Discussion:
Was Russia ever socialist ?
(too old to reply)
upralmamater UPRalmamater@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-02 02:51:40 UTC
Permalink
https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2017/no-1358-october-2017/was-russia-ever-socialist

The debunking the myth of the Bolshevik revolution
Ken Ellis kennethellis@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-02 17:48:36 UTC
Permalink
52852 upralmamater wrote:

https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2017/no-1358-october-2017/was-russia-ever-socialist
Post by upralmamater ***@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
The debunking the myth of the Bolshevik revolution
Myth? Merely googling the Bolshevik revolution, most web sites are far from blithely assigning the word ‘myth’ to it. For instance:

https://www.marx-memorial-library.org/the-call/item/36-lenin

"As chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, Lenin abolished private ownership of land and began distributing it among the peasants. Banks were nationalized and workers control of factory production was introduced.”

That’s closely aligned with the agenda put forth in the Communist Manifesto, so the ‘mythical’ critique is a mystery.

KE
upralmamater UPRalmamater@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-02 18:28:50 UTC
Permalink
Understanding context is important when reading historical documents. We
will never know how history would have turned out if Marx had not written a
Communist Manifesto, but the Manifesto of the Communist Party continues to
create confusion as well as enlightenment.
I can also say that in certain moments of their life Marx and Engels also
had some proto- Mensheviks and Blanquists stand too. Many of the measures
shown on the Communist Manifesto had some state capitalist characters, and
many of them were also abandoned by Marx and Engels later on when they
started to mature their conceptions. We are aware of all that you have
mentioned and they are not new, even more, we have written several
articles. At the beginning, the Manifesto was called the German Manifesto
instead of the Communist Manifesto. In its time it was a revolutionary
document, but it contains too many reformists measures that are not
communists. Your citation does show that Lenin did not move further than
the proposals of the communist manifesto and he did not know about the
later writings of Marx and Engels when they indicated what the analysis of
the SPGB has shown on the article published in this forum, and it also
shows that Leninists are still living in 1844. There was an exaggeration on
the Communist Manifesto because Communism was not a spectre in Europe or
around the world, the real spectre was the universal suffrage. Communist
measures?
https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/
2010s/2017/no-1354-june-2017/communist-measures
Post by upralmamater ***@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s
/2017/no-1358-october-2017/was-russia-ever-socialist
Post by upralmamater ***@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
The debunking the myth of the Bolshevik revolution
Myth? Merely googling the Bolshevik revolution, most web sites are far
https://www.marx-memorial-library.org/the-call/item/36-lenin
"As chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, Lenin abolished
private ownership of land and began distributing it among the peasants.
Banks were nationalized and workers control of factory production was
introduced.”
That’s closely aligned with the agenda put forth in the Communist
Manifesto, so the ‘mythical’ critique is a mystery.
KE
upralmamater UPRalmamater@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-02 19:02:20 UTC
Permalink
In these analyses, we can see that Marx and Engels moved forward from
their ideas expressed on the Communist Manifesto

https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1970s/1973/no-832-december-1973/marxs-conception-socialism.
Did they continue talking about the nationalization of the means of
production and the Banking system? Lenin indicated that the heart of
Marxism and communism was the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, and that is
totally wrong because DOP was only applicable to the XIX century and it
was also wrong in that period of time, It was a temporary measure

https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/pamphlets/why-russian-revolution-wasnt-socialist-revolution.
Martov was able to prove that the Bolshevik and Lenin were completely
mistaken
Post by upralmamater ***@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
Understanding context is important when reading historical documents. We
will never know how history would have turned out if Marx had not written a
Communist Manifesto, but the Manifesto of the Communist Party continues to
create confusion as well as enlightenment.
I can also say that in certain moments of their life Marx and Engels
also had some proto- Mensheviks and Blanquists stand too. Many of the
measures shown on the Communist Manifesto had some state capitalist
characters, and many of them were also abandoned by Marx and Engels later
on when they started to mature their conceptions. We are aware of all that
you have mentioned and they are not new, even more, we have written several
articles. At the beginning, the Manifesto was called the German Manifesto
instead of the Communist Manifesto. In its time it was a revolutionary
document, but it contains too many reformists measures that are not
communists. Your citation does show that Lenin did not move further than
the proposals of the communist manifesto and he did not know about the
later writings of Marx and Engels when they indicated what the analysis of
the SPGB has shown on the article published in this forum, and it also
shows that Leninists are still living in 1844. There was an exaggeration on
the Communist Manifesto because Communism was not a spectre in Europe or
around the world, the real spectre was the universal suffrage. Communist
measures?
https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s
/2017/no-1354-june-2017/communist-measures
Post by upralmamater ***@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s
/2017/no-1358-october-2017/was-russia-ever-socialist
Post by upralmamater ***@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
The debunking the myth of the Bolshevik revolution
Myth? Merely googling the Bolshevik revolution, most web sites are far
https://www.marx-memorial-library.org/the-call/item/36-lenin
"As chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, Lenin abolished
private ownership of land and began distributing it among the peasants.
Banks were nationalized and workers control of factory production was
introduced.”
That’s closely aligned with the agenda put forth in the Communist
Manifesto, so the ‘mythical’ critique is a mystery.
KE
upralmamater UPRalmamater@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-02 19:02:30 UTC
Permalink
A revolution when only a small percentage of the working class of Russia
supported them, and it was a planned coup organized by the Bolsheviks?
Most of the peasants of Russian wanted a land reform and they represented
the majority of the workers of Russia. Lenin himself indicated that State
capitalism was a step forward toward socialism which means that they had to
develop capitalism first, it is a contradiction when at the beginning they
claimed that it was a socialist revolution. A socialist revolution to
develop capitalism?
Post by upralmamater ***@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/
2010s/2017/no-1358-october-2017/was-russia-ever-socialist
Post by upralmamater ***@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
The debunking the myth of the Bolshevik revolution
Myth? Merely googling the Bolshevik revolution, most web sites are far
https://www.marx-memorial-library.org/the-call/item/36-lenin
"As chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, Lenin abolished
private ownership of land and began distributing it among the peasants.
Banks were nationalized and workers control of factory production was
introduced.”
That’s closely aligned with the agenda put forth in the Communist
Manifesto, so the ‘mythical’ critique is a mystery.
KE
Matt Culbert lists@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-02 19:29:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by upralmamater ***@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
 
https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2017/no-1358-october-2017/was-russia-ever-socialist
Post by upralmamater ***@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
The debunking the myth of the Bolshevik revolution
The myth is that it was a 'socialist' revolution ,rather it was the
continuation of the capitalist one.

