9/04/2013

WAS CAPITALIST THE USSR?

Spanish



Robert Kurz : "As state bureaucracies, the Marxist workers parties not only had to take the bourgeois tasks in a much more emphatic way than what happened before in the West; in fact, paradoxically, had to generate the working class as human material for the explotation process itself, for the first time on a large social scale. "...." The goal was to conquer state power in order to install a modern state machinery responsible for the state capitalist industrialization, ... , "communism" worked just as a modernizing label for the impetus of state capitalism".

Neither "Soviet" or "Communist" or "Socialist" or "Democracies" or "Popular": Just capitalism.

If the Russian Revolution initially meant an inspiration to workers around the world, their subsequent impact is more ambiguous. The term "communism" was finally associated to an undemocratic and inefficient state control system of the means of production and a severe totalitarian repression of all opposition. The labor movements around the world were dominated by parties related to this model of "actually existing socialism" which turned lethally counterrevolutionary.

Static analysis and dynamic analysis


There is a widespread tendency to raise the issue of the nature of the Soviet Union, especially after his death, as a  static model or static system. It is argued about whether or not the law of value was working insida de system, whether or not there were social classes , whether the Soviet bourgeoisie was a caste or a new social class, if labor was wage labor or  not, whether there was  labor exploitation or not, etc...

Following the most common static perspective, the 1917  October Revolution of would have established a socialist-communist revolutionary regime that after a short consolidation phase would last unchanged until the fisrt years of the last decade of the twentieth century.

The reality was that the regim emerged in extraordinarily convulsive circumstances and evolved extremely rapidly during the first years. A revolutionary socialist movement was betrayed by the Bolshevik party.  Taken by surprise by the revolution in which initially  it played a rather marginal role they managed to impose their goals of leading the country down the path of economic development, relying on a leapfrogging use of the Marxist theoretical arsenal and doing it "drastically" relying on the socialist ideology, to put the country as quickly as possible under conditions to compete with other imperialist powers.

Obviously , this complex strategic development required maintaining a high degree of confusion in reconciling the interests of the new "Soviet" capitalism with a long list of suspicious genocidal strategies and tactics, gulags, pacts with fascist regimes, murderous purges, blatant betrayals of revolutionaries movements, etc.

Until the 1960s the USSR seemed to be holding in its particular race to catch the other imperialist powers but the problem was that imperialism itself was evolving towards a new phase in which the ancient state grounds were becoming archaic hindrances . Former nationally based capitalist monopolies ( which sought to emulate the USSR with its large industrial conglomerates) were transnationalising and globalizing , leaving at their fate their ancient territorial bases and achieving exploitation rates well above those of the previous phase.

While China tried to integrate into this new imperialist phase ( transnationalizing their monopolies), the USSR chose to refine its  localist autarkic model of development  by introducing market reforms. Eventually the model would collapse. Transnational monopolies and the same Soviet bourgeoisie* were part of that demolition crews that devastated  the area in favor of globalization.

* To characterize the "Soviet" bureaucratic as bourgeoisie is a recurrent discussion. The Russian revolutionaries imprisoned by the Bolsheviks were the first to define them in that way. I do not think it is worth further to discuss looking the actual situation of a perfect "bureaucratic-communist" bourgeoisie in China. One third of Chinese private capitalists are members of the PCC. The "more bureaucratic fraction" of this evolved "communist" bourgeoisie is occupying the most important positions in the vast network of branches of the party, government and army.

Transition to capitalism led by the Bolsheviks party


In Russia there was a socialist and democratic revolution in 1917. After three years of imperialist war, after which the state and the economy were in bankruptcy, soldiers, workers and peasants seized the military apparatus, took control of the factories, divided the land of the landlords, and created in the form of Soviets a democratic socialist organization.

The Russian Revolution and the creation of the first workers' state had a profound impact on the world. The apparent success of the Russian revolution renewed hope that it was possible a real alternative to capitalism. It showed that capitalism could be overthrown and a socialist, if not communist society, could be built on its ruins. As such it inspired generations of socialists and workers, and represented a determining influence both in its goals and in its methods.

