Chapter II

Submitted by libcom on July 28, 2005

Community and Communism in Russia (II)

Despite all the works on the Russian revolution and on soviet society, we believe that instead of closing, the study had not really begun, because two essential questions have escaped attention : those of the community and the periodization of the CMP into formal and real domination of capital. A host of other questions derive from these two, so we shall simply note that our aim is not to consider the Russian question exhaustively, but to put forward again the debate over it by integrating Bordiga's work.

The Russian revolution should and could have been the prologue to the last revolution of our species, according to what might be called the historical party. That is why it is fascinating and calls for study, not in itself, but as a moment of what is awaited, but certain (Bordiga). It concretely universalized the communist revolution because it developed in an area where the communitarian phenomenon was still alive, thus showing that the communist revolution is not the solution solely for class society. It extended the horizons of the western revolutionaries who only conceived of the true future in their own countries, and only thought of the human future as a function of the movement in their area, their civilization. There was a juxtaposition of two worlds until the Russian revolution. One where private property, the individual, classes and exchange value had autonomized themselves; the other where man was still the goal of production, where progress was yet to be created. How would these two humanities unite? The one going through the hell of class society, and the other still enclosed in its communities, Marx asked this question in 1858 and still had no answer in view :

"The difficult question for us is this : on the Continent the revolution is imminent and will immediately assume a socialist character. Is it not bound to be crushed in this small corner, considering that in a far greater territory the movement of bourgeois society is still in the ascendant?" [1]

He still envisaged that all people had to pass through the bourgeois and capitalist phase, He did not think of the possibility of a leap, It was during the study of Russia that he discovered, thanks to the Russian revolutionaries, the solution effecting the necessary and vital generalisation for our common destiny, also implying the reconciliation of men at various moments of their development, without necessarily putting this on an axiological scale.

He could understand the problem of the revolution in Russia because he had already thought over the question of the community. He had rediscovered it on the basis of a classist approach, because, even if there were still living remains of communities in the West in Marx's time (around Trier in Germany, in Corsica and Spain), the study did not need to be based fundamentally on them. Now this is really the central question of communism, Marx had already stated it in Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Law, where he said that the true supersession of the state could only be the community (Gemeinwesen), which appeared clearly in On the Jewish Question. In the 1844 Manuscripts, he specified that the community could not be opposed to the individual, while in his article against Ruge's The King of Prussia and Social Reform, he stated that human being is the real Gemeinwesen of man [2] . However, it is perhaps in the notes on James Mill's book (1844) that one can find the most remarkable indications on the Gemeinwesen [3] and communism where individuals are social men and their human being is their Gemeinwesen. Marx would not have been able to recognise the revolution against the state in the 1871 Paris Commune, which realized the outline of the Gemeinwesen-human being, if it had not been for this theoretical supersession due to the irruption of the proletariat, the class having to abolish all classes, onto the historical scene. It also explains why Engels was able to say that one should translate commune by the old German word Gemeinwesen. Finally we must insist on the fact that communism could not be defined as anarchy for Marx; as "atheism is the final recognition of theism, the negative recognition of God", anarchy is the negative recognition of the state, the last stage of the state.

However, the study of the Gemeinwesen took on much greater depth in the 1850's when Marx tried to encompass the movement of exchange value and its transformation into capital. The key texts here are the Urtext and the section of the Grundrisse entitled Forms preceding Capitalist Production :

"If free labour and the exchange of this free labour against money, to reproduce and valorize money, to come to be consumed by money as use value, not for enjoyment, but as use value for money, is a requirement for wage labour and one of the historical conditions for capital, so is the separation of the free labour from the objective conditions of its realization -- from the means of labour and labour material -- another requirement. Thus, first of all the detachment of the worker from the soil, thus his natural laboratory -- thence dissolution of small free landed property as well as communal (gemeinschaftlichen) land holding as the land holding based on the oriental commune (Kommune)." [4]

Here it is clear that one had to study the activity of humans from their discontinuity with nature and one had to understand how their activity was externalized, autonomized and made into an oppressive power which dissolved their community. Then philosophy, politics and religion only appeared as interpretations of a profound phenomenon : the expropriation of humans. Also, starting from this study, one will be able to remove all the rigidity and limitation to the Communist Manifesto formula that "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles", a formula that even Engels' footnote did not succeed in removing. The rigid schema of 1859 must be corrected by the later works of Marx. Classes can only develop with the destruction of the community. They are inhibited as much as the community exists. There can be a division of labour without a class society. Caste society only expresses the impossibility for a given society to give rise to classes, which does not mean at all that class was a necessity, not that caste was its precursor. They are two human organizations in two very dissimilar social forms.

We can, as Marx did, make the following periodization by taking into account the movement of value and its presuppositions. The primary formation, which includes all forms where communal property in land is the basis of society, its foundation. What is called primitive communism is only the very old first form which was probably the product of man's evolution from the Australanthropos stage (over one million years ago) to Homosapiens. This implies the idea of biological evolution parallel to technico-social evolution, So primitive communism was the behaviour of the human species when there was an immediate union among the component members and between these members and their natural environment. It is the social form where the motion of value has yet to begin, where the division of labour, labour, the exchange system (actually consisting of a series of reciprocal gifts which are more or less differentiated, thus ensuring a circulation of products and inhibiting a process leading to inequality), all that is still a totality as yet unfragmented. In particular, as Marx said, the individual member was not yet a worker.

Later the movement of exchange value grafts itself onto the pre-existing structures and tends to autonomize itself. Thus one gets the forms that Marx called Asiatic because he found them, or at least evidence for them, in that huge continent [5] . He remarked in the Forms preceding capitalist production that :

"When they finally do settle down, the extent to which this original community (Gemeinschaft) is modified will depend on various external, climatic, geographic, physical etc. conditions as well as on the particular natural predisposition -- their clan character." [6]

It is very important that Marx should have talked of Asiatic forms and not an Asiatic form. One could tackle the study of the communitarian forms still existing in Africa, which bear a certain resemblance to the Asiatic forms, on this basis. This would also show their original character, thus completing Marx's work which did not deal with Africa, apart from his notes on Algeria, written in 1882. Whatever the case, what is important here for us is to show that the greatest part of humanity has not had a history of class struggle, which is not to say that there have not been struggles between human groups. Marx said that war was the basic activity-production of communities. On the other hand, communities continued for a long time even in societies that had become class societies, and may have held back the class struggle.

Marx considered a number of forms inside the primary formation, but the Asiatic mode of production could not be included. It is a particular Asiatic form which, following the very specific geographical conditions correctly shown by Wittfogel (he named the society conditioned by the whole of these conditions hydraulic society), had a unique development. On the other hand, the famous Asiatic stagnation did not mean that this continent could not give rise to an important technology, science and art. A certain development of the productive forces was possible; however, it would always reach a limit : the impossibility of the autonomization of individuals and classes, i.e. exchange value could not be autonomized, thus the two essential conditions for the birth of capital were not produced. It is this leap of the productive forces which was not realized. Asia also underwent great periods of flowering where it reached a point where it seemed that a leap could be made. All the essential conditions for the transition to the CMP occurred as in the West, save one : the cutting of the umbilical cord of the community (Marx).

The secondary formation regrouped all the forms founded on private property, which implied the existence of individuals (the person subject to exchange, as Marx said in the Urtext) and so too classes. Thus one had slavery or the ancient mode of production (old form), the feudal form, or the feudal mode of production, the Asiatic mode of production where private property, if it existed, did not allow the autonomization of individuals as people were dependent totally on the supreme unity : generalized slavery. In fact, real private property only existed at the level of the encompassing unity (zusammenfassende Einheit).

The tertiary form is the capitalist form or the capitalist mode of production. It is no longer founded on the property of the working person, but on another's labour (cf. the inversion indicated in the Communist Manifesto, Grundrisse, and Capital vol. I. chapter 24) Two movements are united at the level of capital : the expropriation of humans, creating the proletariat, and the autonomization of value. Capital had taken over the transfer of money in the destruction of the old communities, and from this new basis tended to pose itself as a material community, then fictitiously, accomplishing this during the real domination of society by capital. Thus capital resolves the old contradictions created during the emergence of value in the archaic communities, but in its own way. That is why it poses itself as an eternal structure, both positively and as a speculative subject, allowing it to transform all negating movements into its own affirmation.

The communist revolution can no longer operate on the previous ground, the ground capital has gone over and now develops again, i.e. the terrain of the growth of the forces of production. It is a matter of a new Gemeinwesen which would be human being. Hence, evidently, the necessity for the most radical break with all the activity and behaviour linked to previous revolutions, especially the Russian revolution Besides, here we see where two of Marx's investigations converged on the same statement, though they came from different moments of his life.

Marx characterized the communities (in the Slav region above all) thus in Forms preceding capitalist production :

"...little communes (Gemeinden) vegetate independently alongside one another where, inside them, the individual and his family work independently on the lot assigned to them." [7]

which is the difference with the Asiatic mode of production where the self-sufficient communities, as in the previous case, are dominated, one should stress, by an encompassing unity as the real land owner. The small communities are merely possessors.

Marx gave some specifications in the drafts of his letter to Zasulich :

"All other communities rely on relations of consanguinity of their members, One does not enter it, at least only if one is a natural parent or is adopted. Their structure is that of the geneological tree. The 'agricultural commune' was the first social grouping of free men which was not organized by blood ties." [8]

Another characteristic is its dualism. There is a collective element and an individual element such that individuality can develop (the individual could be autonomized).

"One understands that the dualism inherent in the contradiction of the agricultural commune can endow it with a vigorous life. Communal land holding and the emanating social relationships, emancipated from the strong but limited bonds of the natural parent, guaranteed it a solid position, while simultaneously the house and yard, which are the exclusive domain of the individual family, fragmented cultivation and private appropriation of harvests, gives an advantage to the individuality which is incompatible with the system of more primitive communities " [9]

Now we can see that, for Marx, the change to communism could only be realised if the person was emancipated as a community and as an individuality. The reduction of communism to a society where society is emancipated, but where the individual only lives through it, i.e. is not liberated, comes from the vision of the barracks-communism Engels wrote on in his polemic with Tkachev. On the other hand, Chernyshevsky wanted to save the obshchina because it would be possible to accomplish the two closely tied liberation's through it. Marx found the solution to the question he implicitly posed in 1858 in Chernyshevsky and the Russian populists.