Regards,

Matt
Movimiento Socialista Mundial movimientosocialistamundial@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-02 19:56:02 UTC
Permalink
It was the culmination of the 1905 revolt which was not a genuine  based bourgeosie revolution either
https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2000s/2005/no-1216-december-2005/1905-first-russian-revolution
On Monday, 2 October 2017, 12:29:38 GMT-7, Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum] <***@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

 
On 02/10/17 18:48, Ken Ellis ***@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum] wrote:


 
52852 upralmamater wrote:

https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2017/no-1358-october-2017/was-russia-ever-socialist
Post by upralmamater ***@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
The debunking the myth of the Bolshevik revolution
The myth is that it was a 'socialist' revolution ,rather it was the continuation of the capitalist one.

Regards,

Matt

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Ken Ellis kennethellis@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-04 11:53:19 UTC
Permalink
In these analyses, we can see that Marx and Engels moved forward from their ideas expressed on the Communist Manifesto
https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1970s/1973/no-832-december-1973/marxs-conception-socialism.
Did they continue talking about the nationalization of the means of production and the Banking system? Lenin indicated that the heart of Marxism and communism was the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, and that is totally wrong because DOP was only applicable to the XIX century and it was also wrong in that period of time, It was a temporary measure
The proletarian dictatorship applied only to the 19th century? Not correct. You forget that the essence of proletarian dictatorship is universal suffrage, without which the proletariat can never peacefully pursue their agenda. If you think that the struggle for democracy ended in the 19th century, tell that to the Catalonians, the Kurds, and many others, including those of us in the USA who have had their names stripped from the voter rolls by usurping Republicans, intent on preserving their bourgeois dictatorship for as long as they possibly can.
https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/pamphlets/why-russian-revolution-wasnt-socialist-revolution. Martov was able to prove that the Bolshevik and Lenin were completely mistaken
A revolution when only a small percentage of the working class of Russia supported them, ...
Now, that would be a pretty neat trick. How gullible would someone have to be to believe that?

 and it was a planned coup organized by the Bolsheviks? Most of the peasants of Russian wanted a land reform and they represented the majority of the workers of Russia. Lenin himself indicated that State capitalism was a step forward toward socialism which means that they had to develop capitalism first, it is a contradiction when at the beginning they claimed that it was a socialist revolution. A socialist revolution to develop capitalism?
Economics, economics, economics. Are you forgetting politics altogether? You apparently forget that the essence of the Russian revolution was political: To dump the stifling monarchy, and replace it with universal democracy. Politics is what can change overnight, not economics, which can only evolve slowly over time. Do you think that Lenin did not understand these basic facts?
Communism was not a spectre in Europe or around the world, the real spectre was the universal suffrage.
We can agree on that one. Engels stated before the First International: "Before our ideas could be carried into practice we must have the republic.”

KE
mcolome1 mcolome1@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-04 15:31:47 UTC
Permalink
Did you read  the articles and the pamphlets ? If you haven't read them,  how are we you going to understand what we are saying ? The dictatorship of the proletariat has nothing to do with universal suffrage, it was a  temporary measure that could have been used in case that the working class  would have  decided to establish socialism in an epoch when capitalism was not fully developed yet to establish a society of free access. Personally, I believe that he was mistaken. The DOP was the perfect excuse used by the Bolsheviks to establish their party dictatorship and to repress the workers. In that time the word dictatorship meant government
This is what Marx meant about the dictatorship of the proletariat:
"DICTATORSHIP of the PROLETARIAT": what did Marx mean?


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"DICTATORSHIP of the PROLETARIAT": what did Marx mean?

"it would be nice if someone could explain WHY the WSM and/or SPGB don't think a dotp is necessary. Surely a log...
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The 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat' in Marx and Engels by Hal Draper 1987


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The 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat' in Marx and Engels by Hal Draper 1987

Hal Draper


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If you read all the articles and pamphlet you will understand that the Bolshevik revolt was not socialist, and the only thing that they established was state capitalism. Isn't there an economical trend known as Political economic ? 
Ken Ellis kennethellis@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-05 19:59:46 UTC
Permalink
Did you read the articles and the pamphlets ? If you haven't read them, how are we you going to understand what we are saying?
I’ve been corresponding in the forum for some 15 years, so the WSM shouldn’t still be a mystery by now, I would hope.
The dictatorship of the proletariat has nothing to do with universal suffrage, it was a temporary measure that could have been used in case that the working class would have decided to establish socialism in an epoch when capitalism was not fully developed yet to establish a society of free access.
The dotp has nothing to do with the level of development of the means of production, and no one can possibly come up with words from Marx, Engels or Lenin that could possibly lead anyone in that faulty direction. The dotp has ALWAYS been the alternative to the dotb, i.e., the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. To disparage or downplay the dotp in the 19th, 20th, or 21st century is to simultaneously announce a preference for the cursed dotb.
Personally, I believe that he was mistaken.
Marx’s most fatal mistake was to overestimate the interest of the proletariat in socializing ownership of the means of production. Look at the way the Commune of 1871 wanted to compensate factory owners for the use of their factories during the 2 months of the Commune. Workers have always been far more interested in democracy. Marx should have taken that clue from the Commune. His more mature writings do not jibe with his early correct observation that ‘the abolition of private property is inconceivable, except as the abolition of labor.'
The DOP was the perfect excuse used by the Bolsheviks to establish their party dictatorship and to repress the workers. In that time the word dictatorship meant government
www.dictionary.com/browse/dictator says that:

"In Latin use, a dictator was a judge in the Roman republic temporarily invested with absolute power.”

