From Lenin in China to the Blake Prize

A few pieces here and there, on the cusp of the bespeckled-and-bearded madness that is the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature.

First, a piece over at Political Theology reflecting on my experience as a judge of the Blake Prize in Religious Art for 2012.

Second, an assessment of Lenin in China, from a great conference at Wuhan University.


2 thoughts on “From Lenin in China to the Blake Prize

  1. “In the RSFSR (later USSR) the NEP lasted less than a decade, abolished with Stalin’s ascendency. In a quiet but precise analysis full of insight, this elderly Leftie argued that perhaps the NEP had not been deployed long enough in the USSR.”

    One can always rely on Lefties to get thing wrong, especially when it comes to NEP.

    NEP was not “abolished” it was worn out and bankrupt (it bit like its modern admirers).

    There were a variety of reasons for this, one of the most important being the fall of investment under NEP. The revival of production to the level of 1913, the great triumph of NEP, was achieved by bringing back into use factories and machinery from the pre-1914. However, not enough provision was made for depreciation. This meant that by 1927 industry was beginning to feel the strain of working with worn-out and obsolete capital equipment.

    The only way to avoid a collapse in production was through a substantial increase in investment. There was no way this could be achieved within the framework of NEP. This was especially so because NEP had benefited from cut in military spending that followed the end of the Civil War (to half that of the pre-1914 level).

    Only someone wilfully ignorant of the economic history of the period could imagine that it had “not been deployed long enough”.

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