SANDRA PUJALS (Rio Piedras, PR, USA) THE SOVIET SWINDLING TWENTIES: CORRUPTION AND SOCIAL MOBILITY IN THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION* "The evidence o f vice and virtue is not confined to famous accomplishments. Often some trivial event, a word, a joke, will serve better than great campaigns as a revelation of character." Plutarch "What can be said o f the Communist Party today," complained the author of a Kornsomol propaganda pamphlet in 1929, "when it attracts ... tens of thousands who have obtained a.party card because o f their personal, mercenary aims?"' Echoing these complaints, the Communist Party fraction leaders of the Society of Former Political Prisoners and Exiles of the Soviet Union (1921-1935), an organ- ization o f former revolutionaries of the pre-1917 era, candidly reflected on the issue of corruption as a social malaise o f the period: "It is very interesting how sometimes the honorable mark o f the Society o f Former Political Prisoners is debased by a variety o f scoundrels accidentally finding themselves in the court . bench o f a political trial in the past, and how these corrupt people manage to blindfold many organizations at present."2 But who were these "mercenaries" and
Canadian-American Slavic Studies – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2001
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