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Nikolai Ivanovich BUKHARIN

economist

Nikolai Ivanovich BUKHARIN, economist.

Background

BUKHARIN, Nikolai Ivanovich was born in 1888 in Moscow, Russia.

Career

One of the chief theorists of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet State, he became a revolutionary whilst studying economics. He was an exile

with Lenin in the years 1911-1917 when he wrote a number of theoretical works, including an analysis of imperialism, on which Lenin drew repeatedly. For a while, in the 1920s, he was an ally of Stalin who nevertheless had him expelled from his positions of influence in 1929.

He argued for a policy of industrialisation at the expense of the peasantry but drew back from Stalin’s adoption of an extreme version of his argument. He was indicted in the third round of the Moscow Trials and was executed in 1938. Editor, Pravda, Novy Mir Izvestia Member, Russian Politburo, Comintern.

Works

Views

Bukharin’s pre-1917 writings influenced Lenin’s V|ews on imperialism and the dictatorship of the Proletariat, and in 1919-1921 he wrote two summanes of Marxist theory that served as textbooks for years to come. The first. The A BC of Communism, was designed for a broad popular audience. The second. Historical Materialism, was intended for use in Communist Party schools.

In his overall philosophical outlook Bukharin was indebted to Bogdanov as well as to Engels, and he is known as one of the principal ‘mechanists’ in Soviet philosophy—that is, Marxist materialists who defended a positivistic rather than a Hegelian version of dialectics and who explained motion as a result of external forces rather than internal ‘contradictions’. Bukharin's ‘equilibrium theory’ postulates a system of opposing forces in which development takes place through the disturbance and reestablishment of equilibrium. Bukharin supported Lenin’s New Economic Policy and was opposed to forced collectivization.

He envisaged the transition from capitalism to communism as a more gradual process with a mixed economy and a democratic political system. These views aroused Stalin's ire, and in 1938 Bukharin was convicted of counterrevolutionary activity and executed. The same views are responsible for the strong revival of interest in Bukharin among reform-minded communists and socialists in Eastern Europe in recent years.

Interests

  • Other Interests

    Social and Political philosophy. Dialectic and historial materialism.