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New Left Review 96, November-December 2015

iván szelényi


It would be plausible to construct a ‘variety of communisms’ theory, categorizing the state-socialist economies not only by region but by historical epoch. China, for example, imitated the Stalinist model in the first years after the Revolution, but by the 1960s the prc had developed its own unique social and economic institutions. The goulash communism of János Kádár’s Hungary, which took shape after 1956, differed drastically from the classical Soviet model. Nevertheless, during the last decades of state socialism, the communist societies were broadly on a convergence trajectory: the gap between Czechoslovakia or Hungary and the ussr, for instance, narrowed. State ownership of the means of production, the redistributive nature of economic integration and the political monopoly of the Communist Party created a homologous institutional environment. The system largely suppressed the legacies of pre-communist times.

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Iván Szelényi, ‘Capitalisms After Communism’, NLR 96: £3

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