Lenin acknowledging the intentional implementation of State Capitalism in the USSR

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Dave B
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Jun 27 2011 19:09

There is a sort of link up to the ideas of the mir system, including those that Karl and Fred probably had as probably influenced by Plekhanov, the Narodniks and Lenin’s support for the stageist and inevitable introduction of capitalism.

Thus on the “Narodniks” which I assume is 'basically' relaible.

Quote:
The movement arose among the Russian intelligentsia in the 1860s and gained momentum in the 1870s. It was enhanced by dissatisfaction with Alexander II's Emancipation Manifesto of 1861, which, though liberating the peasants from serfdom, created unsatisfactory economic conditions for peasant agriculture by favouring the landowners in the redistribution of land and by imposing an involved system of collective compensation on the villages.

The Narodniki embodied in their teachings a considerable amount of communist ideology gathered from Karl Marx's (Marx, Karl) works, accepting, for instance, his ideas of communal ownership and production and his dislike for private enterprise. However, they modified two of Marx's fundamental principles. First, they believed in agrarian communism and disregarded the industrial proletariat, which at that time represented only a small minority of the population of Russia.

Second, they adapted to their needs Marx's theory of historical development, according to which human society must progress inevitably from primitive communism to industrial capitalism (?) and thence to the dictatorship of the proletariat. That, the Narodniki argued, would not apply to Russia, where peasant life was based on the traditional institution of communal land tenure, the mir. A successful change of regime would, in their view, allow Russia to skip the intermediate stage of capitalism and pass straight from primitive communism to modern socialism. The mir and the artel (a primitive village productive cooperative), the Narodniki asserted, would then naturally evolve a system of production and distribution beneficial to the community.

http://universalium.academic.ru/243192/Narodnik

And from Lenin later in 1914

The Left Narodniks

http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/may/14.htm

It is debatable I suppose just how idealised this notion of the mir system actually was at the time.

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CRUD
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Jul 1 2011 00:59

It's simple, socialism was never suppose to be about industrialization, that was capitalism's job- the socialist stage is about taking over industry after capitalism industrialized, to use the state to facilitate expropriation and to defend workers from capitalists. Marx knew this and said this....Lenin had to facilitate a sort of capitalism after he saw socialist revolutions in advanced capitalist nations weren't taking place.

I posted concerning this issue a few months back and was chastised by a couple posters here for being a"vulgar" Marxist (I'm not even a Marxist). Anyhow, Marx and especially Engels were very weary of the chance of actual communism arising in a "backwards" nation without the help of already advanced industrialized nations. Lenin saw that socialist revolutions in Germany/France etc didn't happen and hence made the switch to a sort of state capitalism which then led Stalin to parade the "socialism In One Country" bunkum.

As I said before, a few months ago, the entire Russian experiment was pre mature and misguided; it would've failed even if it had been actual workers controlling industry. If actual communism is to arise it will be from an advanced capitalist society not from a system that existed in 1916 Russia. This has implications for anarchism as well if you take Marx seriously. The Spanish revolution was also doomed to fail as are any anarchist attempts if it's not in an industrial economic system with the support of other industrial areas/nations. If Stalin's socialism in one country is bunkum then obviously anarchism in one "country" is also bunkum.

slothjabber
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Jun 30 2011 22:18

I agree almost totally. In one country, any such experiment is bound to fail, no matter what shape it takes. It must be worldwide.

But the 'Russian experiment' was never intended to be such a thing. It was only the opening of the world revolution. By the time the Bolsheviks realised that it wasn't going to happen (I'm not sure Trotsky ever did) they were already in control of Russia, with no idea of what to do.

I don't think that makes the Russian revolution 'premature'. In the context of any country the revolution is never 'mature'. Even in a country like Britain where the majority of people are workers in cities, we cannot institute socialism now. As I pointed out earlier in this thread, Russia was more technologically advanced than the world average at that point and actually had a huge economy.

