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Title: Re-interpreting the Soviet system : the leviathan revolution
Authors: Chamseddine, Mnasri
Award date: 2007
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: Leninism-Stalinism has been conceived as part of Marxism as a political ideology. However, both the crisis and collapse of the Soviet system have led to a reconsideration of the fundamental theoretical grounds upon which the practices of the Leninist-Stalinist state were premised. This thesis is an attempt to redefine the nature of the Soviet state in its Leninist-Stalinist dimension. My thesis differs from others both in terms of aim and method. The ultimate aim of this work is to prove that the equation "Marxism = Leninism = Stalinism" is debatable. In doing so, I start by investigating Lenin's work and its impact on the future of socialism in the Soviet state. I will also argue that the authoritarian state which emerged from the Russian Civil War resulted in the Stalin tyranny (I dub it leviathanism). The method of approach I adopt in this thesis is political-philosophical. I argue that the theoretical father of the Soviet state was Thomas Hobbes rather than Karl Marx. In arguing so, I mainly focus on aspects in Hobbes's "leviathan theory" which coalesce with the political practices from 1917 to the 1930s. Adopting such a method, I seek to challenge the dominant "Continuity thesis" which argues that the Soviet practice was but a logical application of Marxian theory. I challenge such a thesis by arguing that Leninism-Stalinism was an autholitarian (both authoritarian and totalitarian) system which, like Hobbes's sovereign, was concerned more with the consolidation of the state rather than 'smashing' it.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of Politics and International Relations
Leicester Theses

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