ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Janos Kornai's Odyssey to the Never, Never Land

Janos Kornai

T he allurement and mesmeric appeal of the pristine Marxist-Leninist doctrine and socialistic vision of society have been perennial among the people across all continents ever since the Bolshevik revolution and its later spread to eastern and central Europe. As one among the idealistic youths of India in the 1940s, I wrote on the sly by way of irregular memoirs about the mental churnings of the young that they were smoking away their thoughts in a spiral of circles on historical dialectics, democratic centralism, the Stalin-Trotsky thesis and antithesis on world revolution, the decadent national bourgeoisie, and, as the nal denouement, the raging controversy about whether the Bolshevik revolution was a permanent revolution or a false alarm. Being an enslaved and poor nation, the distance of Russia lent charm and richness to our miserable existence. We dreamt that one day Russia, Lenins Russia, which had made a reality of Marxs utopia, his ight of fancy would take many a hapless poor to that kingdom in heaven (Khatkhate 1992). But then Soviet Russia and its satellites in the eastern and central Europe melted like an iceberg; China under Deng Xiaoping ushered in capitalism with Chinese characteristics after the tyrannical regime of Mao which kept the Indian youth under its magic spell for a while.

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