The Bolsheviks took the lead in presenting themselves as the most revolutionary and radical party of the Revolution. Actually, his intentions were not immediately "socialist". According to them, the conditions for socialism were not right yet. Russia was not yet ripe for socialism. It was necessary to modernize it, make it competitive, and develop the productive forces to a level similar to that of the great powers of the time. Lenin intended to establish a system capable of promoting industrial development and modernization of the country, holding off colonialism and imperialist domination. A regime transition to modern capitalism, "led by socialists" since the Russian bourgeoisie was not yet sufficiently developed.

In practice, however, the ideology of "socialist" used to stand at the head of the revolutionary movement, socialism deflect, defeat and annihilate the true revolutionaries, and finally justify the appropriation " collective " of the means of production by a nationalist bourgeoisie capitalist newly minted, disguised as "bureaucracy" and "socialist" . The centralized planning system, was copied from the German war capitalism of WWI.

The takeoff of the USSR (takeoff and protection of infant industry)


Ante Ciliga : " During the Five Year Plan, there were no mass movements of industrial workers. When spontaneous demonstrations occurred in factories, the GPU arrested the more active people and sent them to labor camps or concentration camps, accusing them of "economic counterrevolution" or of being "bandits" or “kulaks".

Ante Ciliga : “Imagine a territory of six or seven thousand miles long by three hundred to fifteen hundred miles Wide, from Solovetsk and the White Sea Canal to the shores of the Pacific Ocean, to the Kamchatka peninsula and Vladivostok. This territory, as well as the whole of Central Asia, was strewn at all crossroads with concentration camps and “labor colonies” (the latter being the name given to camps with a specific task to fulfill) and centers of compulsory exile.

The aim of the new "Soviet" capitalist bourgeoisie was the same as their European competitors. Accumulate capital as quickly as possible, exploiting its resources and manpower. But as it started from a more backward, to takeoff, to avoid being relegated to the colonial periphery subject to the imperialist powers, needed leapfrogging economic pace aiming at burning intermediate stages.

Protectionism and state intervention to promote economic takeoff and infant industry protection was not something out of the USSR. Japaness, Korean, Argentine, Brazilian, Spanish, ..., experimented with multiple exchange rate system, foreign trade control, state control of currency, state control of banks, nationalization of strategic sectors, plans development, etc. The particularity of the USSR was that to burn stages as quickly as possible, it was necessary, in addition to the nationalization of the economy, to subject the population to a inhuman totalitarian regime operating under the banner of Marxist socialism/communism. Central planning and the "absence" of formal "private" property enabled the new bourgeoisie still use the "socialist" verbiage in defense of the new system to justify terror and exploitation of the working class for decades.

It has been said that the USSR was a "deformed socialism" or a "society in transition" from capitalism to socialism. Actually it was a totalitarian defensive capitalist variant. If it was a "transitional society", it was traveling in only one direction towards capitalism.

Capitalists Variants


Capitalism is a historical form of social regulation and, as such, susceptible to multiple and often surprising adaptations. In the southern U.S. for decades ran a "slave" variant of capitalism in which the slaves were listed as assets in modern book-keeping books. They were amortizable items who needed biofuel to run at full capacity. In the Nazi variant SS prisoners were provided to large industrial groups as "renting" contracts (like modern photocopiers). If the worker was spoiled he/she was immediately replaced, without charge, for the efficient SS officer. In the Apartheid South African variant, the Apartheid turned the labor force in sub -humans susceptible to exploitation rates appropriate to their nature. Within the "Soviet" variant capitalists bureaucrats competed with each other for the investments in the exploitation of Russian workers who were terrorized and indoctrinated by the Stalinist big brother.

Obstacles for takeoff


After the Bolshevik seizure of power they had to overcome the enormous problems of underdevelopment and other internal obstacles to the modernization and industrialization of Russia. The two most pressing internal obstacles to the development of a national industrial capital were the "backwardness" in agriculture and the lack of funding.

Russian agriculture was based primarily on small-scale subsistence farms or on small farms for commercial production. This involved two major obstacles for industrialization. First, blocking the formation of an industrial proletariat, since most of the population still was attached to the ground. Second Russian agriculture was unable to produce a proper surplus to feed a growing industrial proletariat, let alone provide an exportable surplus to finance imports needed for the takeoff of the strategic industrial sector.

