The Soviet Union: Party and Society (Third World Council for Soviet and East European Studies)

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The Soviet Union: Party and Society (Third World Council for Soviet and East European Studies)

THE SOVIET UNION PARTY AND SOCIETY This collection is derived from the Third World Congress for Soviet and East Europea

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THE SOVIET UNION PARTY AND SOCIETY

This collection is derived from the Third World Congress for Soviet and East European Studies, and provides an up-to-date and comprehensive survey of contemporary Soviet political and economic problems. It concentrates upon three major themes; the Soviet party apparat, socialization and political discourse, and social policy, all which have been the subject of considerable and at times confusing fluctuations during the past decade. The first section focuses on party organization within the Soviet ministries, and examines the changes within the elite during the last years of Brezhnev's rule. In Part 2 the emphasis is upon processes of political socialization, and the nature of political language in the Soviet Union, whilst in the concluding part the contributors examine the mechanism and impact of social policy, and its ethnic and nationalist implications. Peter J. Potichnyj is Professor of Political Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.

Selected papers from the Third World Congress for Soviet and East European Studies Washington, DC 30 October-4 November 1985 Sponsored by the INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR SOVIET AND EAST EUROPEAN STUDIES

and the AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SLAVIC STUDIES

General Editor R. C. Elwood Carleton University Editorial Committee Members

Oskar Anweiler, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum Christopher Barnes, St Andrews University Thomas J. Blakeley, Boston College Deming Brown, University of Michigan Marianna Tax Choldin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign J. Douglas Clayton, University of Ottawa Z. F. Dreisziger, Royal Military College of Canada Dennis J. Dunn, Southwest Texas State University N. J. Dunstan, University of Birmingham F. J. M. Feldbrugge, Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden John P. Hardt, Library of Congress Roger E. Kanet, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Mark N. Katz, Kennan Institute Stanislav J. Kirschbaum, York University David Lane, University of Birmingham Carl H. McMillan, Carleton University Arnold McMillan, University of London Richard Peace, Bristol University Peter J. Potichnyj, McMaster University Tom M. S. Priestly, University of Alberta Don Karl Rowney, Bowling Green State University Fred Singleton, University of Bradford Benjamin A. Stolz, University of Michigan John W. Strong, Carleton University Beatrice Beach Szekely, White Plains, NY William Mills Todd HI, Stanford University John Westwood, University of Birmingham

THE SOVIET UNION PARTY AND SOCIETY EDITED BY

PETER J. POTICHNYJ McMaster University

The right of the University of Cambridge to print and sell alt manner of books was granted by Henry VIII in 1534. The University has printed and published continuously since 1584.

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS Cambridge New York New Rochelle Melbourne Sydney

Published by the Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge The Pitt Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 IRP 32 East 57th Street, New York, NY 10022, USA 10 Stamford Road, Oakleigh, Melbourne 3166, Australia Cambridge University Press 1988 First published 1988 Printed in Great Britain by Redwood Burn Ltd, Trowbridge, Wiltshire British Library cataloguing in publication data

World Congress for Soviet and East European Studies, {yd : 19S5 : Washington D.C.) The Soviet Union : party and society 1. Soviet Union-Social conditions—1970— I. Title II. Potichnyj, Peter J. III. International Committee for Soviet and East European Studies IV. American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies 947 -o85'4 HN523.5 Library of Congress cataloguing in publication data

World Congress for Soviet and East European Studies (3rd : 1985 : Washington, DC) The Soviet Union : party and society/editor, Peter J. Potichnyj. p cm. "Selected papers from the Third World Congress for Soviet and East European Studies, Washington, DC, 30 October-4 November 1985, sponsored by International Committee for Soviet and East European Studies and American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies"—P. Includes index. ISBN o 521 34460 3

1. Soviet Union—Politics and government—1982—Congresses. 2. Kommunisticheskaia partiia Sovetskogo Soiuza-Party workCongresses. 3. Soviet Union—Social policy-Congresses. I. Potichnyj, Peter J. II. International Committee for Soviet and East European Studies. III. American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. IV. Title. DK288.W67 1985 947.085'4-dc 19 87-16733 CIP ISBN 0 S2I 34460 3

Contents

List of List of tables List of contributors Foreword by R. C. Elwood Preface by P. J. Potichnyj

Part i

figures

page vii viii ix xi xiii

Party apparat

i

1

The apparatchiki and Soviet political development Ronald J. Hill

2

The primary party organizations of branch ministries Stephen Fortescue

26

3

Soviet local party organs and the RAPOs Barbara Ann Chotiner

48

Part 2

Socialization and political discourse

3

65

4

Political socialization in the USSR: April 1979 and after Stephen White

67

5

Political language and political change in the USSR: notes on the Gorbachev leadership Michael E. Urban

87

6

Soviet political discourse, narrative program and the Skaz theory Alexandre Bourmeyster

107

vi 7

8

Contents The nationality policy of the CPSU and its reflection in Soviet socio-political terminology Michael Bruchis

121

The evolution of the local Soviets

142

Jeffrey W. Hahn

Part 3 9

Social policy

Social deprivation under Soviet full employment J. L. Porket

10 The Soviet social security system: its legal structure and fair hearings process Bernice Madison 11

12

13

159 161

179

Abortion in the Soviet Union: why it is so widely practiced Shalvia Ben-Barak

201

Ethnic group divided: social stratification and nationality policy in the Soviet Union Victor Zaslausky

218

The party and Russian nationalism in the USSR: from Brezhnev to Gorbachev Peter J. S. Duncan

229

Index

245

Publications from the Third World Congress for Soviet and East European Studies

252

Figures

5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5

Manifest oppositions and mediators in AN page 93 Greimas' actantial model 96 The structure of AN 96 The structure of the Leninist tale in Gorbachev's discourse 100 The structure of political discourse in Gorbachev's narrative 100

Vll

Tables

9.1 9.2 9.3 11.1

Earnings differentials in industry page 167 Structure of skill grades in 1979 170 Estimates of average monthly old-age pension 172 The number of induced abortions undergone in the USSR by 206 women 204 11.2 The actual number of induced abortions undergone in the USSR by 128 women 204 11.3 The number of induced abortions undergone in the USSR by 206 women: distribution by republic 205 11.4 The number of induced abortions undergone in the USSR by 206 women: distribution by education 206 11.5 The number of induced abortions undergone in the USSR by 206 women: distribution by age 207 11.6 Methods of determining family size: distribution by republic 210 11.7 Methods of determining family size: distribution by education 211 11.8 Reasons for not using contraceptive devices in the USSR: distribution in numbers and percentages 212

vin

Contributors

SHALVIA BEN-BARAK

works at the University of Tel-Aviv, Israel.

ALEXANDRE BOURMEYSTER is Professor in Section de Russe et d'Etudes Slaves, of Universite de Grenoble III. Among his more recent publications are "Utopie, ideologic et skaz," Essais sur le discourse Sovietique (1983) and "Novlangue, langue-de-bois et programmes

narratifs," Essais sur le discourse Sovietique (1984).

works at the Russian and East European Research Center of the University of Tel-Aviv and is the author of

MICHAEL BRUCHIS

Nations—Nationalities—People: A Study of the Nationalities Policy of the Communist Party in Soviet Moldavia (1982). BARBARA A. CHOTINER is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Alabama and the author of Khrushchev's Party Reform:

Coalition-Building and Institutional Innovation (1984).

j . s. DUNCAN teaches politics at the University College of Wales and is the author of "Ideology and the National Question" in S. White and A. Pravda, eds., Ideology and Soviet Politics (forthcoming).

PETER

STEPHEN FORTESCUE is associated with the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, The University of Birmingham. He is the author of "Project Planning in Soviet R and D," Research Policy (1985), and "Party Secrets: Secretaries in Soviet Research Institutes," Politics (1983).

w. HAHN teaches Political Science at the Vilanova University in Pennsylvania.

JEFFREY

RONALD j . HILL is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Trinity College, University of Dublin. He is the author of Soviet Politics, Political

Science and Reform (1980), and Soviet Political Elites: The Case of Tiraspol (1977)-

ix

x BERNICE

Contributors

Q.

MADISON

is a sociologist and the author among others of

The Soviet Social Welfare System as Experienced and Evaluated by Consumers and Personnel (1981). JOSEPH L. PORKETis the author among others of "Income Maintenance for the Soviet Aged," Ageing and Society (1983), "The Shortage, Use and Reserves of Labour in the Soviet Union," Osteuropa Wirtschaft (1984), and "Unemployment in the Midst of Labour Waste," Survey (1985). PETER j . POTICHNYJ teaches Soviet Politics at McMaster University in

Canada, and is author, co-author and editor of numerous publications in the Soviet field, among them Jewish-Ukrainian Relations: Two Solitudes (1983), Politics and Participation Under Communist Rule (1983), and Political Thought of the Ukrainian Underground, lg^j-ig^i (1986). MICHAEL E. U R B A N teaches politics at Auburn University. Some of his publications include: "The Folklore of State Socialism: Semiotics and the Study of the Soviet State," Soviet Studies (1983), and "Conceptualizing Political Power in the USSR: Patterns of Binding and Bonding," Studies in Comparative Communism (1985). STEPHEN

w HITE is Reader in Politics at the University of Glasgow and

the author of Political Culture and Soviet Politics (1979). His more recent publications are: "The Effectiveness of Political Propaganda in the U S S R , " Soviet Studies (1980), and "Soviet Politics since Brezhnev," Journal of Communist Studies (1985). VICTOR ZASLAVSKY is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is the author of The NeoStalinist State: Class, Ethnicity, and Consensus in Soviet Society (1982) and co-author of SovietJewish Emigration and Soviet Nationality Policy (1983).

Foreword

The articles selected for publication in this volume were chosen from among those presented at the Third World Congress for Soviet and East European Studies held in Washington, DC, from 30 October to 4 November 1985. The Congress, which was sponsored by the International Committee for Soviet and East European Studies and the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, attracted over 3,000 scholars from forty-one countries. This figure represents a two-fold increase over the number of delegates who attended either the First Congress in Banff, Canada, in 1974 or the Second Congress in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1980 and reflects the revival of Slavic studies throughout the world. More than 600 papers were formally presented or distributed at the Washington Congress. From among the substantial number submitted for possible publication in this series, the Editorial Committee has selected one hundred and sixty to appear in fifteen volumes. Five volumes are being published in the social sciences: three by Cambridge University Press and two by Lynne Rienner Publishers. Five volumes devoted to history and literature are being published by Slavica Publishers while the remaining five in education, law, library science, linguistics and Slovene studies are appearing as part of established series or as special issues of scholarly journals. The titles of all these publications will be found at the end of this volume. As general editor for the Third Congress I should like to express my sincere appreciation to Donald W. Treadgold, the program chairman, and Dorothy Atkinson, executive director of the AAASS, who were responsible for the efficient organization of the Washington Congress; to Oskar Anweiler and Alexander Dallin, the past and current presidents of the International Committee, for encouraging the publication of these proceedings; and to Roger Kanet, the general editor for the first two Congresses, whose advice has been invaluable to his successor. XI

xii

Foreword

Thanks also are owing to the Congress participants who submitted their papers for consideration, to the Editorial Committee that selected those to be published, and to the editors of the various volumes. R. C. Elwood General Editor

Preface

The essays presented here were originally prepared for delivery at the Third World Congress for Soviet and East European Studies in Washington, DC, in the fall of 1985. They touch on various aspects of Soviet domestic politics. One of the most significant developments in the USSR in the early 1980s has been the extent to which the Soviet political and economic system had to adjust to the requirements and demands of the present-day world. In Western literature the period after the death of Brezhnev is quite often referred to as the transition period or simply as the period of modernization, in which an attempt is made to adapt traditional principles, such as integrated economic and social planning and centralized political control, to drastically changing scientific—technical and socioeconomic conditions. This process of change is particularly marked in the political sphere, characterized by rejuvenation among the Soviet elite and political cadres. But by no means is it limited to the political elite. Special interests are well entrenched in many party and state organizations in the center, as well as in the localities. These bureaucratic interests are engaged in competition and debate over the structure, operation and performance of the Soviet economy and society. Some of the ongoing adjustments in the system are therefore preceded by an extensive discussion in various Soviet publications and involve not only the party and government officials but also, depending on circumstances, a varying and continuously growing number of specialists. This strongly felt need for a thorough review of, for example, the legal basis that regulates various areas of social and economic life is clearly documented by a number of essays in this book. In order to highlight these concerns, the volume has been organized into three sections: the party apparat; socialization and political xin

xiv

Preface

discourse; and the social policy. The essays, with some exceptions, tend to fall naturally into the above categories. Ronald J. Hill in his article explores the role of the apparatchiki in the development of the Soviet system. He argues that the officials who were chosen to perform certain tasks at a particular stage of socio-economic development and trained in the use of a range of techniques deemed appropriate at the time, "became an obstacle to the development of the political system in the direction to which successive leaders have declared their commitment." Stephen Fortescue is also concerned with the party. He is, however, primarily interested in the controls that the party exercises over the "sectional interests." The main focus of his study is on the role of the primary party organizations (PPOs) of branch ministries. It is the author's view that sectional interests continue to play an important role in the Soviet system and therefore, the local organs of the party have now, and will continue to play, a very important role. Barbara A. Chotiner examines the new institutional arrangements that came into being as a result of the Food Program which was enacted by the CPSU Central Committee Plenum of May 1982. These new institutions, known as the Raion agro-industrial associations (Raionnye agro-promyshlennye organizatii - RAPOs) were given the task of

harmonizing the activities of collective and state farms and of other enterprises involved in farm operations. Her conclusion is that despite the avowed intentions the RAPOs did not develop, at least by 1984, into independent, effective organs of local administration, primarily as a result of over-zealous party supervision. She is, therefore, less than optimistic about the nature and efficacy of the economic reform in the USSR. The next section of the book which deals with socialization and political discourse contains five essays. Stephen White analyzes the shortcomings in ideological work, the attempts that have been made to modify them and the limited success that accompanied these measures in recent years. The persistence of such shortcomings in his view suggests that there are "limits to reform" in this as in other spheres of party activity. He concludes that "only when there have been significant changes for the better in Soviet daily life . . . will it be possible for significant changes to occur in the patterns of political belief and behavior." Michael E. Urban and Alexandre Bourmeyster are primarily concerned with the political language and its relationship to political change. Employing the method of semiotics, both authors, in their own special way, focus on the analysis of the language itself and not on the policy statements contained therein. From this perspective the change

