardly monolithic. A contemporary Russian scholar notes: "Literally in every sphere of social life and the economy (to one extent or another) there were forces contradicting the aims of the regime and challenging the direction of policy."
Lewis Siegelbaum offers this methodological injunction "Much of the recalcitrance and disorderliness has come to be seen by historians of the period as evidence of resistance [and]...on the basis of recent archival research it has become clear that practically every major state initiative of the 1930s was accompanied by some form of popular resistance." But, he adds, resistance is not a self-evident category: "What or against whom did the peasants think they were resisting? Was it primarily individual authorities, their abuses of power, the entire project of collectivization, the Soviet government, or the apocalyptic Antichrist?"
These things in fact had to be sorted out. In the countryside things were changing in ways that broke down old divisions and created new ones: divisions between collective farmers and independent farmers, and between peasants who had joined the collectives during the first wave of collectivization and those who had entered late; new occupational divisions, including the development of new white collar professions, like agronomists.
Women made extraordinary gains through collectivization (half of the rural teachers were women) and poor women peasants were among the social base for collectivization. But there were continuing gender-based differences within the collectives, including around work and family responsibilities. This actually fed reactionary trends and movements seeking to capitalize, from a reactionary side, on the incomplete nature of the transformations and the new strains this placed on certain segments of the peasantry).
A number of studies working from inner-party materials and correspondence have described a situation in which the central leadership was driven by the desideratum of gaining (or regaining) control over what it perceived to be a chaotic situation carrying with it the danger of counterrevolution.
Clearly, there was need for the center to take hold of the situation. But there seems to have been strong tendencies for the immediacy of problems to swamp leadership, and for these problems to be dealt with in ad hoc and impromptu ways—again from the standpoint of asserting control over disorder and threat. This was not blindly reactive—for instance, as the center became aware of lower-than-anticipated grain output and a mounting food crisis in late 1932 and early 1933, it made adjustment in procurement quotas and gave assistance. But it was highly reactive-assertive, flattening complexity.
Methodologically, the way the Chairman has talked about the multi-leveled, multi-colored, multi-textured map in terms of what leadership is interacting with, seeking to mobilize and realign, to learn from, etc.—seems so relevant in evaluating a lot of this.
Leadership's main line of response was to reassert and strengthen centralization, to seek to rein in centrifugal forces, to impose discipline and punishment, and to muzzle dissent—in order to cope with problems that might endanger the survival of the new state. It seems that leadership tended to look at tensions and eruptions as signs precisely of "recalcitrance" and "disorderliness."
This was not a solid core with a lot of elasticity: of leadership guided by an overall and long-term orientation of where society needs to be going, that this will be marked by the new and unexpected, and that leadership needs to be unleashing elasticity, leading and learning and combining centralization with decentralization, and bringing forward emancipators of humanity.
Issues of culture and ideology tended to be treated reductively, in relation to the immediacy of politics and political exigencies. One manifestation of how this was playing out acutely in the ideological realm concerns religion. From a 2002 article by historian J. Arch Getty:
"The Bolsheviks' fear of religion was real. The 1930s were a time of privation and severe social stress, and in such times people often gravitate to movements or ideas that involve salvation, improvement, release, and opposition to the status quo. Russian religious movements, both Orthodox and sectarian, promised all these. After all, religion was the other millenarian idea competing with communism for the hearts and minds of the population. Like communism, it was the other encompassing set of beliefs that sought to explain the world and that promised salvation in the long run. Despite relentless persecution by the Bolsheviks that included closing churches and mass arrests of priests, religion was still a potent force in Soviet society in the 1930s....In some places, Orthodox cantors were elected to collective farm chairmanships instead of Communists...and [local] Bolsheviks worried that the new freedom of religion promised in the constitution would provide cover for antiregime political organizing and propaganda."
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the revolution had launched campaigns against religion—and youth were very much in the van of this. There was the mass propagation of atheism. In the countryside, literacy campaigns were launched and a new "proletarian" and "scientific" culture promoted. Local, reactionary church authority was confronted—but generally this focused on the church as an institutional-political obstacle to collectivization, including in its accumulated wealth.
There was a kind of political de-churching and dispossession, with ecclesiastical properties being confiscated as part of collectivization. Some of this was highly publicized to puncture church authority. It was linked with mass mobilization, especially of young people. But it seems that religion was not deeply engaged, precisely as a contending "universalism"— ideologically and existentially, involving issues of morality, meaning and purpose, etc.
But the political dimension was interpenetrating with "the spiritual": religion and religious movements were vehicles for and vessels of reaction and counterrevolution. In 1937, there was a resurgence of religious and kulak opposition—a nexus between them. It has been suggested that Stalin perceived opposition in the countryside as the seeds of wartime opposition. There was a great challenge to sort all this out.