The second major obstacle to industrialization was financial. The backward character of Russian capitalism meant that it had accumulated little internal capital. Industrialization in Tsarist stage was promoted by the state and had been financed through foreign investments. But the revolutionaries had repudiated all foreign loans contracted under the Czarist regime and had expropriated foreign-owned capital in Russia, which could not be expected that the international banking trust the Bolsheviks.

Obviously, the main obstacle was the machinations of all kinds of imperialist capital for which the vast and rich territory of Russia had a special appeal and, at most, required a weak subordinate comprador elite (as in China) to exploit at pleasure the territory.

For the Bolsheviks "socialism" should be used to overcome these obstacles.

The theoretical justification


Traditional Marxism of the Second International considered state capitalism as the highest stage of capitalism. Monopoly capital, in symbiosis with the financial capital reinforced the state lever for imperialist expansion projects. Kautsky and Lenin, despite their differences, felt that this statelization of capitalism made it more susceptible to a takeover by socialist forces. Theorized that state capitalism was the most advanced stage of capitalism and prepared (and somewhat made easier) the socialist later stage, therefore, state capitalism could be seen as a necessary first step in the transition to socialism.

Consequently , Lenin could argue, with some consistency, that the imposition of one-man management in companies (former managers and CEOs bourgeoisie) and the dismantling of workers' councils, the reintroduction of Taylorism and the New Economic Policy (NEP ) , were the immediate task of the revolutionary government, given the conditions of backwardness in Russia. The same could be argued Stalin about their "unexpected? " turn to the " left" ( endorsing the most cherished thesis of Trotsky), with the abandon of the NEP and the collectivization of the countryside, with the creation of the forced labor camps of the Gulag, or the creation of the military-industrial complex.

Capitalism in the East and capitalism in the West


As workers in the West, the Russian workers were subordinated to a production process designed and developed to maximize production, with little regard to their actual needs. As such, the worker was reduced to a mere instrument of production and, like their counterparts in the West, exploited, working longer than necessary to reproduce the equivalent of their labor, and without any control over the fruits of their efforts.

The "collective" ownership structure of the "Soviet" bourgeoisie system matched with large monopolies, protectionism, exchanges control, and central planning. The particular kind of “collective” ownership manifested its traits in all kinds of privileges that were reserved and enjoyed by the "Soviets" owners, equivalent to those of their Western counterparts, but without the fear of being evicted by economic competition.

As in the case of Nazi capitalist variant, in Stalinism, rather than the figure of an omnipotent dictator, what was rampant was the discretion of hundreds of thousands of small dictators competing with each other for the control of the exploited mass.

Defensive and aggressive Capitalism variants


The Nazi-fascism represented another variant of totalitarian Capitalism, but of a purely offensive one. A "nationalistic" and ultra-aggressive variant of the system. In this case, protectionism, central planning, promoting of monopolies and market restrictions, were organized to strengthen an already established bourgeoisie, aiming rather than the defense of a take-off, to attack and expand. The Aryan Nazi cohesive ideology came to be the equivalent of socialist-communist ideology of the Soviet variant.

On the contrary, totalitarian "Soviet" capitalism was essentially defensive in nature. It was backward societies that required a protectionist incubator to develop without falling prey to imperialist. Hence the model of "Soviet" incubator were very attractive to other developing countries trying to shake off the yoke of colonialism or imperialism.

Socialist mentoring capitalist development?


Contrary to the thesis of Kautsky, Lenin and Trotsky, state capitalism was not the most developed stage of capitalism but a secondary variant which manifested in areas peripheral to the core of the system. There was not a “modern” symptom but, on the contrary, a symptom of a backward capitalism. The German state capitalism did not represent the summit of capitalist development but the manifestation of his weakness against the competition of Anglo-Saxon capitalism.

For capitalism, the State is an expensive tool that evolves with it in a contradictory manner and with globalization and the transnationalization of capital, has become progressively a throwaway tool. A growing black hole of "failed states" is running on the planet.