Preface

xv

would be understood as a change in the structure and, therefore, in the meaning of political language. As Urban puts it rather succinctly "if changes in Soviet political language reflect the result of a political struggle over language, they can also react back on the world of politics, influencing through language the results of other struggles about social life and the rules by which it is to be governed." Michael Bruchis also deals with language but from a different perspective. He examines the Soviet socio-political terminology from the point of view of the nationality policy of the CPSU. He concludes that while the Kremlin rulers do all they can to accelerate the denationalization of the country's non-Russian population, "they have decided to maintain that the non-Russian peoples and their national statehood are flourishing." Those specialists whose task it is to reconcile the Marxist-Leninist theory with the aims of contemporary Soviet leadership face a difficult problem because of the programmatic statements which are in clear contradiction with real life. There are those Soviet scholars, however, who are guided by the letter and not the spirit of party documents and continue to expound the views which are not acceptable to the party. The result is a terminological incongruity which is quite confusing to those Western scholars who are interested in the nationality question in the USSR. The last author in this section, Jeffrey W. Hahn, surveys the evolution of local Soviets by discussing the elaborate theoretical and legal foundation and not unlike Michael Bruchis comes to the conclusion that there continues to exist a gap "between what the law permits and the party publicly encourages and what people do." According to the author, this is not at all surprising because as the history of Russia teaches us "the legislative expressions of democratic principles have largely remained the registration of aspirations rather than an accomplished fact." Moreover, this situation is apt to continue because "it takes a long time to change a culture." The last part of the volume contains five contributions, three of which deal with various aspects of social policy and the other two of which are devoted to Russian nationalism and the various approaches to the study of the Soviet nationality question. J. L. Porket contends that since in the Soviet Union full employment is economically irrational, it has therefore a "pronounced social dimension which arises from the nature of command socialism, the regime's policies, and the vested interests of individual role players," as well as "adverse, economic, behavioral and attitudinal consequences." This in turn raises the question of social deprivation and of official and unofficial response to it. The author argues that social deprivation (a perceived gap between expectations and reality) is a result in large

xvi

Preface

measure of "the official ideology, legal norms and the Party leadership promises" which emphasize the image of the state "as a universal provider," and fix "the image of an entitlement society"as an important trait of popular culture. But the regime is unable to meet popular expectations and therefore must tolerate "non-political deviant behavior and the second economy," the activities which "contribute significantly to the running and maintenance of the established political and economic system and alleviate social deprivation." Any attempt by the regime to reduce popular expectations noticeably would have adverse consequences. Bernice Madison analyzes the Soviet social security system in all its legal and administrative complexity. One of her more interesting findings is that there exist differing interpretations of the definition and scope of social security, some of which stem from the ideological or sectional interests that exist in society. Thus, for example, a "narrow" concept limits social security to pensions for the aged and unable-towork, while the "broad" approach defines it as the regulation of a wide range of social relations of an obligatory, material character that include in addition to pensions also grants for mothers and children and free medical care for all. Thus, a broad definition is a more inclusive concept and not limited merely to social insurance. Madison feels that the provisions of the 1977 Constitution, although based on the narrow concept of social security, nevertheless have "the potential for transferring the administration of social security into a more 'democratic' management environment by providing access to a court system which promises a more objective and legally correct review of appeals and disputes, and by holding officials at all levels responsible for breaking the law or overstepping their authority, thereby improving the rights of their clients". But while potential for improvements seems to be at hand, its implementation will probably face many obstacles and delays. Shalvia Ben-Barak in her essay advances various reasons for the high number of multiple abortions in the USSR and comes to the conclusion that "abortion is in fact regarded by many people . . . not as a result of failed contraception but as a major means of contraception." She feels, therefore, that "sooner or later, the linear connection between the high rate of infant mortality and miscarriage . . . must oblige the Soviet authorities to invest seriously in producing or importing enough effective and safe modern contraceptive devices as an integral part of their pronatalist policy." The high rate of abortion, in her view, is not only an indicator of policy or lack of it, but also of the status of Soviet women within the family and society at large.

Preface

xvii

The last two papers in this section deal with some aspects of the nationality problem in the USSR. Victor Zaslavsky is of the opinion that ethnic relations in Soviet society are quite stable and therefore he asks the question, what will perpetuate this condition of stability and what might actually disrupt it? Although he avoids answering this query he feels that the existing models for the analysis of Soviet multicultural society are inadequate because they do not recognize two basic characteristics of the system: "the decisive role of the state in the creation of the system of social stratification and the impact of the long program of de-ethnicization of the population through a process of'sovietization'." Peter J. S. Duncan, on the other hand, emphasizes the potential for instability of Soviet ethnic relations because of the increase in nationalist feeling and activity not only among the non-Russians but especially among the Russian half of the population of the USSR. Having surveyed the various legal manifestations of Russian nationalist feeling the author concludes that "Russian nationalism continues to be an important force in the USSR," but that "it is not, however, a united force." There are those who are proponents of a strong state and look back with nostalgia to the Stalin era, while others deplore the destruction of that period. "Some are sympathetic to Orthodoxy, others indifferent or hostile." The author feels that Russian nationalism, although tolerated and even supported by party leaders, cannot be fully embraced by them. As the author points out, "even if the link between Russian nationalism and Orthodoxy could be severed, the link between Russian nationalism and non-Russian nationalism could not." On the other hand, since politicians do not always act in their own best interests, the intensity of support for Russian nationalism that already exists (as indicated by Michael Bruchis) and the lengthy process of "sovietization" (as emphasized by Zaslavsky) may allow "the Russian core of the political elite at some point in the future [to] succumb to Russian nationalist ideas." Altogether, these essays offer some important insights into the basic issues of political change and development which confront the Soviet leadership today and will continue to do so in the years to come. I would like to express my thanks to Liz Denesiuk, Mara Minini and Gail Jackson for help with often illegible texts, to McMaster University for its support, and to Carmen Mongillo and Sheila McEnery of Cambridge University Press. Peter J. Potichnyj McMaster University

PART I

Party apparat

The apparatchiki and Soviet political development R O N A L D J. HILL

This paper explores a particular dimension of the role of the apparatchiki in the development of the Soviet system, particularly in relation to political development. To some degree, it extends work presented elsewhere,1 and relates to an important dimension of Soviet (and other) political development: the role of those selected to occupy a "leading and guiding" position in society, and the limitations they impose on the prospects for political development; these stem indirectly from past recruitment and training practices, further influenced by their more recent experience in office. It is argued that the apparatchiki chosen to perform certain tasks at a particular stage of socioeconomic development, and trained to use a range of techniques deemed appropriate at the time, became an obstacle to the development of the political system in the direction to which successive leaders have declared their commitment. More specifically, leaders appointed under Stalin to enforce rapid economic growth, at the expense of developing the society's political dimension, were recruited for their possession of certain skills and attitudes that were reflected in their administrative behavior and that became the norm in Soviet administrative practice. The "consideration" with which the Brezhnev administration treated its cadres further confirmed inappropriate values in the culture of the administrators. This feature of the role of the apparatchiki has been recognized in the Soviet Union, but little of concrete effect has been done to counteract it. Leaders from Khrushchev on have decried such an administrative style, as part of a rhetorical campaign to create a more responsive and responsible cadre of party and state administrators, but to no avail, as the revelations of the Gorbachev period have revealed. Old habits and attitudes of mind have persisted, to the detriment of the system's further development. Moreover, theories of culture formation and socialization suggest that the problem will be difficult to eradicate over the short term.

4

RONALD J. HILL THE FORMATION OF THE APPARAT

The significance of the apparatchiki in "building a communist society" was recognized from the very beginning of the enterprise, and is implicit in Lenin's notion of a party of "professional revolutionaries." The double metaphor, popular in Stalin's day, of the military machine, in which an officer corps of administrators imbued with partiinost' directed the ground troops in industry, using various institutions as "driving belts," reflects this view of the importance of leaders. Such a view can certainly be rationalized, even justified, given the vastness of the goal the communists set for themselves, and bearing in mind the unpromising point from which they were starting out. The class that led the industrial and political modernization of Western Europe and North America, the merchants and industrial entrepreneurs (the "bourgeoisie"), was exceedingly weak in pre-revolutionary Russia, and in any case the Bolsheviks were ideologically hostile to the small Russian bourgeoisie and the aristocracy. In the early 1920s, obliged to employ the expertise of former Tsarist administrative officials, Lenin expressed his mistrust by complaining that the cadres of the former apparatus "behave wilfully, and in such a way that they very often work against our measures." He continued: At the top we have, I don't know how many, but I think that, at any rate, only a few thousand, or a maximum of several tens of thousands of our own people. But at the bottom, hundreds of thousands of old bureaucrats [chinovniki], acquired from the tsar or from bourgeois society, working partly consciously, partly unconsciously, against us.2 When industrial reconstruction was embarked upon, followed by the drive to create a modern industrial economy, the Bolsheviks' profound suspicion of the "bourgeois specialists" demanded the creation of a reliable group or stratum to direct the whole undertaking: the replacement of one way of life or culture by another, derived from the ideology.3 Moreover, this applied particularly in the non-Russian ethnic areas of the country, where in the early years "the party, taking into account the paucity - and in a number of cases the total absence - of national cadres, widely adopted the practice of sending communists from the centre and other industrial areas of the country into the localities on party, state and economic work." 4 And when the party "boldly promoted to responsible party, state and economic posts workers from the assemblyline and peasants from the plough,"5 the chances are that these recruits took with them expectations of their new role that were not fully in

Apparatchiki and political development

5

accord with, say, notions of civic responsibility and public service: they were drawn into such positions by the party in order to serve the party's needs. As Moshe Lewin argues, when the party drew into its middle and even upper ranks semi-educated recruits from among industrial workers andjunior government employees, "this important new pool of officials could not fail to make an imprint on the outlook of the party and to penetrate the higher echelons."6 Since the development of the administrative system in the 1930s, the apparatchiki have possessed enormous power, which accrued as part of what Alex Simirenko identified as the "professionalization" of Soviet society.7 In that process, those who claimed an ideologically inspired special insight into society's needs placed themselves in an unchallengeable position vis-a-vis the masses. Protected by assertions of superior understanding, they have been able to claim that whatever they did was required for "building communism." This was reinforced by expectations of the central power that they would use that authority to force the attainment of goals set by the center. Certain kinds of behavior, certain attitudes and expectations, backed up by specific organizational principles - notably "democratic centralism" and the banning of factions8 - permitted the perpetuation of relationships among individuals and institutions that have proved extraordinarily resilient. One manifestation is the problem ofpodmena (supplanting), whereby party officials interfere in the work of state and other non-party institutions, whose administrative officers shirk their responsibilities for fear of offending the party officials (and thereby risking party disciplinary action), secure in the knowledge that the party will step in and take operative decisions anyway. The secretary of the Kishinev gorkom as recently as February 1985 recounted the case of a citizen who, after days of trying to have a burst water pipe repaired by the appropriate state body, wrote in desperation to the party, which swiftly intervened. "Why," asks the secretary, "was such a trivial emergency sorted out only after half a month and only after the intervention of the party gorkom?"9 The effect of this, as Pravda averred in 1981, is that it "leads these [administrative] workers to stop thinking independently, to be afraid of taking decisions, and to transfer their burden to the shoulders of the branch departments of the party raikom, gorkom or obkom."10 Podmena is so well entrenched that the attitudes that support it are effectively part of the Soviet system's political culture. A UNIFIED APPARAT? The role of the apparatchiki is closely associated with the party's view of its own role in the Soviet system. This self-image, while containing a

6

RONALD J. HILL

constant core expressed as a very general long-term goal (directing the building of communism), has changed in details, related in part to developments in society that have presented somewhat different immediate tasks over time. This affects the way we identify the apparatchiki: who is included? Is there one apparatus, or several? Are the apparatchiki "specialists" on one apparatus, or "generalists" who turn their hand to administration in whichever apparatus the party places them? This question also has implications for the practical management of Soviet society. The evidence is somewhat conflicting, and Western scholars argued that a trend towards specialization in one particular apparatus was becoming the norm in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Thus, Michael Gehlen wrote of a tendency that became established in the post-Stalin years "to allow individuals to work their way up within a single hierarchy rather than to transfer them back and forth between various hierarchies";11 Michael Frolic likewise argued in 1972 that "crossover between party and non-party posts has decreased, and officials are becoming now more committed to long-term careers which require extra specialization and early career orientations."12 Moreover, the CPSU itself from at least the early Brezhnev years has identified workers in the party apparatus as a "profession" and their work as "not an auxiliary speciality."13 However, John Armstrong, Roy Laird and the present author, among others, have identified and documented a tendency to shift personnel from one apparatus to another, from party to state to industrial management and back.14 Within the present leadership, indeed, more than one career pattern is in evidence. Gorbachev, after Komsomol experience, became established early in his career as a party worker, rising to Stavropolgorkom first secretary by the age of thirty-five, and obkomfirstsecretary less than four years later. He was brought to Moscow in 1978 to a Central Committee secretaryship, leading to Politburo candidate and full membership.15 Nikolai Ryzhkov, by contrast, appointed prime minister in September 1985, was praised in Gorbachev's nomination speech for his "wealth of experience in production, economic and party work," including the general directorship of the enormous "Uralmash" machine-building works, the posts of first deputy minister of heavy and transport engineering, and later first deputy chairman of Gosplan, followed latterly by a Central Committee secretaryship with broad responsibilities for the economy.16 This contradictory evidence complicates any assessment of the apparatchiki as possessing unitary interests, but it also confirms a sense that the apparatchiki belong to what T. H. Rigby characterized as a "common leadership pool." 17 Some Soviet writers likewise have taken

Apparatchiki and political development

7

a broad view, and identified as specific groups within the "managerial apparatus" (apparat upravleniya) "cadres of the apparat of the organs of party, state and mass public management," while noting nevertheless that "organization work in a party, trade union and other public organization is not fully identical to the organizational experience of work in the state administrative apparatus."18 The same authors present the results of a study of the Moskovskii raion in Leningrad in the early 1960s, showing that the state regularly recruits officers from the party apparatus: or, expressing it more accurately, "The party sends into the leading group of the ispolkom [Executive Committee of People's Councils] apparatus its own best cadres, the leading cadres of the party apparatus."19 If there exists such a tendency to put "leaders" through a common basic selection and training procedure, followed by a range of experience in different kinds of managerial or administrative post, they are likely to acquire similar outlooks and expectations, regardless of their concrete experience working in a specific apparatus. They will gain, in Robert C. Tucker's words, "the ingrained habits of mind, ways of defining and responding to situations, styles of action, common memories, mystique, etc., that collectively constitute the culture of a political movement insofar as a given age cohort of its membership (and leadership) is concerned."20 Gorbachev, in his main report to the Twenty-seventh Congress of the CPSU, explicitly stated that his strictures against party officials who evaded criticism applied equally to officials of the state and other organizations.21 Again, without drawing institutional distinctions, some authors use the indirect device of quoting Lenin, who asked rhetorically at the Eleventh Party Congress, wherein lay the Bolsheviks' strength and what was lacking among them. He answered that it was not political authority or economic power that they lacked: "It is a clear matter what is missing: what is missing is culture on the part of the stratum of Bolsheviks that manages."22 Here lies the central issue. The notion of "building communism" (preceded by "building socialism," and more recently by creating and "further perfecting" the "developed socialist society") involved not simply economic development. Indeed, the ultimate goal was (and is) to change the political relations between members of society, so that "exploitation" will be replaced by "social homogeneity" and harmony. In the Marxist-Leninist approach, economic development was not seen as an end in itself; and if the bourgeoisie and its former employees might be interested in promoting socio-economic development, they could certainly not be relied on to advance the establishment of "communism." However, to some extent this argument has proved to be beside the

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point. The Bolsheviks took power in a society that was technically "unripe" for embarking on such an ambitious goal - hence the arguments among Lenin's colleagues, and between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks (and others), about the appropriateness of seizing power, and the subsequent promulgation of the concept of the "premature" revolution. The failure of the proletariat in the advanced capitalist countries to come to the aid of the Bolsheviks, leading to the decision in the mid-i92os to "build socialism in one country," threw the country back on its own meager resources; these included the inadequate level of skill and experience, not to mention the absence of general appreciation of and support for the goal, among the general public as well as in the ranks of what remained of the bourgeoisie. Furthermore, "building socialism" was not simply a technical exercise. It was a feat that had never been attempted and for which the writings of the founding fathers of the ideology provided no blueprint. In addition, and crucially, it was thoroughly intertwined with the power struggles among individual leaders and their followers. These took place in an atmosphere promoted among generations of revolutionaries by a political rhetoric in which the military metaphor impelled politicians to "defeat" their "foes" and eliminate them, not only politically but physically. It is no accident that the Seventeenth Party Congress (1934) was called the "Congress of Victors" (although the term supposedly referred to the victors in the "battle" to establish socialism).

