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Power struggle in 1950's USSR: "Old guard" vs "New guard".

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Soviet cogitations: 62
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Aug 2012, 23:54
Pioneer
Post 24 Nov 2012, 18:19
Stalin by the end of his life had grown distrustful of his closest comrades- Beria, Malenkov, Bulganin, Kruschev, even Molotov.

The man who he wanted to be his successor at first was Nikolai Voznesensky, a highly educated Leningrad economist, responsible for restoring conditions of the liberated Soviet territory after the Germans were pushed back. Also wrote a huge book about the Soviet economy in WW2, winning a Stalin prize for his work. This drew the attention of Stalin, who openly called him his successor, but this was a big mistake, as in 1950, The Malenkov-Kruschev-Bulganin gang (Beria may have also been part, but his son denies it) fabricated a case and killed him on trumped up charges in the infamous "Leningrad affair". Stalin wrote on the case, "I do not believe it!", but Malenkov convinced him that it was true. Stalin was very sick at the time and could not offer much resistance.

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Then, according to Anatoly Lukjanov, a Soviet politician during the time, Stalin wanted to name Ponomarenko as his successor, because of his honesty and organizational ability. He prepared a Presidium on the subject, but died 1 day before it was scheduled. The documents where Ponomarenko was named as Stalin's suggested successor were destroyed by Kruschev. Ponomarenko himself was demoted to increasingly insignificant posts, such as ambassador to Nepal.

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In October 16, 1952, Stalin said to the Presidium:

We have freed from the obligations minister Molotov, Kaganovich, Voroshilov, and others and replaced them with new workers. Why? On what basis? The work of a minister- is the work of a young man! It requires much strength, concrete knowledge and health. This is why we freed some of our excellent comrades from their posts and replaced them with new, more qualified, initiated workers. They are young people, full of strength and energy.

After Stalin's death, they all came back to power, some of the being dropped off later on in the power struggle.

Meanwhile, Brezhnev, Kosygin, Maylshev, Kuznetsov, the "young guard" were demoted to insignificant positions like Ponomarenko.

The fight between the "old guard" and the "new guard", backed by Stalin, is a key to understanding the events of the 1950's.

The "old guard", when it came to power, killed or politically eliminated each other with great fervor, and with Kruschev on top, eventually led to a stagnation of the country which played a part in the collapse. No real new ideas or theories were produced, and the system fossilized. Corruption became more widespread as well.

If the "new guard" came to power, the USSR would have prospered without a doubt. The intelligence, deep economic understanding, and forward-thinking of an intellectual like Voznesensky combined with the organizing abilities of an honest, strong-willed and ideologically pure man like Ponomarenko would have done wonders for the USSR.

Info from: http://www.aif.ru/society/article/31587
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 4389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 24 Nov 2012, 23:28
I'm not sure if you've read Grover Furr's work, but here are some links that discuss the things you've mentioned:

http://clogic.eserver.org/2005/furr.html

http://clogic.eserver.org/2005/furr2.html

He also has a book out, called 'Khrushchev Lied' (which if I recall correctly was published in Russian before it was published in English):

http://www.amazon.com/Khrushchev-Lied-Revelation-Khrushchevs-Communist/dp/061544105X

...

Also, I do want to take a moment here to tell you Andropov as a moderator here that while Russian sources, videos and other materials are alright to link to, most of the community, which is not Russian-speaking, would appreciate at least a summary of the provided work. Also, and again because the community is mostly English, not Russian speaking, please limit your Russian to quotations, poems, song lyrics and the like and do your best to provide a translation. With regard to normal posts, the administrators and moderators can't do their job if they can't understand whether you've just agreed with someone or insulted them.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Soviet cogitations: 796
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Jan 2008, 19:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 24 Nov 2012, 23:39
I'm not familiar with the precise details of all 1950s USSR power structures. But your article mentions Brezhnev and Kosygin as part of the "New Guard" and Molotov and Kaganovich as part of the old guard. During the Khrushchev years it was Molotov and Kaganovich who formed the backbone of the anti-Revisionist Neo-Stalinist opposition to Khrushchev. Kosygin, who wikipedia claims was a close companion of Nikolai Voznesensky, supported the market-socialist reforms of Liberman.

So it seems to me what the article is saying is that Voznesensky and Kosygin could have been like a Russian Deng Xiaoping had they taken power in the 1950s and reformed the problems of a bureaucratic-stalinist economy and adapted it to the market.
Kamran Heiss
Soviet cogitations: 62
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Aug 2012, 23:54
Pioneer
Post 25 Nov 2012, 02:40
soviet78 wrote:
I'm not sure if you've read Grover Furr's work, but here are some links that discuss the things you've mentioned:

http://clogic.eserver.org/2005/furr.html

http://clogic.eserver.org/2005/furr2.html

He also has a book out, called 'Khrushchev Lied' (which if I recall correctly was published in Russian before it was published in English):

http://www.amazon.com/Khrushchev-Lied-Revelation-Khrushchevs-Communist/dp/061544105X

...

Also, I do want to take a moment here to tell you Andropov as a moderator here that while Russian sources, videos and other materials are alright to link to, most of the community, which is not Russian-speaking, would appreciate at least a summary of the provided work. Also, and again because the community is mostly English, not Russian speaking, please limit your Russian to quotations, poems, song lyrics and the like and do your best to provide a translation. With regard to normal posts, the administrators and moderators can't do their job if they can't understand whether you've just agreed with someone or insulted them.


The entire post is a English-language summary of the linked information.
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