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File: 1685012415850.jpg (192.66 KB, 1134x1080, Richard_D._Wolff_in_2015.jpg)

 No.1477580[View All]

>New book analyzes Soviet collapse

>By the time the Soviet Union was officially dissolved in 1991, analysts and politicians declared the breakup as the death knell of communism, but a new book by two Economics professors questions whether a true communist class structure ever existed in the USSR.

>In "Class Theory and History: Capitalism and Communism in the USSR," professors Stephen A. Resnick and Richard D. Wolff, both specialists in Marxian economics, apply their previously developed class theory to analyze the creation, evolution and demise of the Soviet Union.

>Their conclusion, sure to rile critics on both the left and the right, is that the 20th century's great ideological schism actually pitted the private capitalism of the West against the "state capitalism" of the USSR. "The struggle between communism and capitalism never happened," says Wolff. "The Soviets didn't establish communism. They thought about it, but never did it."

>Under a true communist system, says Resnick, the workers would control all aspects of production and decide how any surpluses are used. But in the wake of the 1917 revolution, the Bolsheviks imposed a layer of state managers to operate industry in the name of the people. That system, which Resnick and Wolff call "state capitalism," actually ceded decisions about the use of profits to government officials.

>If communism ever existed within the USSR, says Resnick, it was during a brief period following the revolution when the Bolsheviks redistributed land to the peasants, who formed farming collectives. Working at the local level, farmers reached consensus on how their surplus products would be used.

>But as Wolff notes, those collective decisions didn't fit into the plans of the Soviet leaders and their state capitalism. By the mid-1930s, the Soviet state was having such a hard time getting enough food to feed the workers that Josef Stalin "decided that whole revolution was at risk because of the farmers," says Wolff. In response, the Soviet leader abolished the collectives in favor of "state farms run like factories."

>Resnick and Wolff contend that state capitalism was originally seen by the Bolsheviks as a necessary step in the evolution towards a communist state. But after Lenin's death in 1923, says Wolff, Stalin short-circuited those plans by simply declaring the Soviet Union a communist-socialist state.

>According to Wolff, it was a politically expedient solution intended to assuage the masses who had already suffered through the poverty of the czarist system and the bloodshed of World War I and the post-revolution civil war that brought US, British, French and Japanese troops onto Russian soil. Faced with the responsibilities of governing and preserving their power, the Soviet leaders found it easier simply to declare the revolution a success.

>"They couldn't fight 12 battles at once," says Wolff. "They had to choose between their own focus on government and the exigencies of the moment. … It was a way to say all the sacrifices have paid off."

>Stalin's declaration eased pressure on the Soviets to move a fully communistic system, according to Wolff. "He hammered home the point by killing anyone who disagreed."

>The decision to embrace state capitalism, say Resnick and Wolff, helped sustain the Soviet state for several decades by providing funding for public services, ranging from health care to education to housing. For the once poor nation, says Wolff, the change was "a remarkable phenomenon."

>By the 1980s, however, the state capi-talist industries and farms were incapable of generating enough surplus to sustain industrial capital accumulation, maintain the USSR's superpower status, meet the consumer demands of the population and pay for the bloated Communist party apparatus and bureaucracy. Something had to give, and soon the Soviet leaders began to introduce more elements of private capitalism. Ultimately, that also loosened the political monopoly held by the Communist Party. Soon, the Soviet republics began going their own way.

>For Resnick and Wolff, the Soviet experiment raises many questions about the nature and future of communism as an economic system. In fact, they devote an entire section of their book to defining communism and socialism, whose philosophical origins go much farther back than Karl Marx. As part of their decade-long research, says Resnick, the two economists delved into "the vast literature on utopian" thought. The utopian literature was long on lofty ideals of working together for the common good, but devoted little attention to how workers should receive the immediate profits of their labor.

>Similarly, says Resnick, early Christian writings espoused notions of sharing and meeting the needs of all members of society, but the professors found no evidence that communism has been tried on a national scale.

>Now, with the collapse of the USSR, says Wolff, it is time "to drastically rethink the whole idea of communism."

>"What it means to be socialist is up for grabs," he says. "Marxism is up for grabs."

