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New Left Review I/100, November-December 1976

Jean-Paul Sartre

‘Socialism in One Country’

I shall concentrate on a single, contemporary example: the emergence in the ussr of the ideological monstrosity of ‘socialism in one country’. A critical investigation will show: 1. that the slogan was a product of conflicts within the leadership; 2. that beyond these conflicts, the slogan represented contradictions and transformations in Soviet society as a whole; 3. that inasmuch as it survived, it produced other verbal forms which supplemented and corrected it—which enriched both knowledge and practice, transcending the monstrosity and changing it into a truth. Obviously we cannot go into the extraordinarily complex conflicts which divided the Soviet leadership after Lenin’s death; still less can we embark on a dialectical interpretation of them. We are simply taking an example, and looking at it not for itself but for the lessons we can learn from it.

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Jean-Paul Sartre, ‘'Socialism in One Country'’, NLR I/100: £3

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