So if the revolution was 'premature' in Russia, it must have been even more premature in world terms - and yet the left of the Socialist International, as well as some groups outside of the International such as the SPGB believed that socialism was possible at the beginning of the 20th century. If Lenin and Trotsky were wrong, so were not just the SPGB, but Pannekoek and Gorter, Luxemburg and Bordiga; so were Kropotkin and Malatesta, Makhno, Voline, Maximoff, Berkman and Goldman. And those people were wrong in 1917, how wrong had Bakunin been four decades previously?

More importantly the working class that overthrew Tsarism and the Kaiser, ended world war one and launched revolutionary actions around the world for 10 years were also wrong.

That's not a view of history I share. The Rusian revolution and the subsequent revolutionary wave was both the working class's most spectacular success and a tragic, brutal, monstrous fuck up. That is not because it was 'premature', it was because it failed. The working class was not capable of launching successful revolutions in other countries. Development or not of Russian industry doesn't change that fact by one iota.

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Jul 1 2011 01:05

The working class in Russia was pale in comparison to the agricultural workers, I wouldn't say they had a huge industrial economy, no way. It was pre mature of Russia to attempt socialism only because Germany, France etc weren't socialist. At the time it looked like they "might" go socialist but....they didn't so thus it was pre-mature and the result was a warped version of "socialism" in Russia that's given communism a bad name since (WW2 dint help either).The same can be said of Venezuela today- it's a pipe dream. The only thing that'll be accomplished by small or even large industrial isolated nation trying socialism on their own will be shit smeared in the face of socialism/communism/anarchism.

Advanced capitalist nations must go socialist first and the 'backwards' nations would receive help in the form of trade in order to industrialize the proper way. Another reason I say Russia was pre-mature was Lenin thought capitalism had reached "it's highest stage"- Marx talked about certian systems throughout history reaching a crisis point when revolution would happen, Lenin thought capitalism had exhausted all of it's productive forces due to imperialism. As we know that wasn't the case as capitalism had far more areas to expand into. The market system is a like a great white shark that must be in perpetual motion consuming in order to survive. Lenin thought that shark was 'trapped' and would soon become stagnant and die so he thought it was time for revolution. The shark didn't become stagnant and in my opinion won't at least for another 50 years or so. Right now the reason the US military is in the middle east is to "open up their markets" in order to keep this from happening. To keep the market expanding, to keep the shark swimming.

Pre WW2 the US sent it's entire NAVY to Japan and said(to the effect) "Open up your markets to western capitalism or be destroyed". Today they're using the euphemism "spreading democracy". As time passes and as globalization becomes more complete then we'll see a true opportunity for socialism to take hold. During this current crisis we have much potential to spread class awareness as they attack wages/benefits/social programs and this will only grow as the current and future capitalist crisis worsen. Waiting for the entire system to collapse would be insane but it needs to become apparent to the masses that capitalism is through before we have a chance to make the switch (the masses must also be class conscious). Lenin thought that time was his time but it obviously wasn't. This isn't some crude form of historical materialism it's just my opinion after reading Marx/Engels etc. The masses in his tie weren't class conscious and capitalism had yet to exhaust it's productive forces so the end product was a sort of 'forced' communism from the top down. There was never a workers state- never a chance to devolve the state- never a chance for actual communism to take hold and thus the meaning of communism since has been perverted. What happened in Russia (and China)is good propaganda for capitalists. Only now are Russia and China ready for socialism.

Lurch
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Jul 2 2011 17:29

Crud: some observations on what you’ve written (suggesting an alternative appreciation – not a ‘chastisement’, I hope).

