As with most libcommers I've known about theories of State Capitalism for a long time, but I would like to share something I was introduced to through a long chat about Marx with an SPGB member, and which I have researched further as i'm doing an a-level coursework piece related to this:
Lenin himself desired, promoted and acknowledged the State Capitalist nature of the Soviet Union, although this was largely confined to intra-party debate and private letters. The destruction of council democracy and the introduction of 'War Communism' was the point at which the Bolsheviks introduced it to Russia, and it was consolidated by the 'New Economic Policy'.
This is in direct contrast to latter-day leninists and trots claims of the USSR under Lenin and Trotsky as genuinely socialist.
State capitalism would be a step forward as compared with the present state of affairs in our Soviet Republic. If in approximately six months’ time state capitalism became established in our Republic, this would be a great success and a sure guarantee that within a year socialism will have gained a permanently firm hold and will have become invincible in this country.
Source: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1921/apr/21.htm - this writing also has much more on state capitalism.
The state capitalism, which is one of the principal aspects of the New Economic Policy, is, under Soviet power, a form of capitalism that is deliberately permitted and restricted by the working class. Our state capitalism differs essentially from the state capitalism in countries that have bourgeois governments in that the state with us is represented not by the bourgeoisie, but by the proletariat, who has succeeded in winning the full confidence of the peasantry.
Unfortunately, the introduction of state capitalism with us is not proceeding as quickly as we would like it. For example, so far we have not had a single important concession, and without foreign capital to help develop our economy, the latter’s quick rehabilitation is inconceivable.
It seems to be tied into Lenin and Trotsky's pasts as Social-Democrats and the widely accepted theory that Russia needed to pass through a phase of capitalist development before socialism was workable (hence why the Mensheviks etc pushed for a parliamentary democracy). When Lenin chose to go with the Soviets rather than the Parliament, and claimed that Russia was ready for Socialism, he was lying: he still intended for Russia to pass through a phase of state capitalism.
But Lenin's theories of State Capitalism as a path to socialism were proved wrong, as his theory of democratic centralism does not assure control over society by the proletariat, but by a bureaucracy....
Although this whole subject does beg the question of whether industrialisation and economic development is possible under socialism? I personally think this is possible, although it would have to be a very hardworking society for decades.