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Soviet Union Communist Party, 671
Variables and Codes for 1950-1962
10-- Coherence Variables

Legislative Cohesion


Leadership Factionalism


Ideological Factionalism


Strategic or Tactical Factionalism


Issue Factionalism


Party Purges

10.01 legislative cohesion
Not applicable
10.02 ideological factionalism
3, AC7
Despite the fact that factions were formally abolished in 1921 at 13th Party Congress, two trends became identifiable in party ideology during the post-Stalin era. Disagreements emerged between those who espoused the more liberal policies within Marxism-Leninism. Khrushchev ultimately denounced seven out of eleven full members of the CPSU as constituting an anti-party faction. Although this group formed a majority within the Presidium, there is no evidence that its supporters were proportionally represented in lower party echelons.
10.03 issue factionalism
3, AC8
Differences within the party have been connected mainly with economic issues and foreign policy. While it is difficult to establish accurate estimates of support for various issues at the lower ranks of the party, certainly at the Presidium level, leaders’ positions and those of the opposition are quite well recorded. Thus in the early post-Stalin era, Malenkov--favoring improved relations with the west and increasing consumer goods production domestically--sparred with Khrushchev, who took a more aggressive stance vis-a-vis the west and supported the priorities of heavy industry and armaments. Although by 1956 Khrushchev had shifted his position somewhat on certain issues, he had gained enough support within the party to be able to accuse his opposition of factionalism in deviating from the party line on industrial reorganization, agricultural policy, and foreign policy, and also succeeded in linking them with the traditional line of Stalin.
10.04 leadership factionalism
5, AC8
The discussion of membership supporting Khrushchev as party leader is based on figures for the Central Committee. During his early years as First Secretary, Khrushchev, on the basis of raw patronage, was able to appoint his supporters to key positions within the party. Of the total 1956 Central Committee membership, it is estimated that 1/3 was committed to support Khrushchev and 1/3 was likely to support him. When the majority of the Presidium tried to unseat him in 1957, the Central Committee supported him in overwhelming numbers with 215 out of 309 voting and non-voting members of the committee and central inspection commission speaking on his behalf.
10.05 strategic or tactical factionalism
0, AC9
For our purposes, strategy and tactics relate to the party’s orientation towards the goal of placing its members in government positions. This was never a matter for dispute during our time period.
10.06 party purges
1 for 1950-56, AC7
2 for 1957-1962, AC8
The term purge is used rather frequently and loosely in the CPSU literature. In applying the project’s more restrictive definition of mass expulsion from the party, the usage is narrowed somewhat. The low score for the first half of the time period refers to the series of purges of the early 50’s, when the targets were Zhdanovites, Beria supporters, and Beria, who likewise managed to purge a few Georgian officials in the party and government. Some sources describe the large-scale reorganizations within the Central Committee and the replacement of party officials from 1953-1956 as a purge. There is no evidence, however, showing the actual expulsion of the ousted members, and references to this latter occurrence are not included in the codes. In 1957, the famous "anti-party" purge of more than one half of the leading members of the Presidium was begun. Although these members were demoted, thereby losing considerable influence during the latter part of our time period, they were not officially expelled until 1964. Liberty was taken here to include the fact, as the fait accompli was just a hair’s breadth outside our cut-off year.