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Title: Re-interpreting the Soviet system : the Leviathan revolution
Author: Chamseddine, Mnasri
ISNI:       0000 0001 3526 4848
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2007
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available