Bukharin, Nikolai I.


Bukharin, Nikolai I.
(1888–1938)
   An important figure in the Bolshevik Party and described by Vladimir Ilich Lenin as “a most valuable and major theorist,” Bukharin contributed several works of note to Marxist theory and was active in the Bolshevik leadership from the 1917 Russian Revolution until he was ousted in the 1930s. He became an opponent of Josef Stalin from the late 1920s on for which he paid the price of being expelled from the party in 1937, and was tried and executed for treason and espionage in one of the notorious Moscow show trials in 1938.
   Bukharin’s key works include Imperialism and World Economy (1917–18), ABC of Communism (1919) written with Evgeny Alexeyevich Preobrazhensky, and Historical Materialism: A System of Sociology (1921). In the first he argued that capitalist competition was increasingly between “state capitalist trusts” rather than between individual capitalist firms. ABC of Communism was a standard introduction to Marxist ideas, and Historical Materialism was a clear exposition of Marxism as sociological theory and a critique of the ideas of prominent non-Marxist sociologists such as Max Weber. Bukharin was initially seen as a “leftist,” a position that included advocating, in opposition to Lenin, the continuation of the war against Germany in 1917. He then revised his views coming to favor the New Economic Policy and a gradualist strategy of “growing into socialism.” He opposed the forced collectivization in agriculture and the overcentralized authoritarian control exercised by Stalin. He was eventually rehabilitated in the Soviet Union in 1988 when the Soviet Supreme Court quashed his 1938 conviction, and the Soviet Communist Party restored his party membership. In general Bukharin’s stock as a Marxist and thinker rose in the post-Stalin period, as he was seen as representing a genuine Marxist alternative to the Stalinist path.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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  • Bukharin, Nikolai — See Marxism ( …   History of philosophy

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  • Bukharin — [boo khä′rin] Nikolai (Ivanovich) [nē΄kō̂ lī′] 1888 1938; Russ. Communist leader & editor …   English World dictionary

  • Bukharin — noun Bolshevik leader in Russia who advocated gradual collectivism of the farms; was executed in a purge by Stalin (1888 1938) • Syn: ↑Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin • Instance Hypernyms: ↑Bolshevik, ↑Bolshevist * * * /booh khah rddin/, n. Nikolai… …   Useful english dictionary