The dualism allowed two evolutions because, one must underline, the dissolution of the commune was not a fatality :

"Its innate dualism allows an alternative : either its property element will prevail over the collective one, or the latter over the former. It all depends on the historical environment." [10]

In any case :

"The Russian revolution is needed to save the Russian commune." [11]

The question of the Slav state was not analysed in this text, nor in the Forms preceding capitalist production. However, Marx indicated the relation between the Gemeinwesen and the state in the latter. In the secondary formation, where there is private property, there was a split between the state and communal property and it was the state that became the representative of the Gemeinwesen. Thus politics was born in Athens, its essence being representation. However, the state could equally well be produced without there being classes, e.g. with the Incas, as Marx showed. In this case there was a hierarchical community. The state, produced by the transformation of the Gemeinwesen, had a fundamental role in its defence and in ensuring its continuity at all levels. There was a biological type of division of labour : the state played the role of the social brain. The society resulting from such an organization was more of the animal than the human type, a society where the species was despotic and eliminated all the human individuals-particles. This is the case where man did not effectively succeed in cutting the link with nature and creating a discontinuity : he is reabsorbed by it.

This was not the case in Russia, but the state imposed itself on the small communities all the same, and this was aided by their isolation making them vulnerable. On the other hand :

"The federation of the North Russian republics proved that this isolation, seemingly imposed originally by the vast extent of land, was largely consolidated by the political fate Russia had suffered since the Mongol invasion." [12]

Marx insisted on the question at length (he also cited the destruction of Novgorod by the Muscovites in the Secret Diplomatic History of the Eighteenth Century, a collection of articles against Russia and the English diplomacy supporting it). The state in Russia justified itself above all by its defensive role against other communities and, later, against other states : the Tsar was the protector. The considerable importance of the military question in the destiny of Russia was directly related to its social structure : to maintain its existence, the state required that the agrarian communities did not grow. Thus the despotism over society : the state justified its existence by means of territorial expansion, Russian expansionism was constant from the sixteenth century, Russia has since continued to grow and its expansionist spirit has not diminished at all up to our time. Also the character of the protector was to create an enormous inertia in the peasant masses and some populists remarked that the great peasant revolts could only develop through usurpation (a kind of justification) which led them also to act as usurpers.

What was determinant in any case was that the state had an exogenous origin even though the endogenous conditions had evidently favoured its grafting onto the social body. Hence Marx's essential remark :

"What threatens the life of the Russian commune is neither an historical necessity, nor a theory. It is the oppression by the state and the exploitation by capitalist interlopers empowered by the efforts and at the expense of the peasants by the same state." [13]

Now this, let us repeat, had been perfectly understood by the populists. But before tackling the relation of the state to the obshchina, let us draw out some previous consequences. To save the community and to avoid the infamy of the CMP in Russia, the revolution was required. It is very clear that, given that the country had a mainly peasant population, they would play a great revolutionary role. Thus one cannot use Marx's writings on the French peasants to understand the Russian phenomenon. This does not mean that the Russian peasants formed a real class comparable to the proletariat. Their unity arose from the fact that they conserved a past form necessary for future development, for the regeneration of the human community. They were very different, in this sense, to the proletarians as bearers of the future, having broken with the past which, in fact, had been expropriated from them. It was a case of a revolution with aclassist characteristics in Russia. The classist characteristics were applied to it by the international context when it became clear that, after 1880, the Russian revolution could only triumph if supported by the proletarian revolution in the West. But Marx did not purely and simply eliminate the possibility of Russia accomplishing the revolution itself, using the technological advances of the West. This is another essential characteristic of the drafts of the letter to Zasulich, that the :

" (...) contemporaneous existence of (capitalist) production in the West allows Russia to incorporate all the positive acquisitions elaborated by the capitalist system into the commune without going through capitalism's Caudine Forks " [14]

This was Chernyshevsky's perspective.

On the other hand, in the event of a general victory of the revolution in Russia and the West, one would be able to talk of the dictatorship of the proletariat. But would this term well translate the reality for Russia, especially so if the victory only occurred there and was delayed in the West? Could one talk of the dictatorship of the proletariat during this delay? These questions also depended on the historical circumstances (Lenin's formula; democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry was compatible enough with that of Marx and the populists). But these questions were not studied fully for the agrarian commune no longer had any importance for the marxists after the end of the last century.

Concerning the state (a state stronger than society, as Wittfogel said), the populists had understood its particularities, as Plekhanov's quotes of them in Our Differences showed :

"(The state) does not embody the interest of any estate (...) In our country (...) on the contrary, our social form owes its existence to the state, to a state hanging, so to speak, in the air, a state which has nothing in common with the existing social order, whose roots are in the past, not in the present." [15]

This is from Tkachev who, even if he was not a populist -- he was considered to be a Jacobin, appreciated the obshchina in common with them [16] . But the populists noted that the power of the state did not persist only in the air because it rested on, among other things, the Tsar-cult deeply rooted in the peasantry. Tkachev was right otherwise. Bondage was introduced by the Tsar, so too was wage-labour. Miliukov was not wrong either when he remarked that if classes had produced the state in the West, in Russia the state produced the classes. Hence the populists's continual preoccupation : destroy the state That is why they always wanted to suppress the Tsar :

"The man really responsible is the Tsar; Russian history shows this. It is the Tsars who through the centuries have gradually built up the organization of the state, and the army; it is they who have handed out land to the nobles. Think carefully about it, brothers, and you will see that the Tsar is the first of the nobles." (Karakozov) [17]

Here they agreed both with Marx and the anarchists. Now, curiously enough, Bordiga's explanation converged with the populist's analytical scheme when he remarked that what dominated in the USSR was not an indigenous class, but the international class; the hideous soviet state being a despotic organization at its service.

The importance of the state also explains two fundamental traits of the Russian revolutionaries : their exacerbated will to destroy the state, mobilize the peasants and everything would fall into gear, and also a kind of fatalism which easily led them to collaborate with the existing powers after a phase of exaltation. Fatalism and voluntarism are often linked, the substrate here being Tsarist despotism.

Engels did not fully maintain Marx's positions, particularly on the leaping of the CMP, and he tended to believe at the end of his life that exchange value was too developed in Russia and that the country was condemned to capitalism all the same, He thus opened the door to Plekhanov and Lenin.

One should note that in the decade 1890-1900, when Engels disappeared and Lenin wrote his first works, there was a particular situation. The agrarian commune had been fragmented, but the CMP was not really implanted. This created a number of problems for the populists who were supplanted by the marxists who stated that it was impossible to leap over the CMP (Plekhanov). It was with him that the primary role of the proletariat in the Russian revolution appeared in a thesis :

"In conclusion I repeat -- and I insist on this important point; the revolutionary movement in Russia will triumph only as a working class movement or else it will never triumph !" [18]

Plekhanov's position on this determined the development of Russian marxism, Lenin dedicated all his youthful activity to the struggle against the populists, Basically he stated that Marx could not be invoked on Russian development as he had not studied the subject in depth. In fact he cited Marx's letter to Mikhailovsky :

"And so Marx said that Mr. Mikhailovsky had no right to regard him as an opponent of the idea of Russia's special line of development because he also respected those who held this idea; but Mr. Krivenko misconstrues this to mean that Marx "admitted" this special line of development. This is an out-and-out distortion. Marx's statement quoted above shows quite clearly that he evaded the question as such (...) Marx, in this very same "letter", gave a direct reply to the question of how his theory could be applied to Russia. This reply very clearly shows that Marx avoided answering the question as such, avoided examining Russian data, which alone could decide the question." [19]

Now there is nothing more incorrect. Marx studied Russian social evolution very attentively, learning Russian to do so. Moreover, this study had to be fundamental (as too with the study of the US agrarian structure) so as to explain how the change from landed property to capital occurred. For the USA he analysed Wakefield's theory in Capital, explaining its importance in the Grundrisse. For Russia his studies were very large, but what he was able to do remained unpublished.

Lenin had already shown his theoretical rigidity, which could also be called his unilinearism, against the populists. He refused to envisage the particularities of Russia's unique development in a correct, full, and concrete fashion. Later he was even to deny to the so-called left communists, e.g. Gorter, that there was a particular evolution of the West and the fact that one could not transfer the Russian scheme, that the tactic and strategy could not be the same there.

So, returning to the polemic with the populists, Lenin only maintained the second possibility of evolution indicated by Marx :

" (...) and Marx says that 'if' she was so tending, she would have to transform a good part of her peasants into proletarians." [20]

This was made a certainty in The Development of Capitalism in Russia, reinforcing his earlier conclusion-solution :

" (...) -- then the Russian WORKER, rising at the head of all the democratic elements, will overthrow absolutism and lead the RUSSIAN PROLETARIAT (side by side with the proletariat of ALL COUNTRIES) along the straight road of open political struggle to THE VICTORIOUS COMMUNIST REVOLUTION." [21]

However, the peasant revolts of 1902, the formation of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party (a compromise between populism and Russian Marxism marking the retreat of the populist movement defending the obshchina [22] ), greatly influenced Lenin's evolution. From then on he plainly stated The Revolutionary-Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and the Peasantry (an article written in March 1905 [23] ). It was specified, supported and founded in Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution (1905) and especially in The Agrarian Programme of Social-Democracy in the first Russian Revolution of 1905-7. Here there is a break in Lenin's position in relation to that in earlier works (Bordiga did not attach much importance to this particular moment and papered it over; on one hand he was not interested in The Development of Capitalism in Russia, on the other he concentrated especially on the coherence between Two Tactics... and The April Theses, which was correct but insufficient). Lenin recognized that he had overestimated the degree of capitalist development in agriculture [24] , but, all the same, Russia still had only one path before it : the path of bourgeois development [25] . However, for that an agrarian revolution was needed :

"Only a peasant revolution could quickly transform wooden Russia into iron Russia." [26]

Lenin tended to accord the peasants their own revolutionary role and not to make them into a mass for manoeuvre, Hence the slogan of the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry took on a further dimension : affirmation of the two essential classes for the revolutionary transformation of Russia. Starting from this fact, Lenin, who had dedicated a great number of works to the agrarian question, was to follow the creation of the social relations in agriculture in a thorough fashion and, thus, he made a real return to Marx (this question was determinant in Russia as the national one had been in Germany). Thus a break was made regarding the appreciation of the role of the peasantry following the 1905 revolution. It had been much too polarized until then, on all sides, over the question of organization. There had been theological squabbles over the question which had only been a consequence of taking positions on the fundamental ideas of the revolution. Thus, after 1905, the legal marxists definitely sank into a clique of those who not only dreamt of capitalism, as Marx said, but oriented all their activity towards a bourgeois revolution of the western type. On the other hand, Lenin had understood (perhaps fully) the importance of the peasant phenomenon in Russia, while Trotsky envisaged the peasants as troops of the revolution and especially did not understand (or perhaps only in 1917, as Bordiga indicated) that it was a case of making the bourgeois revolution in the Russian revolution, in the proletarian manner, even if the proletariat became the leading force (this was theoretically true from the moment when the possibility of a leap over the CMP seemed to have been eliminated).