Dictatorship never meant anything as innocuous as mere government. Since ancient times, it has always meant the rule of one person or a tiny clique, plus the absence of democracy for the masses.

Because the Soviet workers were not that vitally interested in socializing ownership of the means of production, while the Bolsheviks were, it was inevitable that mass democracy would have to take a back seat in order to enable the Party to inflict expropriation, especially during Stalin's era.

KE
mcolome1 mcolome1@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-05 20:54:23 UTC
Permalink
I ask you again' Did you read the articles and the pamphlets ? Did you read Draper concept of dictatorship ?  This is what he wrote. Your problem is that you do not read, you do not want to educate yourself, The Dictionary definition is using the word dictator, because it is about the evolution of the Caesar. The word at the beginning did not have the same connotation

1. Short Sketch of ‘Dictatorship’ 

The word ‘dictatorship’ in all languages (dictature, Diktatur, etc.) began as a reference to the dictatura of the ancient Roman Republic, an important constitutional institution that lasted for over three centuries and left its enduring mark on all political thought. This institution provided for an emergency exercise of power by a trusted citizen for temporary and limited purposes, for six months at the most. Its aim was to preserve the republican status quo; it was conceived to be a bulwark in defense of the republic against a foreign foe or internal subversion; indeed it was directed against elements whom we might today accuse of wanting “dictatorship.” It worked – at least until Julius Caesar destroyed the republican dictatura by declaring himself unlimited “dictator” in permanence, that is, a dictator in our present-day sense.[1]

The modern analogue of the Roman dictatura is the institution of martial law (or “state of siege”). This device has the three distinguishing features of the Roman one: it is based on constitutional legality, not tyranny; it is temporary; it is limited, especially in its ability to impose new laws or constitutions. Again and again, institutions of the martial-law type have provided for some form of crisis government or emergency regime. Few claim that these institutions are ipso facto antidemocratic, though of course they can be perverted to antidemocratic uses like everything else.[2]

The old meaning conditioned all European political thought and language right into the nineteenth century, though the application of the term tended to blur in some respects. Most consistently it kept referring to an emergency management of power, especially outside of normal legality. The one-man aspect of its meaning was sometimes primary, but it was often muffled, particularly by rightists attacking the dominance of a popularly elected body.[3]

In the French Revolution – like all revolutions a bubbling cauldron of political terminology – the Girondins liked to denounce the “dictatorship of the National Convention” (the zenith of revolutionary democracy at the time) or the “dictatorship of the Commune of Paris” (the most democratic expression yet seen of a mass movement from below).[4] For over a century no one would blink when the British Parliament was attacked as a “dictatorship” on the ground that it held all power, though this usage dropped even the crisis-government aspect of the term.

The history of ‘dictatorship’ on the left begins with the very first socialist-communist movement, the first fusion of the socialistic idea with membership organization: the so-called “Conspiracy of the Equals” led by Babeuf in 1796, in the backwash of the failed French Revolution. In an influential book published in 1828, Babeuf’s lieutenant Buonarroti described the activity and politics of this movement in some detail, thereby producing a textbook of Jacobin-communist politics that helped educate (and miseducate) the “Blanquist” leftists of the next two decades. (It was quickly published in English by left Chartists.)

Buonarroti described the conspirators’ discussion on the transitional revolutionary government to take power after victory. While eschewing the term ‘dictatorship’ because of its one-man meaning, he left no doubt that the revolutionary government was to be the dictatorship of the small band making the revolution, which had the task of educating the people up to the level of eventual democracy. This concept of Educational Dictatorship was going to have a long future before it. There was not the slightest question of a ‘dictatorship’ of, or by, the working-people, corrupted as they were by the exploitive society to be overthrown. The revolutionary band of idealistic dictators alone would exercise the transitional dictatorship, for an unspecified period of time, at least a generation.[5]

This was also the entire content of the concept of dictatorship held by Auguste Blanqui and the Blanquist bands of the thirties and forties. In addition, the Blanquists (and not only they) advocated the “dictatorship of Paris” over the provinces and the country as a whole – which meant, above all, over the peasants and the rural artisanry; for had not the provinces shown in the Great Revolution that they tended toward counterrevolution? In the name of The People, the revolutionary saviors would defend the revolution against the people.

Incidentally, the ascription of the term ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ to Blanqui is a myth industriously copied from book to book by marxologists eager to prove that Marx was a putschist “Blanquist,” but in fact all authorities on Blanqui’s life and works have (sometimes regretfully) announced that the term is not to be found there. More important, the concept of political power exercised by the democratic masses is basically alien to the Blanquist idea of Educational Dictatorship.[6]

By the nineteenth century political language had long included references to the “dictatorship” of the most democratic assemblies, of popular mass movements, or even of The People in general. All Marx did at the time was apply this old political term to the political power of a class.

But Marx’s usage in 1850 was significantly conditioned not merely by the long history of the word but particularly by its history in the revolutionary period he had just passed through.
Matt Culbert lists@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-06 00:48:17 UTC
Permalink
In any case the dictatorship *of *the proletariat, is not the same
dictatorship *over *the proletariat (and peasants) as established by the
Bolsheviks.

-----------------------------------------

...What justification is there, then, for terming the upheaval in Russia
a Socialist Revolution? None whatever beyond the fact that the leaders
in the November movement claim to be Marxian Socialists. M. Litvinoff
practically admits this when he says (p.37):

“In seizing the reigns of power the Bolsheviks were obviously playing a
game with high stake. Petrograd had shown itself entirely on their side.
To what extent would the masses of the proletariat and the peasant army
in the rest of the country support them?”