It’s absolutely true that the defeat of the world revolutionary wave of 1917-1928 has weighed like a nightmare on the brains of subsequent generations of workers – particularly the identification of the Stalinist states as ‘communist’. Then again, the defeat of every great battle in which the working class has fought (the failed bourgeois revolutions of 1848, the Paris Commune, or more recently, the defeat of the miners strike in GB or the mass struggles in Poland 80-81) have led to periods of retreat and reaction. This doesn’t mean the workers were wrong or ‘premature’ to launch them. “We do not say to the world: ‘Cease your struggles, they are foolish; we will give you the true slogan of struggle’. We merely show the world what it is really fighting for, and consciousness is something that it has to acquire, even if it does not want to.” Marx, letter to Ruge (1843)

It ‘s also true that “During this current crisis we have much potential to spread class awareness as they attack wages/benefits/social programs and this will only grow as the current and future capitalist crisis worsen. Waiting for the entire system to collapse would be insane but it needs to become apparent to the masses that capitalism is through before we have a chance to make the switch (the masses must also be class conscious).

But 90-odd years ago also it was apparent to the masses that capitalism was ‘through’: the slaughter and destruction of the world war one had demonstrated this in a very real, immediate and horrific manner. Gone was the illusion of a peaceful, ever-expanding capitalism in which workers could share. Barbarism was the everyday reality. 20 million dead; almost as many again dying of disease in the wreckage of civilisation. These increasingly class conscious masses – all over Europe and with echoes in the US, Canada, South America and, yes, ‘backward’ Russia – would indeed have been ‘insane’ to wait for worse. They didn’t. They tried to change things.

Crud wrote: “It was pre mature of Russia to attempt socialism only because Germany, France etc weren't socialist. At the time it looked like they "might" go socialist but....they didn't so thus it was pre-mature...” This sounds like the old medieval ‘trial by water’: if they drown, they’re innocent, if they float, they are guilty and must die!

There is a big difference between making a revolution – seizing power in one or more countries – and “attempting socialism” which is a long-term project which can only be truly undertaken once the political revolution has been successful in many countries, including (certainly) some of the most advanced ones, where capitalism is strongest. There is a whole debate to be had here about the difference between the proletarian revolution and the revolutions of previous classes in history. Meanwhile...

How could the Russian workers know that they were ‘premature’? How did they know the German and other attempted revolutions, and all the mutinies and strikes in France, the Clyde, in Italy, Hungary, etc, etc, would lead to defeat? Was this written in advance somewhere; was it inevitable? Or is this a ‘reading back into history’, an ‘after the fact’ justification and theorisation?

In reality, it seems, for Crud, it’s not just the Russian revolution that was premature, but the whole movement because at that time “capitalism had yet to exhaust its productive forces,” 'capitalism had far more areas to expand into”.

When Marx wrote about an existing mode of production becoming a ‘fetter’ on the forces of production, (thus ushering an epoch of social revolution) I don’t think he had in mind a total halt of economic activity. Just imagine it: everything just stops!! I don’t think so. Of course the shark keeps on swimming.

But from the point of view of the workers – and what other view are we interested in? – this onward motion of capitalism comes at a terrible price.

We’ve already seen how many millions of workers and many revolutionaries (certainly not just Lenin) saw in the clash of imperialisms that was World War One a proof that capitalism could no longer go on expanding without cannibalising itself (it had become a ‘fetter’). Even if there were large areas of the globe not yet dominated by capitalist socialist relations (true enough), by 1914 the main and important territories, the really essential markets and strategic positions, had already been taken. The fundamental concentrations of proletarians had already been created. That’s why the further expansion of one capitalist nation could only take place at the expense of another: ie through war. A war fought by the proletariat for the benefit of its masters. A war from which the proletariat had nothing to gain. A war which did not fundamentally expand the forces of production but destroyed them!

Your own examples really only confirm this. When the US confronted Japan in the late 1930s, it wasn’t saying ‘open up your markets’, but ‘give us your markets'! It was a gangsterish prelude to another, even more violent and destructive war, a re-division, not of ‘new’ markets, but of previously existing ones. It was a vast destruction of the means of production, not an expansion of them, globally speaking. In the Mid-East today, it’s not the US which is challenging the status quo (because it already has, through Israel, Egypt and Saudia Arabia among others), a certain control of this area. In the past it was Russian imperialism which was fighting (through, at certain times, support for Egypt, Syria and Iraq) for a greater share of the spoils and strategic sea routes; today, it is Iran. But still: not an expansion, but a re-division.

