The Russian Alternative to the Capitalist Civilization: Evolution of the Socialist Thought So often Russia is described at having tried 'socialism. Russia under Lenin, Stalin and the rest is usually described as socialist or communist by the media. Socialism simply may be seen as a social and economic theory of social organization advocating state ownership and control over means of production, distribution, and exchange. Russian socialism has a particular significance because, according to some, it actually succeeded (well at least the Bolsheviks thought they were establishing a socialist state). There were certain factors which made conditions in Russia more susceptible to the establishment of the first communist regime such as the lack of an outlet for expression absence of representative assemblies which made anyone who thought of changing a system a revolutionary. Where parliamentary and universal suffrage were unknown as in Russia extreme revolutionary communism could strike roots, the parliamentary leaders instinctively think in terms of voters and majorities instead of classes. On founding the Russian Social-Democratic Workers, Party (1898) declared: \"The farther east we go in Europe the weaker, more abject and more cowardly becomes the bourgeoisie, and the more its cultural and political tasks fall to the lot of the proletariat.\" But inevitability of communism in Russia should not be stretched beyond this. Socialism in Russia had a long history. The debate on socialism is placed in the larger context of a cultural debate on the identity of the Russian nation. In 1939, Winston Churchill had remarked: \"it [Russia] is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma\". With such a simple statement Churchill had managed to brilliantly captivate the great riddle that Russia has been throughout her existence for her people, rulers and for politicians and historians that have had to deal with her from the world over. This riddle has sometimes been referred to as the \'crisis\' in Russian identity ;sometimes as the Russian \'problem\', \'dilemma\' or \'ambiguity\'. A powerful and enduring debate has existed in Russia between the \"Westerners\", who wanted to draw the country closer to Europe and \"Slavophiles\", who insisted that Russia had its own distinct identity. This debate had been central to Russian cultural development and every thought in Russia thus, had these two perspectives. The period between the late 1830s and 1850s, was when the existing divisions within the \'intelligentsia\' came to be reconfigured along arguments that were polemically known as \'Slavophile\' and \'Westernizing\'. Each of these two camps was constituted as much by the polemical refusals of its positions by its rival as by its own agency. Russian Intelligentsia is usually denoted to that section of educated elite who became critical of the existing order. A radical minority among them broke away from the conventional ties and made a conscious commitment to revolutionary overthrow of the czarist order. Emerging significantly in 1860s, these revolutionary elite established a tradition of revolutionary thought, organization, propaganda, and agitation. It was they who introduced the revolutionary vocabulary and founded socialist parties. These revoltes, as Isaiah Berlin calls them, set the moral tone for the kind of talk and action which continued throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, until the final climax of 1917. Members of the intelligentsia, despite their mutual divergences in ideological location, did inhabit a common discursive terrain. They were – and this defined them – engaged intellectuals in the understood sense of the term, concerned with the analysis and solution of the problems that faced Russian society. They were also completely divorced from the exercise of power. This was what made the intelligentsia a recognizable, discrete intellectual body, clearly distinct from the official ideologues and thinkers of Tsarist...
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