This is a clear confession that the Bolsheviks themselves did not know
the views of the mass when they took control. At a subsequent congress
of the soviets the Bolsheviks had 390 out of a total of 676. It is
worthy of note that none of the capitalist papers gave any description
of the method of electing either the Soviets or the delegates to the
Congress. And still more curious is it that though M. Litvinoff says
these delegates “were elected on a most democratic basis”, he does not
give the slightest information about this election. This is more
significant as he claims the Constituent Assembly “had not faithfully
represented the real mind of the people”.

http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1910s/1918/no-168-august-1918/revolution-russia-where-it-fails

----------------------------------------

 Karl Radek, the Bolshevik leader (“Class Struggle,” Aug. 1919)
justifies the dictatorship of the Bolsheviks in Russia on the ground
that Russia “possesses a proletarian minority.” He says that in
countries with a capitalist minority a dictatorship would be unnecessary
owing to weak resistance.

http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1910s/1919/no-184-december-1919/democracy-and-dictatorship-russia

---------------------------------------

Originally the Bolsheviks demanded complete power for the Soviet
executive “until the meeting of the Constituent Assembly." After the
Bolsheviks had assumed power for three months, they announced the
elections for the Assembly (Nov. 25, 1917), and dispersed it when it
showed the Bolsheviks in a minority. The so-called reasons for
abolishing the Assembly still lack evidence in their support for the
Bolsheviks permitted the elections to be held.

-----------------------------------------

 The Bolsheviki have often defended their dictatorship by quoting Marx’s
criticism of the. Gotha Program (1875) where he refers to the transition
from Capitalism to Socialism as the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
pending the abolition of classes altogether. Marx, however, refers to a
dictatorship asserted by a working-class majority over the capitalist
few, and not to the dictatorship of a minority attacked by Engels in his
Criticism of the Blanquist Program.

 Lenin has admitted the Blanquist character of the November 1917 seizure
of power—

      "Just as 150,000 lordly landowners under Czarism dominated the
130,000,000 Russian peasants, so 200,000 members of the Bolshevik party
are imposing their proletarian will on the mass, but this time in the
interest of the latter.” — “The New International,” New York, April,
1918, Bolshevik paper.

Lenin’s defence of this as due to the lack of knowledge among the masses
is in these words:
   “If Socialism can only be realised when the intellectual development
of all the people permits it, then we shall not see Socialism for at
least 500 years. The Socialist political party, this is the vanguard of
the working class, must not allow itself to be baited by the lack of
education of the mass average, but must lead the masses, using the
Soviets as organs of revolutionary initiative.’’—Lenin at Peasants’
Congress. "Ten days that Shook the World.” P. 303.
mcolome1 mcolome1@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-10 23:37:25 UTC
Permalink
Engels was referring to a bourgeois Republic which was needed to have certain democratic rights, but he was not talking about a so-called socialist republic or socialist state, that wrong concept was an invention of the Bolsheviks and the Leninists. Socialism must be a stateless society, and it can't be established in one country. I think we have explained this idea to you several times in this forum.  Many of the old writing of Marx and Engels were related to the capitalist development of Germany, the only country with capitalist development during their time was England. Everything must be read and studied in its own historical context
Ken Ellis kennethellis@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-12 20:29:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by mcolome1 ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
Engels was referring to a bourgeois Republic which was needed to have certain democratic rights, but he was not talking about a so-called socialist republic or socialist state, that wrong concept was an invention of the Bolsheviks and the Leninists.
A bourgeois republic was correctly considered a major step up from the dominant monarchies of Europe. The defining difference between bourgeois republics and universal red republics is universal suffrage. Bourgeois republics, like the USA in its early years, reserved the voting franchise for land owners and the wealthy.

"If one thing is certain, it is that our party and the working class can only come to power in the form of the democratic republic. This is even the specific form for the dictatorship of the proletariat, as the Great French Revolution has already shown.” Engels, 1891

So, now, millions of Americans enjoy democracy. But, is the USA a dotp? Ha! It could be, if Americans were to expand their political consciousness. But, we are so convinced that we are the land of milk and honey that we think we can afford to cast aspersion on intellectual pursuits.

All that was politically possible in the 19th century was replacing monarchies with democratic republics. Depending on the militance of the lower classes, the bourgeois republic could sometimes be pushed through to the dotp, i.e., the universal red republic, as in the Paris Commune. Such was the political agenda of M+E. It was also on Lenin’s agenda, but we saw how badly democracy got distorted by having the expropriation agenda grafted onto its politics, which resulted in a Bolshevik dictatorship over the proletariat and everyone else.
Post by mcolome1 ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
Socialism must be a stateless society, and it can't be established in one country.
This is true, but socialism can only be reached through slow evolution, concomitant with the abolition of human labor. After labor is abolished, then all justification for division of labor and class divisions comes to an end. Once class divisions are erased, then all justification for state power will wither away. If the human race is lucky, then this will occur soon. Because technology is accelerating so fast, we won’t have long to wait.
Post by mcolome1 ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
I think we have explained this idea to you several times in this forum. Many of the old writing of Marx and Engels were related to the capitalist development of Germany, the only country with capitalist development during their time was England. Everything must be read and studied in its own historical context
If what I wrote is not agreeable, then try pointing out precisely where what I wrote might be incorrect, and then it can be discussed further. Simply rejecting my arguments wholesale will get this discussion nowhere.

KE
Matt Culbert lists@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-12 21:33:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Ellis ***@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]
"If one thing is certain, it is that our party and the working class
can only come to power in the form of the democratic republic. This is
even the specific form for the dictatorship of the proletariat, as the
Great French Revolution has already shown.” Engels, 1891
So, now, millions of Americans enjoy democracy. But, is the USA a
dotp? Ha! It could be, if Americans were to expand their political
consciousness. But, we are so convinced that we are the land of milk
and honey that we think we can afford to cast aspersion on
intellectual pursuits.
All that was politically possible in the 19th century was replacing
monarchies with democratic republics. Depending on the militance of
the lower classes, the bourgeois republic could sometimes be pushed
through to the dotp, i.e., the universal red republic, as in the Paris
Commune. Such was the political agenda of M+E. It was also on Lenin’s
agenda, but we saw how badly democracy got distorted by having the
expropriation agenda grafted onto its politics, which resulted in a
Bolshevik dictatorship over the proletariat and everyone else.
*The Soviet Seed-Bed*

In Russia the Soviets arose spontaneously in opposition to the Tsarist
(and later the Bourgeois) dictatorship. Parliament has never been the
supreme power in the State because the bulk of the population had never
been industrially concentrated and politically organised. Local councils
acting independently to a large extent, and at most never realising the
need for more than federal unity, were, therefore, the natural
expression of popular opinion.