So yes, the shark still swims. But was the past 90 years really a necessary prelude for socialism? Are we seriously saying that the massive unemployment and economic depression of the 1930s, the millions murdered to permit a minimum development in Nazi Germany, Stalin’s Russia, or later, Mao’s China; the mass slaughter and destruction of World War Two; and the deformed, debt fuelled development amidst constant warfare, mass starvation and ecological destruction since 1945 have all been necessary for laying the groundwork for communism? Have we really got to put up with another 50 years of this (according to you) until capitalism has finally colonised every acre of the planet and it’s not ‘premature’ to attempt a revolution? Perhaps we’ll return to this.

But back to 1917 and ‘backward Russia’. In the next post.

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Jul 2 2011 23:15

After Lenin saw advanced capitalist nations weren't going socialist he shouldn't openly let Russia go through the capitalist stage. The attempt at socialism was pre mature in my opinion. Capitalism itself was just about a century into industrialization at the time....far from reaching "it's highest stage". I'm more in agreement with Kautsky's view that an Ultra-imperialism would arise- western states would collude to exploit workers and to keep the market system going. This is indeed what happened after WW2.

Capitalists also reacted to the threat of revolution in advanced capitalist nations by "super" exploiting the third world while giving concessions to western workers. This has also hampered the possibility of socialism in advanced capitalist nations. This is no excuse for capitalism but there's a (seemingly) comfortable middle class in western nations who aren't necessarily screaming "revolution!" when times are "good". Most people don't see capitalism as being on it's death bed and probably wont until it's too late which is why it's important to not sit back and do nothing....waiting for the system to collapse- some sort of fascist system could arise from the ashes.

I'm basically touting crisis theory and saying capitalism had yet to exhaust it's productive forces in Lenin's time. Were the revolutions pre mature? Answer this, why then did communism not manifest? In my opinion capitalism was still too strong a beast (at the time) to overthrow. In the end I'm not sure what's going to happen, all I know is it will take scores of millions of us to effect change for the better. Thus far, during this current crisis I'm not seeing it happening. Some positive things are going on as far as resistance and such but at least in America we seem to be asleep at the wheel. It's kinda depressing really. There's a greater chance for socialism in Europe than America- we Americans are mostly brainwashed.

I also don't think world wars and murder on a mass scale are necessary for laying the foundations of socialism- economic development is what I'm referring to not the holocaust and such but the exhaustion of capitalism's productive forces. It would've been great if socialism prevailed in the early 20'th century but it didn't and as far as I can tell, right now, it isn't. I think this is largely due to the fact capitalism is just now entering it's "final stage". I think only recently have we seen the world stage actually set and ready for socialism at this point it's only a matter of forming a mass movement (which i predict will happen as capitalism enters worse and worse crisis).

slothjabber
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Jul 2 2011 23:39
CRUD wrote:
...
I'm basically touting crisis theory and saying capitalism had yet to exhaust it's productive forces in Lenin's time. Were the revolutions pre mature? Answer this, why then did communism not manifest? ....

Because the working class lost. It tried to make a revolution and it lost. Was it 'premature'? Or should it have let millions more be slaughtered in WWI before it made the attempt? How would the World War have ended without the Russian and German revolutions?

When is the time ever ripe for revolution? There are always reasons for delay. Things might be more advantageous tomorrow. Or not; but whatever, we know they are not advantageous today. Nor have they ever been. Will they ever be? How could you possibly know, if the sense of the revolution can only be judged with hindsight?

Lurch
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Jul 3 2011 09:43

Continuing my previous post...

Crud wrote:

Quote:
“The working class in Russia was pale in comparison to the agricultural workers, I wouldn't say they had a huge industrial economy, no way.”

So the rising series of strikes on the home front and mutinies on the battlefield (we’re talking many European countries here, not just Russia) found an initial expression in a revolution in a country where capitalism had been late developing and the working class was still a small minority of the population. And?

