Similarities Between Tsarist And Soviet Bureaucracy Essay

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“The Soviet bureaucracy takes on bourgeois customs without having beside it a national bourgeoisie… It is in the full sense of the word the sole privileged and commanding stratum in the Soviet society…The bureaucracy enjoys its privileges under the form of an abuse of power… Its appropriation of a vast share of the national income has the character of social parasitism” (Trotsky, pgs 249-250).

The similarities between tsarist and soviet bureaucracy, as described by Trotsky cannot be missed. Under both regimes, the bureaucracy forms a class of society that serves as social elites. Under both regimes, the bureaucracy obviously receives economic privileges, albeit in different forms, that are far superior to the privileges held by those outside the civil service. Lastly, under both regimes, elite status could be granted to anyone regardless of their hereditary rank or nobility. Custine’s description shows how the Tsar had the power to promote bureaucrats to noble status, regardless of their origins. At the same time, many of the Soviet Union’s leaders, like Stalin, Kaganovich or Khrushchev, came from peasant families. It’s true that in the Soviet Union, belonging to an enemy class could have proscribed someone from achieving certain ranks within society. However, these restrictions could still be ignored by the state at its will, and people often hid their relation to class enemies. Its clear that in both systems, the bureaucracy ruled as the elites, and anyone from…

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