In the 1937-38 repression, regional and local party authorities hit religious forces hard, very hard, through waves of arrests and execution, as part of the "mass campaigns" against counterrevolution.
But here is the rub: the attack on religious un-enlightenment was actually part of a wider societal assault against streams and forces, including in the professions and arts, which were far from un-enlightened but giving vent to heterodoxy and dissent, and seen as fostering "disorder": favorable ground for counterrevolution.
And we know that not long after, and in the name of forging an even higher unity, there followed the ugly conciliation with Russian orthodoxy in the pre-World War 2 and war years.
Some things that stand out about this juncture in the Soviet Union:
*The more I study this, thinking about the multi-leveled map of and approach to social reality, the more it seems that the center did not have a clear sense of the mood of different sections of the masses, nor a nuanced ability to distinguish major from minor matters, what was subversion and what was not, etc.
There was both a distrust of "disorder" and problems with actually "knowing the situation." The system of reporting was not providing the kind of picture really needed. A lot of the reporting was marred by political truth and rivalry—reflecting real divisions, differences, and the class struggle at different levels of society. The archives also indicate that "knowledge" of the contradictions and motion of society, of popular support and discontent, was often gained and sifted through the filter of intelligence and security.
There was an "information problem" for the masses as well. The information available to the masses about what was going on in society was limited. There were, obviously, objective difficulties: the size and complexity of the new society, limited means of communication, and issues of levels of mass education. But there was also a tendency on the part of leadership to restrict the dissemination of information. The Soviet press had actually been quite lively and informative in the 1920s, but this was no longer the case. This reinforced the role of rumor and word of mouth in society, (e.g., people from the countryside bringing with them information to the cities).
But there is a far bigger question. What, at all levels, are you trying to discover about society? What does this have to do with understanding the depth of transformation, new contradictions emerging, new and arising forces propelling change, what is standing in the way of change, including lagging understanding on the part of leadership? How is the social experience, and how are the insights and disagreements and, yes, opposition, of diverse strata, contributing to new understanding and new paths of transformation? And what happens when intellectual life is stunted...indeed, what happened in terms of the atmosphere in society.
NOTE: One of the criticisms of the "avant garde" in this period (linked to the critique of formalism) was that it was not representing or interested in representing social reality as it was, i.e., the immediacy of socialist construction. This is what it meant to faithfully reflect reality. But the need for art to explore and, as Ardea Skybreak says, "skew" and re-represent reality—and what that says both about different levels of reality and how reality might be different—this too was viewed with suspicion. It was not just that these artists were being suppressed, with the effects this had on artistic creation and on the larger atmosphere, but new things were being squandered.
*The ways in which the masses could express themselves were limited. They could speak out about local conditions, contradictions, and problems; managers and collective farm leaders were called out for malfeasance and corruption. Indeed, the center was often besieged with letters about developments in and wrongdoing at the local levels. Many of these were penned by the newly literate, including, significantly, women in the countryside. There was a kind of institutionalized criticism of cadre and administrators. But there was not the same ease of mind when it came to taking up and debating larger questions of policy (and some of this was self-imposed, that is, both out fear of saying the wrong thing and for fear of "strengthening class enemies").
*It seems that with the promulgation of the new Soviet Constitution in 1936, there was, for a period of time, a major opportunity, a discourse, through which people were able to and did in fact express themselves on a broader range of issues—and to interrogate the structures and role of the state and new governing procedures being proposed, including contested elections (which Stalin had been calling for).
On Stalin's part, there seem to have been three motivating factors: to regularize and normalize the system of rule through the adoption of a constitution; to use the discussion of the Constitution as a way to draw people into political life, including criticism of local officialdom, whose reliability was increasingly a matter of concern; and to assess the mood of society.
The mass discussion of the Constitution was genuine (not the sham as generally described by mainstream scholars). Still, that begs the point of the content of the constitution and content of the discussion. The discourse focused on issues of rights and benefits, to whom they should be extended (for instance, peasants were demanding the social protections guaranteed to industrial workers). The question of how the state serves the overall revolutionization of society and the world towards the abolition of the 4 Alls, how it must empower the masses to take responsibility for the direction of society, including revolutionizing the structures of the state, and how state power must serve to overcoming the division of society into classes—these kinds of issues did not figure in this discourse.
Of course, this was not the theoretical understanding of the international communist movement. Not least, the new constitution enshrined that there were no longer antagonistic social classes in Soviet socialist society. And so when new chaotic phenomena emerged, against the backdrop of escalating international tensions, the response was desperate: towards feverish campaigns of repression.
