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Comrades: Simon's argument,


Simon's argument, which is also Sam's, I think, that the Bolshevik 'choice' to undermine soviet democracy paved the way for Stalinism is disastrously undercut by Simon's simultaneous assertion that even if the Bolsheviks had favored soviet democracy it was still highly unlikely that this policy choice "would have greatly altered the course of Russian history” because that course was dictated by the "failure of the workers’ movements to produce revolutionary change outside Russia and the poor economic conditions existing in the country."

What is this if not a contorted way of asserting the inevitability of Stalinism -- no matter what choices "Leninism in Power" made? It is puzzling why Sam seems to think Simon's work is a break from the teleology of the totalitarian school when the LOGIC of Simon's argument is in full continuity with it, with lip-service paid to empirically 'real' but logically illusory 'choices'.

John Marot


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