Specialists in communist affairs, as is well known, differ significantly in their interpretation of Soviet-type systems. Such divergence notwithstanding, numerous scholars seem to agree that under ‘real socialism’, Marxist-Leninist ideology is visibly ‘withering away’ as a meaningful category in analysing society at large or leadership groups. In the ‘Bureaucratic Leviathan’ states of the communist world, Maria Hirszowicz writes, interest in Marxism is nowadays either non-existent or very limited. In these polities there seems to be ‘a widespread belief (shared by many enlightened party members) that Marxist methodology does not have much to offer in relation to what is really important in understanding social life in communist countries’. In a similar manner, Robert F. Byrnes indicates that Marxism has lost ‘any relevance or vitality’ and adds that Marxist thought and revisions of it are far more common in France, the United States and the underdeveloped countries than in communist Eastern Europe, where the doctrine or doctrinal approaches seem to have been spurned for practical reasons. In other words, as Wayne S. Vuchinich put it, ideology ‘has been made the servant of realpolitik and thereby it… has been reduced to hollow ritualism’. The validity of such remarks is often corroborated not only by members of the overtly anti-Marxist opposition, such as Solzhenitsyn, but also by former or present-day dissidents, such as Kołakowski or Sakharov.