 In adopting the Soviet constitution, therefore, the Bolsheviks did not
invent a system: they accepted a fact! Their attempt to convoke a
central assembly representative of the mass of the people had failed, as
it was bound to fail, in a welter of illiteracy and disorganisation. The
point is often missed that is it was not only the Bolshevik Party which
was in a minority. The whole of the political parties in the Assembly
put together were!

http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1920s/1920/no-191-july-1920/russian-dictatorship

More from above,

Marx, of course, is freely quoted by both writers. On p. 140 Kautsky,
while stating that the Bolsheviks are Marxists, asks how they find a
Marxist foundation for their proceedings.

"They remembered opportunely the expression ‘the dictatorship of the
proletariat’, which Marx used in a letter written in 1875."

Kautsky states that this is the only place in the whole of Marx’s
writings where this phrase occurs, though Engels used it in his preface
to the 3rd edition of Marx’s /Civil War in France/.

Lenin’s reply to this is to call the passage a "celebrated" one, and to
call Kautsky several names. He then makes the following statement:

"Kautsky cannot but know that both Marx and Engels, both in their
letters and public writings, spoke /repeatedly/ about the dictatorship
of the proletariat, both before and after the Commune" (p. 12. Italics
in original).

Here was a grand opportunity for Lenin to get in a powerful blow by
giving some of these "letters and public writings", but, to the chagrin,
no doubt, of his followers, he does not give a single case outside those
mentioned above. There are endeavours to twist some of Marx’s statements
on the Commune of Paris (1871) into a support of this claim, but they
are all dismals failures. Only in the /Communist Manifesto/ is found a
phrase - "the proletariat organised as a ruling class" - that bears any
resemblance.

But a more important point remains. Every student of Marx knows how he
laid bare the laws of social evolution and claimed that, in broad
outline, all nations must follow these laws in their development.

Kautsky uses this fact with great effect, and it forms the strongest
argument in the whole of his pamphlet. On page 98 he gives the
well-known phrase from the preface to the 1st Volume of /Capital/.

"One nation can and should learn from others. And even when a society
has got upon the right track for the discovery of the natural laws of
its movement - it can neither clear by bold leaps, nor remove by legal
enactments the obstacles offered by the successive phases of its normal
development. But it can shorten and lessen the birth pangs."

How does Lenin deal with this famous phrase of Marx’s? By entirely
ignoring it. There is not a single reference to it in the whole of his
reply. More than this, the quotation given above from page 140 of
Kautsky’s pamphlet is printed by Lenin on page 11-12 of his reply.
Immediately preceding the sentence quoted Kautsky says:

"The Bolshevists are Marxists, and have inspired the proletarian
sections coming under their influence with great enthusiasm for Marxism.
Their dictatorship, however, is in contradiction to the Marxist teaching
that no people can overcome the obstacles offered by the successive
phases of their development by a jump or by legal enactment."

This ignoring of one part of a paragraph while quoting the other part is
full proof Lenin deliberately avoided this important question.

Regards,

Matt
Ken Ellis kennethellis@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-13 12:04:06 UTC
Permalink
52888 Matt Culbert wrote:

The Soviet Seed-Bed

In Russia the Soviets arose spontaneously in opposition to the Tsarist (and later the Bourgeois) dictatorship. Parliament has never been the supreme power in the State because the bulk of the population had never been industrially concentrated and politically organised. Local councils acting independently to a large extent, and at most never realising the need for more than federal unity, were, therefore, the natural expression of popular opinion.
In adopting the Soviet constitution, therefore, the Bolsheviks did not invent a system: they accepted a fact! Their attempt to convoke a central assembly representative of the mass of the people had failed, as it was bound to fail, in a welter of illiteracy and disorganisation. The point is often missed that is it was not only the Bolshevik Party which was in a minority. The whole of the political parties in the Assembly put together were!
http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1920s/1920/no-191-july-1920/russian-dictatorship
More from above,
Marx, of course, is freely quoted by both writers. On p. 140 Kautsky, while stating that the Bolsheviks are Marxists, asks how they find a Marxist foundation for their proceedings.
"They remembered opportunely the expression ‘the dictatorship of the proletariat’, which Marx used in a letter written in 1875."
Kautsky states that this is the only place in the whole of Marx’s writings where this phrase occurs, though Engels used it in his preface to the 3rd edition of Marx’s Civil War in France.
Lenin’s reply to this is to call the passage a "celebrated" one, and to call Kautsky several names. He then makes the following statement:
"Kautsky cannot but know that both Marx and Engels, both in their letters and public writings, spoke repeatedly about the dictatorship of the proletariat, both before and after the Commune" (p. 12. Italics in original).
Here was a grand opportunity for Lenin to get in a powerful blow by giving some of these "letters and public writings", but, to the chagrin, no doubt, of his followers, he does not give a single case outside those mentioned above. There are endeavours to twist some of Marx’s statements on the Commune of Paris (1871) into a support of this claim, but they are all dismals failures. Only in the Communist Manifesto is found a phrase - "the proletariat organised as a ruling class" - that bears any resemblance.
But a more important point remains. Every student of Marx knows how he laid bare the laws of social evolution and claimed that, in broad outline, all nations must follow these laws in their development.
Kautsky uses this fact with great effect, and it forms the strongest argument in the whole of his pamphlet. On page 98 he gives the well-known phrase from the preface to the 1st Volume of Capital.
"One nation can and should learn from others. And even when a society has got upon the right track for the discovery of the natural laws of its movement - it can neither clear by bold leaps, nor remove by legal enactments the obstacles offered by the successive phases of its normal development. But it can shorten and lessen the birth pangs."
How does Lenin deal with this famous phrase of Marx’s? By entirely ignoring it. There is not a single reference to it in the whole of his reply. More than this, the quotation given above from page 140 of Kautsky’s pamphlet is printed by Lenin on page 11-12 of his reply. Immediately preceding the sentence quoted Kautsky says:
"The Bolshevists are Marxists, and have inspired the proletarian sections coming under their influence with great enthusiasm for Marxism. Their dictatorship, however, is in contradiction to the Marxist teaching that no people can overcome the obstacles offered by the successive phases of their development by a jump or by legal enactment."
This ignoring of one part of a paragraph while quoting the other part is full proof Lenin deliberately avoided this important question.
Regards,
Matt