>"We can't concede the end of communism," says Resnick. "Communism hasn't been tried on a society-wide basis. It's a boastful notion that communism has been vanquished."

>In fact, says Resnick, the years ahead may produce a new form of communism - a system based on ownership of private property, stock markets and political freedom, but allowing workers to decide how the profits of their work are allocated.

>"If we allow communism to be defined as people getting the profits, it opens up all different possibilities," says Resnick. "I think it could work."

>"There's already a concrete example of communism working in the U.S," notes Wolff, citing the work practices of some technology workers in, of all places, Silicon Valley. "People like you and me in San Jose have been doing it for 35 years."

>According to Wolff, disaffected engineers who left large companies to form their own software firms are following the communist model. "Nobody's the boss," he says.

>"Monday through Thursday, they work on their projects and Fridays, they have all-day meetings on how to use the profits for the company."

>If communism can be redefined, says Wolff, "In the future, when folks get upset with a private system, they may have an alternative. … A society that wanted to give people a choice could spend a few years for people to see if the communist enterprise works for them. It could be used as a social experiment."

>A book-signing party with Steve Resnick and Rick Wolff is being held Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 5:15-7 p.m. at Atticus Books, 8 Main St. in Amherst. "Class Theory and History: Capitalism and Communism in the USSR" is published by Routledge

217 posts and 48 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


I am an ML. I would not argue that the Soviet Union had established communism, however, I do disagree with the idea that the Soviet Union "wasn't socialist." If people are talking about the New Economic Program, maybe they could call that State Capitalism, but the fact of the matter is, no matter how you slice it, the Soviet Union had actually established the dictatorship of the proletariat. It was NOT the Capitalist class that was in power. If the Capitalists were in the USSR, it was because they were invited to be there, but ultimately they weren't running the show, and that the fact that they weren't running the show is a major sticking point.


From where does the profit derive?


In every lie there is a kernel of truth. This post, through framed in an ungenerous framing, is true in the sense that we should not let the legacy of the Soviet Union prevent us from actually engaging with the people of our class and struggling alongside them.

However, there is a crucial point that ought to be made here: it is necessary to defend the legacy of the Soviet Union because the massive privatization that followed was infinitely worse than any of the inefficiencies of bureaucracy. We're talking about a massive spike in homelessness, a decline in healthcare outcomes in every post soviet country, mass proliferation of AIDS after the USSR had actually been better than most countries in the world at handling it, reduced productivity, reduced life expectancy, increased costs for housing, including rents, massive increase in rates of prostitution and sex trafficking, the former being informed by devastating conditions of poverty that are necessarily the product of privatization, etc.


Glow thread.
Glow author.
The USSR never said this and never looked like this.


The term state capitalism invites a kind of libertarian-esque framing where one pretends that there is no relationship between capitalism and the state, that the normal state-of-being of capitalism is to have no connection to the state, but the fact of the matter is that capitalism could not ever have formed historically if it hadn't been for the support of the state. The state, being a monopoly on violence, does have to take sides in the course of material development. If it was not for the colonial state in the North American colonies, a system of private property would not have existed, because the colonial state would systematically take the common "wilderness" from the indigenous people, remove the indigenous people through various genocidal means, and then partition up the land and allow for homesteaders to make use of it, selling it, etc. The state has an involved role in capitalism, even if it does not directly own any firms, because it develops the infrastructure necessary for the development of capitalism (such as roads, bridges, police, etc!!). The state is actually very involved with Capitalism in the so-called bourgeois democracies. And this isn't even mentioning the fact that the bourgeois Capitalist state will bailout the capitalists. That is no accident, no freak of policy, that is just class interests being secured all the damn time


Which mls are you talking about retarded concern troll faggot?