The theses of Lenin and Trotsky led them to the most contradictory of the inconsistencies. The revolutionaries had to advance capitalism to reach the maturity needed to finally convert it into "socialism. Socialist "mentoring" and monitoring the development of capitalism.

Capitalism is bad, it has always been bad, and each passing day is worse. Increase productivity and efficiency, but its grate micro-efficiency drives to a complete and deepening macro-inefficiency. This remarkable productivist attribute of Capitalism dazzled many Marxists who thought it was a necessary stage, if painful, prior to socialism, succumbing to alienation and constituting perhaps the worst case of fetishism and alienation of history.

Crisis and Class Struggle in the Soviet bloc


Ante Ciliga : “The forest industry of Northern Russia and Siberia employs servile manual labour, and the gold-mines employ it to a large extent. Similarly the coal mines of Kuznetsk and Karaganda. The Balmach copper industry and the electric-power stations of Central Asia are the work of prisoners in the “labour colonies”. Even in the Ukraine the factory for agricultural tractors has been built partly bay forced labour. In the heart of European Russia, the cutting of the Moscow-Volga canal is done with powerful assistance from hordes of slaves. As to the enormous military and economic development of the Far East, with its railways, motor-roads and lines of fortifications along the Manchurian border, is the work of an immense and constantly renewed army of convicts. I think it is no exaggeration to state that a third of the working class in Russia is composed of slaves. This servile labour, barely remunerated as it is, makes easier the task of keeping the wages of the theoretically free at a very low level.

The soviet leaders declared that there where no limits to the intensity of the work; the psychological limit that exist in capitalist production “is abolished with us”, they said, “in the land of socialism, owing to the enthusiasm of the workers”. The galey-slaves’ rhythm, the chain-gang work of capitalist countries, was to be exceeded"

 Crisis


The fundamental characteristic of "Soviet" capitalism was, apart from the substitution of market mechanisms by central planning, the use of socialist propaganda in combination with the "Red Terror" for the regimentation, exploitation and enslavement (forced labor) of the working class.

As the crisis of the 1930s expanded and affected most of the world's economies, the USSR recorded the largest growth rates in its history. Had overcome the "Soviet" capitalist system the crisis scourge that has accompanied capitalism from its inception?

It has been argued that the "Soviet" system was not free of cyclical patterns, and, in any case, the cyclical patterns were of a different type, associated with the planning cycle. One example was, on the one hand, the intense economic activity ('assault') towards the end of plan period when everyone was working hard to fulfill the plan on time and get their bonuses for meeting the plan, followed of calm in the period at the beginning of the next plan, when everyone was recovering from the previous 'assault', pending the arrival of new supplies. There were also longer cycles associated with investment planning.

If the regional and autarkic character of “Soviet” capitalism allowed some decoupling from the cyclical periodicity of global capitalist system, crisis were not going to leave out one of the weakest links in the system.

Class Struggle


Although workers resistance continued from the Kronstadt uprising, ( Parbigskii , ... ) during the last years of Stalinism worker resistance strengthened (strikes and uprisings of slaves workers in Vorkuta in July 1953, Norilsk, Gorlag, Norillag) and the "Soviet" bourgeoisie had to yield, again and again, to popular pressure (Soviet welfare state) despite his last claws (annihilation of the uprising of workers' councils in Hungary 1956).

With the weakening of terror on the working class, the "Soviet" capitalist system of exploitation began to lose steam. While in the West capitalism imposed the flexibilization and casualization to increase capitalist productivity in the East workers resistance kept the working class exploiters at bay.

While in the West the Social dismounted after another labor gains of decades of struggle and full employment liquidated in East workers refused to the introduction of " control practices " and , on the contrary , demanded and kept the full employment, less rigid rules , higher pay and lower wage differentiation ( wages of miners and metal workers remained at the same level as those of the engineers and managers of 2nd row).

The "malfunction" of the system was not due to technical problems, not due to "lack of market mechanisms" but mainly to workers resistance that did not tolerate "reforms" to increase exploitation.