"We have but one task : to rally the proletariat for the socialist revolution, to support every fight against the old order in the most resolute way, to fight for the best possible conditions for the proletariat in the developing bourgeois society." [27]

From the moment of the admission of the dissolution of the community and even the necessity for it (as Lenin wished), then the question of how the productive forces would develop posed itself : how would capital develop in this vast area. It was no more a question of leaping over capitalism, but of how it would develop. Capital Vol. II had to be taken as a reference point and the polemic really arose from whether an internal market could be constituted in Russia and if capital would not have to take recourse to external markets to realize surplus-value. Struve, Turgan-Baranowski, Lenin and also Rosa Luxemburg, among others, took part in this polemic. Marx was interpreted in a literal and immediate manner. Capital Vol. II, section 3 was in no way meant to show that capitalism could always develop or that it had to do so according to the schemas of simple and enlarged reproduction. (Nor does it show the opposite.) Marx studied the conditions of capital reproduction and the possibilities of crisis and so he showed the difficulties that capital meets in carrying through its process : e.g. disequilibrium between the two sectors, overproduction of fixed capital, over-rapid contraction or expansion in the turnover period etc. He also studied the fundamental condition for superseding these difficulties : the creation of the credit system. Volume II as a whole is a demonstration of the necessity for this creation (which Hilferding understood in Finance Capital, but he did not know how to draw the consequences of it). Marx studied the possibilities of capital's development, but it was only in Volume III that he approached concrete forms, i.e. those in operation. Here he also arrived at the threshold of the resolution of the problem of the way in which capital can absorb its contradictions and thus aim at posing itself as eternal : fictitious capital. Now this can only develop if credit is generalized in all its forms.

This study of the reproduction of capital also shows at what point the development of Russian social-democracy was linked to that in the West : at what point the Russians gave a new impulse to the theoretical debates inside the Second International, even if their position had lost its depth in relation to the populists with whom Marx agreed, after the abandonment of the perspective of the leap.

Marx's work underwent an important modification from then on. It was pushed into the rank of a theory of development and growth, codified in the name of marxism. Everything archaic and Asiatic had to be eliminated over the whole huge empire (and, given that the revolutionary flood affected the peripheral countries, it took on a global importance), and the capitalist form had to be allowed to flower. Marx's Capital was invoked as an explanation. Thus the populist's positions were now only considered as relics of the past, daily becoming more reactionary. Their irreperable anti-despotic and anti-Tsarist positions were occluded, The ground was thus prepared for the reconciliation of the intelligentsia with capital, previously considered as an inferno. Trotsky wrote in an article for the 25th. anniversary of Neue Zeit (1908) that the marxist doctrine served to reconcile the Russian intelligentsia with capitalist development. One can see why Gramsci, who had seen only a part of the phenomenon : its arrival, and who probably did not know Marx's position on Russia, wrote in 1917 that the Russian revolution triumphed against Marx's Capital. He was wrong, but he said something true.

Marxism, as a theory of growth created by legal marxism (and, to an extent, by legal populism), then accepted by the Mensheviks, was taken over by the Bolsheviks. It was greatly developed in the Bukharin-Preobrazhensky polemics on socialist accumulation, then somehow it consolidated its dominant existence following the debate on the economic growth of such countries as China, India, Cuba, and Algeria after their revolutions or independence, to such an extent that it now dominates in the factories and universities. In fact one has to come to Trotsky's clear statement in, e.g. The Revolution Betrayed [28] , but which was already implicit in Lenin : socialism will allow production to increase and will show its superiority to capitalism here, to stating that the growth of the productive forces is socialism : stalinism, khruschevism, trotskyism. Thus one sees that the theory of communism as the emulation of capitalism, which budded with Lenin, flowered with Trotsky. It is an irony of emulation which made Rostow excrete a theory of growth, a theology of taking-off, while wishing to write an anti-manifesto (The Stages of Economic Growth). Facetious convergence!

This theory of growth, historical materialism, was not exclusively a contemporary Russian product, One finds it in Italy defended in Antonio Labriola's The Materialist Conception of History. It postulates the primary importance of economic facts, material facts in general, a scientistic vision coupled with the glorification of the proletariat and the exaltation of its dictatorship. It was basically at the beginning of this century that the ideology of the proletariat having to become the ruling class was best expressed. The proletariat had to direct the world economic process, but with economic organizations. Sorel explained that remarkably in Material for the Theory of the Proletariat, and strikingly in Ruin of the Ancient World :

"The proletariat does not wish to go under whatever yoke again, it despises the dry theories of bourgeois revolutionary logic, it constructs its own body and rises against the old class organization. This is because it has made all alone creations that are its own, in its trades, that it can try to dissolve the state's forces, transferring to its unions all they can take of public administration." [29]

"Socialism returns to ancient thought; but the warrior of the city has become the worker of great industry, arms are replaced by machines. Socialism is a philosophy of producers : that could teach the Gospel addressed to mendicants." [30]

Nowadays it is not the economic organizations that are praised, but the productive apparatus. The most modern socialists are those who are the most rational in expressing the integration of the working class, of the interiorization of capital's domination, as Serge Malet shows in his article Will the Working Class Disappear? [31]

"If one means by 'revolutionary' consciousness, in the classic sense of the term, the will to seize political power by whatever means and whatever the price, then to organize society in a new manner only later on, it is incontestable that the new working class is no longer revolutionary. It is not revolutionary in these conditions because it poses a preliminary condition for the transformation of the existing structures. This must not be done at the price of the destruction of the productive apparatus, or even its serious diminution -- 'The machine is too expensive to be broken.' "

Kautsky thought the same in 1919 : don't fuck about with money! Now, after May 1968, what is the revolution for many people? In his introduction to Sorel, Berth outdid him in concluding :

"The city can only be rebuilt on the basis of labour playing the role formerly assumed by war in the heroic city. The hero of antiquity and the medieval saints and the modern citizen must be superseded by the social worker."

Sorel even proposed an ethic he extracted from Marx :

"I have already said that to analyse critically our consciousness, we must recover the machines. K. Marx, who saw so well the importance of industrial equipment, could not but look for the basic principle of the ethic in the human phenomenon which developed around the machine." [32]

We are very far from Marx's proclaimed demand of the abolition of the proletariat ! The checking of the revolutionary movement at the beginning of the century is also the raising of the proletariat as ruling class on the basis of economic organizations which also implies the impossibility of the dictatorship of the proletariat seen as a long post-communist revolution phase.

Karl Korsch, in Marxism and Philosophy, asked if marxism as the product of the revolution would not be inadequate for a counterrevolutionary period, and he criticized Kautsky who stated that texts like the 1864 Address and the 'Introduction' to Class struggles in France (1895) would allow a " 'broadening' " into a " 'theory valid not only for revolutionary phases but also for non revolutionary periods'." [33] . He stated in opposition :

" 'Marxism', while formally accepted by the workers' movement, was from the start not a true theory, in the sense of being 'nothing other than a general expression of the real historical movement' (Marx)," and : "...that the subsequent practical progress of the proletariat has, as it were, lagged behind its own theory..." [34]

This 'discrepancy' was very clear in the SPD. These remarks are very interesting concerning Russia. From the end of the last century, following the defeat of the Zemlya i Volya and the Narodnaya Volya and a certain diminution in peasant revolts, but a certain growth of the workers' movement, the old perspective of the leap over the CMP seemed to have become absolutely impossible. How could the proletariat act, how would it join the revolutionary movement in Russia and Europe? Here we must add the concept of representation to Korsch's analysis and say that, thanks to Marx, the proletariat could represent itself concretely in the overall production process. It will find itself praised there and its intermediate action justified. Put another way, the theory expressing the movement of the working class during its attack on capital was transformed into an ideology. Marx's work became marxism with the elimination of the populist currents. This is also completely true for the West. The counter-revolutionary phase and the development of the CMP (lack of catastrophic crisis) poses the validity of an action of the proletariat and that of its insertion into the CMP. How could the proletariat represent its development inside society and simultaneously (at the beginning, before its inclusion in society) continue to struggle for its final objective? In fact, the proletariat rapidly dissolved itself into the intermediary movement which should have been the simple mediation for its arrival at communism : the development of the productive forces, thus of capital. A note by Plekhanov in his Essay on the Development of the Monist Conception of History very clearly explained the simultaneous transformation in Russia and the West and their mutual interaction :

"I have the activity of the social-democrats in mind here. They have contributed to capitalism's progress by suppressing out dated productive forces such as cottage industry. Bebel summed up the attitude of western social-democracy to capitalism very well at the Breslau Congress of 1895. 'I always ask, regarding whatever measure, if it is damaging to capitalism's progress. If it is, I am against it.' " [35]

Communism as a movement and a theory demanded the destruction of the proletariat. Now, in the counter-revolutionary phase, the proletariat was lead to exalt its number and organization in order to be able to resist. However, this was not necessarily ill-omened and could, for a certain period, allow the awaiting, even the acceleration, of the movement of the return to the revolution, to the extent that the final goal of the maximum programme was not hidden. But this is evidently the basis of the start of justifying the inclusion of the proletariat in capitalist society. This was possible only during the formal domination of capital over society or, while the proletariat was still absorbed in the production process, it still had some lee-way in free time when it was not at work.

Theory is a movement. Ideology is what autonomizes itself from the movement and can have its own movement in the sphere of representation. Following its dissociation from the being (proletariat), it becomes a thing (reification of the theory) that can be transferred. Importing marxism into the proletariat was Lenin's answer in What is to be done?.

Another component of the ideologization is the acceptance of science, positivism, and the importation of classic bourgeois materialism, which considerably influenced Lenin, as Korsch showed. But the West too was not spared this disease and there was a reciprocal infection. Kautsky in Ethics and the Materialist Conception of History (1906) made marxism a social-darwinism. Also the critiques of Lenin, by Pannekoek, for example, definitely developed a neo-positivist and not a communist position, coherent with Marx. One must note the great role Marx accorded to science as an ideology and not as a productive force. Positivism is especially evident in what are called the developing countries. There was a real infatuation with it in Brazil at the turn of the century. The science-cult and that of progress allowed for the replacement of the old religious conceptions, which were really a brake on the development of capitalism.

The science-cult, with the accompanying illusion of being able to dominate it and technique (cf., what Lenin wrote on taylorism, and Bordiga, by defending Lenin, allowed himself to be reabsorbed by the ruling ideology), finally culminated in the cult of rationality, in the pretence of disciplining the productive forces and in the domination of nature -- all correlates of the ideology of growth. One of the first manifestations of the science of human manipulation occurred in Russia at the same time : Pavlov's theory of conditioned or acquired reflexes. (It was no accident that this emerged in the USSR.) This science increased greatly, as Solzhenitsyn showed in The First Circle, with also the various psychiatric detentions which praised this all the time. Another aspect of the utopia of capital, described by Zamiatin in 1920, has tended to be realized in the USSR : conditioning men in order to remove all their imagination. This becomes capital's property which organizes men. One should note the anticipation We is the starting point of this science fiction describing the rational despotism of societies realizing the utopia of capital. Almost thirty years later, 1984 by Orwell, born following a social defeat, echoed this future unhappiness.