Zizek is a russian saboteur and a faggot



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>an actual principled discussion on /leftypol/
Nature is healing, comrades


>MLs respect wolff tho right?
Depends on the ML (some MLs I know personally have called him a "weird social democrat") but it is worth pointing out that Wolff sometimes appears on the Socialist Program, which is principally hosted by Brian Becker, who is a Marxlist-Leninist, and on the executive committee for the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL). You will notice if you listen to a few of these podcast episodes that Wolff seldom appears on an episode where foreign policy is discussed. He is usually there to offer Marxian economics analysis but he is rather absent in other cases. The Socialist Program aims also to be non-partisan. I think the value of Wolff is that he is generally a good-faith individual who does the invaluable work of introducing a lot of people (like my mom, born in 1955) to socialism. Wolff sometimes says things that I disagree with, but the negative aspects about him pale in comparison to Agent Kochinski, for example, who doesn't merely say incorrect things but incorrect, chauvinist things, that are dressed up in the deception of language that on the outside appears to be "leftist" but in every material capacity is imperial-chauvinism.


Centralised planning means no crisis even with a market sector of sorts; Artels, farmers markets etc etc or Chyna
This is great
Control of means of production like in Best Korea or coops like Huwei is the next step

Look at how hard Huawei got bodyslammed by the Haute porkies
No crisis is great for us proles and also artisan level petit bourgeois also fwiw things should be stable enough the lumpens will prolatarianise or move into an artisinal class position inb4 but lumpens want to be lumpens, gulags, polytechnics and stable housing fuck you**


Good explanation. Thank you


Not really "state capitalism" that is misleading. Where is the capitalism part? Deformed worker's state that degenerated into capitalism yeah though


Doesn't even seem to be that, seems like Wolff is saying Co-Operatives should be redefined as Communist.


How the fuck else is he supposed to explain it to burger normies without scaring them
Listen to his chat with Varoufuckdis where they both up their power levels by over 9000 from their usual normie wrangling pablum


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it is known


wat specifically did varafuckis say? my understanding of him was sucdem opportunist splitting the left vote in Greece


I'll give you the link to the chat in a few hours if nobody else finds it first and posts it


Ok thank you m8


I'm not the tank guy I found 3 different conversations involving them together on YouTube




sanka you very much aron


they ruin our garloids


""""sd=Conclusions flipped as both socialist infasuctualy


Is it just me or does Varoufuckthis sound incredibly more competent that Wolff? I am sorry but I've yet to see a video of him where he "drops his powerlevel" and doesn't sound like a simpleton. I do not care if he "waters it down for American normies" or whatever, you shouldn't treat people like babies, especially when you participate in videos that are very much likely only watched by people who are already agreeing with you on the basics.

I am getting the feeling that Resnik does all the heavy lifting for Wolff and Resnik himself has problems too.


They make these comments because they can dance circles around him. He got owned by a lolbert in here >>1477713 and he has zero arguments besides his "democracy at work" shit. It's not a convincing argument for most, who cares if your firm is democratic? You gonna vote on who is going to clean the toilet? Marx and Engels ranted against such Utopian Socialist thoughts over a century ago.


Pls post a better quality image version , I liked it XD


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Also , Idk if I am schizoposter or have dumb opinion on things, It's kinda another one's perceptions on me~

Since "In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule." –Nietszche

But yea, doing these bingos are fun
And I also think even in so called baits, the poster desire a form of response like all other, so maybe, responding to a far rightie with right magical words would maybe affect that anon tho. So why not


How the fuck is the "state capitalism" thesis new? Is this just the result of most Millennials going through "the end of history" and so having no knowledge of the history of debate around the USSR, so that this tired old thesis can be dug up?

Or is Wolff so obsessed with his non-violent revolution based around co-ops idea that he is willing to be intellectually dishonest?


>both decry Khrushchev's revisionism, and support the 1956 invasion of Hungary.
And? It was based when Khrushchev rolled on US backed Hungarian fascists and gave missiles to Cuba and it was cringe when he did revisionism and drew first blood in the sino Soviet split.


China is the future. China and climate change and trying to survive amerikkka'$ global chimpout at declining


File: 1685102735639.jpeg (26.75 KB, 474x595, my son.jpeg)

As one of the other Eureka anons, same.


>what are workers' councils
>noooooooo workers' councils are idealist crap nooooooo the workers state need to be ruled by strong proletarian bureaucrats nooooooooooooooo
>revisionism is based when muh red ancestors exported it abroad but cringe when they did it at home
>if only stalin purged more people, the organization of the CPSU was absolutely perfect, my cult don't need to self-crit, never!
>fascists, liberals, adventurists and opportunists, the whole lot of you! none of you are free from liberal fascist ideology!


