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Chapter 8 looks at two developments: the question of how to tackle “the kulak” or richer peasantry inside the Soviet Union, and the question of how the Communist International related to the British General Council of the Trades Union Congress during the 1926 General Strike in Britain. It looks at the zig-zags around the question of industrialization made by Stalin during the 1920s as he tried to outmaneuver Leon Trotsky and Trotsky’s supporters. Stalin’s alliance with Bukharin during the mid-1920s involved making a compromise with Bukharin’s tolerance for the growth of capitalist agriculture in the Soviet Union. Such a compromise had a parallel abroad with the Communist International’s support for the trade union bureaucracy in Britain during the 1926 British General Strike, rather than the traditional Leninist stress on independent working-class organization and activity. The inevitable defeat of the General Strike vindicated Trotsky’s analysis but ultimately served only to strengthen the idea that the task was to build “socialism in one country.”

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