THE TECHNICAL INTELLIGENTSIA AND THE EAST GERMAN ELITE: Legitimacy and Social Change in Mature Communism by Thomas A. Baylis

THE TECHNICAL INTELLIGENTSIA AND THE EAST GERMAN ELITE: Legitimacy and Social Change in Mature Communism

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KIRKUS REVIEW

To what extent has the technical intelligentsia been coopted into the party elite in East Germany and to what extent do they form an independent power base? Chief planners, economists, top bureaucrats, scientists, engineers, managers, educators and journalists are patiently catalogued here: they exhibit little self-conscious unity, Baylis finds, but, having been set up by the regime to serve the regime, they have potential to react against it. The book draws on East German sources as well as scholars Peter Ludz and Ernst Richert (Baylis is more cautious in finding direct cohesion and political leverage among his subjects). The history of this elite is punctuated by Ulbricht's policy swings and the clampdown by his successor, Herr Honnecker, who has attacked systems vocabulary and virtually discarded the pro-managerial ""liberalized"" New Economics. The technical intelligentsia, Baylis finds, have weight in the Central Committee but remain weak in the Politburo and Secretariat; but, like the sea eroding mossy rocks, ""in the Soviet bloc the managerial revolution will be no revolution at all but a largely invisible process of alliance-building, infiltration and absorption."" For industrial sociologists, Easternologists, systems analysts and U.S. government types whose job is ""alliance-building, infiltration and absorption.

Pub Date: July 15th, 1974
Publisher: Univ. of California Press