THE LEADER AND THE APPARATCHIKI Stalin's political needs caused him to recruit his own supporters into the apparatus of both party and state, by carefully manipulating election and appointment procedures in the "circular flow of power" identified by Robert V. Daniels.23 In the atmosphere that developed in the 1930s, sycophantic support for Stalin and his cult was a sine qua non of holding any position in the apparatus, establishing a tradition that has endured to our own times: Gorbachev may choose to project a business-like image of modesty and affability, yet his immediate predecessors, at death's door though they may have been, were showered with gushing adulation. Brezhnev, six days before his death, was hailed as "a great continuer of the cause of Lenin," and as a man whose activity was characterized by "the Leninist style in his work - a scientific, creative style, combining a high degree of 'exactingness' with a respectful attitude and trust towards people."24 Two days later, Defence Minister Dmitri F. Ustinov declared that Brezhnev had profoundly revealed current problems of war and peace, and had precisely defined the

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decisive links in the activities of the armed forces and the defense sector of industry for furthering the country's defense capacity.25 Brezhnev's array of awards, including the Lenin Prize for literature for his pedestrian memoirs, and his marshal's uniform which he wore for formal portraits, added to the unreal image. Even the ostensible "modesty" of E. A. Shevardnadze's praise at the Twenty-fifth Party Congress in 1976 is an effective form of flattery, no matter how genuine the kernel of truth within it: One of Leonid Il'ich's best qualities is that he does not cloak himself in the mantle of a superman, that he does not think and work on everyone's behalf, but, bringing his own great personal contribution to the common cause, creates conditions in which all are able to think creatively; that he possesses the greatest art, that of uniting and directing a collective of highly erudite people, made wiser by experience of life.26 Brezhnev's successor, Andropov, although ostensibly urbane and modest, was quickly surrounded with the appropriate "traditional" rhetoric. Early examples were the speeches at the meeting held on 21 December 1982 to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the USSR, and particularly that of the Bulgarian leader, Todor Zhivkov.27 Even Chernenko, one of the least impressive figures ever to attain high party office, was praised as a "talented organizer of the masses, an ardent propagandist of Marxist-Leninist ideas, an indefatigable fighter for implementing our great party's policy," distinguished by his ability "to fire people with his energy and his innovative approach to any matter, and to rally comrades for amicable collective work." 28 All of this indicates a particular mind-set on the part of higher-echelon apparatchiki, as well as perhaps revealing something of relationships among them. The cult of the individual, accompanied by affirmations of the collective principle, therefore remains a significant element in the system's culture. Furthermore, it is clearly established that leading figures still recruit persons of their own stamp, with ripples of purges reaching far down the hierarchy of party offices.29 In addition to his many other activities, Gorbachev must have been considerably preoccupied during 1985 with arranging for like-minded individuals with the appropriate talents to be elected to party committees and offices across the country, in the campaign that preceded the Twenty-seventh Congress in February 1986. This was most visible at the level of the central organs, where he moved with astonishing agility to effect swift changes in the composition of the Politburo, the central Secretariat, and the Council of Ministers, bringing in new members, promoting and sacking longstanding colleagues, and re-allocating portfolios among them.30

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There is nothing particularly alarming about the fact of this manipulation of recruitment processes. It is certainly no recent discovery that nomenklatura, or party control over appointments, is applied as a matter of course in elections to party, state and other offices. It is also quite understandable that a political leader should seek to surround himself with individuals with whom he feels in sympathy, and that they in their turn will seek out and arrange for the appointment of loyal subordinates: it may even be functional to the system's effective operation. Cabinet-building in parliamentary systems follows similar principles, and in the political system of the United States much of the state service changes following the election of a new head of state.31 The "problem" occurs in the Soviet Union when it is pointed out that this apparently conflicts with the principle of electivity to party office, one of the elements in "democratic centralism." However, the willingness to support a particular leader is, and was, only one of the qualities required of the apparatchik, albeit at times a critical one. The party official's designated role is not confined to voting in support of the leader and his policies on demand. As the operating arm of party authority in the political system — the individuals on whom the party depends in carrying out its self-appointed functions - the apparatchiki are involved, often minutely, in supervising the country's day-to-day administration. THE ADMINISTRATIVE ROLE OF THE APPARATCHIKI The Bolsheviks' task in "building communism" was multi-faceted, embracing economic development, social change, cultural development, and changes in political relations. It is difficult to prescribe an approach that would guarantee advance on all fronts, and the modest results so far may indicate that the chosen strategy has proved not effective in at least the political dimension. The patent contrast between Soviet reality and the supposed ideological aspirations is too obvious to require elaboration, and the difficulty of reconciling these is manifest in the linguistic and conceptual contortions required of those charged with "explaining" the nature of freedom and democracy, Soviet-style. Indeed, one leading Soviet scholar (who also functions as an apparatchik in the central party apparatus) directly challenged the "inverted" official view that the restriction of self-expression for "subversives" in Soviet society represents an enhancement in the level of freedom for others, arguing that "the restriction of freedom remains a fact [that] cannot be screened by arguments about the good of society, etc."32 In the Bolsheviks' approach to building communism, economic

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development was given the highest priority once the regime was firmly entrenched, and the establishment of a system of rule from the late 1920s was built on the assumption of primacy for economic advancement. The planning and ministerial empires that ran the economy came to constitute the core of the political structures. The supposed democratic institutions - the Soviets of Toilers' Deputies - played a subordinate, ceremonial role, while also serving to socialize those drawn into their work: as representative bodies, they displayed no significant development during the period of Stalin's rule.33 Even the party lost many of its political functions, becoming by the time of the Second World War a means of imposing discipline: on the newly emerged class of managers whose power had somehow to be brought under political control, on the military officers whose loyalty also had to be secured, and on rankand-file members of the armed forces, for whom party membership became something of a reward for brave conduct.34 Inducing rapid economic growth, winning a war: all else was subordinated to these priority goals. Discipline was imposed with notorious rigor and hardship. The key function of the apparatchiki, supported by or in support of the secret police, was to guarantee political peace in the localities, and to ensure that the demands of the plan were implemented. The tempo was such that there was no room for sentimentality or complacency: leaders were selected for their loyalty to Stalin and his system, and for their ability to "produce the goods," using whatever methods they found effective. The picture of "little Stalins," ruling their own fiefdom with crude bullying, is a well established image of how the Stalin system of government operated.35 Plans and instructions were handed down for implementation, and reports were sent back to the center, purportedly indicating satisfactory economic performance and political quiet. The quantitative statistic replaced the assessment of quality, in political life as well as in economic production. For example, the Soviets and their deputies werejudged by sociological criteria of representation, reflecting more on local administrators' ability to juggle statistics than on the capacity of those honored in this way to perform genuine representative functions.36 The performance of party propagandists was judged less by their success in developing a degree of popular conviction that would enhance the regime's legitimacy than by the sheer quantity of talks and lectures delivered or articles written. Hence, the effectiveness of local party officials engaged in "guiding" these processes also came to be assessed according to quantitative indicators, rather than by more sensitive measures of their role performance.37 They were given virtually no training to carry out their complex and

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demanding task. Thus, in 1942 six-month courses were established for training and retraining party workers; in 1944 year-long courses were introduced. In all, 43,000 persons graduated from such courses in the war years,38 and the tasks that faced them during and after the war were so enormous that simply "coping" was the maximum most could hope to achieve. Considering also the precariousness into which the political climate placed them, it is hardly surprising that many apparatchiki failed to display a sophisticated approach. They were not sophisticated individuals, and they were not expected to perform in a sophisticated manner. What mattered, again, was to ensure that centrally prescribed policies were implemented in the localities - or at least to convey to superiors at the center and at the intermediate levels the impression that this was happening. Meanwhile, the inadequately developed means of communication ensured - despite the assumptions of perfect or nearperfect central control in the "totalitarian" model of the Soviet system that local apparatchiki were free to carry on in their own fashion for much of the time. The use of short-wave radio to dictate the contents of Pravda editorials did not overcome the fact that the writ of the center did not run effectively through the whole country, and "excessively large territories" were in practice not administered.39 Moscow simply could not control or supervise the detailed implementation of policy, so a great deal of latitude had to be left to those closer to the scene. The crudeness of what became the style or culture of leadership is hardly to be wondered at. The concentration on economic rather than political development, and at the fastest possible pace, therefore, required the recruitment of party and state administrators who lacked sentimentality, and were prepared to use the crudest methods necessary to enable them to convey to the center indications of successful management. Drawn from among the least sophisticated segments of society, they also lacked the intellectual skills and training to function differently. The atmosphere of haste, of pressure to get things done immediately, while demanding the utmost loyalty to the leader, reinforced the discipline imposed by the Bolshevik interpretation of "democratic centralism." These factors resulted in the well-attested lack of development of political institutions, leaving the population still without experience of a political participatory process. The "system," in short, recruited individuals who were disposed to accept a certain pattern of attitudes, rules of behavior, expectations, and so forth, which combine to promote an administrative culture - an apparatchik culture, perhaps - lacking in sophistication and sensitivity.

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CHALLENGES TO THE PATTERN The origins of such a developmental pattern are subject to legitimate debate. There is scope for argument about the phases through which the Soviet political system evolved, and for different opinions regarding the various nodal points - occasions on which the leaders faced crucial choices that radically affected the course of the system's development.40 Also a matter of argument and judgment are the relationship between Leninism and Stalinism and the degree to which both are logical consequences of Marxism.41 But a basic continuity can scarcely be denied: Leninism is founded upon Marxism; Stalinism was built upon of Leninism; and Stalin's successors have ruled with his inheritance, including institutions, practices and attitudes to government which, it will be argued below, have severely limited the system's further evolution. The system devised under Stalin, which came to be seen as an (even the) authentic model of "socialism," used principles and practices established by Lenin and introduced during his lifetime. In Tucker's assessment, they are the principles of the period of War Communism, revived to replace the different principles that governed the functioning of the system under NEP (New Economic Policy).42 A vital point here is that they are authentically "of the Soviet period," they are part of Soviet experience, endorsed by Lenin himself, no matter how temporary they may have been intended in their original form, nor how much they owe to pre-revolutionary practice and experience.43 Whatever their origins, these are well-known features of the Stalinist form of government, and they have been associated with "bureaucratism" in the interpretation of critics such as Trotsky. They were also acknowledged by Stalin's successors, including Khrushchev, to be weaknesses in the system, and attempts have been and continue to be made to eradicate them, and thereby to induce the system's further evolution. The record shows, however, Khrushchev's failure to identify the problem, and his immediate successors' unwillingness to tackle it effectively. Khrushchev aimed to solve the problem by undermining the bureaucracy's power and subjecting its officers to control by "the people": in this approach he could point to Marx's and Lenin's disdain for bureaucracy.44 His passion for structural reorganization certainly undermined the morale of the apparatchiki, particularly by abolishing the central ministries in 1957, disbanding the Machine and Tractor Stations in the following year, and splitting the party apparatus into industrial and agricultural sectors in November 1962. The swiftness

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with which the more significant of these changes were reversed — barely a month after Khrushchev's removal from power - and the ensuing reassurances given to cadres indirectly indicate the resentment caused. However, such changes did nothing to alter the manner in which the apparatchiki performed their functions: they failed to alter the culture. Although re-deployed into different structures, the personnel remained, transferring to their new positions the same unsophisticated view of their role, now exacerbated by resentments. Their success in ultimately defending their position, by grouping to remove Khrushchev from office and re-establishing1 institutional arrangements beneficial to themselves, meant that the Soviet system's evolution away from Stalinism was at least postponed. Brezhnev's approach was somewhat different. Rather than attempting to undermine the institutional position of the apparatchiki, and destroy the esprit de corps engendered by operating in a familiar and comfortable framework, he tried to change the qualifications of those who manned the apparatus: in short, to professionalize the apparatchiki. One way was by raising the formal education of those in the apparatus, a process that had perceptible success, as Soviet and Western research has revealed.45 Modern managerial methods, strongly influenced by cybernetics, were adopted in order to improve the technical aspects of societal management leadership.46 Brezhnev also began to replace the generation of apparatchiki recruited under Stalin, easing them out gently ("treating them with consideration," as he expressed it in 1971),47 and advancing "energetic, creatively thinking comrades with initiative."48 In fact, Brezhnev reacted sharply to Khrushchev's undermining of the apparatchiki. His first years in office were characterized by reassuring treatment for those in the very apparatus of which he was himself a prime beneficiary, and they enjoyed a degree of security of tenure never previously attained.49 One effect was to lend the Soviet political system a measure of much welcome stability.50 By the late 1970s, however, stability had turned to drift and complacency, and in the last several years of his life, Brezhnev's political rhetoric repeatedly attacked the "style" of the apparatchiki. In a particularly hard-hitting speech at the Central Committee plenum of November 1979, he referred to negligence, irresponsibility and bungling, and identified a quite unacceptable type of cadre, of whom he said: "No matter how much you talk to them, no matter how much you appeal to their conscience, their sense of duty and responsibility, nothing helps."51 Returning to the theme in February 1981 at the Twenty-sixth Congress, he declared: What we are talking about is elaborating a style of work in which industriousness and discipline would be organically combined with bold

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initiative and enterprise. Practicality and drive with aspiring towards great goals. A critical attitude to deficiencies with a firm conviction in the historic advantages of the road we have chosen.52 Later, referring to apparatchiki drawn into party work from service in industry, he noted that these frequently lacked political experience; and for these, rubbing shoulders with ordinary people was as important as giving them training in a party school.53 But, apart from naming individuals, this was not new. Identical points had been made in a 1967 Central Committee statement concerning cadre appointments in Estonia, which acknowledged the poor quality of recruits, ascribed to "haste and unscrupulousness" on the part of party and state organs, leading to a high level of turnover among cadres. In the Komsomol apparatus in particular, "incapable and even chance persons" were appointed.54 The statement paid particular attention to ideological and technical (principally economic) training, and if such basic qualifications were lacking so too, no doubt, was the sense of service and responsibility that has subsequently been advanced in discussions of this question. Indeed, while noting the requirement of "sensitivity and attentiveness" towards people, the directives appended to the statement concerned mainly the success of the apparatchiki in implementing party and state edicts.55 THE APPARATCHIKI TODAY Irregularities in the methods of appointment evidently continued, as indicated by recent public speeches by senior leaders, particularly before and during the Twenty-seventh Party Congress. When Mikhail Gorbachev says that "the Leninist principles of selection, distribution and bringing up cadres" are violated, and "the promotion of workers is allowed on the basis of personal loyalty, servility and protectionism,"56 we must conclude that this problem is significantly widespread to cause serious concern. Similarly, when Geidar Aliev states bluntly that "people are sick and tired of idle talk; they expect business-like decisions and practicalactions"; and when he also refers to "such ugly phenomena as bribe-taking, black-marketeering, infringement of public property, and relapses to petty-bourgeois, man-of-property psychology" and suggests that the party must resolutely get rid of an enterprise head or an office manager "whose words differ from his deeds, who utters lofty speeches from a rostrum but behaves as a philistine or red-tape-ist, or even abuses his position," then we must conclude that this remains a common enough feature of the Soviet Union's managerial and administrative style.57

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The corruption in Georgia that came to light in the early 1970s has been more than overshadowed by similar unseemly activity in Uzbekistan under the former first secretary, Sharaf Rashidov. That republic's party congress in January 1986 roundly condemned "crude violations of party norms and morals and Soviet laws, [and] serious shortcomings in the leadership of the economy," plus widespread "over-reporting, theft and bribery, leading to demoralization and degeneration on the part of a certain section of cadres."58 This began to be unveiled during Yuri Andropov's period in office, and the Moscow grapevine holds that Rashidov's death on 31 October 1983 (officially described as "sudden")59 was by suicide. In his report to the Twenty-seventh Congress, Gorbachev likewise referred critically to several party organizations, including Moscow city, where discipline had been especially lax, but he singled put Uzbekistan for particularly harsh criticism. The republic's former top leadership made it a rule to speak only of successes, ignored shortcomings, and responded with irritation to criticism. Discipline slackened, while local politicians looked to their own careers; toadyism towards superiors became widespread. The economy and the tone of public life deteriorated markedly, various kinds of machinations, embezzlement and bribery thrived, and socialist legality was grossly infringed. In a revealing passage that indicates how widespread toleration of such ills had become in the Brezhnev period, Gorbachev said: The shortcomings in the republic did not suddenly appear; they piled up over the years, growing from small to large. On many occasions officials from allUnion bodies, including the Central Committee, went to Uzbekistan, and they could not have failed to notice what was happening. Working people of the republic wrote indignant letters to the central bodies about the bad practices, but these signals were not duly investigated.60 This concern for the caliber of leadership shows the ineffectiveness of past efforts to raise the quality of public administration. Under both Khrushchev and Brezhnev, attempts were made to improve the work of the Soviets - the institutions of state that most directly involve citizen participation, supposedly in supervising the administration. Deputies were selected with greater care; the legal position of both the institutions and the representatives was strengthened; their position vis-a-vis the ministerial administration was enhanced.61 Moreover, the language used to discuss these questions stressed professional competence, in addition to the political reliability that had dominated recruitment in the past. In a contrast between the 1920s and the 1960s, for example, one Soviet study notes that whereas previously "workers and peasants were