The great development of positivism and of materialism, the content of capitalism, caused the revitalisation of religion. There were always religious sects in Russia opposed to the autocratic power. The populists allied with the raskolniki several times to reinforce their struggle against tsarism. Presently religion allows a human demonstration against capital because God is a human product. Thanks to him, man can still save his being from the evil embrace of capital. Religion in Russia and the People's Democracies has conserved its old role with the struggle against capital grafted on to it. Similarly in Latin America, while in Europe and the USA it is the second aspect that is significant. Also, the God that is wanted more and more is the one with Feuerbach's face.

All this is still insufficient for judging the social transformation of Russia at the turn of the century. To specify the mutation, real or not, we must return to the periodization of the CMP, as we have already done. Marx distinguished formal domination (or formal subsumption of labour under capital) and real domination (or real subsumption of labour under capital) in the immediate production process in Capital Vol. I [36] and especially in Results of the Immediate Process of Production. The great difference between them resides in the fact that in the former there is the production of absolute surplus-value, while in the latter there is the production of relative surplus-value. Production of the second requires capital to modify the old labour process; instead of merely dominating it, capital must make it operate according to its own rationality. The labour process is transformed into the labour process for capital, the process of capitalist production.

This is important with the antediluvian forms of capital such as merchants' and usurers' capital. Marx said of the latter :

"But it does not intervene in the process of production itself, which proceeds in the traditional fashion, as it has always done."

Capital cannot autonomize itself. It is always at the mercy of political power or human revolt. Marx added :

"In part it thrives on the withering away of this mode of production, in part it is a means to make it wither away, to force it to eke out a vegetable existence in the most unfavourable conditions. But here we have not yet reached the stage of the formal subsumption of labour under capital." [37]

Also, even if labour has been subsumed under capital in certain areas, its domination could be questioned, In any case, with Russia the kulak appeared most often (and is so described) as a usurer and not as a capitalist farmer The kulak lived inside the commune and exploited its poorest elements to his profit. He used money, but this was not yet capital, it was at the very most the third form of money, money as money, a form of transition to capital. Engels indicated the social form of the kulak in his letter to Danielson :

"...the kulaki too, as far as I can see, on the whole prefer keeping the peasant in their clutches as a sujet à exploitation, to ruining him once for all and getting his land transferred to them. So that it strikes me, the Russian peasant, where he is not wanted as a workman for the factory or the town, will also die hard, will take a great deal of killing..." [38]

Here Engels was really prophetic. But Lenin assimilated the kulak with the American farmer too quickly, allowing him to theorize two evolutions for Russian agriculture : one Prussian, the other American (cf. The Agrarian Programme of Social-Democracy). This capitalist interpretation was to be applied to the Nepmen, considered as real capitalists. These analytical errors were to weigh heavily on the development of the Russian revolution and the soviet peasantry too : violence and rural terror. The famous dekulakization was an attempt to impose capitalist development forcibly by removing the obstacle of usury (cf. Capital Vol. III). But this led, as we can see through Bordiga's work, to the reconstruction of the mir : the mir as it could have been before the revolution when it dissolved itself.

Put another way, Marx's puzzlement, and that of many populists too, over the possibility of a real development of capital in Russia was fully justified. The agrarian structure linked to very specific geographical conditions was an obstacle to capital.

Even in the case of capital dominating the production process (one should note that in 1917 many Petrograd workers maintained important links with the countryside and that they were thus not totally proletarianized), its existence was not assured on a social level. Its development was already conditioned by the transformation of the old circulation process of capital which united it with the immediate production process, constituting the global production process of capital. That is why we have extended the range of Marx's concepts and we have talked of capital's formal and real domination over society. Real domination is achieved when all the social presuppositions have been transformed, when they are posed by capital itself. This occurs when capital becomes the material community and accomplishes the process of anthropomorphosis and poses itself as the fictitious community. This is not to say that there would be a total and absolute domination which would imply the end to any possibility of struggle by men.

This is why it seems to be very wrong to us to say that the capitalist mode of production dominated in Russia in 1917. If one states that then one also has to state that the revolution would have had to have been communist because it would tend to realize communism directly. Thus the victory of the Bolsheviks is totally inexplicable for those who defend the thesis of pursuing the bourgeois revolution in the proletarian manner (the overgrowth depending on the West).

The answer lies in the pure and simple papering over of the Bolsheviks' actions and the peasant problem. One says that there was the CMP at the start and at the end. There was no revolution, but a kind of overthrow instead supported by the Bolsheviks, among others. They were allowed to maintain the CMP by their managerial views. However, logic is not fully respected because one would have to define the Bolsheviks as reactionaries from the start and to say that there ought and could have been a revolutionary movement. But, illogic compounded, some recognize that there was a realization of democratic tasks when the CMP was already dominant!

If one says that the Russian revolution was bourgeois (considering the CMP as dominant at all times), one immediately has to clarify that it was a political revolution which allowed Russia to gain a state equivalent to the contemporary economic structure. This is the only way to avoid falling into the contradiction :

"The political soul of the revolution, on the other hand, consists in the tendency of classes having no political influence to abolish their isolation from statehood and rule. Its point of view is that of the state, of an abstract whole, which exists only through separation from real life, and which is inconceivable without the organized contradiction between the universal idea of man and the universal existence of man. Hence, too, a revolution with a political soul, in accordance with the limited and dichotomous nature of this soul, organizes a ruling stratum in society at the expense of society itself." [39]

The statement of the necessity of the revolution which was only political allowed Trotsky to save his theory of permanent revolution. For if something revolutionary and socialist remained in Russia, there would only have to be the completion of the work : hence the permanence of the revolution. But supporting a political revolution in the USSR is to support the permanence of a dominant sphere at the expense of the society. This is not incompatible with Trotsky's wandering for it is to conceive of society on the road to communism as being identical to bourgeois society.

There was in fact the formal domination of the production process conceived at the level of the whole of society. Capital had by no means abolished the old presuppositions, in agriculture above all, Now we can say that capital in Russia has not reached a real domination because it has yet to achieve a domination over agriculture and this confirms Marx's forecast that Russia inevitably would have to pass from exporting to importing cereals after the 1861 reform and that it would undergo periodic crises [40] . It is clear that the pressure of American competition (Latin American countries, but especially the USA) played the role of freezing Russian agriculture [41] .

Also, when Bordiga defined the Russian state as a state of kolkhoze peasants and world capital, that explained the continued frailty of the CMP in the USSR. One could say that the kolkhozians played the role of usurers in another form !

This still does not exhaust our enquiry into the destiny of the Russian commune. Was it or was it not still alive after 1917? This greatly conditions our appreciation of the Bolsheviks' positions. Let us make a small detour in our reply so as to recall that during all revolutionary processes there are two important phenomena which are, to a certain extent, opposed : the phenomenon of the overgrowth, which we shall return to, and the reappearance of the contradictions, blows and conflicts which have been forgotten because it was thought that they had been resolved. Now, as Marx showed, the development of exchange value does not resolve but incorporates contradictions. Capital proceeds similarly. Thus, following a crisis, disequilibrium or shattering of the reigning system, the re-emergence of the contradictions simply incorporated can occur. It is possible that old human modes of behaviour reappear, especially in areas where domestication by capital has not attained an historical dimension. That is to say that even if the statistics showed the disappearance of the obshchina in 1917, that does not lessen the problem of its revitalization due to the revolutionary irruption itself.

Lenin saw part of this in 1918 and 1919 (cf. the Eighth Congress of the Russian Communist Party). He insisted on the resurgence of the old forms. However, he only analysed the phenomenon from the point of view of capital's development and not from that of the obshchina (the two not being mutually exclusive). Could not the latter revive once the huge tsarist apparatus (which specifically hindered all development of the communities) was crippled by the Tsar's removal, then totally disorganized by the unleashing of the rural struggles? Russians lost their old community after 1861, which has been stated by many writers, but it has not been replaced by a stable form of organization and capital has developed at most formally in some areas.

That those communities could revive is most interesting for understanding a way in which the Russian revolution could have continued and thus bring a judgement of the whole of it. The central tsarist power was grafted onto the small communities, as we have seen. When it disappeared, the community of the world proletariat (dictatorship of the proletariat) would be able to assist the coming of communism harmoniously, i.e. non-violently, vis-a-vis the contemporary torments of the USSR. The revitalization of the communities is not a gratuitous hypothesis. Engels wrote this on Poland :

"In Poland, particularly in the Grodno gubernia, where the nobility for the most part was ruined by the rebellion of 1865, the peasants now frequently buy or rent estates from the nobles and cultivate them unpartitioned and on their collective account. And those peasants have not had communa1 ownership for centuries and are not Great Russians, but Poles, Lithuanians and Byelorussians." [42]

In general, one could say that as far as capital has not succeeded in transforming man and producing another species, there are human invariables which are evidently hidden, more especially when capital's domination is older. Moreover, these invariables undergo geographical influences, thus there is the invariant tendency to return to the community which is stronger and more persistent in zones where the prevailing conditions make the autonomization of the individual difficult. That is why men and women could undertake a reconquest and creation of their life at a world level from the moment that the material community and the fictitious community will have been destroyed. The tendency to form the human community will certainly be very strong in the USSR because of what we have just said on that country's history.

The persistence and even the revitalization of the agrarian commune in Russia has been stated by the specialist on slavonic matters, P. Pascal :

"The commune was not dead after the revolution." [43]

He stated that it was still alive in 1966.

Evidently one would not be able to draw solid conclusions from the few remarks the author made in the book. However, there are other direct and indirect accounts providing proof of the revitalization of the commune. Volin gives some in The Unknown Revolution, but they are simple allusions on which one can base nothing.

Trotsky's account is especially interesting due to his thoroughly marxist position. He wrote in History of the Russian Revolution :

"At the same time there begins a movement of the communal peas ants against the individual landowners -- against the strong peasants, that is, who had detached themselves and taken up individual holdings on the basis of Stolypin's law of November 9, 1906." [44]

This clearly expresses the peasants' desire to reconstitute the obshchina, which Trotsky does not raise : he was astonished that the poor peasants could seek out the kulaks to go and pillage the nobles' mansions together. The kulaks were still in the community. Its power impressed him nonetheless.

"In Kursk province there began a persecution of the individual settlers who had refused to return to the commune. In the hour of its great land revolution, its 'Black Division', the peasantry wanted to act as a single whole. Inner distinctions might prove an obstacle : the commune must stand forth as one man. The fight for the landlord's land was therefore accompanied by acts of violence against the separate farmer -- the land individualist." [45]

Stolypin's reform was the sole significant one to make the CMP penetrate agriculture through state intervention instead of allowing the elemental economic mechanisms act. Trotsky's text shows the will of the commune to regain its totality and to redefine itself in its integrality. Trotsky's explanation is completely superficial, an attempt to justify his purely classist theory. Bordiga supported Lenin in Russia and Revolution in Marxist Theory, saying that the agrarian commune was definitely eliminated before 1917, but in Economic and Social Structure of Russia Today he wrote :

"Stolypin's most daring reform of 1906 did not even succeed in establishing a regime of private plots on all agricultural land (...) But it is estimated that only a quarter of the collective form of management had been liquidated by the eve of the great war," [46]

That is quite close to what the historian Carmichael wrote.

