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Patterns of Soviet Thought

The Origins and Development of Dialectical and Historical Materialism

Subjects: Philosophy
Paperback : 9780472750931, 306 pages, 6 x 9, December 1969
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Marxism-Leninism as a way of thinking is foreign to most Westerners, but it permeates the thought of nearly a third of educated mankind. Patterns of Soviet Thought traces the development of the Marxist-Leninist philosophy, clarifies its meaning in theory and practice, and emphasizes its position in the Soviet Union. Based on the writings of Marx, Engels, and Lenin and on contemporary Soviet writings, this book reveals the basic patterns that make up the modern Soviet worldview.

How can both the Chinese and the Soviets quote Lenin to support opposing positions? How could an educated Soviet citizen accept the official about-face concerning Stalin? How can the same citizen condemn the United States morally while admiring many of its citizens and emulating its standard of living? To answer questions like these we need to understand the ambiguities and contradictions of Soviet thought. They are its philosophical Achilles' heel, but they also help to shape it and give it resiliency in the face of facts.

Written for the intelligent general reader, Patterns of Soviet Thought summarizes the works of major and minor philosophers from Marx to the present and offers a detailed critique of their important ideas. It provides the basis for an understanding of present-day Soviet policies and of the developments that are to mold the future course of the Soviet Union.