He didn’t even do that, he just rubber stamped the military intervention. Khrushchev was far too busy organizing the Real Holodomor to bother with little things like crushing fascist uprisings and he actively worked to prevent Hungary from being made an example of, thereby encouraging the Czech fascist coup. And don’t give him credit for Cuba either because that was objectively a loss, he purposefully pussied out because a possibility of a war with the United States would have put a damper on his personal ambitions, had Beria been in the same position he would have launched the nukes and we’d have a global socialist order by now and that’s not even an exaggeration. It’s hard to fully quantify just how much damage Khrushchev did in his pursuit of vengeance


File: 1685109786279-0.png (599.13 KB, 760x583, berlin-stand-off.png)

File: 1685109786279-1.jpg (53.06 KB, 640x403, BerlinBlockade.jpg)

Cuba wasn't even strategically logical. The USSR had NATO by the balls in Berlin and NATO knew it which is why they didn't really challenge the USSR during the blockade or during the later stand off. NATO was encircled had the dilemma that West Berlin forces would eventually be starved out in any conflict yet NATO didn't look weak by abandoning West Berlin thus NATO war plans had to start NATO off way too overextended to deal with the Warsaw Pact rationally.
Then if USSR and China were still friends there was Taiwan where Mao wouldn't have objected to Stalin launching nuclear strikes against US airbases in Taiwan from China and the USA feared this when Stalin was alive.


The NEP was true communism, Stalin was a left deviationist that ruined it with collectivization (state capitalism)


I take it you never researched the scissors crisis. Stalin's policies came from NEP failing to bring forth a coherent market due to the chasm between the incests of urban and rural producers under NEP.


I can’t help but wonder how Stalin let Khrushchev slip by, leaving him wide open to take over the USSR and cause the deaths of millions. Surely Stalin must have suspected that Khrushchev was a double agent, right? He knew he was in contact with Trotsky. Did his eagerness to trust and see the best in people blind him to Khrushchev’s faults? Or was he perfectly aware and let Khrushchev schemes play out as a lesson for future generations? I genuinely don’t know


noooooo my garrrloiidds how could they do this to me


>lenin said so it must be true
I like lenin as much as the next guy and somewhat agree with the quotes but we can't just all quote the same 5 guys


Do you think Lenin was a liar? Is that the hill you want to die on?


the lending is done through their weirdo online reader, you don't really get access to the file itself


>either Lenin was a xeliberately dishonest agent or everything he wrote and said was unfiltered truth


Oh my god if all you want is idols just become religious and leave the rest of us alone.


> had Beria been in the same position he would have launched the nukes and we’d have a global socialist order by now
Posadist Beria posadist Beria


He isn't perfect, noone is. He's capable of being wrong when he intended to be right in good faith


No need to kill leninoids when progress and history stomps over them.


>But by this point capitalism is a global system so "external necessities" are in the last analysis internals of capitalism. And yes, the drive to accumulate is necessary in all cases - the specifics vary but for the USSR or for a corporation there is a need to develop and grow production to survive in the larger context of the market.
Here's the thing you're missing Anon. Yes, the USSR was forced to pursue growth oriented policies to survive the competition with the capitalist world, but this would only be the case so long as the capitalist world existed. What we had here was a case of the Soviet socialist system being forced to adopt capitalistic behaviours by the capitalists themselves. If the world revolution had been successful, or if the imperialists had not posed an existential threat to the Soviet Union, then this wouldn't have been necessary. Compare this to the world we have now, where every major threat to capitalism has been defeated, and yet the ruling class still pursues these suicidal policies of growth for its own sake. Even monopolistic corporations behave in this way, since they operate essentially on borrowed money which they must return to investors in addition to dividends. Capitalism has an internal logic which drives endless, exponential accumulation, socialism does not. Hence even the socialist system as it existed in the USSR brought about a fundamental change in the relationship between society and the productive process.
>Welfare states are distinct from neoliberal hellholes are distinct from colonies etc and they are still capitalism.
Yeah but we're talking about a system without private property or commodity production here. To call it any kind of capitalism is to really stretch the definition of the term. This is especially the case when you consider how much it radically altered


neoliberal in chat.

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