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selected into the administrative apparatus above all according to the principle of their devotion to Soviet power," by the 1960s the class approach had been "supplemented by the rigorous demands of organizational, managerial competence appropriate to the demands of executive and managerial work."62 Furthermore, cadres of the apparatus were said to be faced with a "leap" in raising their level of managerial training, "a leap of a different quality from that of the 1920s." 63

A concept used by Brezhnev and repeated by his successors is leadership "style," referring especially to the need for more open government and administration. Glasnost' (publicity, openness) was a theme that repeatedly cropped up in speeches and articles, usually in connection with the notion of democratization. Androppv made the point at the June 1983 Central Committee plenum: "And, really, will not bringing the activity of party and state organs closer to the needs and interests of the people be helped by more openness in their work, and regular accountability of leading workers before the population?", and "Without widespread openness the development of socialist democracy is unthinkable."64 The scholarly literature surrounding this topic has expressly used the concept of culture, referring to developing and raising the political culture of the masses — a sense in which it has been taken up by politicians65 — and developing the culture of the administration. The concept is now widely used in Soviet social science literature. A recent monograph indicates a number of established uses of the word culture, including "management culture" and "culture of the administrator,"66 while earlier writers had presented the notion of a "state service ethic."67 Moreover, as Archie Brown has shown, F. M. Burlatskii has elaborated the concept of political regime in such a way as to draw distinctions in the way ostensibly identical institutional frameworks function. This is presumably because of developments in the skills, attitudes, expectations, etc., of those who perform political and administrative roles: changes in their culture, in other words.68 Since the 1970s, other aspects of the question have attracted the attention of Soviet commentators, particularly the issue of selecting individuals with the appropriate personal qualities. The record contains much rhetoric indicating the kind of virtues required of apparatchiki, again beginning in the utterances of Leonid Brezhnev, but found equally in the social science and party literature. This goes way beyond both the traditional demand for partiinost' and the technical training identified in the early 1970s, and includes the possession of certain characteristics that supposedly contribute to a particular "style": a willingness to use

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initiative and accept personal responsibility, to show sensitivity and respect citizens' rights; honesty, conscientiousness, modesty, attentiveness; and "tact" — seen as implying much more than common courtesy — as "a necessary element in the professional ethic of a party worker."69 There can be little doubt that Brezhnev, Gorbachev and others are quite correct in identifying these qualities as vital if the Soviet Union is to succeed in advancing beyond the crude administrative style that has characterized the system's functioning until now. However, can this be achieved without a fundamental shake-up on many fronts? Khrushchev modified the institutions without changing the mentality of those who made the institutions work: it was quite natural, therefore, for them to continue traditional working methods and attitudes in whatever new institutions might be devised. Brezhnev's promotion of stability at all costs permitted the further entrenchment of a generation of apparatchiki and an apparatus ethic that proved too powerful to be overcome by technical qualifications alone. The rapid turnover among officials following Brezhnev's death - begun under Andropov, reversed briefly under Chernenko, and pursued again with vigor under Gorbachev - has the same stated goal of inducing major change in the style or culture of those who staff the apparatus, as well as being part of the newly incumbent General Secretary's building of a loyal administration. But this may not be sufficient to achieve that goal. For one thing, unless the carefully selected, newly trained recruits are placed in senior positions immediately, they may well be acculturated to the norms of the apparat by those who worked up to supervisory positions under Brezhnev's generation, who in turn were trained by those of the Stalin era. In short, the system is geared to functioning in a particular fashion, and it has the immediate task of keeping the country running, in one of the most difficult economic and international situations faced for several decades.70 In these circumstances, being open and responsive to a public that may in any case be pretty indifferent may ultimately be given a back seat. RHETORIC AND ACTION There is certainly plenty of rhetoric and analysis, from the political leaders who berate their erstwhile colleagues and subordinates, to scholars who ponderously analyze "the features of the Leninist style of work," and make sound — if perhaps a trifle banal — points: "no one is insured against mistakes, including specialists"; "democracy is unthinkable without openness"; "a lack of information spawns hearsay and

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false rumors"; a leader must "present to everyone the same opportunity to set out their position and 'know how to listen' without yielding to partiality."71 And the nature of the problem has been clearly and correctly identified as one of "the psychological reconstruction of cadres," among whom "there are people who are in no hurry to learn to think and work in a new way," and who are not averse to letting things take their turn as five, ten or fifteen years ago.72 However, until very recently in practice little additional action was taken to back up the rhetoric, apart from the replacement of established cadres by younger apparatchiki. Declarations, of course, change nothing, as Chernenko observed in a speech about ideological work, in which he accused party committees (i.e., the apparatchiki) of not taking central policy statements seriously and acting upon them.73 Referring specifically to ideological and propaganda workers - but no doubt with the intention that his remarks should be applied more widely - he spoke of lack of consistency and efficiency, with much time and effort devoted to devising plans that then lay on the desks of those who drew them up, and party secretaries snowed under with paperwork, leaving them little time for other work. "We must make a break with such a clerical style," he said, "and the sooner the better."74 The fact that Soviet leaders feel the need to make these points almost a generation after successful efforts were made to raise the standards of technical competence of the apparatchiki reveals the inadequacy of mere technical training. It points to a further serious difficulty facing "progressive" leaders: those who might genuinely wish to see at least a more competent, open, responsive process of political management in Soviet society. These may be joined by some observers in the West notably Jerry Hough, but including the present writer among their number.75 Mary McAuley has quite properly warned against relying too heavily on political culture to "explain" communist politics,76 and obviously the cultural dimension is not the only aspect of Stalinism that inhibits the further evolution of the Soviet system (and others like it). Factors such as the interests of those involved — including an interest in preserving their own somewhat privileged lifestyle — also play a significant part in sustaining the status quo.77 The question of legitimacy in the light of changes in administrative style is also potentially significant, a problem hinted at in an astonishing article that appeared in Pravda less than two weeks before the opening of the Twenty-seventh Congress. Under the title, "Clean-up: A Frank Conversation," this review of readers' letters revealed that at the very least the party has a problem over its public image. In the words of a worker from Tula oblast,

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I've reached the conclusion that between the Central Committee and the working class there is still a heaving, a slow-moving, inert and viscous "partyadministrative layer," which doesn't particularly want radical change. Some just carry their party card but have long since ceased to be communists. From the party they expect only privileges, but are themselves in no hurry to give to the people either their efforts or their knowledge. Another correspondent, a party member since 1940, pointed out that party, state, economic and Komsomol leaders "objectively make social inequality more profound," with their special dining rooms, shops, hospitals and so forth.78 It tells much about the new regime that the party newspaper should be prepared to carry such utterances; the fact that Gorbachev and other leaders followed it up with blistering attacks on specific segments of the party, state and economic administration suggests that they feel they are reflecting both the mood of the times and objective necessity. There is more than just political style or political culture at stake; nevertheless, when posed in such terms the argument raises profound questions of both theory and practice that are perhaps worth exploring briefly. If there is validity to this argument, the student of Soviet politics has at least part of an answer to the problem raised by the "totalitarian" model: namely, why can the highly centralized and extremely powerful leadership not change the behavior of its subordinate officers? One simple explanation, derived from bureaucratic theory, would maintain that the institutional esprit de corps, coupled with inability to move beyond certain rigidly prescribed rules of organizational behavior, perhaps supplemented with the self-protection instinct, inhibit the apparat in approaching new problems and new situations creatively. It should be remembered, however, that the Soviet apparat is not the neutral, functional bureaucracy depicted by Weber, since the principle oipartiinost' links its members to the organs of party rule, to which some of them may aspire to belong. The cultural explanation adds a further dimension, by suggesting that the system "works" according to a pattern of assumptions, expectations, relationships and attitudes that have developed through past experience, and that continue partly under a momentum stemming from the need to keep the country running one way or another — and there is a tendency to use familiar methods - and from the socializing of newly recruited apparatchiki into the established poryadok, or way of doing things. This is reinforced by the interests of those same apparatchiki, for whom significant change.would upset a lifestyle from which they manifestly benefit, and over whom the center seems powerless to exert a change in style, since it relies on their co-operation in keeping the show on the

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road. The center, too, benefits from indifferent administration when the practical alternative is chaos. However, the student still has to explain the apparent ineffectiveness of rising sophistication on the part of apparatchiki and population alike: if attitudes and culture are so crucial in determining how the administration functions, do increasing levels of education and appropriate training have no significant impact? An answer may be that their impact is not negligible, but it is not immediate or automatic. For those Soviet leaders who would like to establish a more sophisticated administration to serve the needs and interests of a more complex and demanding society, a serious difficulty arises from the weight of inertia of a set of values that cannot simply be abandoned without provoking the resistance of those who hold those values, and who are needed in day-to-day administration. If the center really does wish to modernize the administration by inducing the apparatchiki to behave differently, is it possible to do so over the short term? Does it require in effect the establishment of a new system, using both institutional and personnel changes? Or is the only way to get the apparatchiki to function differently to bully them by using the Stalinist methods that have ostensibly outlived their usefulness? The emphasis on discipline in the post-Brezhnev era suggests that this is a part of the approach, coupled with indications of a lead from the top in presenting a quite different style for emulation. Gorbachev has clearly set out to promote a quite different image from all his predecessors: business-like, energetic, ideologically unblemished, confident. His ability to make effective use of such Western communication techniques as the press conference, and his willingness to exploit the photogenic charms of his wife Raisa in the Western mass media (and even, although to a lesser extent, in the Soviet media), indicate that he is not cast from the same mold as Khrushchev and Brezhnev. In his personnel policies, he appears to be combining the Brezhnevian reliance on (new) cadres with Khrushchev's institutional innovativeness (witness the creation in November 1985 of a so-called "super-ministry" to replace six previously existing bodies concerned with the management of agriculture),79 and to be approaching the task of re-shaping the country's administration with a vigor and single-mindedness of purpose perhaps reminiscent of Stalin. However, the task of re-fashioning the Soviet Union's administration is, in terms of its sheer scale, gargantuan. Nor should it be overlooked that there are several purposes to the exercise — cutting out dead wood, raising economic performance, widening opportunities for popular participation, and creating a greater sense of justice in society, for

22

RONALD J. HILL

example - some of which may be perceived as threatening by personnel whose co-operation is vital to success. In more than one sense, therefore, the apparatchiki still hold the key to Soviet political development.

NOTES 1 Ronald J. Hill, "The Cultural Dimension of Communist Political Evolution," The Journal of Communist Studies, vol. i, no. i (1985) pp. 34—53; also, an earlier article, Hill, "Party-State Relations and Soviet Political Development," British Journal ofPolitical Science, vol. x (1980), pp. 149-65. A different version of the present paper appeared in Studies in Comparative Communism, vol. xix, no. 1 (Spring 1986), pp. 25-39. 2 Lenin's speech to the Fourth Congress of the Comintern (1922), quoted in B. D. Lebin and M. N. Perfil'ev, Kadry apparata upravleniia v SSSR: Sotsiologicheskie problemy podbora i rasstanovki (Leningrad: Nauka, 1970), p. 207. Moshe Lewin has argued that these "bourgeois specialists" had succeeded in amassing a substantial pool of professional talent, which Tsarist Russia had failed to put to full use: see Moshe Lewin, The Making of the Soviet System: Essays in the Social History oflnterwar Russia (London: Methuen, 1985), p. 214. 3 Robert C. Tucker, "Culture, Political Culture, and Communist Society," Political Science Quarterly, vol. LXXXVIII (1973), pp. 173-90. According to T. H. Rigby, "Establishing the system . . . involved changing, in myriad ways and various degrees, the attitude and behavior patterns of a whole population," see T. H. Rigby, "Stalinism and the Mono-Organizational Society," in Robert C. Tucker, ed., Stalinism: Essays in Historical Interpretation (New York: Norton, 1977), p. 75. 4 I. N. Iudin et a/., Internatsional'nyiprintsip v stroitelstve i deiatel'nosti KPSS (Moscow: Politizdat, 1975), p. 129. 5 Ibid., p. 142. 6 Lewin, The Making of the Soviet System, p. 213. 7 Alex Simirenko in C. A. Kern-Simirenko (ed.), Professionalization of Soviet Society (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1982), ch. 1. 8 See Ronald Tiersky, Ordinary Stalinism: Democratic Centralism and the Question of Communist Political Development (London: Allen and Unwin, 1985) for an elaboration of this argument. 9 V. Pshenichnikov, "Ne podmeniaia, ne dubliruia," Sovety narodnykh deputatov, 1985, no. 2, p. [5. 10 Pravda, 27 January 1981. 11 Michael P. Gehlen, "The Soviet Apparatchiki," in R. Barry Farrell (ed.), Political Leadership in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. (London: Butterworth, 1970), pp. 155-56. 12 B. Michael Frolic, "Decision-Making in Soviet Cities," American Political Science Review, vol. LXVI, no. 1 (1972), p. 51. 13 Myron Rush, Political Succession in the USSR, 2nd.edn (New York: Columbia University Press, 1968), p. 225, quotes the speech of V. P. Mzhavanadze to this effect at the Twenty-third. Congress of 1966. 14 John A. Armstrong, The Soviet Bureaucratic Elite: A Case Study of the Ukrainian Apparatus (New York: Praeger, 1959), pp. 144-45; Roy A. Laird, The Soviet

Apparatchiki and political development

23

Paradigm: An Experiment in Creating a Monohierarchical Polity (New York: The Free Press, 1970), pp. 95, 122; Ronald J. Hill, Soviet Political Elites: The Case of Tiraspol (London: Martin Robertson, 1977), p. 167. 15 Information from the official biography published in, for example, Sovety narodnykh deputatov, no. 5 (1985), p. 6, following his election to the post of General Secretary. 16 Speech to the Fourth Session, USSR Supreme Soviet, eleventh convocation, November 1985, in Kommunist, no. 17 (November 1985), p. 31. 17 T. H. Rigby, "The Selection of Leading Personnel in the Soviet State and Communist Party," unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of London, 1954. Other authors have pointed to a tendency towards specialization in one apparatus or another: see, for example, Frederic J. Fleron, Jr, "Career Types in the Soviet Political Leadership," in Farrell, ed., Political Leadership, pp. 123-24; Gehlen, "The Soviet Apparatchiki," in ibid., pp. 140-56; Frolic, "Decision-Making in Soviet Cities," p. 51. 18 Lebin and Perfil'ev, Kadry apparata upravleniia, pp. 7, 10, 201. 19 Ibid., p. 223; see pp. I96ff for details of party penetration of the ispolkom and its apparatus. 20 Tucker, "Stalinism as Revolution from Above," in Stalinism, p. 91. 21 Pravda, 26 February 1986, p. 9. 22 Lebin and Perfil'ev, Kadry apparata upravleniia, p. 7. 23 Robert V. Daniels, "Soviet Politics Since Khrushchev," in John W. Strong (ed.), The Soviet Union under Brezhnev and Kosygin (New York: Van Nostrand-Reinhold, 1971), p. 20. 24 Pravda, 6 November 1982; the speaker was Viktor V. Grishin, who cited the utterances of Brezhnev repeatedly in the course of his speech. 25 Pravda, 8 November 1982. 26 XXV s'ezd Kommunisticheskoi partii Sovetskogo Soiuza: Stenograficheskii otchet, vol. 1, p. 186. In a similar vein, in a session at the International Political Science Association (IPSA) Congress in Moscow in August 1979, the Polish sociologist Jerzy Wiatr criticized Western scholars' emphasis on Brezhnev's personal role, adding that it was one of the signs of the man's greatness that he did not function in that fashion. 27 Pravda, 22 December 1982. 28 Pravda, 14 February 1984. Admittedly this was a nomination speech, and it was made by an even less inspiring comrade - Nikolai A. Tikhonov. 29 Hill, Soviet Political Elites, p. 55. 30 As a result of these changes, the Politburo now resembles a cabinet more than at any time over the past decade or so: see Ronald J. Hill and Peter Frank, "Gorbachev's Cabinet-Building," Journal of Communist Studies, vol. 11, no. 2 (June 1986), pp. 168-81. 31 Hence it is appropriate to refer to the Reagan administration but to the Thatcher government. 32 Georgii Shakhnazarov, Sotsialisticheskaia demokratiia: nekotorye voprosy teorii (Moscow: Politizdat, 1972), pp. 182-83, cited in Ronald J. Hill, Soviet Politics, Political Science and Reform (Oxford: Martin Robertson, 1980), p. n o . 33 T. H. Friedgut, "Citizens and Soviets: Can Ivan Ivanovich Fight City Hall?," Comparative Politics, vol. X, no. 4 (1978), p. 464. 34 See T. H. Rigby, Communist Party Membership in the USSR, 1917—1967 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1968), pp. 236—38. 35 See, for example, Lewin, The Making of the Soviet System, pp. 237, 253. 36 See the critical literature discussed in Hill, Soviet Politics, ch. 3 ("The Deputy and his