This remark of Bordiga's also explains why Lenin always spoke of starting the class struggle in the countryside (a theme taken up by Stalin in 1923) in order to increase the productive forces on one hand, and on the other, to destroy the kulaks' power. When Lenin wrote :

"To divide the peasantry and win over the non-kulak elements will require a lot of time." [47]

did that not mean that the obshchina persisted despite the fact that the statistics did not record it as such? Later he noted that there had been an alliance with the peasants on the economic level in 1921 for the first time [48] . Lenin's evolution regarding the peasantry shows itself in changes in the formula "democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry", which became the "democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the poor peasantry", then the "dictatorship of the proletariat...supported by the poor peasants or semi-proletarians" [49] .

This is not decisive, but it is sufficient to prescribe a re-examination of the question. This also has to be done with the famous measure of the socialist revolutionary programme, which they could not apply and which the peasants realized directly with the consent and even the help of the Bolsheviks; the land to the peasants. This was the demand of the peasants from the Tsar who had liberated them from servitude, but by imposing redemption payments on them. Now the peasants considered that the land belonged to them, as Plekhanov recalled :

" 'We belong to you and the soil belongs to us', the peasants used to say to the landlords." [50]

One cannot state decisively that this proves the petit-bourgeois character of the peasants : their instinct for property. The Tsar gone, they took back their due. Clearly many things had changed in the meantime. The aristocrats and bourgeoisie had succeeded in monopolizing the land, creating many secondary antagonisms. But basically the same happened as with the Commune :

"The Commune -- the readsorption of the state power by society as its own living forces instead of as forces controlling and subduing it..." [51]

The workers re-imposed the republic taken from them by the Second Empire. The Russian peasants took back the land and their community which tsarism had taken from them. This could have been the beginning of the reformation of the communities on a higher level, on condition that the peasants were to be supported by the new state, which had to remove the elements harmful to the development of the communes, as Marx had stated in the drafts of his letters to Zasulich. The victory of marxism hindered the realization of this solution. The state was conceived (and acted) as the creator of forms of organization (cf. the creation of the committees of poor peasants in 1918) and not as a vitalizing co-ordinating force for the different communities and of all of them with the cities. It was not the expression of an organic centralism, but a despotic centralism.

Finally, it is probable that the communitarian phenomenon did not emerge with the same intensity throughout (the documents never make a serious ruling), but there were regions where it did happen without a shadow of a doubt -- the Ukraine.

The makhnovshchina would have been impossible without the resistance of the peasants on their communal basis and the data given by Archinov was not really refuted by Trotsky. Trotsky only confirmed negatively the basic characteristics described above in his polemic (Military Writings). The movement was accused of being anarchist and certainly it contained anarchists (they were the only ones to defend and applaud it), but this is only part of the truth because it is to forget that the whole populist movement, the expression of the obshchina, was anti-statist. But we have seen that Russian marxism had lost its populist dimension in its desire to favour capital's development. This was not Marx's position in a draft of the letter to Zasulich :

"Today it is the easiest obstacle (the isolation of the communes favouring the grafting of despotism -- ed.) to eliminate. It would simply be necessary to substitute a peasant assembly selected by the communes themselves and serving as an administrative and economic organ of their interests, for the volost, the government institution." [52]

This is what the Ukrainians tried to realize as Archinov explained in his book The Makhnovist Movement.

Another case far more difficult to analyse is that of Kronstadt and the rising in the Tambov gubernia, which is much less known. Thus, after assuming a position on the populists and their incomprehension of Marx's positions on Russia, the Bolsheviks could not understand the phenomenon or integrate it. This was especially so as marxism on the western level saw a progressive element in capitalism that had to be defended. Also, while the marxists opposed capitalism, they could only applaud it because the theme was the same : the development of the productive forces. In fact it was the proletarian class as a whole which was unable to tackle exhaustively the Russian question.

We want to note a last great historical movement which we believe showed the persistence of the community more or less as a behaviour : the forced collectivization of 1929 which Deutscher considered to be a second revolution "even more radical than the first" [53] . Now if Deutscher denounced the forced nature of this collectivization, he did note, all the same, an enthusiastic movement at the start :

"The beginning of collectivization was an indubitable success." [54] which is stated by Broue as well : "Collectivization operated much less schematically and especially less in a linear fashion in fact. It excited incontestable enthusiasm among the poorest layers of peasants who were then summoned to take up, in a new form, the century old struggle for land of those considered as exploiters (the kulaks -- ed.). And one could talk of it, in this sense, as a real peasants' October'." [55]

However, one must note that the struggle of the poor peasants against the kulaks soon became transformed into a struggle against the state. One should also note that often whole villages were bound up with the kulaks. The mujiks inconsistency was therefore due to a deeper reason which could have been defence of the community.

The committees of poor peasants founded in 1918 had been unsuccessful. The peasants replied with apathy (no desire to collaborate on an economic level) over the destruction of their old communitarian relations. That is why they could delude themselves over the nature of collectivization to begin with, but revolted later. But after Stalin released ballast and the kolkhozes were slightly stabilized, he realized the danger of this communitarian resurrection :

"He startled the party by saying that the collective farms might become even more dangerous to the regime than private farming. In the old days the peasantry was scattered and slow to move : it lacked the capacity for political organization. Since the collectivization the peasants were organized into compact bodies which might support the soviets but might also turn against them more effectively than the individual farmers could. To secure the party's close control over them, the rural Political Departments were established." [56]

Stalin would have wanted to make the peasants into wage-labourers, no more and no less, directly dependent on the state and with their old communitarian organization definitely swept aside. They, and the old populist movement, had refused to submit to this since 1861. Stalin therefore could only resolve this difficulty by transforming more and more kolkhozians into usurious kulaks, but no longer regarding the peasantry, but the predominantly working class urban strata. [57]

However, the communitarian achievement has not yet completely disappeared even today, according to several authors. As we have already noted, this is what P. Pascal said and it is what B.H. Kerblay suggested in his article Changes in Soviet Agriculture :

"The recent debates bear witness to a communal and family peasant tradition which, in some cases, shows itself to be against the current of solutions conceived to modernize the agrarian structures." [58]

Let us immediately foresee a possible misconception. We absolutely do not wish to say that the CMP was not and is not able to root itself in Russia. The question is more complex. We want to show that the CMP cannot develop in certain areas at certain stages of history. Thus in Germany, capitalism in its primordial, mercantile, commercial form (free trade and thus the liberal phase) met very great obstacles. It seemed that the Germans' 'characteristics' and the country's nature were completely proof to capitalism's principles. Marx himself spoke ironically of German patriarchalism and the country life of the German philistine etc... However, when capital had achieved a certain dimension, in the form of fixed capital, and so science and organization were needed, the German 'character' became compatible with that of capital. We know when, at the end of the last century and the beginning of this one, rationalism progressed in this country and anticipated in the 20's the whole future movement of capital which was to bloom in the US after the Second World War.

Plekhanov used the German example a lot against the populists. He quoted all the authors who had stated before that the CMP could not develop in Germany in order to contrast them with the German reality of his time and, so doing, said to the populists that in Russia too nothing stood against the rise of the CMP.

It is right here that Plekhanov's analysis is totally insufficient. Certainly the CMP could develop in Russia from the moment that it was constituted in the West in a material community able to replace the Tsarist state (in China it will replace the superior or englobing unity). This is what happened. Simultaneously that aided the installation of real domination in the most developed areas. Stalinism and Nazism cannot be assimilated, but there was a convergence. Nazi totalitarianism could be fleeting and transitory because the real despotism of capital operates now while it still has to arise in Russia. Therefore one can ask oneself if capital does not have to complete its domination in order to be able afterwards to impose itself on the USSR. Does it not have to attain the production not merely of another type of person, but another species, thus realizing the bad kind of magic utopia as in Zamiatin's We?

Certain thinkers, as Marcuse showed, seek to intervene in hereditary phenomena in order to manipulate the genetic heritage. This would be the overthrow of human biology making man totally adaptable to capital (capital's old dream, cf. Galbraith !). The progress achieved in the US and elsewhere along with that achieved by the adepts of human manipulation in the USSR (where there has been the development from labour concentration camps to psychiatric concentration camps) permits the production of humans who no longer have earthly needs. Dependence on agriculture would therefore be eliminated. Anticipating the production of madness is a means to domesticate men. Capital in the West, by its very life course; the subjugation of men, engenders it. There is a need for enterprises specializing in madness in the USSR, due to its backwardness... However, the convergence is clear all the same. Delinquency and madness are basic contemporary characteristics of capitalism.

This stated, one can see that the 1906 debate at the Stockholm Conference on land nationalization and the danger implied by it of restoration, showed a lack of knowledge of capital's creation of the material community and the abandonment of any perspective of using the communitarian agrarian structures during the transition to communism.

"...Plekhanov defended Maslov, and tried to persuade the Congress that Lenin's proposal for nationalization smacked of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Narodnaya Volya." [59] "Insofar as (or if) the land was nationalized in Muscovy, the economic basis for this nationalization was the Asiatic mode of production. But it is the capitalist mode of production that became established in Russia in the second half of the nineteenth century, and is absolutely predominant in the twentieth century." [60]

But there was never the Asiatic Mode of Production and it is really to go far beyond the facts to state that the CMP had become dominant. Why then, as we remarked, a revolution to realize only the workers' and peasants' dictatorship? Why was the revolution fundamentally bourgeois according to Lenin himself?

Why did Lenin want nationalization? To forge ahead, to allow the development of the most evolved capitalist forms. On these premises one can but agree with him. But, so as to have a solid demonstration, he had to refute Plekhanov's presuppositions to his own arguments. Here Plekhanov rediscovered elements of his old populist theory, for example, on the state's importance.

" "The situation in our country was such that the land, together with its cultivators, was held in servitude by the state, and on the basis of that servitude Russian despotism developed. To overthrow despotism, it is necessary to do away with the economic basis. Therefore, I am opposed to nationalization at present." " [61]

Another social-democrat made the following remark :

" "If the revolution...were to lead to an attempt to nationalize the peasants' allotments, or to nationalize the lands confiscated from the landlords, as Comrade Lenin suggests, such a measure would lead to a counter-revolutionary movement, not only in the borderlands, but also in the central part of the country. We would have not one Vendee, but a general revolt of the peasantry against attempts by the state to interfere with the peasants' own (John's italics) allotments, against all attempts to nationalise the latter." " [62]

The Mensheviks adopted an artificial solution and so as to prove its effectiveness against autocracy, they quoted the resistance of the autonomist movement, the Armenians, Cossacks etc.. Now there was still a strong persistence of the agrarian community at the start of the twentieth century, above all in this last case. The real solution was that of Marx and the populists : give the land to the communities and transform the state which would become their ally. Thenceforth the state could no longer stand over the commune like a despot, but as a liaison between town and country (e.g. for delivering agricultural machinery), and as a defender against the kulaks so as to reabsorb them into the communities and not to destroy them. Thus there would be the realization of the state-commune.

