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Soviet Union Communist Party, 671
Variables and Codes for 1950-1962
11-- Involvement Variables

Membership Requirements


Purposive Incentives


Membership Participation




Material Incentives



11.01 membership requirements
7, AC9
Party statutes state that "any worker who does not exploit the labor of another, who is a citizen of the Soviet Union, who acknowledges the program and statutes of the party, who actively participates in their fulfillment, who works in one of the organizations of the party, and who fulfills all decisions of the party, can be a member of the party." Before acceptance into the party as a full-fledged member, the applicant must undergo at least a year’s probationary period as a candidate member. During this period he becomes acquainted with the program, statutes and tactics of the party. Upon achieving membership status, the member receives a party card and pays monthly dues based on a graduated scale according to income.
11.02 membership participation
6, AC9
Party statutes declare that the CPSU is a voluntary militant union of like-thinking Communists, whose responsibility it is to safeguard the unity of the party and to be active in fulfilling and introducing party decisions into life. In addition to propagating party programs at their place of work or on an informal basis, the members attend meetings of professional interest where they can guide decisions along party lines. Their duties also include the uncovering of maladministration and breaches of discipline. To maintain a high level of performance and knowledge, members attend party training courses given on various levels.
11.03 material incentives
1, AC3
Specific data on the motivation of party membership are not available in the literature. Both references to careerists and opportunists are not unusual in soviet sources. Membership in the party is a major means of achieving status and personal advancement. The party supplies personnel not only for its own structure, but preferential treatment is given to its members in the government bureaucracy, the economy, and the professions. Party membership is prerequisite for many important posts, as well as promotion. The party also makes wide use of material incentives--both monetary and in benefits--to reward good party members and to attract successful professionals and technicians to join the party. In view of the rigid requirements expected of party members, however, a conservative judgment has been made in coding approximately one-third of the party membership as motivated in its activity by material incentives.
11.04 purposive incentives
3, AC3
Despite the increased acceptance of the use of material incentives within the party in recent years, it is estimated that approximately two-thirds of the membership may be motivated by an ideological belief in the goals of a socialist state.
11.05 doctrinism
3, AC9
There is no question about the doctrinaire nature of CPSU. The principles of Marxism-Leninism form the basis of the soviet ideology and the works of Marx and Lenin are, therefore, a continual body of reference.
11.06 personalism
0, AC5
Despite Khrushchev's denunciation of Stalin's cult of personality, Stalin's leadership was probably based mainly upon power and fear, rather than on his personal characteristics.