In his book entitled “The Dictatorship of the Proletariat”, Hal Draper found Marx and Engels using that phrase over a dozen times in their writings. By perusing the bulk of the works of M+E, one will find what they stood for in their lifetimes: Replacing monarchies with democracies (revolution), unionization of the workforce, shorter work hours, elevating the proletariat to ruling class through universal suffrage (dotp), freedom of speech and association, and the program outlined in the Communist Manifesto, not much of which they thought necessary to change or abandon.

KE
Matt Culbert lists@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-13 13:20:00 UTC
Permalink
They never advocated a dictatorship OVER the proletariat. Which was
Lenin's legacy.

Matt
Ken Ellis kennethellis@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-14 01:17:03 UTC
Permalink
They never advocated a dictatorship OVER the proletariat. Which was Lenin's legacy.
In all of the 45 volumes of Lenin’s works, nowhere will be found evidence of Lenin intending such a monstrosity. Lenin was no Hitler. Nor a Trump. Rather, the Soviet monstrosity was the inevitable outcome of trying to abolish private property during the era of human labor. From a modern viewpoint, many of us having witnessed the collapse of communist ideology after 1989, the writings of young Marx ring truer than ever, that 'the abolition of private property is inconceivable, except as the abolition of labor.’ But, all too few will acknowledge Marx’s truest and most relevant words of wisdom.

We should all recognize that human labor creates private property. But, human labor cannot be efficient without a division of labor. Some are good at trash disposal, while others excel at rocket science. The division of labor gives rise to class distinctions. Once society is divided into classes, then a state is necessary to mediate differences between classes. It should now be obvious that that which is in the process of constantly being created can hardly be abolished by decree.

What more could Lenin have done in the face of adversities such as mass hunger, civil war and foreign hostilities? He was hell bent on abolishing private property, and private land ownership was abolished on the first day of the October revolution. Who in their right mind could have expected Lenin in such a context to abolish the state and proceed to a classless and stateless paradise? None other than the dimwits of my old failed American Socialist Labor Party, that’s who. Totally divorced from the bounds of reality.

It would be silly indeed to fault Lenin for failing to meet totally unrealistic expectations.

KE
Matt Culbert lists@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-14 01:50:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
 
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
They never advocated a dictatorship OVER the proletariat. Which was
Lenin's legacy.
In all of the 45 volumes of Lenin’s works, nowhere will be found
evidence of Lenin intending such a monstrosity. Lenin was no Hitler.
What Lenin wrote or said, he trimmed and tailed to suit either
circumstances, or whoever his audience was. He was a perfidious liar.

One of the most amazing legacies of the Russian revolution and its
aftermath is Lenin's image as a humane, even saintly figure, despite the
wealth of evidence to the contrary. To this day thousands of people all
over the world will revile Stalin but revere Lenin, yet the truth is
that it was the latter who commenced the reign of terror after November
l9l7 and who deserves his own place in history as a brutal, lying,
ruthless dictator.

 Right up till the Bolshevik seizure of power Lenin had been agitating
for the abolition of the state apparatus including the army, police and
bureaucracy. Every official, he said, should be elected and subject to
recall at any time. He was all for freedom of the press and the right to
demonstrate for "any party, any group"'

 Immediately on gaining power he even promised to uphold the verdict of
the coming elections for the Constituent Assembly
As a democratic government '/we cannot ignore the decision of the rank
and file of the people, even though we may disagree with it ...and even
if the peasants continue to follow the Social-Revolutionaries, even if
they give this party a majority in the Constituent Assembly, we shall
still say, be it so'/
(Report on the Land Question,8 November 1917')

 All of this was, of course, mere window dressing, for Lenin knew that
the Russian people would never have supported what he really had in mind
for them.  Far from abolishing the state apparatus he set about
strengthening it, especially the secret police (Cheka), in order to
impose the Bolshevik dictatorship. And instead of officials being
elected and recallable the Bolsheviks simply appointed their own men who
were answerable to them alone'

 Gradually all opposition press was outlawed and their demonstrations
forbidden' When the long-called-for elections for the Constituent
Assembly resulted
in a humiliating defeat for the Bolsheviks. Lenin dissolved the Assembly
by force.Later on he explained away those earlier promises on the
grounds that
/'This was an essential period in the beginning of the revolution;
without it we////would not have risen on the crest of the revolutionary
wave, we should have//
//dragged in its wake'/ (Report of the Central Committee to the 11th
Congress of the Russian Communist Party 27 March 1922.)

 In the run-up to the November coup Lenin and the Bolsheviks had won
widespread support with their slogan "peace, bread and land". Of course the
promises of politicians are always easier to make than to fulfill, as
the Russian workers and peasants very soon discovered. The peasants,
having got rid of the landlord, now had their grain and cattle forcibly
taken from them in return for worthless paper money. Those who resisted
were shot and many villages were burnt. Lenin claimed that his policy of
robbing the peasants was necessary to avoid famine but inevitably, the
peasants retaliated by burning their crops and killing their cattle and
so Lenin's policy produced famine anyway. In the cities and towns
unemployment was rife and the workers, in or out of a job, were starving.