Since the death of Stalin, the Soviet economy had been integrated progressively in the commercial and financial global system. Soviet economy depended more and more on exports of energy and raw materials, and capitalist banks and international agencies saw no disadvantages in providing credit to the USSR and other "popular democracies". At the end of the decade of the 1970s the "Soviet" system began to show unmistakable signs of economic crisis and loss of competitiveness against globalization.

This internal weakening because of worker resistance resulted in outside weakening against global capitalism, which was providing aggressive mechanisms of class domination (Monopolies and Globalization) out of reach of the Soviet bureaucracy. The economic crisis of marginal "Soviet" capitalism accelerated despite the "market" alternatives that sought to introduce the "Soviet" bourgeoisie.

The Wrong Transition


A marginal, deformed, backward, parochial and bankrupt defensive capitalism,  (with a "socialist" speech outdated and counterproductive, without clear options to go back to the Stalinist terror) , was weaker and easier to resist, and would have even been more easy to overthrow that globalized capitalism. The chances that the people of the USSR and Eastern Europe, or China, had to resist or survive capitalism, were much higher than they have now, after the aggressive penetration of transnational monopoly capitalism. The "transition" was a missed opportunity for socialist revolution in the East.

The advantages of the workers of the "Soviet" block in the workplace (security, full employment, working hours, leave, breaks, respect, freedom to change to other company, vacation, ...) and "Soviet" state benefits welfare (housing, education, health, leisure , ... ) , severely torn by decades of struggle and resistance against the Stalinist capitalism, were swept away at a stroke with the penetration of global monopoly capitalism.

The problem was that the Pole workers, Hungarians, Czechs, Russians, Lithuanians, ..., who faced and rose against the "Soviet" capitalist bourgeoisie, did not understand that it was this same "nomenklatura" who was determined to "reform" or just liquidate the “Soviet” experiment, in favor of "modernization" of the explotation system (shock therapy) even if it meant the dangerous challenge of his reintegration into the international capitalist concert. Many thought that his enemy was socialism and his friend, capitalism. Big mistake, the capital is a guy of very, very few friends.

Despite the dazzling Carrefour and Tesko capitalists shelves, most Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, Russians, Lithuanians, ... , laborers and bourgeois, have finished paying their excitement with most horrific exploitation, misery and exclusion.

During the periodic crises appears the real capitalist Mr. Hyde and is difficult to hide or camouflage the absolute social, economic and environmental macro-inefficiency of the system. The ideological bases underpinning it crumble. Social alienation cracks. The fetishes fuss. It is during crises when it is easier the socialist revolution. This is when the system is weaker and offers unprotected flanks where attack and the crisis of the Soviet bloc was one of them.

What fell was not actually existing "socialism" in the USSR , but the lost opportunity for the Pole workers, Hungarians, Czechs, Russians, Lithuanians, ..., to exploit the weakest flank crisis of capitalism, "Soviet" capitalism, to start a genuine socialist revolution.

Basic elements of the structure and functioning of the "Soviet" economy


Although the direct managers of the means of production - directors of industrial enterprises and the chairmen of collective farms - were allowed some leeway, they had to obey orders "from above". For industrial management commands came from state bodies at three levels - heads of administrations responsible for sector industries, entire industries ministries and central agencies responsible for the whole economy (the Cabinet) or specialized agencies (the State Planning Commission, State Supplies Commission , etc. . ) . In agriculture the lower levels of the hierarchy is organized on a territorial basis (municipality, province, etc.).

At least in formal terms, this was a "planned economy". The annual production planing is broken down by month. A part of the production targets, the plan specified the sources of supply of inputs (raw materials, spare parts, etc.) for each particular company and the destinations of their production. Formally, the "Soviet" companies  had no autonomy to "compete", but in practice they were competing for inputs and work force, and and the "gray market " for the inputs needed ended up being more the norm than the exception.

Money as a universal medium of exchange and capitalist accumulation theoretically did not exist in the "Soviet" economy. There were two types of money not interchangeable, each serving a different purpose - (1) the cash distributed as wages to spend on consumer goods, (2) the "non-cash" money  (unit of account) used to help monitor nonwage transactions. None of these monetary figures represented formally the central role that money has in market capitalism (wages and prices were set by the state).

