Observers of the Soviet Union in the fiftieth year of its existence are now speculating on its ability to solve existing complex problems without a more radical transformation of the Soviet system than has already occurred. Alternative models of the system are distinguished by the different goals on which they focus; maximization of political control and power; promotion of industrialization; and transformation of social relations and individual behavior. Since political power is vested in the Party, an attempt to circumvent the Party machine might not only imperil those who tried it, but could even place the present political system at risk. The dilemma facing the Soviet leaders is that efforts to introduce reforms in the system and innovations to improve economic performance compel them to choose from among alternatives that lie closer and closer to the system's political and ideological outer limits. 69 pp.
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