In Russia in 1914, there were ‘officially’ only 2,900,000 industrial workers (and millions of agricultural workers – often confused with ‘the peasantry’ from which they had emerged after decades under capitalist social relations).

Nonetheless, this combative urban proletariat (the number of strikes rose from 892 in 1908 to 3,574 in 1914) was concentrated in some of the most modern factories and facilities in the world (built courtesy of international finance – particularly from France which in 1906 ‘loaned’ the Tsarist state 2,250 million francs – ‘the largest loan yet made in the history of mankind’ according to the then Russian Prime Minister).

Nearly 50% of these workers toiled in factories of over 1000 employees. With over 40,000 workers, Putilov was the biggest factory in the world. In a backward country (nonetheless ranked 5th in the world in terms of output in 1917), workers operated the essential nerve centres: coal ,oil and textile production, transport (the trans-Siberian railway, completed in 1905, gave Russia more rail-miles in any other country bar the US – Trotsky got his figures wrong on this aspect) and communication (the telegraph and telephone companies; the press and print operations). As Marxism has long pointed out, it’s not only the consciousness and organisation of the workers that gives them their potential power – it’s their central place in the process of capitalist production.

This theory of the revolutionary role of the proletariat that was Marxism – the first translation of Das Capital was into Russian – was already well-established in the country (as also was a strong anarchist tradition). It produced a minority social democratic party which, especially after 1903, had as its main focus the spreading of this theory away from the students and intellectuals amongst whom it had first found favour directly into the ranks of the growing working class itself.

The self-organisation of the workers that expressed itself in the formation of workers, soldiers and sailors councils (Soviets) both in 1905 and 1917 drew on centuries of rural self government (albeit within the framework of an absolutist state) - the Mir (see posts above) from which the workers had only recently emerged. Under crumbling Tsarist absolutism, with a feeble, subservient bourgeoisie, there was little bourgeois democratic mystification – unions had been banned until 1906 and there was no tradition of parliamentary democracy. Despite their numerical weakness, the class consciousness of the Russian proletarians was not overly burdened with decades of reformist illusions. This in no way implies that workers didn’t struggle to improve their existence under capitalism – as we’ve seen above, there was a rising curve of defensive yet political strikes. Yet the fact that between 1908 and 1914 there was roughly 40% inflation while wages only rose 8% meant that every strike not only brought workers directly up against the state, but that a complete overturning of the existing order increasingly presented itself as the only solution to their predicament. Then there were the terrible privations of the 1914 war...

In short, whatever label you care to put on it (proletarian, bourgeois, peasant or any mixture) the numerical weakness of the working class in Russia did not prevent it from being the main lever of revolution in Russia in 1917, or the fact that its seizure of power was a source of immense inspiration of workers around the world.

If some of the backward specificities of Russia actually aided a seizure of power by the Soviets and the Bolshevik Party in tandem, the fundamental conditions which produced this phenomenon existed in every major metropole on the planet, as the following years of international, often insurrectionary struggles showed.

None of this means that in Russia, socialism could be built in 1917 – as you rightly say, Crud, socialism or anarchism in one country is a contradiction in terms, both theoretically and practically.

I’ll start to conclude with some minutes from the 3rd Congress of the Communist International, five years after 1917 - a time when this International, the Bolshevik Party and the state in Russia was already well down the road to degeneration. It’s the devil Lenin speaking:

“It was clear to us that without the support of the international world revolution the victory of the proletarian revolution [in Russia] was impossible. Before the revolution and even after it, we thought: Either revolution breaks out in the other countries, in the capitalistically more developed countries, immediately, or at least very quickly, or we must perish. Notwithstanding this conviction, we did all we possibly could to preserve the Soviet system under all circumstances, come what may, because we knew that we were working not only for ourselves but also for the international revolution. We knew this, we repeatedly expressed this conviction before the October Revolution, immediately afterward, and at the time we signed the Brest-Litovsk Treaty.” (Minutes of the Third Congress of the Comintern, Russian edition, p.354

The world revolution was unable to follow the Russian workers’ lead. Isolated ‘Soviet’ Russia did perish – albeit not in the manner that the Bolsheviks had predicted. And none of the above absolves anyone from a ruthless critique of their grievous errors, misjudgements and downright betrayal of principles which greatly contributed to and hastened this tragic end, the price of which we're still paying today.

