Wednesday, December 25, 2013

UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004 - When the Soviet Union Entered World Politics


UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004 - When the Soviet Union Entered World Politics


By the time of the 1928-29 "great turn" from the New Economic Policy to Stalinist economic and political development, many of the fundamental institutions, methods, and doctrines of Soviet national security were fixed in a form they would retain for decades. First, the drive for industrialization was launched, aimed at the creation of a self-sufficient military-industrial complex that would provide Soviet armed forces with weapons of current design and would be given first claim on national income and natural resources. Beginning in 1927, the project was justified by a high-range estimate of the magnitude of the "foreign threat" to the security of the USSR, and in 1928 it was joined to the use of preemptive state terror in defiance of internationally accepted humanitarian and democratic norms. Soon it came to have priority above all other economic, social, human, and environmental needs.
 
Second, in 1922 Soviet diplomacy had become discouraged about the prospects of a comprehensive post-revolutionary settlement between the socialist and capitalist camps. The diplomatic aspect of the special relationship with Germany had eroded seriously after 1925. Beginning in 1926, the efforts of the NKID were no longer aimed at obtaining dramatic breakthroughs to favorable relations with any of the capitalist powers but were concentrated on making gradual improvements in the tenor of relations and on concluding agreements piecemeal.
 
Third, the doctrine that informed foreign relations in 1928-29 reasserted that the capitalist world order was incapable of any prolonged stabilization and affirmed the concept that the greater the coherence demonstrated by the capitalist order, the greater the dangers that confronted the USSR. The Soviet Union would, nevertheless, be made more secure, the doctrine continued, by participating in world politics than it would be by remaining apart from them. However, any rapprochement between the USSR and the capitalist world could go no further than a "peaceful coexistence" standoff.

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