24

37

38 39 40

41 42 43

44

45

46

47 48 49 50

51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58

RONALD J . HILL Role"). On the "sociological" character of representation, see Philip D. Stewart, Political Power in the Soviet Union: A Study of Decision-Making in Stalingrad (Indianapolis and New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1968), pp. 38-40 and 47-49. Stephen White argues that it was only in the mid-1960s that the party began to examine seriously the effectiveness, rather than simply the volume, of "ideological work." See his article, "Propagating Communist Values in the USSR," Problems of Communism, vol. xxxiv, no. 6 (November-December 1985), p. 3. Iudin et al., Internatsional'nyi printsip, p. 160. V. A. Nemtsev, "Raionnyi organ vlasti i ego territoriya," Sovetskoe gosudarstvo i pravo, 1969, no. 8, p. 69. A good account, bringing out these points, appears in Mary McAulcy, Politics and the Soviet Union (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976), parts 1 and 11; see also Robert V. Osborn, The Evolution of Soviet Politics (Homewood, 111.: Dorsey, 1974); and for a recent assessment, Lewin, The Making of the Soviet System. See, for example, the contributions of Leszek Kolakowski and Mihailo Markovic to Tucker, Stalinism, pp. 283-98, 299-319. Tucker, "Stalinism as Revolution from Above," in ibid., p. 102. This is a contentious matter, examined in some detail by, among other authors, Stephen White; see in particular his "The USSR: Patterns of Autocracy and Industrialism," in Archie Brown and Jack Gray, eds, Political Culture and Political Change in Communist States (London: Macmillan, 1977; 2nd edn, 1979), pp. 25-65; Political Culture and Soviet Politics (London: Macmillan, 1979); and his more recent evaluation, "Soviet Political Culture Reassessed," in Archie Brown, ed., Political Culture and Communist Studies (London: Macmillan, 1984), pp. 62-99. In this section I draw on my chapter, "The 'All-People's State' and 'Developed Socialism,' " in Neil Harding, cd., The State in Socialist Society (London: Macmillan, 1984), pp. 104-28. Lebin and Perfil'ev, Kadry apparata upravleniia, passim; Bohdan Harasymiw, "The Qualifications of Local Party and Government Leaders in the Soviet Union and the Development of Pluralism," Canadian Slavonic Papers, vol. xm (1971), pp. 314-42; V. A. Kadeikin, Problem nauchnogopodkhoda vpartiinoi rabote (Moscow: Mysl', 1974), pp. 76-77Erik P. Hoffmann, "Information Processing in the Party: Recent Theory and Experience," in Karl W. Ryavec, ed., Soviet Society and the Communist Party (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1978), pp. 63-87. XXIV s'ezd: Stenograficheskii otchet, vol. 1, p. 125. Pravda, 28 November 1979. Robert E. Blackwell, Jr, "Cadres Policy in the Brezhnev Era," Problems of Communism, vol. xxvm, no. 2 (March-April 1979), pp. 29-42. The stability of the Brezhnev era is stressed by Seweryn Bialer, Stalin's Successors: Leadership, Stability, and Change in the Soviet Union (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980), esp. part m. Pravda, 28 November 1979. Materialy XXVI s'ezda KPSS (Moscow: Politizdat, 1981), p. 51. Ibid., p. 72. See KPSS v rezolutsiakh, vol. ix (Moscow: Politizdat, 1972), p. 216. Ibid., p. 220. Report to Central Committee plenum, Pravda, 24 April 1985. Speech in Pravda, 23 April 1985. N. Gladkov and V. Kozhemiako, "Neobkhodimost' peremen," Pravda, 2 February

Apparatchiki and political development

25

iy86, p. 2; this is a report of the Twenty-first Congress of the party in Uzbekistan. 59 Pravda, 1 November 1983. On the following day, Pravda carried a report of the funeral of this "true son of the Soviet people, whose life was devoted without ceasing to the great cause of building communism"; wreaths were laid in the names of Fidel Castro and Babrak Karmal. 60 Pravda, 26 February 1986, p. 9. 61 See Ronald J. Hill, "The Development of Soviet Local Government since Stalin's Death," in Everett M. Jacobs, ed., Soviet Local Politics and Government (London: Allen and Unwin, 1983), pp. 21-25. 62 Lebin and Perfil'ev, Kadry apparata upravleniia, p. 213. 63 Ibid., p. 219. 64 Pravda, 16 June 1983. 65 For example, Leonid Brezhnev, as quoted in A. K. Belykh, cd., Kommunizm 1 upravlenie obshchestvennymi protsessami, vol. iv (Leningrad: Izd. Leningradskogo Universiteta, 1982), p. 99; incidentally, the chapter is called "The Role of Political Culture in Drawing the Toilers into Management." 66 N. M. Keizerov, Politicheskaia i pravovaia kul'tura: metodologicheskie problemy (Moscow: Iuridicheskaia litcratura, 1983), p. 3. 67 Apparat upravleniia sotsialisticheskogo gosudarstva (Moscow: Iuridicheskaya literatura, 1977), vol. 11, pp. 235-38. 68 Archie Brown, "Political Science in the Soviet Union: A New Stage of Development?," Soviet Studies, vol. xxxvi, no. 3 (1984), p. 328. 69 See the sources cited in Hill, Soviet Politics, pp. 132—33. The concept of "tact," along with a range of further desirable qualities, is elaborated in Iu. V. Derbinov et al. (eds.), Razvitie vnutripartiinykli otnoshenii na sovremennom etape (Moscow: Mysl', 1984), p. 226ff. 70 See Bialer, Stalin's Successors, ch. 15. 71 M. Piskotin, "Cherty leninskogo stilia rabot," Sovety narodnykh deputatov', 1985, no. 4, pp. 21-22. 72 K. Vaino, "Smelost', chestnost', otvetstvennost," Kommunist, no. 2 (1986), p. 27. Vaino is first secretary of the party in Estonia; he gives the opinion that "This reconstruction in the consciousness of people should be, I think, just as profound as the structural reconstruction in the economy." 73 Pravda, 15 June 1983. 74 Ibid. 75 See in particular Jerry F. Hough, Soviet Leadership in Transition. (Washington, DC: Brookings, 1981); Hill, Soviet Politics, ch. 9. 76 Mary McAuley, "Political Culture and Communist Politics: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back," in Brown, ed., Political Culture and Communist Studies, pp. 13-39. 77 John Miller draws attention to interests in his contribution to the debate on cultural factors in communist studies, see his "Political Culture: Some Perennial Questions Reopened," in Brown, ed., Political Culture and Communist Studies, pp. 40-61. 78 T. Samolis, "Ochishchenie: otkrovennyi razgovor," Pravda, 13 February 1986. 79 Reported in Pravda, 23 November 1985. In Western commentary, this was seen as the first stage in the abandonment of the highly specialized ministries favored by Brezhnev, in an effort to facilitate horizontal links at the production level. Parallels were drawn with Khrushchev's 1957 abolition of the central ministries and their replacement by regionally based Councils of the National Economy (sovnarklwzy). See Dominique Dhombres, Le Monde, 27 November 1985, p. 6.

The primary party organizations of branch ministries* STEPHEN F O R T E S C U E

The Soviet political and administrative system is a sectional (vedomstvennyi) one, meaning that sectional institutions and interests, to a large extent based on branches of the economy, are catered for and recognized. This is evident in Soviet "interest theory," in which it is made quite clear that sectional interests have a legitimate place in the system.1 It is of course also obvious in the structure of Soviet administration. With the qualified exception of the sovnarkhoz (Councils of National Economy) period (even then there was ever-growing pressure to set up branch-based State Committees), branch-based organizations have always been the basic administrative unit. Administrative procedures have always recognized and catered for the narrow interests of these organizations, in particular the requirement that all documents going to executive bodies for decision be examined first by all interested parties (vizirovanie). This has been a feature of Soviet administrative practice since the very first days of Lenin's Sovnarkom (Council of People's Commissars).2 Ellen Jones has described the way the process works in more recent times.3 It is the role of the party to oversee and put to good use the sectional units of the political and administrative system. While the concept of the "vanguard" party with its "leading role" was not devised by Lenin as an administrative principle for use in government, it has proved to be very applicable to such a situation. Thus, it is not the task of the party to administer the economy itself, but in the words of one "interest group" theorist: "The state [read 'the party'], struggling with narrow sectionalism, often uses sectional interests to the benefit of the social interest, 'guiding' one sectional interest against another which is adversely affecting the resolution of some social problem."4 This concern of the party with its "leading role" rather than an operational role can be seen in the constant, if fluctuating, concern with stamping out the "supplanting" (podmena) of administrative bodies by party organs, and the *This paper is based on research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), reference number FOO 232070. 26

Primary party organizations

27

concern with the political as much as economic or administrative qualities of party workers. Even at times when the party apparatus is expected to involve itself in economic management in a close and detailed way, it is not supposed to run the economy operationally. That is the job of the sectional institutions. Something, however, is clearly wrong with the system. Despite the recognition of sectional interests as fundamental and legitimate, sectionalism (vedomstvennost') has acquired highly pejorative connotations, with the narrow pursuit of their interests at the expense of all else by branch ministries in particular being seen by many, in the West and the Soviet Union, as one of the greatest barriers to change and progress. While the merits of such accusations will not be discussed in detail here, the evidence to support them is strong. The purpose of this chapter is to examine one of the means at the disposal of the party to exercise control over sectional interests and ideally to channel them in the direction of the "social interest" - the primary party organizations (PPOs) of branch ministries. This discussion will deal with the period since the reestablishment of the ministries in September 1965. Some bias towards the PPOs' role in scientific and technical progress, will be shown, but the findings can be applied to all aspects of PPOs' activity.

SEPTEMBER 1965 TO JANUARY 1971 The branch ministries were reestablished in September 1965, with the abolition of Khrushchev's sovnarkhoz system. As a reaction against the administrative chaos of the sovnarkhoz period, the ministries were given a major and relatively uncontrolled role in economic management. While the reestablishment of the ministries was accompanied by a reform ostensibly designed to increase the independence of enterprises from administrative control, it is generally recognized that achievements in that direction were very limited. The ministries were expected to exercise close supervision and direction of all work in their branches. A major campaign against "supplanting" by party officials, who had assumed a major operational role during the Khrushchev era, had already begun, meaning that they were now expected to leave the ministries to run things operationally.5 Further, as Bruce Parrott has described in detail, the ministries were relatively free, particularly in research and development, of the control of over-arching functional {nadvedomstvennye) state bodies. Both the State Committee for Science and Technology (GKNT) and Gosplan found themselves with restricted powers over branch ministries.6

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STEPHEN FORTESCUE

There are signs that ministry PPOs were expected to fill the gaps left by the party apparatus and Gosplan and GKNT, since immediately after September 1965 there was a very considerable stress on them. At the Plenum which decreed the reestablishment of the ministries, Brezhnev called on ministry PPOs to play a major role and to report regularly to the Central Committee on the work of the ministries.7 A large wellpublicized seminar was held by the Central Committee in December 1966 to ram home to party secretaries the scope of their responsibilities.8 Senior party officials made it clear that experienced party workers were to be used as party secretaries. Brezhnev at the September 1965 Plenum called for "highly qualified, experienced party workers" to head ministry PPOs, a call supported by Egorychev, the first secretary of the Moscow city party committee, in October 1965.9 In the published report of the December 1966 seminar it was stated: In the party committees of many ministries and agencies personnel working as secretaries of party committees and their deputies have been strengthened. Comrades who are well acquainted with party work but who are at the same time specialists in the relevant branch have been moved into these posts.10 Two examples of the sort of person being spoken of are A. I. Fateev and A. A. Solonitsyn. Fateev became secretary of the party committee of the Ministry of Automobile Industry at the time it was set up. He had previous experience in the industry, having been secretary of the party committee of the Likhachev Automobile Factory (ZIL) in 1954. He had then moved into the party apparatus, as first secretary of the Proletarskyii Raion party committee in Moscow (the raion in which the ZIL factory is situated), then as an inspector in the Trans-Caucasian Bureau of the All-Union Central Committee in 1963, and a chief inspector of the All-Russian Committee of Party—State Control in 1964. While he was hardly a senior party official, he was certainly not just a member of the ministerial apparatus coopted to the job. His previous two posts suggest some trouble-shooting capacity. We know less of A. A. Solonitsyn, the secretary of the party committee of the Ministry of Energy and Electrification. But we do know that he was first secretary of the Kashira city party committee (gorkom) in 1961. Again there is an indication of expertise in the ministry's particular field of concern, since Kashira contains a major hydroelectric installation. However, the party rank held again suggests more than a coopted state apparatus bureaucrat. It was presumably hoped that these people would be less beholden to narrow sectional interests than ministry officials, and would have the party experience and clout to at least hold their own with the minister and his senior officials. They were certainly not devoid of strategic

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29

powers and position. It is true that ministry PPOs did not have at this stage the right of control, but this was claimed by authoritative commentators not to render the PPOs powerless. As was noted at the 1966 seminar: "The Party Rules give the party organizations of ministries and agencies those rights which allow them to influence in a decisive way the administrative apparatus and to exercise their influence on every official."11 Certainly the ministry PPOs seemed able to use the powers usually listed in the right of control, as is shown below. They could hear reports from managers, use commissions to investigate the situation on the spot, and they could make recommendations to management.12 Importantly, these powers could be used in the control of personnel. Ministry PPOs were expected to hear reports from executives on the general state of personnel work,13 and to take active steps when they found serious shortcomings, which a 1967 Central Committee decree on personnel work in the ministries suggested they usually would.14 It was even said on occasion that ministry PPOs were entitled to examine all appointments, transfers and dismissals in the apparatus.15 To these powers should be added the powers of party discipline. The PPO has the right to take party disciplinary action against any of its members. It is noteworthy in this regard that, according to the report of the December 1966 seminar, in October 1965 the Central Committee issued a decree "which significantly broadened the rights and potential of the party committees of union ministries in implementing party leadership." The party committees of 46 ministries and state committees with over 500 communists were given "as an exception" the powers of a raion party committee (raikom) on admittance to the party, party records and examination of the personal affairs of party members.16 The latter gave them the right to apply party discipline to members without having to confirm the penalty with the raikom. It would be wrong to exaggerate the importance of such a provision; to take action against anyone of senior rank would still require, in practice, the support of higher party authorities.17 However, there probably was some practical significance in the change, and certainly as presented in the press, considerable symbolic importance. The powers of party discipline are particularly relevant to ministry PPOs, since party membership in ministries is high. We know that in 1966 there were 46 ministries and agencies with over 500 party members, with many all-union ministries having 1,000 or more.18 The percentage of apparatus staff who are party members seems usually to be in the 50-70 per cent range.19 We can be confident that anyone in a sensitive or managerial post is a party member.

