AbstractMuch of this book has been concerned with what post-revolutionary society, exemplified mainly by the Soviet Union, is not, rather than what it is. I have argued that it is neither capitalism nor socialism as these social formations have been traditionally understood by Marxists, nor is it, as Trotskyists maintain, a transitional society between the two which has been temporarily stalled by a bureaucratic deformation. It is, in my opinion, a society with enough basic differences from both capitalism and socialism to be considered and studied as a new social formation in its own right. In this chapter I venture what I have not previously attempted in print, to sketch with very broad strokes what appear to me to be the fundamental characteristics of this new social formation, to identify what distinguishes it from these other social formations.
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