 Lenin's response to the plight of the Petrograd workers was to tell
them to /...set out in their tens of thousands for the Urals, the Volga
and the south,//
//where there is an abundance of grain, where they can feed themselves
and their families . ./ ( To The Workers of Petrograd, 12 July 1918.)

How the workers and their families were go get to these areas in view of
the fact that the civil war had broken out in each of them, Lenin didn't
say.

 Early in 1919 many strikes and protest demonstrations were crushed with
great loss of life. Starvation continued to be the workers' lot for
several more years but anyone who argued that the chronic food scarcity
could be eased by allowing the peasants to trade their produce instead
of having it stolen by the state should, said Lenin, be shot. This
argument was "counter-revolutionary" - until Lenin himself made it
official policy early in l92l.

 Another myth surrounding the period of Lenin's dictatorship is that at
least there was democracy within the Communist Party. This is the
so-called "democratic centralism", but Lenin no more welcomed opposition
from his own comrades than he did from anyone else' Communists who
criticised him or his policies were denounced as "unsound elements",
"deviationists" or worse' and their arguments “mere chatter", "phrase
mongering" and “dangerous rubbish".

 Lenin's anger boiled over at those communists who wanted free trade
unions independent of party control' He raged at the *loudmouths" and
demanded complete loyalty or else they would throw away the revolution
because Undoubtedly, the capitalists of the Entente will take advantage
of our party’s
sickness to organise a new invasion, and the Social Revolutionaries will
take advantage of it for the purpose of organising conspiracies and
rebellions. (The Party Crisis, 19 January 1921 )

 He also complained that the debate on the trade unions had been /. . an
excessive luxury. Speaking for myself I cannot but add that in my//
//opinion this luxury was really absolutely impermissible' /(Report on
the political activities of the Central-Committee to the l1th Congress
of the Russian
Communist Party, 8 March 1921.)

In short, shut-up and don't rock the boat. Faced with this attitude the
dissidents had no chance. Their various groups, such as "Workers'
Opposition",
were expelled (even when they agreed to abide by majority decisions
against them) and many of their leaders and members were jailed or exiled.

 All Lenin's actions were the result of his single-minded determination
to seize power and hold on to it, even if it meant that millions of
Russian workers and
peasants died in famine and repression. The seizure of power was' given
the chaotic condition of Russia at the time, comparatively simple: to
hold on to power he had to create a state apparatus which, under his
personal direction, was used to terrorise all opposition into submission.

 The Leninists of today will argue that all of this was a case of the
end justifying the means, that it was done in order to bring about
socialism. But
undemocratic means can never bring about democratic ends; any minority
which seizes power can only retain it by violent, undemocratic methods.
In any case, even before 1917 the Mensheviks and many European social
democrats had used Karl Marx's theory of social development to demolish
the idea that socialism could be established in a backward country like
Russia.

 The absence of larger-scale industry and the consequent smallness of
the working class, both of which are essential ingredients for
socialism, plus the presence of a vast, reactionary peasantry made
socialism impossible. This earned them Lenin's undying hatred, a hatred
which only increased as he saw their view justified by events. All that
was left to Lenin in the circumstances was to commence building up
state-capitalism.

Regards,

Matt
alan johnstone alanjjohnstone@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-14 03:20:58 UTC
Permalink
An informative and civil exchange between MC and KE. 
Let there be more alan johnstone

From: "Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]" <***@yahoogroups.com>
To: ***@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, 14 October 2017, 8:51
Subject: Re: [WSM_Forum] Re: Was Russia ever socialist ?

 
They never advocated a dictatorship OVER the proletariat. Which was Lenin's legacy.
In all of the 45 volumes of Lenin’s works, nowhere will be found evidence of Lenin intending such a monstrosity. Lenin was no Hitler.

