“In 1877, before the Russian Marxists had raised their head, Engels had recognized the possibility in favourable conditions of the direct transformation of the communal system into a higher form, “avoiding the intermediate stage of individualized bourgeois property”. In 1877, in reply to an attack in a Russia journal, Marx confined himself to a doubtful admission that Russia had “the finest chance which history ever presented to a nation of avoiding the up-and-downs of the capitalist order”. In 1881 Marx gave a more positive response to a direct personal inquiry from Vera Zasulich; and in the following year the last and most authoritative pronouncement appeared in the preface to a Russian translation of the ‘Communist Manifesto, signed jointly by both its authors: ‘If the Russian revolution is the signal for a workers’ revolution in the west so that these complement each other, then the contemporary Russian system of communal ownership can serve as the starting-point for a Communist development'” [E.H. Carr, Studies in Revolution, 1964]