30

STEPHEN FORTESCUE

In connection with appeals to higher authorities it is worth mentioning that the PPOs of central ministries could have an advantage over other categories of PPO and indeed over the regional party apparatus. They are concentrated in a few central districts (raiony) of Moscow, and have direct and close access to the political clout of the Moscow gorkom and Central Committee apparatus. Particular stress was put, during this period, on the requirement in the Party Rules that ministry PPOs inform the Central Committee directly of problems in the ministry.20 The backgrounds of ministry party secretaries at this time suggest that they could have moved in these circles reasonably easily. To what purpose, then, were all these impressive powers put? The tasks of the PPOs were described in extensive terms. The main stress was on working to ensure implementation of the 1965 economic reform, specifically against the sectional interests of the central ministry apparatuses. This required ensuring that ministry officials had a good understanding of the intentions of the reform and sufficient knowledge of economics to see it implemented.21 It also entailed working closely with the minister and his senior officials to ensure that the new apparatus was well organized and running smoothly.22 But the major stress was on overseeing the relationships between the central apparatus and subordinate enterprises. As will be seen later, this is a rather controversial aspect of a ministry PPO's activities, with the formal position being that a ministerial PPO is not allowed to control the activity of subordinate enterprises. But at the time this was loosely interpreted. Many statements from this period were in terms of the PPO ensuring that the form relations between the central apparatus and enterprises took was in keeping with the spirit of the economic reform; that ministries did not delay in transferring enterprises to the new system and that the apparatus refrained from excessive bureaucratic interference in enterprise operations.23 But as already mentioned, this latter aspect of the reform was apparently never taken particularly seriously, and certainly the tone of accounts of ministry PPO involvement in the transfer of enterprises to the new system supports this conclusion. Thus the secretary of the PPO of the Ministry of" Instrument Making, in the same article in which he criticizes ministry officials for tardiness in transferring enterprises to the new system, also speaks approvingly of the daily reports received by the ministry from enterprises on plan fulfillment and of the party committee's directives to apparatus communists to examine the operations of factories under the new system.24 A 1966 account of the work of the party committee of the Ministry of Construction Materials puts the matter in true Soviet perspective. A

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Ukrainian factory had run out of some essential materials and one shop had lain idle for three months. It therefore sent representatives to the ministry party committee, which quickly got in touch with the relevant organization. The materials were soon dispatched. Kommunist found it necessary to criticize the style of the PPO's response, but was forced to admit that in the circumstances something had to be done.25 Thus when it comes to the crunch - and a crunch is always just around the corner - the ministry, and its PPO, will be expected to interfere to whatever degree is necessary. It is an expectation which quickly produces a permanent habit. However, it is noteworthy that in this period, immediately after the reestablishment of the ministries and at the time of a strong anti-supplanting campaign, ministry PPOs seemingly engaged in the habit with relative impunity. Another area in which the role of PPOs was stressed, although it should be said at a significantly lower level than apparatus-enterprise relations, was in scientific and technical progress. The December 1966 seminar devoted attention to this matter,26 one which was taken up again over the next few years in Pravda editorials.27 Important changes in research management came in 1967-68. Research institutes were given the same formal rights of independent action that enterprises had had since 1965, while a September 1968 Central Committee and Council of Ministers decree further elaborated on new planning and economic stimulation measures.28 Ministries and their PPOs were expected to work for the implementation of these changes.29 What success did the ministry PPOs have in fulfilling their tasks? In terms of formal fulfilment of the 1965 reform, it could be said that the PPOs eventually did what they had to do - all enterprises were transferred to the system. It is more difficult to evaluate the success in informal terms, in terms of the spirit in which the reform was implemented. Complaints continued of excessive bureaucratic interference in the affairs of enterprises and tendentious interpretations by ministries of the provisions of the reform.30 And as has already been suggested, at a time when they appeared to have a relatively close relationship with subordinate enterprises, the PPOs probably contributed to a continuation of excessive bureaucratic interference as much as they prevented it. However, since there is considerable doubt as to whether there was ever a serious intention on the part of the top authorities to change the nature of apparatus-enterprise relations, we perhaps cannot condemn the PPOs. In the field of scientific—technical progress, it is a little easier to pin down the PPOs' failures. As a series of Pravda editorials made clear in 1969 and 1970, a number of ministries were very tardy in implementing

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the measures of the 1968 reorganization of branch science, and ministry PPOs were allocated a considerable proportion of the blame.31 Further, and more strikingly, Bruce Parrott has shown how quick the ministries were to use their freedom from the control of overseeing agencies to display strong anti-innovation tendencies, with research and development investment plans being underfulfilled and new technology funds being diverted to other purposes.32 The consequences were considerable reductions in output of new products and innovations.33 It would be foolish to lay all the blame for this on the ministry PPOs. There was some degree of top-level neglect of domestic innovation, reflected in a reduction in the rate of growth of expenditure on research and development and considerable reliance on imported technology,34 while Soviet research and development suffered from deep structural problems far beyond the capabilities or responsibilities of ministry PPOs to solve. Nevertheless, it must have been disturbing to the leadership that these organizations, on which they seemed to be relying to a considerable extent at the time, were unable even to guarantee the fulfillment of such relatively straightforward tasks as transferring institutes to new management systems and ensuring that funds were spent on the purposes to which they were allocated. JANUARY 1971 TO 1980 By the end of the 1960s it was decided that something had to be done about the ministries and their PPOs, and about science and technology. Impatience with the ministries became particularly evident at the December 1969 Central Committee Plenum, at which Brezhnev made scathing attacks on the ministries in general and individual ministers in particular. A new political commitment was made to science and technology, most clearly seen in Brezhnev's adoption of the "scientific—technical revolution" as the driving force of economic and social change at the Twenty-fourth Party Congress in January 1971. To handle the ministries, increased central control was established in the setting of prices and standards for new products,35 while changes to the planning system were undertaken, particularly the planning of technological development, to increase the influence of Gosplan, GKNT and even the Academy of Sciences. Thus at the Twenty-fourth Congress, Kosygin called for the development of a long-term plan for economic development, worked out by these three agencies and supposedly providing the basis for the ministries' five-year and annual plans. In August 1972 an appropriate Central Committee and Council of Ministers decree was issued.36

Primary party organizations

33

The dissatisfaction of the authorities with the work of ministry PPOs was evident in the extremely critical review by the Central Committee of the work of the party committee of the Ministry of Meat and Milk Industry in February 1970. It included attacks on the PPO's weak efforts to foster technological development in the ministry, as well as many other sins, and was specifically recommended for examination by other ministries and agencies.37 At the Twenty-fourth Party Congress the Party Rules were changed in order to give the PPOs of ministries the right of control "of the apparatus in carrying out the directives of the party and government and the observance of Soviet laws."38 The change brought to an end a rather ludicrous situation in which since 1939, when the right of control first made an appearance as a party administrative weapon, ministry PPOs had been denied the right of control on the grounds that for them to exercise it would entail unacceptable interference on their part in the affairs of the subordinate enterprises of the ministry and usurpation of the rights of party organizations in regions where enterprises were situated. The 1939 Party Rules limited their role to improving the work of the apparatuses in which they were situated and their power to signal the existence of shortcomings in the working of the apparatuses to higher authorities.39 In fact, the right of control in itself implies no powers over a ministry's subordinate enterprises. This was to some extent recognized in 1971, when ministry PPOs were simply given the right of control. However, the argument was also retained in that a qualification appeared limiting the right of control to the work of the ministry apparatus. T. H. Rigby sees this as probably a concession to nervous government leaders (and perhaps also to regional party leaders worried that ministry PPOs might interpret the lack of such a qualification as permission to meddle in regional affairs). But as Rigby also points out, authoritative statements have stressed ever since that there is no difference between the right of control exercised by a ministry PPO and that exercised by any other sort of PPO. 40 The irrelevance of the argument about subordinate enterprises and the right of control becomes even clearer when we realize that before 1971 official policy on ministry PPO relations with subordinate enterprises fluctuated enormously. There were times when it was strongly emphasized that ministry PPOs should not involve themselves in the affairs of subordinate enterprises and that they were therefore limited purely to the style, not the content of the work of the apparatus.41 At other times - essentially during the period of the Councils of National Economy and after 1965 — sovnarkhov and ministry PPOs were able to claim that in order to control the work of the apparatus they had to know what was going on in the enterprises that

34

STEPHEN FORTESCUE

the apparatus was administering, and indeed to respond to shortcomings they found there, as well as responding to complaints from the enterprises about the work of the apparatus.42 Clearly it is not the right of control which determines whether involvement in subordinate enterprises is permissible or not, but the general state of party-state relations at the time, and current leadership policy on ministry PPOs. What was the effect of the right of control on ministry PPOs, remembering that to a large extent they were using its powers before 1971? There seems little doubt that the right of control has had a significant effect on at least the form of PPO activities and the confidence with which they are pursued. Since 1971 there have been consistent reports of senior executives (deputy ministers and department and glavk heads) giving reports (including otchety, which tend to have stronger connotations of accountability than doklady or soobshcheniia) to party meetings or meetings of the party committee;43 ministry PPOs now operate a whole range of standing party control commissions, as well as more ad hoc investigative commissions;44 and they make formal recommendations to ministry management which they expect will be given serious consideration.45 Although dot directly connected with the right of control, one method of PPO operation that received considerable attention after 1971 was holdingjoint meetings of the bureau or committees of two or more ministries. Such meetings, if used seriously, could be an important way of getting around the notoriousjealousies of individual ministries. In particular, it seems possible that superior party organs could put pressure on PPOs to work together that they might not be able to put directly on the ministries themselves.46 In the period after 1971 the areas of activity of ministerial PPOs were similar to those that were evident previously. There was still the traditional concern with the smooth, cost-efficient running of the apparatus,47 and with ensuring the implementation of the various economic reforms that were introduced after 1971. Involvement in production questions was still quite close. For example, the party committee of the Ministry of Communications gave recommendations to the Technical Administration, which then sped up production of an important relay. In the same ministry, following an investigation into design documentation, a people's control group formally listed shortcomings in the work of a number of production departments and design organizations.48 But two areas of concern seem to have attracted particular attention. They are personnel and scientific—technical progress. We have already seen that even before 1971 PPOs had extensive personnel powers. But

Primary party organizations

35

these were described more insistently and in more detail after 1971. We find numerous reports that PPOs consider all personnel movement in the apparatus either formally in party meetings or less formally v rabochemporiadke (in a routine fashion).49 PPOs also began recommending particular individuals for promotion - the party bureau of the Latvian Ministry of Industrial Construction Materials explained the turnaround in the ministry's fulfillment of its new technology plan as due to its recommendation of a particular engineer as the new head of the Technical Department.50 There was also a case of the party bureau of the Lithuanian Ministry of Local Industry rejecting a particular candidate for appointment as department head.51 It is interesting in this regard to note the number of ministry PPO secretaries who have a personnel background. Thus, one Novikov was head of the Personnel Department of the Kazakh Ministry of Construction in 1964 at the same time as he was secretary of the ministry's party bureau. In 1966, V. N. Shepetovsky was secretary of the party committee of the Ministry of Railways, but head of its Personnel Department in 1977, while V. V. Pavlovsky, who was his deputy secretary in 1966, was identified as the deputy head of the Personnel Department in both 1971 and 1974. A. A. Pomortsev was secretary of the party committee of the Ministry of Agriculture in 1973, and appointed deputy minister for personnel in 1974. (In 1970 he was identified as head of the Seedgrowing Administration and deputy head of the Grain Cultures and General Land XJseglavk.) V. I. Loginov was secretary of the party committee of the RSFSR Ministry of Rural Construction in 1973 and 1975, and deputy head of the Administration of Leading Personnel and Educational Institutions in 1980. L. D. Barashenkov, secretary of the PPO of the Ministry of Communications in 1966, was appointed deputy minister for personnel in 1985. Clearly, if the PPO is seriously to play the role of protecting the "social interest" against the narrow sectional interests of the branch, particularly in terms of ensuring the implementation of unpopular reforms, it is essential to have control of appointments, to get reliable people into key positions. To have an "insider" in the Personnel Department, with presumably a close knowledge of all potential candidates, including people working in the enterprises of the ministry, could be an enormous advantage. Another area of PPO activity after 1971 which deserves special attention is the encouragement of technological progress. This was something they were expected to involve themselves in previously, but after 1971 the demands seem to have become more insistent. This is probably more a consequence of a greater emphasis on technological

36

STEPHEN FORTESCUE

development in the Soviet Union as a whole than of anything uniquely connected with ministry PPOs, although the experience of the leadership with the anti-innovation tendencies of the ministries in the second half of the 1960s must have made them very keen to have the PPOs do something about it. Thus in 1972 the secretary of the party committee of the Ministry of Oil Industry declared that since getting the right of control "we significantly more often consider questions connected with technical progress in the branch, with the long-term development of specific trends."52 In 1973 the party bureau of the Latvian Ministry of Industrial Construction Materials, in a case already mentioned, considered that it could not remain indifferent to the nonfulfillment of the branches' new technology plan and so it recommended the replacement of the head of the Technical Department.53 Ministry PPOs started hearing reports from senior officials on scientific-technical progress and the fulfillment of new technology plans,54 while more and more PPOs had party control commissions for controlling the application of research in production (vnedrenie),55 Mention has already been made of the work of the party commission for vnedrenie of the Ministry of Communications, which investigated the reasons for delay in the production of an important relay for radio communications.56 The evidence is strong that there was a significant increase in the powers and activities of ministry PPOs after 1971. However, there are some reasons to reconsider such a conclusion. W. J. Conyngham states that sometime during the 1970s "the policy of tightening party controls over the ministries and other economic institutions after 1971 aroused open hostility and evasion and seems to have been informally dropped."57 There indeed seems to have been a lack of interest, as reflected in published accounts, in the work of ministry PPOs following a few articles soon after the granting of the right of control. The relative silence about these PPOs in the mid-1970s was broken by the 1974 Central Committee decree on the party committee of the Ministry of Communications. But even in its title this decree put the stress on the party committee's control of the work of the apparatus, and in one part criticizes it for directing its attentions primarily against subordinate organizations.58 Another decree a few days before, on the Ministry of Petrochemical Industry, made no mention of the PPO, while a 1976 decree on the Ministry of Heavy Machine Enterprise Construction had only a token mention.59 None of the decrees referred to the right of control. All this could be taken as an effort to narrow the responsibilities of ministry PPOs. An interesting change appears to have taken place about this time in

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37

the type of person becoming party secretary in ministries. Thus Fateev and Solonitsyn, the two given above as examples of party secretaries with a reasonably substantial party'background, were both working as raion party committee first secretaries by 1971. (Solonitsyn then went on to head the heavy industry department of the Moscow gorkom.) They were apparently replaced by people with a more exclusively technical background, usually from within the ministry itself. G. N. Zakharenkov, party secretary of the Ministry of Construction, Road and Communal Machine Building in 1972, is described as having years of experience in party and Komsomol work, but also as an engineeringtechnologist. Others, such as A. A. Pomortsev (party secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, 1973, previously head of the Seedgrowing Administration) and F. I. Mazniak (party secretary in the RSFSR Ministry of Food Industry, 1973, previously an engineer in various food industry factories) appear to have even more purely technical or administrative backgrounds. The change might have been because the authorities decided they needed technically competent "insiders" to handle a more operational role for the PPOs; it might simply have been a recognition that even the most experienced party "outsiders" had had little success controlling the ministries. Whatever the reason, it probably had the effect of reducing the perceived status of the PPO. What might the reason be for this possible decline in the attention paid to ministry PPOs in the mid-1970s? I do not have any convincing answers, but there appear to be some not altogether consistent explanations. First, we have to ask ourselves why the right of control was granted in 1971, if attention was soon to be taken away from the PPOs. It seems particularly odd that they were not given the right of control at the Party Congress in 1966, when there was no doubting the great attention being paid to them. In 1966 perhaps the ministries had sufficiently senior supporters, particularly Kosygin, to prevent such a move; perhaps it seemed inappropriate at a time when for political reasons it had been decided not to give the right of control to research and educational PPOs (the reason being the takeover of many of these PPOs by "liberal" party members).60 By 1971 it was possible to give the right of control to these other PPOs, and there was little reason not to extend it to the ministry PPOs at the same time. I am inclined to see, however, the 1971 granting of the right of control to ministry PPOs as being more than just an afterthought. It was intended by those at the head of the party apparatus as an important extension of party power, but enthusiasm waned as the PPOs still failed