Such a measure would not mean granting land to a single class of producers, because, as Marx said in The Nationalization of Land, that would not let us advance towards communism at all.

Landed property can only belong to the species. It would be a matter of revitalizing the communities so as to include technical progress and avoid the development of capital. That would have meant, in short, the application of the fundamental point of the then communist programme : the abolition of the town/country separation-opposition. Now capital accomplished that in its own way and to its own profit. The man-nature relationship is posed differently .

In the absence of this perspective, Lenin could only give the following guarantee against restoration in Russia :

"We are not in a position to call forth at our own will a socialist revolution in the West, which is the only absolute guarantee against restoration in Russia." [63]

He was right, but he displaced the problem. He could not see the danger of restoration, not as the return to another mode of production (the restoration in France did not re-establish feudalism, the monarchy was a bourgeois monarchy which had to stand at the head of society itself becoming more bourgeois, it could only hold back the movement), but as the reaffirmation of a previous form of political domination which would have had to have been suppressed. One would have needed to have understood the development of capital into the material community as had achieved in the West on the basis of the socialization of production and men. This could not happen in Russia because capital was not developed enough to domesticate men, to impose capital's life on them, forcing then into quantitative time, capital's time. Thus here there would be a real despotic authority ruling all aspects of life, hence the restoration of despotism. Therefore there is a great deal of truth in naming Stalin the Red Tsar. This despotism could not be an obscurantist one, but an enlightening one, and here again we find the importance of marxism. State intervention implies a certain will, a certain consciousness. Historical materialism suits the granting of this, thus explaining the fundamental mechanisms of the mode of production with the different representations for the various classes or elements intervening in the process. Since the state had to develop the CMP, with the perspective of reducing the length of capital's existence, that meant that the social body as a whole was unable to engender or supersede it. Thus it was not society that would engender its own adequate representation and consciousness during its movement. It had to be given the consciousness of something that it had to do. This duty was even more constraining as there was an abyss between the mentality of the mujik and what capital needed to develop. It was not without reason that Lenin said that one had to learn to work !

Finally, the state was reinforced (as was the case after every revolution in France), and it was after the defeat of the revolution in the West that the Menshevik forecast was realized. Bureaucracy was only secondary. Bureaucrats were charged with the execution of the state's decisions. They could not form an autonomous class (as much under Tsarism as during the soviet period). They were not the ones who breathed life into the CMP, instead they lived at its expense, just as all capitalists become functionaries of capital (cf. Marx on the depersonalization of the capitalist). But even in Russia, the dominant people, as Bordiga said, were not the bureaucrats, but speculators, businessmen, gangs etc., proliferating on the basis of the material community under construction (in the industrial arena). Only this takes on a more statist attitude in the USSR and, as Bordiga said, they sucked the state-penis. This analysis is in line with Marx's when he spoke of "capitalist interlopers empowered at the expense of the same state".

Capital without a capitalist class : that could be realized by the CMP as Ricardo, Marx and Bordiga stated [64] . This was only possible in the West when capital had constituted a material community and so when it had overthrown the old statist presuppositions. A papering over of the capitalist class took place through the intermediary of the restoration of despotism in the USSR (in the Asian area the tendency is identical), so that capital does not dominate according to its being. But the ever increasing intervention of the world capitalist community, especially through the intermediary of the US, tended to produce a more rigorous equivalent between capital and the power of domination over society.

A common preoccupation of the Tsar, populists and Bolsheviks was the use of capital's productive forces without having to undergo the existence of a capitalist class. For the Tsars it was a question of using these forces to perfect their domination of the Russian people and to be able to fight other states. For the populists it was necessary to leap over the CMP, for the Bolsheviks to shorten its duration. But the marxists had to act as visionaries, as Bordiga said, and accomplish a romantic task, inevitably they also would have to accomplish the task of the counter-revolution regarding the proletariat when they had to run capital alone after the freezing of the revolution in the West. This gave rise to the theory that the masses were unable to understand their own interests. Only the party and state had science and consciousness of what they needed. Repression was useful, therefore, humane because it was for their own good that men were massacred. The state was really the benefactor! The populists too understood the tasks to be accomplished :

"In other words, we have to do what has already long been done everywhere else in Europe, not by the Socialist parties, but by the bourgeoisie." [65]

They also conceived of the necessity of a revolutionary state, but for them the obshchina remained the guarantee of a fully revolutionary development of the social transformation.

Finally, an inverse proof of the terrible trap of the power of the state : the flowering of intellectual and artistic activity during the collapse of tsarism (in a few years Russia reached the front) and also a blooming of human relations, a liberated sexuality, as Vera Schmidt's work shows. But on the other hand there was a renewal of despotism, the praise for the monogamous family, a rigid and stupid morality, the cult of work, and soviet realism. This realism had a despotic requirement. Representation had to be the double of reality. There was no escape : imagination was enchained.

A final consequence of this periodization into real and formal domination has to be taken up and analysed. We have recalled one of the components of Marx's and Engels' position on Russia : that of the agrarian commune. There remains the attitude to tsarism. As Bordiga showed at length, Marx thought of only one thing : the destruction of tsarism (the famous Russophobia attributed to Marx), as it was an obstacle first to the bourgeois revolution, then to the communist revolution. One had to prevent tsarism from impeding or destroying the rise of the CMP in Germany, because a strong proletariat existed there and so socialism was close. Marx's and especially Engels analysis proved inconsistent at a given moment. The anti-Russian position was right when the CMP was weak in Germany (it could only really develop on the basis of territorial expansion, the national question being this country's central one) and while no revolutionary movement had developed inside Russia. But when Marx stated that the Russian revolution was to be the prelude to the European revolution, when he considered the revolution in Russia to be active, when bourgeois domination reigned in western Europe the old strategy with the consequent tactic was no longer correct. Besides, when formal domination over society was realized in Germany, with aspects of real domination, clearly tsarism could no longer threaten the rise of German capitalism. Tsarism had to change to win. We believe that the CMP had clearly shown its superiority after 1871.

The moment of discontinuity occurring at the end of the last century was perceived, but not understood. It was not recognized as such. It was the moment when capital had just integrated the proletariat, so ensuring its real domination over the immediate production process, and tended to realize it on a global scale of the production process and over the whole of society. It was only to attain this after two world wars and the various movements such as fascism, nazism, the New Deal, and with the help of franquism, peronism etc., with their different historical characteristics. This moment of discontinuity implied the end of the possibility of using democracy, applying the direct tactic, because there no longer was the possibility of competition for seizing power to direct the productive forces since capital had definitely triumphed. Also this movement was already effective in 1871 in West Europe and the USA, as Marx himself wrote :

"The highest heroic effort of which old society is still capable is national war and this is now proved to be mere humbug, in tended to defer the struggle of classes, and to be thrown aside as soon as the class struggle bursts out into civil war. Class rule is no longer able to disguise itself in a national uniform; the national governments are one as against the proletariat !" [66]

Tsarism could no longer hinder the evolution of the CMP in Germany in this context because it had become its subject. A conflict with Germany would require the industrialization of Russia allowing the modernization of the army. This would provoke social contradictions in the country, making it more vulnerable.

The other aspect of the movement of the discontinuity was the power of the Russian revolutionary movement which strengthened from 1861 on the populists being its most remarkable exponents. They were to be overtaken by the marxists at the start of the twentieth century. The fundamental themes of their activity were, after all, the same apart from the obshchina.

It was the CMP that became the most dangerous enemy of the proletarian revolution. The West European ruling class, as Engels noted, would have an interest intervening in Russia to re-establish the Tsar's power and, as was the case in February 1917, to attempt to run the capitalist revolution from above, keeping the proletariat out of power and by smothering the proletarian revolution in the West.

It was no longer possible to examine Russia through the eyes of the young Marx polemicizing in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung or in the New York Tribune. Engels sensed this correctly when he opposed for a while the formation of the Second International, saying that one had to await the ripening of events in Russia. Later, in the 1905 revolution Rosa Luxemburg knew how to perceive and conceive of Russia as the revolutionary centre, and even Kautsky wrote in 1902, as Lenin recalled, that :

" 'In 1848 the Slavs were the black frost which blighted the flowers of the peoples' spring. Perhaps they are now destined to be the storm that will break the ice of reaction and will irresistibly bring a new and happy spring for the nations.' (Karl Kautsky The Slavs and the Revolution, 1902)" [67]

One could not better express the change underway. However, most of these statements were futureless (Kautsky), or could not be imposed (Luxemburg). The German revolutionaries' hesitations on the Russian question and finally their return to a simple antislavism, freezing them very precisely, i.e. definitely, was expressed by Engels. He wrote to Bebel on October 24th. 1891 :

"If, however, the French bourgeoisie begin such a war nevertheless, and for this purpose place themselves in the service of the Russian Tsar, who is the enemy of the bourgeoisie of the whole of western Europe, this will be the renunciation of France's revolutionary mission. We German socialists, on the other hand, who if peace is preserved will come to power in ten years, have the duty of maintaining the position won by us in the van of the workers' movement, not only against the internal but also against the external foe. If Russia is victorious we shall be crushed. Therefore if Russia begins war -- go for her! go for the Russians and their allies, whoever they may be. (...) We have not yet forgotten the glorious example of the French in 1793 and, if we are driven to it, it may come about that we celebrate the centenary of 1793 by showing that the German workers of 1893 are not unworthy of the Sans-culottes of those days..." [68]

It is surprising enough that Engels could talk of France's revolutionary mission after the Commune all the more so since he had written in his polemic with Tkachev about Russia that there were no longer chosen peoples. Also a Russian victory over the Germans would not necessarily mean the defeat of the CMP because, in that case, despite a military defeat, a more developed form could often arise. Horace once said that Greece conquered the victors (the Romans)! Here Engels was completely deluded by democracy. He thought that the workers would assume power through elections. The war forestalled this glorious occasion. This was clearly what he thought as one finds it again in an article published in 1892 entitled Socialism in Germany which invoked the defence of the German nation and the wartime necessity of readopting the words of the Marseillaise from the foreign cohorts and stated :

"Peace will assure the victory of the German social democratic party in about ten years." [69]

Finally, to understand this aberrant position, one has to allow for the fact that Engels in 1891 thought that the workers' movement had to complete the German revolution.

