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Vadim Rogovin

Two Lectures: Stalin’s Great Terror and Leon Trotsky and the Fate of Marxism in the USSR

$9.95

In 1996, Russian Marxist historian Vadim Rogovin traveled to Australia to deliver these lectures. Rogovin’s central thesis is that there was and remains a Marxist alternative to Stalinism. He demonstrates that Stalin’s Great Terror was not the irrational response of a paranoid tyrant, but was precipitated by the need of the Stalinist bureaucracy to eradicate the growing socialist opposition to its rule, led by Trotsky and the Left Opposition.

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In 1996, Russian Marxist historian Vadim Rogovin traveled to Australia to deliver these lectures. Rogovin’s central thesis is that there was and remains a Marxist alternative to Stalinism. He demonstrates that Stalin’s Great Terror was not the irrational response of a paranoid tyrant, but was precipitated by the need of the Stalinist bureaucracy to eradicate the growing socialist opposition to its rule, led by Trotsky and the Left Opposition.

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Vadim Rogovin (1937-1998) was a Doctor of Philosophical Sciences at the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow from the late 1970s until his death. Prior to this he had worked in the field of literary and aesthetic criticism.

As a researcher at the Institute of Sociology, Rogovin studied and wrote about the existence and growth of social inequality in the USSR and its implications for social justice, labor productivity, and social morality in Soviet society. Rogovin’s interest in analyzing the allocation of wealth and privileges in the Soviet Union grew out of political conclusions he drew about the origins of the Soviet bureaucracy. After having quietly gained access to some of the writings of the Left Opposition during the 1960s and 1970s, Rogovin, whose own grandfather had died in the purges, became convinced of the correctness of Leon Trotsky’s opposition to Stalin.

In the late 1980s, he became an outspoken critic of Mikhail Gorbachev’s pro-market economic reforms and their negative impact on the living standards of the broad mass of the population. After writing articles in the popular Soviet press about the positions of the Left Opposition on major questions of politics and policy, Rogovin started publishing what would become a seven-volume series on the rise of Stalinism and the history of the socialist-based opposition to Stalin’s rule.

Before his untimely death due to cancer in 1998, he delivered lectures on this theme to audiences in Europe, the United States, Australia, and Latin America.

Additional biographical information about Rogovin and commentary about his contributions can be found here, in a tribute given to him on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday by David North, the Chairman of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site.

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