38

STEPHEN FORTESCUE

to make headway, particularly when the emphasis shifted to controlling the ministries through central agencies. This might have been particularly so if Kosygin was in a position to affect matters. With the failure of the 1965 economic reform, he was by now far more likely to see matters in terms of Brezhnev's party apparatus versus his state apparatus. Increasing the powers of central agencies such as Gosplan would not be inimical to his interests; increasing the powers of ministry PPOs would. So, although not able to resist the granting of the right of control to ministry PPOs, he was able to resist, successfully, the new powers being fully used in practice. The late Christian Duevel saw matters in these terms. He focused on the failure of the Brezhnev faction, which wanted to get a greater party presence in ministries, to reduce the one-man management (edinonaachalie) powers of the minister by increasing the powers of the collegium and widening its membership to include the party secretary.61 This failure paralleled the failure to sustain a greater role for ministry PPOs. SINCE

1980

If it is true that there was a decline in the activity of ministry PPOs during the 1970s, toward the end of the decade a revival seems to have set in. This could well have been connected with the retirement of Kosygin and a decline in the performance of the industrial economy in the late 1970s. Brezhnev singled out ministry PPOs for special attention at the Twenty-sixth Party Congress,62 while a number of Central Committee decrees on ministries and their PPOs were issued at this time. The 1980 decree on the "state of control and verification of fulfillment" in the Ministry of Petrochemical Industry is very different from the 1974 decree on the same ministry. Although not featuring in the title of the decree, the party committee is given considerable critical attention for, among other things, its failure to use the right of control, while it is directed to take more interest in the apparatus' involvement in production work. 63 The party committee also attracted considerable attention in the rather "production-oriented" decrees on the Ministry of Oil and Gas Enterprise Construction and the Ministry of Electrotechnical Industry.64 Finally, the 1983 decree on the party committee of the Ministry of Railways also seemed to demand a more active "operational" role from the PPO. 65 Two other decrees appear to have been issued with ministry PPOs particularly in mind. A special section of the 1981 decree "On long-term improvement in control and verification of fulfillment in the light of the decisions of the Twenty-sixth Party Congress" was devoted to

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39

ministries and their PPOs. 66 The decree contained a demand that the regulations governing the operations of party control commissions be overhauled. This led to a decree specifically on the commissions, which was said to have increased the attention paid to ministry PPOs by local party organs and to have strengthened the role of their party control commissions.67 All these decrees produced a noticeable increase in press coverage of ministry PPOs. One particularly interesting article on the Ministry of Oil Industry followed the Central Committee decree on its sister ministry. It was reported that the PPO was conscientious in hearing reports from executives and had a well-thought-out and efficient "verification of fulfillment" system. But this led unfortunately only to a flood of paperwork, overloaded party committee meetings, and general "formalism."68 This could be interpreted as meaning that just going through the motions, no matter how conscientiously, would no longer be acceptable, and that genuine involvement in the work of the ministry would now be required. Certainly the signs were there that the PPO was now expected to play a very close and detailed role in the operations of the ministry, including involvement with production enterprises. Following criticisms of the PPO of the Ministry of Industrial Construction in Partiinaia zhizn' in 1979, a reply came that measures had been taken to strengthen the PPO's production role.69 The amount of technical detail the PPOs were prepared to go into is evident from a 1982 report on the work of a party commission of the Estonian Ministry of Light Industry, which concerned itself with the reasons for the breakdown in supplies of elastic tape by one factory. After the PPO of the ministry involved itself in the issue the factory was given the necessary assistance.70 The party committee of the Ministry of Electrotechnical Industry even heard reports (soobshcheniia) from the directors of enterprises on the readiness of their enterprises for transfer to the new economic mechanism, and investigated the amount of poor quality output being produced.71 As a possible indicator of a continuing or increasing operational role of the PPOs, two new PPO secretaries identified at this time appear to have technical backgrounds. The secretary of the PPO of the Belorussian Ministry of Local Industry had previously been head of the ministry's Technical Department, while G. Efimov, party secretary of the Ministry of Railways in 1980, is a candidate of technical sciences who had previously worked in the ministry's central research institute. In this period by far the greatest emphasis was on the role of the PPOs in ensuring the rapid implementation of the economic "reforms" that are so much a feature of the contemporary Soviet economy. There are

40

STEPHEN FORTESCUE

signs that many of these reforms had not been vigorously implemented by the ministries, either through simple bureaucratic inertia or because they seemed to threaten their control of their branch, whether by decentralizing administrative power or centralizing it at levels above the ministry. It was the task of the PPO to overcome these obstructions.72 What has been the success of the PPOs in these major areas of concern in recent years? In terms of the formal introduction of new economic measures, it is apparently difficult for ministries simply to put off forever the implementing of Central Committee and/or Council of Ministers decrees. Eventually ministries introduce the new structures, use the new indicators, set up the new funds and programs. Usually the process is drawn out, probably as a result of deliberate obstruction rather than innocent bureaucratic delays. The more difficult question is the role of the PPO in ensuring that the implementation of the reforms is according to the spirit intended. There is plenty of evidence that ministries, even if formally introducing the measures, demanded the PPOs do so in a way that ensured their lack of success. A good example is the program approach to scientific and technical planning. Ministries have little choice but to allow themselves to be included in the programs drawn up by GKNT and Gosplan. However, there are persistent complaints that the parts of the program for which they are responsible do not appear in their five-year and particularly yearly plans, or that if they do they are given decidedly second-class status. Leading ministries, in particular, are reluctant to put their resources into programs if they consider that most of the benefits will go to other branches.73 To the extent that control of the fulfillment of programs is one of the specific tasks of ministry PPOs, for which purpose many of them have special party control commissions, some of the blame for these difficulties must rest with them. Why is it that the PPOs have had so little success? Very often the problem is the inconsistency and halfheartedness of the measures they are supposed to implement. The PPOs cannot be held responsible for this. Nevertheless, when they are unable to prevent ministries deliberately obstructing or perverting specific measures, the PPOs must be held responsible to some degree. The reasons are not difficult to find and they are largely common to all classes of PPO. Firstly, they do not have the power to do the job required of them. In both formal and informal terms PPOs have always been inferior to the management of their institutions. This is a result of the system's long historical commitment to edinonachalie (one-man management) and the simple fact that for most of the time, when things are going smoothly, the PPOs' main task is to help, not hinder management. Even at times of

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41

emphasis on the operational role of PPOs, and in the case of ministry PPOs that can be said of most of the period since 1965, they are still clearly subordinate. It is hard to imagine that a ministry party secretary, even one of the late 1960s, could even come close to being the equal of the minister — that would be a truly revolutionary change, not just for the ministries but for the system as a whole. Their lack of power can affect both their ability to get the access needed to investigate the work of the ministry, and to do something about it if they do find that something is wrong. One of the major weapons of PPOs is supposed to be their right, indeed duty, to refer problems to higher party authorities. The tendencies of superior party organs, including the Central Committee apparatus, towards Sectionalism (vedomstvennost1) and "familyness" can mean that the ministry PPOs do not always get this support.74 All this assumes that the party secretary wants to take action. In fact, the pressures on the party secretary to "collude" with the minister are considerable. Since the end of the 1960s party secretaries have come, as far as we can tell, from within the central ministerial apparatus or from subordinate enterprises and gone on to posts in that apparatus after completing their terms. They are making their careers in the apparatus and so rely on the minister for that career. Is it any wonder therefore that many party secretaries operate always "with one eye on the minister,"75 or that we find such classic signs of "collusion" and "familyness" as the party committee of the Ministry of Industrial Construction being reluctant to give a glavk head a severe reprimand despite instructions from the Committee of Party Control to do so, or, in the same ministry, managers using party meetings to give operational orders?76 One can also read complaints of party meetings being prepared and dominated by the same group of party secretaries and top managers.77 A recent report admits ruefully that there is still a "psychological barrier" preventing ministry PPOs hearing reports from top-level managers,78 while one can only feel sorry for the hapless party secretary of the Ministry of Ferrous Metallurgy following the savaging of his minister by Gorbachev. He could answer no more than, "That isn't as easy as it sounds" to the journalist grilling him on why the necessary "organizational measures" were not taken against recalcitrant bureaucrats.79 The attempt to overcome these problems in the second half of the 1960s by having party secretaries from outside the apparatus apparently failed; since then the problem of collusion can only have become more serious. As with other categories of PPOs, ministry PPOs often seem to be in fact controlling themselves. The secretary, while perhaps working fulltime as a party secretary, nevertheless comes from the ministry bureaucracy, while those working with him on the party committee are

42

STEPHEN FORTESCUE

senior bureaucrats. Thus in 1984 the head of the party control commission of the Ukrainian Ministry of Food Industry for the implementation of the new economic mechanism was the deputy head of the Planning—Finance Administration of the ministry, that is, one of the key figures responsible for the implementation of the new procedures.80 In the Lithuanian Ministry of Local Industry, it is the head of the Technical Administration who heads the same commission.81 While this might be a case of giving someone with a genuine commitment to technological progress the opportunity to control the work of his less innovatory colleagues, it seems more likely that he is in fact investigating his own work and that of like-minded colleagues. One could summarize by saying that there seems to be no reason to regard the PPOs as in any way independent of their ministries or those ministries' sectional interests. Certainly the future of the PPOs depends very heavily on the fate of their ministries. CONCLUSION What is the immediate future of the ministries? Radical proposals to break the power of the ministries through "market"-style decentralization or sovnarkhoz-type regionalization of economic and technological management have not been accepted by any recent leader. Gorbachev, no less than his predecessors, sees the ministries as one of the main obstacles to further Soviet economic development, and he even seems prepared to do something about it. But his proposals for decentralization of power to enterprises on the one hand, and centralization to Gosplan, "super-ministries" and other central agencies on the other, all at the expense of the ministries and their industrial associations in the middle, are neither convincing nor a real attack on sectionalism. Indeed, they are yet another commitment to a centralized branch system. One suspects that perhaps more significant than these proposals is the ending of Chernenko's minor anti-supplanting campaign and the obvious relish with which some of Gorbachev's regional party secretaries talk of their dealings with ministries in a situation where all pretence has been abandoned ("ministries have and always will have their own interests which they try to foist on us, and our job is to make sure that they don't get away with it"). 82 Despite the apparent confidence of the party men, history suggests that the ministries are more likely to be the victors. If no fundamental attack is going to be made on the sectional branch system, the ministry PPOs will clearly still have a role to play. Certainly, all the indications are that Gorbachev attaches considerable importance to them. He declared at the June 1985 Central Committee conference on

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scientific-technical progress that "party committees of ministries have to some extent weakened their political sharpness in their understanding and resolution of the most important socio-economic problems, and have distanced themselves from the exercise of control, the right to which they are granted in the Party Rules." 83 This was followed in December 1985 by a Central Committee decree on the work of the party committee of the Ministry of Machine Tool Industry in the technology field.84 The decree was highly critical, and like other reports on ministry PPOs appearing in the press in recent months,85 suggests a major operational role is expected of the party organizations. Gorbachev reiterated at the Twenty-seventh Party Congress the importance attached to a reactivation of ministry PPOs, but indicated that as yet no significant improvement was evident.86 There are also signs of dissatisfaction with the "passive specialists of low competence" who in recent years have been elected ministry party secretaries, suggesting there could be a movement back to secretaries with a greater party background.87 The final conclusion can only be that Gorbachev should expect further disappointment. There are problems with the whole concept of PPO, particularly in ministries, that make them a poor solution to sectionalism. Finding the right balance between a PPO, and specifically a party secretary, with a sufficient degree of expertise to know what is going on and one who is not under the thumb of management, and at the same time keeping the institution manageable, is simply too difficult. Nevertheless, we can expect that as long as the authorities accept that sectionalism unavoidably accompanies sectional interests, and sectional interests are recognized as an unavoidable part of any complex system, the PPOs will continue to be given a role to play.

NOTES 1 The main discussion of interest theory took place in the early 1970s, principally in the journal Ekonomicheskie nauki, but the categories analyzed in the discussion and their practical implications are considered to be still valid. See my unpublished paper "A Soviet interest system," Department of Political Science, RSSS, Australian National University, Canberra, April 1974; R. J. Hill, Soviet Politics, Political Science and Reform

(Oxford: Martin Robertson, 1980), pp. 85-94. 2 T. H. Rigby, Lenin's Government: Sovnarkom, 11)17-11)22 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979), p. 35. 3 E. Jones, "Committee Decisionmaking in the Soviet Union," World Politics, vol. xxxvi, no. 2 (January 1984), pp. 165-88. See also T. Gustafson, Reform in Soviet

44

4 5

6

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

16

17 18

19

20 21 22 23

24 25 26 27

STEPHEN FORTESCUE Politics: Lessons of Recent Policies on Land and Water (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981), p. 47. B. M. Lazarev, "Sotsial'nyc interesy i kompetentsiia organov upravleniia," Sovetskoe gosudarstvo 1 pravo, no. 10 (October 1971), p. 91. T. H. Rigby and R . F. Miller, Political and Administrative Aspects of the Scientific and Technical Revolution in the USSR. Occasional paper no. 11, Canberra: Department of Political Sciences, RSSS, Australian National University, 1976, pp. 17-18. B. Parrott, "Technology and the Soviet Polity: the problem of industrial innovation, 1928 to 1973," unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Columbia University, New York, 1976, pp. 496-510. "Rech' tovarishcha L. I. Brezhneva," Pravda, 30 September 1965, p. 2. "Partiinyc organizatsii ministerstva v novykh usloviiakh," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 24 (December 1966), pp. 25-36. "Rech' tovarishcha Brezhneva," Pravda, 30 September 1965, p. 2; N. Egorychev, "Razvivat' kommunisticheskoe tvorchestvo mass," Pravda, 4 October 1965, p. 2. "Partiinye organizatsii ministerstva . . .," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 24 (December 1966), p. 30. Ibid., p. 29. Partiinaia zhizn' Kazakhstana, no. 8 (August 1969), pp. 17-21; Kommunist Moldavii, no. 8 (August 1967), p. 58. "Ministerstvo i kadry," Pravda, 16 June 1967, p. 1. Ibid.; Kommunist Moldavii, no. 8 (August 1967), pp. 60-61. V. Shepetovskii and V. Pavlovskii, "Vospitanie rabotnikov apparata ministerstva," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 4 (February 1966), p. 44; N. Shikhanov, "Kommunisty apparata ministerstva," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 9 (May 1969), p. 52. "Partiinye organizatsii ministerstva . . .," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 24 (December 1966), pp. 29—30. The situation was exceptional in that normally a PPO has to have 1,000 members before it is eligible for raikom powers. See, for example, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 3 (February 1969), p. 46. V. Kozhemiako and N. Liaporov, "Komandirovka v ministerstvo," Pravda, 10 March 1969, p. 2; V. Legostaev, "Kogda kontrol' nedostatochno effektiven," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 22 (November 1978), p. 44; V. Legostaev, "Chetko videt' svoi zadachi," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 17 (September 1980), p. 49. "Partiinye organizatsii ministerstva . . .," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 24 (December 1966), p. 26; "Uluchshat' partiinyi kontrol' deiatel'nosti apparata," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 12 (June 1973). P- 18. See the 1970 decree on the party committee of the Ministry of Meat and Milk Industry. Spravochnik patiinogo rabotnika, vol. x (Moscow: Politizdat, 1970), p. 286. "Partiinye organizatsii ministerstva . . .," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 24 (December 1966), pp. 26-27. Ibid., p. 31. Partiinaia zhizn' Kazakhstana, no. 8 (August 1969), pp. 17-18; "Partiinye organizatsii ministerstva," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 24 (December 1966), p. 30; A. Ozherel'ev, "Partkom ministerstva v usloviiakh novoi sistemy khoziaistvovaniia," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 11 (June 1968), p. 19. Ozherel'ev, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 11 (June 1968), pp. 17-19. "Partiinyi komitet ministerstva," Kommunist, no. 16 (November 1966), pp. 57-58. "Partiinye organizatsii ministerstva . . .," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 24 (December 1966), p. 28. "Plody nauki - proizvodstvu," Pravda, 5 June 1967, p. 1; "Nauka i rost proizvodstva," Pravda, 7 September 1967, p. 1.