"The revolution from above of 1866 and 1870 must not be reversed but supplemented and improved by a movement from below." [70]

Lenin had perfectly understood the discontinuity on this point and was not to fall at all into the trap of national war, of progressive war (for the West then). This discontinuity was even more remarkable in that he had to oppose the directives of master Engels who even wrote (in another letter of 13.10.1891.) of proposing conditional support for the government in wartime!

Thus capital began to reach its geographical limits at the turn of the century and had to pass on to a phase of intensive development (which some realized later in conceiving of an internal colonization) and so doing it confronted the whole huge area where men had retained their communitarian structures. That forced revolutionaries to consider the world revolution not in classist terms alone, and the capitalist phase as not necessarily obligatory for the accession to communism.

The difficulty in the revolutionary struggle is precisely to perceive the discontinuities and so be able to undertake a new theoretical activity in order to envisage the revolutionary phenomenon right from the start of the discontinuity which will emerge years later with characteristics determined exactly by the discontinuity which one was able to recognize. It is just in moments of struggle that one should impose the most radical solution be cause it is always possible to make the greatest discontinuity. That is why the revolutionary years are rich in events and ideas, but after there is just a dreary repetition of the past, right up to the new discontinuity.

This is more difficult as the task of the ruling class is to veil the discontinuities and make believe that all is as before, that one must persist in the continuity dominated by this class. The French socialists believed that they had to continue the French revolution and did not see the discontinuity that their own movement implied. The marxists at the end of the last century only assured the continuity of the process of capital by believing that they worked for the formation of another society, since they did not question the principle of the growth of the productive forces.

Capital's rise, as Marx said, unbolted the door barring the development of the productive forces by liberating men from the old social presuppositions and technical development, the two being indissolubly linked. Capital ended nature idolatry, the tendency to consider what exists as an existential taboo, i.e. as something immutable. Nevertheless man no longer perceived himself under the sign of immutability, as an unchangeable element of nature, a base from which man could recognize himself as an autonomous creator :

"Compared with this standpoint, the commercial, or manufacture system took a great step forward by locating the source of wealth not in the object but in a subjective activity -- in commercial and manufacturing activity..." [71]

This found its philosophical recognition in Kant's philosophy which questioned the old mode of thought :

"Hitherto it has been assumed that all our knowledge must conform to objects..." but "...objects must conform to our know ledge." [72]

The change of method consists in centering everything on the subject.

The real break the discontinuity of man with nature (cf. Abbot Breuil who said that peasant civilization was extinguished in our epoch, that the cycle originating in the neolithic period ended) came with the CMP. So it is a point of departure for a development which goal could be man himself in an infinite process (the true and the non-indefinite). It is this aspect that Marx praised in the Grundrisse above all. Put another way, man can reject all the dogmas, all the social and natural limits, from the moment when he is totally liberated from his old community, or its modified forms. But if the solution was found, it would still be necessary to master the new forces that were autonomizing themselves. The bourgeoisie, the capitalists, gave themselves over entirely to this development [73] and fully accepted the exteriorization of man and his recombination in the form of machines (because it was not just any man that underwent this, but the proletarian) accepting the formation of new dogmas : of progress, the development of the productive forces, growth, worship of the new divinity of science.

Moreover, from the time when the rise of the productive forces became an acquired fact in a given place for a determined part of humanity, the other men remaining in their communitarian forms could use it (especially if they were able to allow the emancipation of the individuality, as was the case with the Slav commune) and thus avoid the bloody course of western society. This was the basic preoccupation of Russian populism which afforded a grandiose character to the debates which the diverse populist currents had among themselves, and with the marxists and anarchists.

The development of the productive forces, of the base, of the point of departure for the affirmation of the human community emancipated from natural and social limits, transformed itself into a conquering power at the end of the last century, which was to reduce man to a more degrading position than any endured during prior modes of production : the moment of capital's autonomization. That is, after subjugating the negating class, the proletariat, it dominated the ruling class itself which ruled only by mediation. Henceforth the liberating potentialities disappeared and only the oppressive reality remained. But the whole social body continued to perceive in the old way, this being a cause of the sacred alliance of 1914.

Once again it is clear that it is not merely a matter of understanding that there is a discontinuity, of perceiving new aspects that appear strange, but that one must reorder all theoretical activity. The difficulty of such an action can be seen in Marx himself. He had all the elements for understanding the real domination of capital over society, grasping the mode of its accomplishment, the theoretical facts for understanding the social forces, in their specificity, apart from capital, and the non-obligation of going through the CMP. But the works where one finds that were not published in his lifetime. Where the hesitations are clearer it is in his reply to Zasulich, which is very short, while the drafts are long and, above all, contain real elements of the reply that went beyond the one actually sent.

It is not a question of recomposing a Marx a posteriori for modern use, but of coming to grips with him in all his complexity, and continuing to struggle, of course. Organizing something coherent for our needs and present events from him is to desire to rob his life and ridicule his death. The lot of the revolution in Russia was linked to that in West Europe and vice versa from 1848. The theoretical and practical retreat at the end of the last century, the abandonment of the perspective of the leap over the CMP, had the corollary in the genesis of marxism : theory of growth, an absolute reinforcement of Eurocentrism with a unilinear conception of the development of human societies etc... It is known when the Second International (apart from Luxemburg and Lenin) no longer preoccupied itself with national and colonial questions. Bernstein justified colonialism in the name of capital's civilizing role. The Baku Congress of 1920 proclaimed war on imperialism and the West impelled by the Russian revolution and the insurrectionary movements in Asia. Lenin took up the perspective of the leap over the CMP at the Second Congress of the Communist International

"The question was posed as follows : are we to consider as correct the assertion that the capitalist stage of economic development is inevitable for backward nations now on the road to emancipation and among whom a certain advance towards progress is to be seen since the war? We replied in the negative. If the victorious revolutionary proletariat conducts systematic propaganda among them, and the Soviet governments come to their aid with all the means at their disposal --in that event it will be mistaken to assume that the backward peoples must inevitably go through the capitalist stage of development. Not only should we create independent contingents of fighters and party organizations in the colonies and backward countries, not only at once launch propaganda for the organization of peasants' soviets and strive to adapt them to pre-capitalist conditions, but the Communist International should advance the proposition, with the appropriate theoretical grounding, that with the aid of the proletariat of the advanced countries, backward countries can go over to the Soviet system and, through certain stages of development, to communism, without having to pass through the capitalist stage." [74]

However, given that there was no serious analysis of the particular characteristics of social forms where the revolution broke out and grew has been made, the easy solution consists in transferring the Russia schema (itself a product of a reductionist work to all struggles underway. This led to the invention of feudalism to justify the alliance with the so-called national bourgeoisie, for example. This resulted in the massacre of the Cantonese and Shanghai workers. Massacres of proletarians followed the same manoeuvres in Iraq (1958), Indonesia (1965). and Sudan (1971), to cite only the most recent examples.

The assertion of the particularities of a geo-social area was long considered to be the origin of reformism by currents claiming to be marxist. They preferred mumbling a series of modes of production correct for all humanity. From 1958, due to the anti-colonial revolutions, a study of Formations preceding capitalist production allowed for a re-examination of the entire question as one can see in Bordiga's text Class and National Struggles in the World of non-White Peoples, vital historical field for the revolutionary marxist critique where what is basic is the rejection of any idea of the superiority of European civilization. He stated, after Marx, that the societies where man was the goal of production were superior to our own. Also, in 1960 appeared a duplicated pamphlet in Italian called The Succession of Forms of Production in Marxist Theory, written mainly by Roger Dangeville, commenting on the Forms preceding capitalist production, summarizing their different characteristics in detail in a table. [75]

Those works evoked a very feeble echo. We cannot dally here on the reasons for this check because we must indicate what finally results from the abandonment of Marx's and the populists' theoretical behaviour regarding the CMP. We have lost, the proletariat as a historical class and now humanity have lost the possibility of leaping over the CMP in certain areas of the world, and we have been most incapable of conceiving of it, infested as we were by the idea that progress is for all people the development of the productive forces. i.e. in the end, capital, which was the affirmation inside the proletariat of the interiorization of capital's victory. Thus it is natural that the peoples whom we have forced to submit by our agreement with the deadly enemy, the infamous path of the passage to the CMP, should accuse us (the violent critiques of Marx's ethnocentrism have been made by various ethnologists originating among these people). We must all find through this, and on the basis of communism (theory and movement), the path to our common liberation.


[1] Marx to Engels 8.10.1858. in Marx Engels Selected Correspondence (Moscow, 1956) p. 134.

[2] "Das menschliche Wesen ist das wahre Gemeinwesen der Menschen." (Marx Engels Werke Band I, Berlin 1961, p. 408), The English edition (Marx Engels Collected Works Vol. 3, Moscow (1975, p. 204) translated this as "Human nature is the true community of men.", which greatly reduces the force of the sentence. (Translator's note)

[3] Marx often used the word Gemeinwesen, which can also frequently be found in Hegel for whom the theme of the Gemeinwesen had considerable importance. In certain cases, one can translate it by community, but in others this reduces its semantic force. Gemeinwesen also means subjectified community as one affirming itself in a human individuality, social man, i.e. how a social man sub3ectifies the community in himself. It is thus the modality of being of the objectified community, which always exists and always will do, outside him. In the 1844 Manuscripts, Marx asserted that one must not oppose the individual to the community. In the notes on James Mill's book, he stated that social man reproduces his individuality and Gemeinwesen. If the elementary unity (appallingly called the individual) is only singular, one is always infested with the binary, metaphysical opposition: singular -individual. Communism, which is not a society, is characterised by the destruction of this bipolarity. The Lukacsian totality would be insufficient to describe it. Totality is often totalitarian and sometimes is only an inflated unity, the latter being a totality in reduction, i.e. one has the triumph of identicalness, of the same, the triumph of death. Communism can only exist if there is a multiplicity - diversity of social men (individualities), because communism is life.

[4] Marx Grundrisse der Kritik der politischen Ökonomie (Rohentwurf) 1857-8 (Verlag für Fremdsprachige Literatur, Moscow, 1939) p. 375. (English Translation (Harmondsworth, 1974 p. 471) is inexact).

[5] Marx to Engels 14.3.1868, in Marx Engels Werke Band 32 (Berlin, 1965) pp, 42-3.

[6] Grundrisse German ed. p. 376, English ed. p. 472.

[7] ibid. German ed. p 377, English ed p, 473.

[8] Marx Oeuvres: Economie II (Gallimard, Paris, 1968) p. 1563, draft III. The drafts were written in French and this French edition is a compendium of the three drafts. A similar English edition is found in The Russian Menace to Europe ed. P.W. Blackstock and B.F. Hoselitz (Glencoe, Ill., 1952) pp. 218-26. Citations are translated here from the French edition, Roman numerals referring to the number of the draft. [John Gray note : A more recent english translation together with an extensive discussion can be found in Late Marx and the Russian Road. (ed) Teodor Shanin (Routledge, Kegan & Paul, London, 1984). In this edition the quote is on p. 119]

[9] [ John Gray note : Unfortunately footnote 9 is missing in the original pamphlet and footnotes 9 to 14 appear to become scrambled. In Late Marx and the Russian Road. (ed) Teodor Shanin (Routledge, Kegan & Paul, London, 1984) this quote, from the 'third draft' of Marx's letter to Zazulich is on p. 120.]