Karl Marx
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Sep 26 2014 14:11

WHY does communism have to emerge from capitalism? Because LENIN proved that this is false with his Revolution. Even if he belived the oposite. He fucking proved despite what he wrote or said that the only thing that takes to make Communsim is the WILL to do it. Nothing else no laws of history or conditions or stages or anything. just the will. So in feudal Russia he didnt wait for forces of production to reach a certain level and capitalism to develop he just said Fuck it! and made comunism. Makes sense to me:)

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Gepetto
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Sep 26 2014 15:57

Karl, it seems that these 131 years in grave didn't do you good...

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Sep 26 2014 16:39
Karl Marx wrote:
WHY does communism have to emerge from capitalism? Because LENIN proved that this is false with his Revolution. Even if he belived the oposite. He fucking proved despite what he wrote or said that the only thing that takes to make Communsim is the WILL to do it. Nothing else no laws of history or conditions or stages or anything. just the will. So in feudal Russia he didnt wait for forces of production to reach a certain level and capitalism to develop he just said Fuck it! and made comunism. Makes sense to me:)

Lenin repackaged capitalism red.

Karl Marx
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Sep 26 2014 17:43

Hahaha
Look the USSR was not socialism i agree. But it was NOT capitalims either... I mean where were the capitalists! NOWHERE. Yes the state set quotas and whatnot but how is that capitalist competion. There was no profit in the capitalist sense of i put some money here and i get some +money there... The law of value simply DID NOT WORK. So for 70 years the Soviets were pushing this alternative thing that WASNT capitalsim but wasnt socialism either. It was some kinda weird atempt at making a better capitalism... Like a capitalism for the people. Crazy as capitalsm but NOT capitalism. And definately not socialism.

So as i said Lenin(despite himself...) proved that there are no stages of history by skiping capitalism and making this... thing. Yeah he made some mistakes but still... He was a badass revolutionary and we should look up to him

Just look how badass he looks here

like some superhero... FUCKING BADASSS

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Sep 26 2014 18:08
Karl Marx wrote:
So as i said Lenin(despite himself...) proved that there are no stages of history by skiping capitalism and making this... thing.

But there was capitalism in Russia in 1917...

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Sep 26 2014 18:11
Karl Marx wrote:
He fucking proved despite what he wrote or said that the only thing that takes to make Communsim is the WILL to do it. Nothing else no laws of history or conditions or stages or anything. just the will.

OK, Bakunin, I got enough of your shit, stop your weak trolling! grin

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Sep 26 2014 18:18

I see we have yet another Marxist Leninist who knows nothing of Marx or Lenin.

Karl Marx wrote:
Hahaha
It was some kinda weird atempt at making a better capitalism... Like a capitalism for the people.

You know I've said this before but it continues to amuse me how often these types of "arguments" for the USSR read like empty slogans for Fascist movements.

Did Lenin make a better train timetable too?

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Sep 26 2014 18:27
Reddebrek wrote:
I see we have yet another Marxist Leninist who knows nothing of Marx or Lenin.

M-L wouldn't admit that USSR wasn't socialist.

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Sep 26 2014 18:30
Karl Marx wrote:
WHY does communism have to emerge from capitalism? Because LENIN proved that this is false with his Revolution. Even if he belived the oposite. He fucking proved despite what he wrote or said that the only thing that takes to make Communsim is the WILL to do it. Nothing else no laws of history or conditions or stages or anything. just the will. So in feudal Russia he didnt wait for forces of production to reach a certain level and capitalism to develop he just said Fuck it! and made comunism. Makes sense to me:)

Lenin's belief in communist revolution being possible in Russia (a capitalist state anyway, despite a large peasant population and certain feudal vestiges) was grounded in his recognition of the international nature of capitalism and his view that international productive forces were adequately developed for "to each according to their need" to be materially possible regardless of whether that productive apparatus existed on one side or another of some national border. It had nothing to do with the WILL.