Primary party organizations

45

28 Resheniia partii 1 pravitel'stva po khoziaistvennym voprasam, 1917-1967^, vol. vi, 1966-June 1968 (Moscow: Politizdat, 1968), pp. 363-65; Pravda, 23 October 1968, pp. 1-2. 29 V. Kozhemiako and N. Liaporov, Pravda, 10 March 1969, p. 2; "Institut na predpriiatii," Pravda, 9 January 1970, p. 1; "Nauchnye uchrezhdeniia otrasli," Pravda, 27 February 1970, p. 1. 30 A. Katz, The Politics of Economic Reform in the Soviet Union (New York: Praeger, 1972), p. 161; A. E. Lunev, ed., Organizatsiia raboty ministerstv v usloviiakh ekonomicheskoi reformy (Moscow: Nauka, 1972), p. 80. 31 "Effektivnost' nauki," Pravda, 3 November 1969, p. 1; "Institut na predpriiatii," Pravda, 9 January 1970, p. 1; "Nauchnye uchrezhdeniia otrasli," Pravda, 27 February 1970, p. 1. 32 Parrott, "Technology and the Soviet Polity," pp. 503-5. 33 B. Parrott, Politics and Technology in the Soviet Union (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1983), pp. 225-26. 34 Ibid., pp. 206-7. 35 Parrott, "Technology and the Soviet Polity," p. 516. 36 S. Fortescue, "Project Planning in Soviet R & D," Research Policy, vol. xiv (1985), p. 270. 37 Spravochnik partiinogo rabotnika, vol. x, pp. 283-88. 38 The right of control allows a PPO to do the following: (1) to hear reports from management when necessary; (2) to establish permanent and temporary commissions; (3) to study affairs on the spot and to be acquainted with relevant information; (4) to offer suggestions and recommendations, which must be taken into consideration by management, and to strive for their implementation. "XXIII s'ezd KPSS o povyshenii boesposobnosti pervychnykh partorganizatsii," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 19 (October 1966), p. 21; "Sovershenstvovat' partiinyi kontrol' deiatel'nosti administratsii," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 7 (April 1973), p. 5; V. Iagodkin, "Partiinaia zhizn' v nauchnykh kollektivakh," Kommunist, no. 11 (July 1972), p. 57. 39 KPSS v rezoliutsiiakh i resheniiakh s'ezdov, konferentsii iplenumov TsK, vol. 11: 1925—53 (Moscow: Politizdat), 1953, p. 917. 40 Rigby and Miller, Political and Administrative Aspects, p. 57; T. H. Rigby, "Politics in the Mono-organizational Society" in A. C. Janos, ed., Authoritarian Politics in Communist Europe. Uniformity and Diversity in One-party States (Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1976), pp. 53-54. 41 Partiinaia zhizn', no. 5 (March 1954), p. 6. 42 "Partorganizatsii sovetskikh uchrezhdenii," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 15 (August 1958), p. 18. 43 Z. Minaeva, "Kontrol' za rabotoi apparata ministerstva," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 3 (February 1978), p. 49; "Partiinaia organizatsiia sovctskogo uchrezhdeniia," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 10 (May 1978), p. 53; Iu. Ragaishis, "Kommunist v apparate ministerstva," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 17 (September 1979), p. 50; V. Il'iushenko, "Partiinyi kontrol' v ministerstve," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 3 (February 1981), p. 47; A. Gorbunov, "Osushchestvliaia kontrol' za rabotoi apparata," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 11 (June 1982), p. 59; G. Izrael'ian, "Kontrol' deiatel'nosti apparata uchrezhdenii," Kommunist Estonii, no. 7 (July 1982), p. 38; "Slovo k chitateliu," Sotsialisticheskaia industriia, 20 February 1973, p. 1; F. Kh. Moiseishin, Deistvennost'partiinogo kontrolia. Iz opyta raboty Kompartii Belorussii (Minsk: Belarus, 1982), pp. 114-115; Partiinyi kontrol' deiatel'nosti administratsii, 2nd edn (Moscow: Politizdat, 1983), pp. 288-89. 44 Z. Minaeva, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 3 (February 1978), p. 49; Legostacv, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 22 (November 1978), p. 46; Gorbunov, "Osushchestvliaia kontrol',"

46

45

46

47

48 49

50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57

58 59 60

STEPHEN FORTESCUE Partiinaia zhizn', no. n (June 1982), p. 60; Moiseishin, Deistvennost' partiinogo kontrolia, pp. 293-94. Minaeva, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 3 (February 1978), p. 49; Il'iushenko, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 3 (February 1981), p. 48; Izrael'ian, Kommunist Estonii, no. 7 (July 1982), p. 40. See in particular Gorbunov, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 11 (June 1982), p. 58. Also N. Savost'anov, "Utverzhdenie novogo," Sotsialisticheskaia industriia, 27 October 1972, p. 2. PPOs had been particularly reminded of their responsibilities in the area of cost control in the 1969 decree on administrative costs. Resheniia partii i pravitel'stva po khoziaistvennym voprosam, vol. VII: 1968-69 (Moscow: Politizdat, 1970), pp. 546-49. Minaeva, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 3 (February 1978), pp. 49-50. Ibid., p. 51; Ragaishis, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 17 (September 1979), p. 51; Il'iushenko, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 3 (February 1981), p. 49; Gorbunov, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 11 (June 1982), p. 61; Partiinyi kontrol', p. 287. Kommunist Sovetskoi Latvii, no. 11 (November 1973), pp. 61-62. V. Kardamavichius, "Kontrol' partorganizatsii ministerstv za rabotoi apparata," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 4 (February 1983), pp. 34-35. Savost'ianov, Sotsialisticheskaia industriia, 27 October 1972, p. 2. Kommunist Sovetskoi Latvii, no. 11 (November 1973), p. 61. "Slovo k chitateliu," Sotsialisticheskaia industriia, 20 February 1973, p. r, Izrael'ian, Kommunist Estonii, no. 7 (July 1982), pp. 37-38. Minaeva, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 3 (February 1978), p. 49; Gorbunov, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 11 (June 1982), p. 60; Partiinyi kontrol', p. 293. Minaeva, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 3 (February 1978), p. 49. W. J. Conyngham, The Modernization of Soviet Industrial Management, Socio-economic development and the search for viability (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), p. 268. Resheniia partii i pravitel'stva po khoziaistvennym voprosam, vol. x, 1973-75 (Moscow: Politizdat, 1976), pp. 287-90. Ibid., pp. 286-87, 357-60. S. Fortescue, "Party Secretaries in Soviet Research Institutes," Politics (Australia), vol. XVIII, no. 1 (May 1983), p. 74.

61 62 63 64 65 66 67

68 69 70

C. Duevel, "Better 'Red' than Competent?," Radio Liberty, 24 February 1974. Material)' XXVI s'ezda KPSS (Moscow, 1981), p. 71. Partiinaia zhizn', no. 12 (June 1980), pp. 3-5. Resheniia partii i pravitel'stva po khoziaistvennym voprosam, vol. xiv (Moscow: Politizdat, 1983), pp. 365-69; Pravda, 2 June 1982, pp. 1-2. Partiinaia zhizn', no. 21 (November 1983), pp. 5-7. Partiinaia zhizn', no. 17 (September 1981), p. 9. Gorbunov, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 11 (June 1982), pp. 60-61;.T. Kiselev, "Povyshat' trebovatel'nost' k kadram, uchit' ikh luchshe ispol'zovat' proizvodstvennyi nauchno-tekhnicheskii potentsial," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 14 (July 1982), p. 23; Kardamavichius, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 4 (February 1983), p. 38. For the decree on control commissions, see Spravochnik partiinogo rabotnika, vol. xxm (Moscow: Politizdat, 1983), pp. 487-92. Legostaev, "Chetko videt'," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 17 (September 1980), pp. 49-52. Legostaev, "Kogda kontrol'," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 22 (November 1978), pp. 44-50, and no. 5 (March 1979), p. 71. Izrael'ian, Kommunist Estonii, no. 7 (July 1982), p. 40.

Primary party organizations

47

71 A. Maiorets, "Distsiplina na vsekh urovniakh khoziaistvennaia - zalog uspeshnoi raboty otrasli," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 3 (February 1984), p. 28. 72 Il'iushenko, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 3 (February 1981), pp. 46-48; Gorbunov, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 11 (June 1982), pp. 60-61. 73 Fortescue, Research Policy, p. 274. 74 For example, I. Gal'tsov, "Ne lcritikuite pri podchinennykh,"Parrimaidz/ii>M', no. 11 (June 1975), p. 71. 75 Gorbunov, Partiinaia zhizn', no. 11 (June 1982), p. 62. 76 Legostaev, "Kogda kontrol'," Partiinaia zhizn', no. 22 (November 1978), pp. 48-49. For a similar case, see A. Frolov, "Ot dolzhnosti otstranit'," Izvestiia, 20 June 1985, p. 2. 77 V. Legostaev, "Ne otstupat'ot namechennogo,"Parft'mo.O5.

higher education who had undergone ten abortions or more in the Soviet Union. Of 14 women with over 16 years' schooling, 14 per cent had had 8—10 abortions. An analysis of the distribution of abortions according to age group (Table 11.5) revealed that only among the youngest age group (22—32 years) was the percentage of those having had at least one abortion (44.4 per cent) lower than in the other age groups. This could be expected. However, we were astounded by the fact that even in this youngest age group there were women who had undergone 5, 6 or even 12 abortions. These data indicate that many Soviet women have had 10 or more abortions by the age of 35. These women are to be found in Moscow, Leningrad, Georgia and Central Asia and among them, as we have mentioned, are women with little education as well as those who are extremely well educated. Analysis of variance did not reveal any significant difference between the mean number of abortions among women from different republics, different

Abortion in the Soviet Union

207

Table 11.5. The number of induced abortions undergone in the USSR by 206 women: distribution by age Age

Number of abortions

22-32

33-44

45-55

56 +

0

55.6 13.0 16.7 5.6 3-7

26.6 20.3 14.1 20.3 4-7 6-3

31-4 21.6 15-7 15-7

40.5 24-3 18.9 8.1

2.0

0

3-9

2.7

3-1

2.0

0

0

0

2.0

0

0

0

2.0

0

10

0

0

2.0

2-7

12

1-9

0

0

0

13 15 16

0

0

2.0

0

0

4-7

0

0

0

0

0

100%

100%

100%

54

64

51

37

1.20

2.48 (3.26)

2.13 (2.70)

1.70 (3.06)

1 2

3 4 5 6 7 8

Total N Mean Std. dev.

1-9 1.9

(2.07)

2.7 100%

Note: Analysis of variance between groups: F = 2.2; P >o.O5.

age groups or with different levels of education.* Of the husbands, 97.7 per cent knew about the induced abortions of their wives, and 87.0 per cent approved of them. When seeking reasons for the high rate of induced abortion in the USSR, we have to examine two questions. One concerns the declining birthrate in the Soviet Union, i.e., the reasons for multiple terminations of pregnancy among Soviet women, and the other is why abortion is used as almost the only method of family planning in the Soviet Union, in preference to other more sophisticated and less drastic methods such as the IUD and the pill. Is this situation merely a result of the population's superstition and ignorance, or does the cause lie in the policy of the authorities? *It should be noted, however, that the vast majority of the people interviewed for this research project, although belonging to different age and education groups, come from the urban areas of the Soviet Union.

208

SHALVIA

BEN-BARAK

On a list of nineteen reasons, women were asked to mark two reasons for having had their abortions, one primary and one secondary. Their responses were then graded on a scale of 0—2, on which a reason not marked scored 0, a second reason 1, and the main reason 2. The reason which received the highest average mark (0.51), and which 126 of the women interviewed gave as the main reason for having abortions, was the burden of work in the home and at work. The two main additional reasons given were poor living conditions (average mark 0.34) and the women's state of health (0.32). Other reasons which received high marks were: fear ofjeopardizing the woman's studies (0.238), lack of childcare facilities (0.230) and the family's difficult financial situation (0.17). When we asked all the interviewees, both men and women, what they thought was the reason why women had abortions in the Soviet Union, the 352 people who answered gave the following reasons: 40.1 per cent — the burden of work placed on the woman both in the home and at work, 19 per cent - financial difficulties, 15.3 per cent-the difficulty of raising children in the Soviet Union, 11.9 per cent — difficult living conditions, 8.5 per cent-poor family life, 1.7 per cent-fear of losing one's job, and 3.4 per cent — another reason. These findings, which emerged at an early stage of processing the data, clearly indicate the demographic impact of the "dual role" with which Soviet women have been burdened since the Stalin era. Women in the Soviet Union make up 51 per cent of the urban and state farm work force. About 90 per cent of able-bodied women work or study.13 However, contrary to the belief that in a socialist society the burden of housework and childcare would shift from the individual household to the social collective, relieving women of these tasks, to this day women in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union still do most of the child-rearing and housekeeping. The work load of many Soviet working women is even greater than that of their counterparts in the West because of the chronic shortage of adequate shopping facilities, childcare and other communal facilities as well as labor-saving devices for the home, all of which is the direct result of government planning. u Soviet women protest against this double burden by limiting the size of their families. But this does not explain why they resort to abortion — many even ten or more times, with obvious danger to their health - in order to achieve this aim. K. H. Mehlan insists that the widespread use of abortion arises from the population's refusal to use contraceptives, despite the recommendations of the authorities. According to this view, prejudice about contraceptives on the one hand and the ease with which abortions can be obtained on the other are the main reasons why

Abortion in the Soviet Union

209

abortion is the most widely used means of family planning in the Soviet Union.15 The results of this research indicate a very different picture to the one presented by Mehlan. We used three questions to examine to what extent the population itself is responsible for the large number of abortions in the Soviet Union. One question was designed to determine the degree to which the population was aware of the individual's ability to plan the number of children in the family. A second question was designed to examine to what extent the population was willing to plan the number of children in the family, and a third question asked directly why contraceptive devices were not widely used in the Soviet Union. The fact that our research sample included emigrants from Georgia and Central Asia, i.e., areas with a traditional family culture, enabled us to examine in greater detail the "myth" surrounding the widespread use of abortion in the Soviet Union. Of the sample of interviewees, 77.8 per cent stated that it is possible to determine family size, and 77.6 per cent stated that it is desirable to plan family size. Only 22.2 per cent answered that it is not possible or desirable to determine family size. Of this latter group, 51 per cent came from Central Asia. More than 80 per cent of the interviewees from the European republics stated that it is both possible and desirable to plan family size, but even 49.4 per cent of the group from Central Asia said that it is possible, and 47.8 per cent said that it is desirable to plan family size. Of those from Georgia 93.2 per cent, answered that it is possible, and 93.8 per cent that it is desirable to plan family size. We found a positive linear relation between awareness of family planning and education (tau =0.12, P