The managers saw their performance evaluated and obtained the corresponding bonds based on production results. These results were measured by several indicators, which could be physical (for example, the total weight of the production, the number of items) and financial information (production cost, profit). But even when the key indicator was profit, the production target was not to "maximize profit" but to comply with the "benefit" fixed in the plan by the planner.

The managers of  Soviet enterprises were trying to reach a compromise with the unruly workers who subverted the intentions of the plan and at the same time appear as meeting with the plan specifications. To achieve this, managers were trying to respect  and get round with "quantifiable" aspects of the plan and desviate from the qualitative aspects less verifiable. The managers systematically fall to inform central authorities regarding the current production conditions. In addition, they treasured workers and scarce resources. The "Soviet" bureaucracy was a competitive device in which the operators fought each other at all levels to increase their share and advantages in the exploitation of the working class.

Thus, the "competitive" behavior  was not a circumstantial accident but was immanent characteristic of system operation. The drivers and controllers of controllers, each possessed a portion of the operating system that had to defend or expand. Not even a minister could get self-sufficient.

Disorganization was more the norm in the provisioning process. "Plans" from the time of approval entered a permanent review process. The delay on information communication and data recording as well  in relevant instructions transmission, meant that throughout the year the procurement agencies had to fight endemic imbalances, turning to pragmatism, experience, and the recurrent "procurers" (tolkachi), people with "contacts", hired by the managers so that they shall procure materials, parts and equipment needed, for whatever channel they used. Actually, it was impossible to draw a line between the "official" economy and "unofficial" economy.

Foreign trade was limited to a supporting role at the service of the plan . The products required by the plan, which could not be produced in the country, had to be imported. Exports were directed to obtain foreign exchange to pay for necessary imports (exchange controls). Foreign trade played a key role in the rapid industrialization of the 1930s ( the famous "primitive socialist accumulation" ), with Western machinery imports paid for with grain exports and raw materials, while the people were starving.

After Stalinism, foreign trade began tracking also imports of technology and consumer goods for the whole population. The trade imbalance and the resulting external debt (financial markets understand better than anyone the true nature of the Soviet regime) showed the increasing depth of the economic crisis that would end the system.

Theories


There have been many theories about the capitalist nature of the "Soviet" system.

A. Ciliga, (1938) Croatian revolutionary, had to flee his country and joined the Russian revolution in the mid of the 1920s. Successively Bolshevik Leninist, Trotskyist, extrotskista, and finally exleninista. Imprisoned by the GPU in Siberia, miraculously saved his life and was able to leave the USSR. He was among the first to consider that the system had nothing to do with socialism but it was a capitalist variant, from the very beginning .

The Trotskyists clung to the theory that it was a transition system between capitalism and socialism (a phase prior to the post-capitalis communism. Trotsky argued that it was a "degenerated workers' state" an unstable stage who will rapidly derivate to socialism or to capitalism (Trotsky thought that this situation would be resolved in either direction after WW2).

Tony Cliff (1948), British Trotskyist, given the longevity of Stalinism after WW2, stated that there was a socialist workers state until 1928. Thereafter, counterrevolutionary Stalinism definitely had been consolidated. The bureaucracy became a capitalist class and the system ceased to be a workers' state to become a particular variant of state capitalism.



Hillel Ticktin (1970s) , British Trotskyist, dismounted Cliff thesis with Marxist arguments (theory of value) to return to the original idea of Trotsky of a degenerated workers' state. But his analysis of the USSR was deeper. He warned the system malfunction to the point to qualify it as a "no mode of production" in crisis. The elite was unable to control the work process. He argued that "evil operation" and therefore, the crisis of the system, was something intrinsic in the model and not the result of worker resistance, ie the class struggle (for him, the USSR was a "workers' state" without classes struggle)

Actually, what Ticktin was analyzing and studying was not the "normal operation" of the system but the systemic crisis. A crisis that stimulated the class struggle in which the workers were earning positions that contributed to the "bad functioning"system.