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Sep 26 2014 18:36
Gepetto wrote:
Reddebrek wrote:
I see we have yet another Marxist Leninist who knows nothing of Marx or Lenin.

M-L wouldn't admit that USSR wasn't socialist.

Your confusing real life Tankies in actual CP's with internet self identifiers.

There are also keyboard "Trotskyists" who are "Trotskyists" because they love the Soviet Union but are squeamish about all the murders, and since they don't know anything about Trotsky and the SU think he was the good guy.

Karl Marx
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Sep 26 2014 19:56

Goddamn...

I am not a fascist FFS... Or a ML or a trotskyst. I am a GOD DAMN COMMUNIST okay and im just saying that USSR was not capitalist... But that doesnt make it automaticaly socialism. It was its own thing

I posted all this on Revleft first but they banned me... So i taught people here would be more reasonable. Can someone tell me then how exactly was USSR capitalist? Im not admiring it or anything for christsake... It had a cool anthem though hehe OK sorry:( totaly not admiring it now

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Sep 26 2014 20:07

But you're not being criticised for saying that USSR wasn't capitalist. Some people here don't buy that theory too.

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Sep 26 2014 20:15
Karl Marx wrote:
I posted all this on Revleft first but they banned me... So i taught people here would be more reasonable. Can someone tell me then how exactly was USSR capitalist?

Labor-power was purchased for the purpose of producing commodities on a generalized basis with surplus-value being extracted from wage-laborers. The state playing the role of universal capitalist is no more non-capitalist than any less encompassing form of monopoly.

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Sep 26 2014 20:28
Karl Marx wrote:
Hahaha
Look the USSR was not socialism i agree. But it was NOT capitalims either... I mean where were the capitalists! NOWHERE. Yes the state set quotas and whatnot but how is that capitalist competion. There was no profit in the capitalist sense of i put some money here and i get some +money there... The law of value simply DID NOT WORK. So for 70 years the Soviets were pushing this alternative thing that WASNT capitalsim but wasnt socialism either. It was some kinda weird atempt at making a better capitalism... Like a capitalism for the people. Crazy as capitalsm but NOT capitalism. And definately not socialism.

Maybe you should ask yourself a few simple questions to help make up your mind:

- was there commodity exchange and money? If so, value must have existed in some form.
- did a working class exist that was compelled to sell their labor power because they did not collectively control the means of production themselves? (nevermind whether there was a 'right to work' or unemployment)
- if value and a working class can be said to have existed, how was economic growth possible without surplus value?

There's a few holes in the 'it wasn't capitalism' view from a structural perspective (because that would lead to logical contradictions). But I admit that I don't know enough about how the USSR worked to make a judgment.

Karl Marx
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Sep 26 2014 20:41

OK the workers made stuff and were compensated for it. But was it acording to the LTV? No the state decided on that. And where was this stuff being sold at? Because again the state was seting the prices and they didntt have a market... So how can there be commodities? Hmmmm?

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Sep 26 2014 20:41
Karl Marx wrote:
Goddamn...

I am not a fascist FFS... Or a ML or a trotskyst. I am a GOD DAMN COMMUNIST okay and im just saying that USSR was not capitalist... But that doesnt make it automaticaly socialism. It was its own thing

I posted all this on Revleft first but they banned me... So i taught people here would be more reasonable. Can someone tell me then how exactly was USSR capitalist? Im not admiring it or anything for christsake... It had a cool anthem though hehe OK sorry:( totaly not admiring it now

You know I guess I was wrong I thought you weren't a Communist because your previous comments displayed a total ignorance of politics, history and the personal views of Lenin, but I see you've hit caps lock (or held down shift) so you must be telling the truth groucho

Kidding aside you could of bothered to read the thread you necro'd, I found some of the old arguments tedious but they were mostly on topic about Capitalism and the Soviet Union. Just go look at the OP.