*The central leadership had launched the major public political trials and the massive purges. It created the political and extra-legal framework for a repression that was swift, wide-ranging, and, in its three years of fury, unbounded by protections and rights for the accused.
But local and regional party officials were not in any sense a counterweight to the excesses of the period. On the one hand, they were targets (Stalin was concerned about their reliability). On the other hand, local and regional officials were key figures in the repression. New studies and evidence show that many local and regional officials were in fact putting pressure on the center to impose a crackdown. These studies also indicate that many such officials felt that the mass discussions and implementation of the new constitution threatened to open space for counterrevolutionary maneuvering.
Central directives were issued, but local officials were in control of what were called "mass operations" against kulaks, criminal elements, etc. And these campaigns and executions spun out of control and even turned in on themselves (though it cannot be ruled out a priori that counterrevolutionaries were not also intriguing and planting false evidence). In all, between 1936 and 1938, some 680,000 people were executed. This three-year total accounted for 87 percent of all executions carried out between 1930 and 1950.
One of the issues requiring more attention is how Soviet society was turned into a structure of categories and ascriptive behavior. Targets (for arrest and execution) based on numbers and social categories of people. Often, individual biography—what people actually did and did not do—mattered less than who they were, in terms of fixed social category. The Chair's insights into the relations between classes and individuals merit close attention in this regard.
The problem was not over-centralization as such. It was line. It was the atmosphere in society that had been fostered. And, frankly and without ceremony, it can be said that the party was barely a lofty vanguard. It had become increasingly instrumentalized as a policy, administrative, and enforcement machine.
You need solid cores, at all levels of society, grounded in an understanding of where society has to go, towards achieving the 4 Alls, and the maximum elasticity required to get there and that has to be led to get there—with all the wildness, unexpectedness, and danger built into this. You need to combat counterrevolution, but how and towards what end?
2). Social Base in this Period: Two Points of Investigation
Bob Avakian's discussion in "Ruminations..." about social base for revolution—before and after the conquest of power, and what he describes as "changing social and class composition" under socialism bears greatly on this discussion. That is: the social base for revolution is a dynamic and contradictory phenomenon; it shifts in the socialist period in relation to the unevenness of transformation and change; and if social base is reified, it can become an obstacle to revolution.
A). "Shock Forces" of Revolutionary Transformation Becoming a Social Base for Repressive Stabilization
What Avakian is pointing to is essential in probing and understanding how it was that the "lights could be turned on," involving the heroic and tradition-challenging efforts of a certain social base—and how it was, as society underwent change, this force could subsequently become a base for "turning the lights out."
This passage, again from Siegelbaum, about the Soviet social formation in the late 1920s and 1930s is suggestive:
This support [for the regime] was located in distinct social groups, particularly within a generational cohort to whom the prodigious expansion of state power under Stalin appealed. Whether inspired by the lofty aim of marching in step with progress or the more selfish motive of rising rapidly up the social scale, young, mostly semieducated workers provided the shock troops "from below" for collectivization, industrialization, and cultural revolution. The turn toward social conservatism, evident from the mid-1930s onward, could thus be explained in terms of the consolidation of power of these vydvizhentsy ("promotees").
To causally impute the turn toward tradition-bound social conservatism to this stratum is one-sided. It downplays the larger societal and international environment. But there is dynamic interplay between how leadership mobilizes a base, and how this base then reacts back upon and influences "agenda"—and what are seen to be the parameters within which "agenda" and policy are formulated and enacted.
The "cohort" to which Siegelbaum is referring—skilled cadre workers, civil war veterans, shock workers, factory activists, etc.—was very much at the center of the socialist transformation of industry. At terrific personal sacrifice, and fired by a sense of great urgency and purpose, they also volunteered to go the countryside to implement the radical transformation of Russian agricultural and peasant life. Lynn Viola's book The Best Sons of the Fatherland vividly chronicles the mentalities and enthusiasms of these "shock forces" in the struggle for collectivization.
Collectivization was very much skewed towards industry and the cities. The new planned economy had as a critical hinge a particular, subordinate relation of agriculture to industry—which contributed to the expansion of this social base. In addition, on the basis of industrialization, more than half a million communist workers moved from manual to white collar occupations in 1930-33 alone, becoming engineers, administrators, managers, etc.— part of what Sheila Fitzpatrick called the "Brezhnev generation."
The material position of these strata, in the context of a revolution defined very much in terms of socialist economic construction, brought with it certain material interests and sensibility.
In the mid-1930s, this base was receptive to calls for discipline and regularization, as the industrial-agricultural material foundation and ownership relations of socialist society were secured. This base embodied many of the defining characteristics of the socialist order as it was being constructed and legitimized—and derived benefits from it. It evinced narrowness, suspicion, and distrust towards both traditional and radical-experimental intellectual life.