[10] ibid. p. 1564 III [John Gray note : for the reasons given in footnote 9. this reference may be wrong. In Late Marx and the Russian Road. (ed) Teodor Shanin (Routledge, Kegan & Paul, London, 1984) this quote, from the 'third draft' of Marx's letter to Zazulich is on p. 120.]

[11] ibid, p. 1565 III [John Gray note : for the reasons given in footnote 9. this reference may be wrong - the reference to the draft number is certainly wrong. In Late Marx and the Russian Road. (ed) Teodor Shanin (Routledge, Kegan & Paul, London, 1984) this quote, from the 'first draft' of Marx's letter to Zazulich is on p. 116.]

[12] ibid, p. 1567 I [John Gray note : for the reasons given in footnote 9. this reference may be wrong. In Late Marx and the Russian Road. (ed) Teodor Shanin (Routledge, Kegan & Paul, London, 1984) this quote, from the 'first draft' of Marx's letter to Zazulich is on p. 111.]

[13] lbid. p. 1569 II [John Gray note : for the reasons given in footnote 9. this reference may be wrong. In Late Marx and the Russian Road. (ed) Teodor Shanin (Routledge, Kegan & Paul, London, 1984) this quote, from the 'second draft' of Marx's letter to Zazulich is on p. 104.]

[14] ibid. pc 1566 III [John Gray note : for the reasons given in footnote 9. this reference may be wrong - the reference to the draft number is certainly wrong. In Late Marx and the Russian Road. (ed) Teodor Shanin (Routledge, Kegan & Paul, London, 1984) this quote, from the 'first draft' of Marx's letter to Zazulich is on p. 106.]

[15] Selected Philosophical Works (London, 1961) Vol. I pp. 179-80.

[16] Nor could one call Bakunin a populist. He always considered the obshchina to be very important and had a great influence on the populist movement between 1860 and 1870. (Cf. in this respect Venturi's book named in the next footnote).

[17] Cited in Venturi Roots of Revolution: a history of the populist and socialist movements in nineteenth century Russia (Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London, 1960). This work is of exceptional significance for understanding the profound characteristics of the Russian revolution. One previously knew the great sympathy that Marx and Engels (especially the former) had for the populists through their letters to them. But the populists' real positions were unknown, except by some specialists. With Venturi's book the mystification-mythification practised by the Russian marxists on their adversaries was torn aside. Populism is clearly an integral part of the communist movement, which Venturi states in other terms Cf. p 346.

[18] 'Speech at the International Workers' Socialist Congress in Paris (2nd. version) 14-21.7.1889.' in Plekhanov op. cit. p. 454.

[19] 'What the 'Friends of the People' are and how they fight the Social-Democrats' in Collected Works (Moscow, 1960) Vol I p. 300

[20] ibid. p 266

[21] ibid, p, 300

[22] The 1905 revolution restarted the populist movement The proof was the formation of the Union of Maximalist Socialist-Revolutionaries in 1906 which rejected the socialist party minimum programme and wanted a 'workers' republic' and to organize society on the basis of the community, inspired by the obshchina. (Cf. Anweiler The Soviets: the Russian Workers', Peasants' and Soldiers' Councils 1905-21 (New York, 1974) pp, 94-5. ) On the 1871 Commune and its appreciation by the various Russian revolutionaries, as well as the influence it had on them, see A. Lehning Anarchisme et Marxisme dans la revolution Russe.

[23] Collected Works Vol, 8 pp. 293-303.

[24] ibid. Vol. 13 p. 291

[25] ibid. p. 238

[26] ibid. p. 403

[27] ibid. p. 426

[28] "With the bourgeois economists we no longer have anything to quarrel over, Socialism has demonstrated its right to victory, not in the pages of Das Kapital, but in an industrial arena comprising a sixth part of the earth's surface - not in the language of dialectics, but in the language of steel, cement and electricity," (1937 ed. p. 8). That shows very clearly where there is no difference between capitalism and socialism for Trotsky.

[29] Editions Riviere, 1933 p. 318

[30] ibid. p. 311

[31] Realites, June 1971

[32] The Old and the New Metaphysic quoted by Berth in his introduction to Sorel op. cit. P. xiv.

[33] Marxism and Philosophy (London, 1970) p. 97

[34] ibid. p. 102 & p. 101

[35] Philosophical Works (French edition) Vol. I, p. 874, fn. 61

[36] Capital Vol. I cit. p. 645.

[37] Results... (appendix to Capital cit.) p. 1023.

[38] Engels to Danielson Selected Correspondence p. 517.

[39] Critical Marginal Notes on the Article 'The King of Prussia and Social Reform' by a Prussian in Marx Engels Collected Works Vol. III (Moscow, 1975) p. 205.

[40] This cannot be dealt with here. We can note that Engels foresaw at the end of the last century that a world war would end in the ruin of Europe and domination by US agriculture.

[41] We dealt with this question in an article entitled The Russian Agricultural Crisis has a Social Origin in il programma comunista no. 18, 1965.

[42] On Social Relations in Russia in Marx Engels Selected Works in two vols. Vol. II (Moscow, 1958) p. 58, fn. 2.

[43] Civilisation Paysanne en Russie (Lausanne, 1969) p. 25.

[44] Vol. I (London, 1932) pp. 402-3

[45] ibid., p. 406

[46] Cf. fn. 12. p. 7 (Reprinted Milan, 1976, p. 502.)

[47] 'Speech delivered at the Third All-Russian Trade Union Congress' 7.4.20. in Collected Works Vol. 30. p. 509.

[48] ibid. Vol. 33, pp. 156 & 267

[49] ibid. Vol. 27 pp. 153 & 178 for this last formula.

[50] Plekhanov cit. p. 30I

[51] Marx 'First Draft of The Civil War in France' in The First International and After (Harmondworth, 1974) p. 250.

[52] Marx op. cit. p. 1567 I [John Gray note : In Late Marx and the Russian Road. (ed) Teodor Shanin (Routledge, Kegan & Paul, London, 1984) this quote, from the 'first draft' of Marx's letter to Zazulich is on p. 111.]

[53] Stalin (Oxford, 1967) p. 294

[54] ibid. p. 324

[55] Le Parti Bolshevik (Paris, 1963) p. 316

[56] Deutscher op. cit. p. 335

[57] Stalin always used his opponents' ideas in his various retreats. So certainly he appealed to the old pan-slavist and populist essence of the Russians so that his theory of socialism in one country would win. In fact constructing socialism all alone, without the aid of the West, required the extolling of Russia (as with panslavism) and the affirmation that Russia could have its particular road (populism).

[58] Cited in Problemes Economiques n. 1162, 1970. The historian E.H. Carr also gives seemingly contradictory information. In fact he wrote that the redistribution of the land began with the October revolution and affected the whole of the Soviet Republic in 1920. He gives statistics of tenure size showing the tenures up to 4 desyatins rose from 58% in 1917 to 72.1% in 1919 and 86% in 1920, which would indicate a fragmentation of the French type (cf. The Bolshevik Revolution Vol. 2 (Harmondsworth, 1966) p. 171). However, Carr tells us that on the contrary "The system of communal holdings with periodical redistribution was not affected by the reform..." (ibid. p. 53). (Here it is a question of the socialization of the land, a law promulgated under the influence of the Left S.R.s). "The mir, with its periodical redistribution of land among its members and the individual peasant holding, continued to exist side by side without official discrimination between them." (ibid. p. 287). Carr noted that there was great opposition within the mir to the departure of any of its members. He also notes that the basic law on the use of land of May 1922 recognized the existence of the artel, commune and mir as much as the isolated possession in the otrub and khutor forms (ibid. p. 288). One also finds many facts on this in Socialism in One Country Vol. 1 (Harmondsworth, 1970) pp. 205-352. Panalt Istrati made this remark which says a lot on the agrarian imbroglio: "Even to the Russian town dwellers the country remains a complete mystery; entirely unexpected developments are suddenly revealed which surprise even the most vigilant observers; and these require investigation from time to time." Russia Unveiled (London. 1931) p. 120.

[59] 'Report of the Unity Congress of the RSDLP, a letter to the St. Petersburg Workers' (May 1906) in Collected Works Vol. 10, p. 328.

[60] ibid. p. 332.

[61] ibid. Vol. 13, p. 326

[62] ibid. p. 260

[63] ibid. p. 327.

[64] The bourgeoisie was not the motivating-mobilizing class in any bourgeois revolution after 1871 since it was too feeble and as it was destroyed by the revolution itself (as in Russia). The bourgeois strata were generally linked to the world capitalist class. Now, at least at first, revolutions attacked the CMP. Besides, if the CMP succeeded in imposing itself on new zones, that was no longer due to the capitalists. Consequently it is wrong to speak of a bourgeois revolution concerning China and all the anti-colonial revolutions. One must speak of a capitalist revolution because the mode of production tending to arise, by the will of those directing the revolution or not, is the CMP. In the case of the Russian revolution, it is best to call it a double revolution, capitalist and proletarian.

[65] Kibalchich, quoted by Venturi op. cit. p. 679.

[66] Marx The Civil War in France: Address of the General Council in The First International and After (Harmondsworth, 1974 pp. 231-2

[67] Lenin Collected Works Vol. 30 (Moscow, 1965) p. 527.

[68] Marx Engels Correspondence 1846-1895 (London, 1934) pp. 491-2.

[69] Marx Engels Werke Band 22, p. 256.

[70] A Critique of the Draft Social-Democratic programme of 1891 in Marx Engels Selected Works Vol. 3 (Moscow, 1970) p. 436.

[71] Grundrisse (English edition) pp. 103-4.

[72] 'Preface' to the Second Edition of Critique of Pure Reason (London, 1970).

[73] The bourgeoisie believed that it could dominate technique when it engendered capital by its development, the automated despot Marx spoke about. They believed that they could dominate the movement of exchange value and yet it was due to the bourgeois revolution that the obstacles opposing themselves to capitol's autonomization were lifted and value could become capital. The bourgeoisie produced a false consciousness of its own historical movement and that of capital. Socialists were content mainly to explain and oppose it to a true consciousness: marxism.

[74] Collected Works Vol. 31, p. 244

[75] This pamphlet was published in French as Succession des Formes de Production et de Societe dans la Theorie Marxiste (Le Fil du Temps n. 9, Jul. 1972). This edition contains some additions, particularly 'Les Deux Phases du Developpement Social de la production capitaliste' which show that Dangeville did not understand Marx's periodization, as we have already shown in 'Le VIme Chapitre Inedit du Capital et l'oeuvre economique de Marx' (Invariance n. 2, Serie I, 1968)