I also think you should really go back and read your own comments because they just don't make sense.

You go from saying Lenin PROVED you can skip Capitalist phase*, then you say Lenin didn't build Socialism but Capitalism. A "better" "People's" Capitalism in your view, but capitalism all the same so he didn't prove you can skip Capitalism then since he built a type of capitalism. I mean honestly what on earth is your point?

*Which would've involved time travel since the Russian Empire was already a Capitalist economy, which by 1917 had some of the biggest industrial centres and the latest production technologies.

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Reddebrek
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Sep 26 2014 20:59
Karl Marx wrote:
OK the workers made stuff and were compensated for it.

Yes they recieved a wage, just you are "compensated" by your employer

Quote:
But was it acording to the LTV?

??? Yes one of the biggest economic headaches of the Soviet Union was making their work force achieve their production targets, aka increasing surplus value.

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No the state decided on that.

You're correct the state planners decided on productivity targets and incentives and coercion.

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And where was this stuff being sold at?

Shops in the factories, shops in the districts, shops at train stations, ports, airports, food was sold in restaurants and bars, energy and weapons and consumer goods were sold on the world market etc.

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Because again the state was seting the prices and they didntt have a market

??? Yes they did the Soviet Union sold goods and materials internationally and internally. In order to get anything in the Soviet Union outside of emergency rationing periods you had to buy it.

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... So how can there be commodities? Hmmmm?

Because workers were paid to produce things, these things where then sold with the state pocketing the surplus (If any productivity wasn't certain) that is how the Soviet economy expanded and developed.

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Railyon
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Sep 26 2014 23:48

If the former GDR is anything to go by (and I think it is as one of the most important Warsaw pact states that needed to show the West what 'socialism' was capable of), the state did set prices and productivity goals, yes, but workers were officially waged (they did not hide that part) and could spend that money in any way they liked - in principle, at least, as most stores did not have the overabundance of the West.

But this already covers a very important point: if you are waged and have to buy your means of subsistence with it, value necessarily exists (and if we follow Marx's argument that value as the general social determinant of exchange constitutes capitalism as a system, we already have our proof right there actually - its all in Capital chapters 1 to 3). The GDR never hid that they had a wage system and commodities (state planning was also enhanced by an intricate system of incentives and such). Basically, the VEB (state-owned enterprises) had a production target, and all surplus they could sell as they please. There was a whole range of well-known GDR products in the West, from cameras to furniture - speaking of furniture, Ikea had forced laborers in GDR prisons. The more you know.

Karl Marx
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Sep 27 2014 04:34

Allright. now i gotta get some sleep but tomorow ill read this whole thread and then well see.

Karl Marx out.

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Gepetto
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Sep 27 2014 15:40
Railyon wrote:
But this already covers a very important point: if you are waged and have to buy your means of subsistence with it, value necessarily exists (and if we follow Marx's argument that value as the general social determinant of exchange constitutes capitalism as a system, we already have our proof right there actually - its all in Capital chapters 1 to 3).

You're making an assumption that money was primary if not only factor in acquiring the means of subsistence in the Eastern bloc, not time to wait in queues and connections. Also many things were alreavy provided by state.

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cantdocartwheels
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Sep 27 2014 19:04

''the soviet union....where were the capitalists''

in the sense that state companies were not owned by sole individuals or floated on the stock market, for sure, but then lots of states don't allow this fro many key industries., To extrapolate from this that the soviet union was a classless society with no law of value is somewhat farcical.
By the 1930's the salaries of senior bureaucrats were100's of times that of workers. Stalin himself increased his salary to over 10,000 rubles by 1947.
If these were not capitalists then we would have to equally assume that most managing directors of major companies are not ''capitalists''. At which point your talking about a notion of ''capitalism'' hat has little to do with reality..

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Gepetto
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Sep 27 2014 19:09

Stalinist bureaucrats weren't even a class. Definitely not in Marxist terms.