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Practicing StalinismBolsheviks, Boyars, and the Persistence of Tradition$
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J. Arch Getty

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300169294

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300169294.001.0001

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Principled and Personal Conflicts

Principled and Personal Conflicts

(p.147) 5 Principled and Personal Conflicts
Practicing Stalinism

J. Arch Getty

Yale University Press

Patrimonialism permeated Russian and Soviet cultures in a profound way. Patrimonialism won over bureaucracy, as the last chapter showed. This chapter shows that it came with a price: conflicts and political clans. Patrimonialism permeated the entire Bolshevik party. On all levels, party members thought of themselves as some version of the elect, the privileged. Party members regarded themselves as natural leaders. In the absence of countervailing institutions, such groups rapidly developed into cliques and patron-client groups. If there was more than one strong personality in the locality, a power struggle would erupt.

Keywords:   patrimonialism, Soviet culture, political clans, conflict, Bolshevik party, patron-client groups

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