There was a "settling in" involving a certain kind of new "vested" interest. This coincided with what leadership saw as the exigencies of regularization and stabilization.
There were material-ideological factors bringing this base into alignment with a certain conservative turn. And to some degree this base was propelling this turn, though how leadership was reading and responding to the situation is not a direct derivative of this base. But it was a base. Robert Thurston in Life and Terror in Stalin's Russia writes:
For the bulk of the urban citizenry, who formed the economic and political center of gravity.... Stalinism provided important means of upward social mobility, participation, and criticism (my emphasis).... More often than fearing the government in the late 1930s, people supported its campaign to root out enemies.
This is another expression, going back to "Conquer the World" and other writings by Bob Avakian of the period that the proletariat changes under socialism and has "something to lose"—and not just from counterrevolution. It has something to lose that can come into contradiction with the advance of the world revolution. And particular social bases have "something to lose"—not least in the structural-ideological shake-up of normalcy—with the further advance and deepening of socialist transformation.
Stalin was not without support in "rooting out enemies." This begs another question: who the enemies were. Stalin and the revolutionary leadership failed to correctly distinguish between contradictions among the people and contradictions between the people and the enemy. People were being trained in this methodology; and conspiracy was increasingly seen as the hand behind disorder and dissent. But that is not all. The broad brushstroke of enemy had a certain valence for this social base. The enemy was perceived to some degree as being what was disruptive of a new status quo, of a new normalcy that did have those features of mobility, participation, and criticism.
B. Women's Liberation: Social Base and Two Maximizings
There is more to understand about social base, the play of different class forces, and continuing transformation in the countryside (and the particularities of this in the minority regions).
In the 1917-20 period, educated urban women, both within and outside the party, agitated for radical policies on the woman question. They truly were a major impetus and force for decisively attacking the subordinate status of women. They helped ideologically and politically catalyze efforts in the countryside that would lead up to the Hujum (Attack) on such customs as veiling and bride-wealth in the late 1920s. Some of these women, both immediately following the seizure of power and in the late 1920s, went on dangerous missions to the countryside.
In the late 1920s, in some of the minority regions in particular, there was tension between, on the one hand, the project of breaking down traditional family structures and freeing women from the constraints of custom (the unveiling campaigns, etc.), and, on the other, leadership's desire, both centrally but especially locally, to build up a reliable base of support for the new regime.
Local and indigenous communist leaderships put a premium on winning the allegiance of the poorer segments of the economically active peasantry—largely men. But the assault on traditional family practices and gender roles often provoked a visceral reaction among these same social forces. Reportedly, poor women in some of the indigenous areas were initiating divorces on a scale that began to be perceived by poor peasant men as an all-out threat to the male-headed household.
In Uzbekistan, the unveiling campaign starting in 1927 took place within a setting of great social upheaval. It was soul stirring. Women activists who had been at the forefront of this had, as the campaign continued, agitated for a formal ban against veiling. But, evidently, the center decided against this. What was behind both the call for legislation and the rejection of that is not clear. But it seems that the need to secure the support of a particular social base began to set certain constraints on social revolution in the countryside.
Collectivization was seen by leadership as a way to resolve some of these contradictions revolving around economic transformation and the rights of women. Before collectivization, women challenging patriarchal authority found themselves with political backing from the state but often isolated by the atomized organization of production and stigmatized by the weight of community tradition. Collectivization was indeed essential.
In the new collectives, women enjoyed full individual membership. Women's rights were strongly emphasized. Peasant women were encouraged to become tractor drivers and move into other spheres of male activity. Leadership gave support to women challenging husband and parental authority. But all of this was centrally bound up with removing social-ideological obstacles for pushing forward production. In urban society, women were receiving education and entering professional careers. But this was happening in the context of a new assertion of "socialist family values" in relation to the needs of production and social stabilization.
Issues that had been previously brought to the fore by radical middle-class women in the earlier period, revolving around the right to abortion, women's independence, new values, the radical rethinking of family and sexuality were pushed into the background and seen as diversion. Not just these issues, but these women, were hemmed in. The banning of abortion was an act of putting out the lights for women.
Similarly, where earlier, some of the radical science fiction and experimental cultural works of the early years of the revolution were radically reimagining social-family relations—this was no longer the case.
This positive and negative experience underscores the importance of the "two maximizings" under socialism. It sharpens the question of what forces were being looked to as the cutting edge of change and forward motion? It brings into sharper relief the need to mobilize all positive factors and to lead all-sided struggle from the standpoint of bringing about the "two radical ruptures."
So that's it for now.
With a warm and affectionate new year's hug...
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