Charles Bettelheim has perhaps been the most meaning defender of the characterization of the prevailing model in the USSR and Soviet bloc countries as "state capitalism". In July 1936, 23 years old, speaking Russian and the French Communist Party membership card in my pocket, Bettelheim came to Moscow where he remained six months capturing the political atmosphere of the beginning of the Stalinist purges and trials. Later he visited China during the years of the Cultural Revolution.

In his book Calcul économique et formes proprieté criticized the assumption that nationalization and state ownership of the means of production means "socialism." In a later book : Les Luttes class in the USSR 1974-1982 , characterized the Soviet system as "state capitalism". The Bolshevik party would have confiscated the people's revolution and acted as legitimizing a new technocratic elites who finished setting the same hierarchies and social differentiations that capitalism, although using the legal mirage of state ownership of the means of production to camouflage exploitation. Also proposed alternative models of economic development to the model exported by the Soviet bloc oriented only to accumulation.

The German Paul Mattick, thought that by puting the means of production into the hands of State, the Bolsheviks had not achieved their "socialization" but their nationalization of capital. The capitalist ownership had changed hands, from particular owners, to the state, but still being a "capitalist property" as the means of production were not controlled by society but remained Capital alienated from workers. The Soviet Union had not abolished the fundamental capital/labor exploitation relation.

Mattick stated that it was an advanced form of capitalism to the extent that it had overcome some of the major problems of capitalism based on private property such as competition and crises of overproduction, getting more stability and, in some ways, a decrease of class antagonisms.

Amadeo Bordiga, founder of the Italian Communist Party in 1921 ( a split of a PSI unable to organize a revolution during the "bienio rosso" - 1919-1920 -) also believed that the USSR was capitalist.

Bordiga thought Soviet Union was a society in transition to capitalism. What distinguished the "Soviet" capitalist regime  was not its advanced nature (Mattick) but, on the contrary, its delay , its underdevelopment. Russia was a peripheral backward state susceptible to  fall into the hands of developed imperialist capitalism  and become forever relegated to underdevelopment. The Bolsheviks tried to
prevent this with interventionist and protectionist methods. It was for this reason that the Soviet Union became the model to the struggle against colonialism.

For Bordiga, the "turn to the left" of Stalin in 1928, with the forced collectivization and the five-year plans, it was not a " socialist primitive accumulation" (as Preobrazhensky theses) but a wild capitalist primitive accumulation. The Stalinist excesses of the 1930s years - " a hell for the worker and a butchery of human energy "- were simply the expression of " the generation of the universal conditions for the genesis of all capitalisms" .

In 1953 he stated that " The economic process in developing Russian union territories can be defined essentially as the implementation of the capitalist mode of production, in its most modern, and the latest technological means, in backward countries, rural and East Asian."

For Bordiga the obsession in finding individual capitalists or substitutes of those, in order to characterize or label the system, was absurd. "Determinism without people is inconsistent, but men constitute the instrument of the capitalist system, but not the engine" ...

" There is not a partial subordination of capital relative to State, but a further subordination of the State to capital".  State despotism in Russia was in the service of Capitalism driving the capitalist mode of production in areas that still resisted.

Neil C. Fernandez, considers that all categories and parameters that define "Capitalism" were present in the "Soviet" system. Competition,competitiveness , merchandise, money, capital accumulation, capital gains, accumulation, ...

In an extensive treatise examines each category and how it was adopted in the "Soviet" system. But if anything defines a system is the existence of the class struggle and the kind of class struggle character.
Proponents of the socialist era Soviet Bloc faced with the contradiction of denying the existence of the class struggle against the evidence of workers' uprisings, strikes, demonstrations and protests that pitted the "Soviet" working class against "Soviet" bourgeoisie throughout the period of "actually existing socialism".

G.M. Tamás, philosopher , former Hungarian dissident leader, after the disaster happened in Hungary and the rest of  "Soviet popular democracies" and conscious of the mystification of capitalism, has become one of the staunchest defenders of the capitalist character of the "Soviet" system .

The Hungarians, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Romanians, Russians, Lithuanians, ..., not left behind the "Really Existing Socialism" but a variant of the most "Actually Existing Capitalism".

More information:

http://rolandoastarita.wordpress.com/tag/urss/

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home