What Lenin wrote or said, he trimmed and tailed to suit either circumstances, or whoever his audience was. He was a perfidious liar.
One of the most amazing legacies of the Russian revolution and its aftermath is Lenin's image as a humane, even saintly figure, despite the wealth of evidence to the contrary. To this day thousands of people all over the world will revile Stalin but revere Lenin, yet the truth is that it was the latter who commenced the reign of terror after November l9l7 and who deserves his own place in history as a brutal, lying, ruthless dictator.
 Right up till the Bolshevik seizure of power Lenin had been agitating for the abolition of the state apparatus including the army, police and bureaucracy. Every official, he said, should be elected and subject to recall at any time. He was all for freedom of the press and the right to demonstrate for "any party, any group"'  Immediately on gaining power he even promised to uphold the verdict of the coming elections for the Constituent Assembly
As a democratic government 'we cannot ignore the decision of the rank and file of the people, even though we may disagree with it ...and even if the peasants continue to follow the Social-Revolutionaries, even if they give this party a majority in the Constituent Assembly, we shall still say, be it so'
(Report on the Land Question,8 November 1917')  All of this was, of course, mere window dressing, for Lenin knew that the Russian people would never have supported what he really had in mind for them.  Far from abolishing the state apparatus he set about strengthening it, especially the secret police (Cheka), in order to impose the Bolshevik dictatorship. And instead of officials being elected and recallable the Bolsheviks simply appointed their own men who were answerable to them alone'
 Gradually all opposition press was outlawed and their demonstrations forbidden' When the long-called-for elections for the Constituent Assembly resulted
in a humiliating defeat for the Bolsheviks. Lenin dissolved the Assembly by force.Later on he explained away those earlier promises on the grounds that
'This was an essential period in the beginning of the revolution; without it we would not have risen on the crest of the revolutionary wave, we should have
dragged in its wake' (Report of the Central Committee to the 11th Congress of the Russian Communist Party 27 March 1922.)
 In the run-up to the November coup Lenin and the Bolsheviks had won widespread support with their slogan "peace, bread and land". Of course the
promises of politicians are always easier to make than to fulfill, as the Russian workers and peasants very soon discovered. The peasants, having got rid of the landlord, now had their grain and cattle forcibly taken from them in return for worthless paper money. Those who resisted were shot and many villages were burnt. Lenin claimed that his policy of robbing the peasants was necessary to avoid famine but inevitably, the peasants retaliated by burning their crops and killing their cattle and so Lenin's policy produced famine anyway. In the cities and towns unemployment was rife and the workers, in or out of a job, were starving.  Lenin's response to the plight of the Petrograd workers was to tell them to ...set out in their tens of thousands for the Urals, the Volga and the south,
where there is an abundance of grain, where they can feed themselves and their families . . ( To The Workers of Petrograd, 12 July 1918.)
How the workers and their families were go get to these areas in view of the fact that the civil war had broken out in each of them, Lenin didn't say.
 Early in 1919 many strikes and protest demonstrations were crushed with great loss of life. Starvation continued to be the workers' lot for several more years but anyone who argued that the chronic food scarcity could be eased by allowing the peasants to trade their produce instead of having it stolen by the state should, said Lenin, be shot. This argument was "counter-revolutionary" - until Lenin himself made it official policy early in l92l.
 Another myth surrounding the period of Lenin's dictatorship is that at least there was democracy within the Communist Party. This is the so-called "democratic centralism", but Lenin no more welcomed opposition from his own comrades than he did from anyone else' Communists who criticised him or his policies were denounced as "unsound elements", "deviationists" or worse' and their arguments “mere chatter", "phrase mongering" and “dangerous rubbish".  Lenin's anger boiled over at those communists who wanted free trade unions independent of party control' He raged at the *loudmouths" and demanded complete loyalty or else they would throw away the revolution because Undoubtedly, the capitalists of the Entente will take advantage of our party’s
sickness to organise a new invasion, and the Social Revolutionaries will take advantage of it for the purpose of organising conspiracies and rebellions. (The Party Crisis, 19 January 1921 )  He also complained that the debate on the trade unions had been . . an excessive luxury. Speaking for myself I cannot but add that in my
opinion this luxury was really absolutely impermissible' (Report on the political activities of the Central-Committee to the l1th Congress of the Russian
Communist Party, 8 March 1921.) In short, shut-up and don't rock the boat. Faced with this attitude the dissidents had no chance. Their various groups, such as "Workers' Opposition",
were expelled (even when they agreed to abide by majority decisions against them) and many of their leaders and members were jailed or exiled.
 All Lenin's actions were the result of his single-minded determination to seize power and hold on to it, even if it meant that millions of Russian workers and
peasants died in famine and repression. The seizure of power was' given the chaotic condition of Russia at the time, comparatively simple: to hold on to power he had to create a state apparatus which, under his personal direction, was used to terrorise all opposition into submission.
 The Leninists of today will argue that all of this was a case of the end justifying the means, that it was done in order to bring about socialism. But
undemocratic means can never bring about democratic ends; any minority which seizes power can only retain it by violent, undemocratic methods. In any case, even before 1917 the Mensheviks and many European social democrats had used Karl Marx's theory of social development to demolish the idea that socialism could be established in a backward country like Russia. The absence of larger-scale industry and the consequent smallness of the working class, both of which are essential ingredients for socialism, plus the presence of a vast, reactionary peasantry made socialism impossible. This earned them Lenin's undying hatred, a hatred which only increased as he saw their view justified by events. All that was left to Lenin in the circumstances was to commence building up state-capitalism.

Regards,

Matt

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mcolome1@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-14 16:21:51 UTC
Permalink
This forum is more appropriate for discussions than the forum of the spgb  it is more flexible and it is a very software.  You can work on a draft and then it can be posted



Get Outlook for iOS





On Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 8:21 PM -0700, "alan johnstone ***@yahoo..co.uk [WSM_Forum]" <***@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

























 











An informative and civil exchange between MC and KE. 
Let there be more alan johnstone

From: "Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]" <***@yahoogroups.com>
To: ***@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, 14 October 2017, 8:51
Subject: Re: [WSM_Forum] Re: Was Russia ever socialist ?


 

















On 14/10/17 02:17, Ken Ellis ***@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum] wrote:


 
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
They never advocated a dictatorship OVER the
proletariat. Which was Lenin's legacy.



In all of the 45 volumes of Lenin’s works, nowhere will be
found evidence of Lenin intending such a monstrosity.
Lenin was no Hitler.





What Lenin wrote or said, he trimmed and tailed to suit either circumstances, or whoever his audience was. He was a perfidious liar.

One of the most amazing legacies of the Russian revolution and its aftermath is Lenin's image as a humane, even saintly figure, despite the wealth of evidence to the contrary. To this day thousands of people all over the world will revile Stalin but revere Lenin, yet the truth is that it was the latter who commenced the reign of terror after November l9l7 and who deserves his own place in history as a brutal, lying, ruthless dictator.


 Right up till the Bolshevik seizure of power Lenin had been agitating for the abolition of the state apparatus including the army, police and bureaucracy. Every official, he said, should be elected and subject to recall at any time. He was all for freedom of the press and the right to demonstrate for "any party, any group"'
 Immediately on gaining power he even promised to uphold the verdict of the coming elections for the Constituent Assembly
As a democratic government 'we cannot ignore the decision of the rank and file of the people, even though we may disagree with it ...and even if the peasants continue to follow the Social-Revolutionaries, even if they give this party a majority in the Constituent Assembly, we shall still say, be it so'
(Report on the Land Question,8 November 1917')
 All of this was, of course, mere window dressing, for Lenin knew that the Russian people would never have supported what he really had in mind for them.  Far from abolishing the state apparatus he set about strengthening it, especially the secret police (Cheka), in order to impose the Bolshevik dictatorship. And instead of officials being elected and recallable the Bolsheviks simply appointed their own men who were answerable to them alone'


 Gradually all opposition press was outlawed and their demonstrations forbidden' When the long-called-for elections for the Constituent Assembly resulted
in a humiliating defeat for the Bolsheviks. Lenin dissolved the Assembly by force.Later on he explained away those earlier promises on the grounds that

'This was an essential period in the beginning of the revolution; without it we would not have risen on the crest of the revolutionary wave, we should have

dragged in its wake' (Report of the Central Committee to the 11th Congress of the Russian Communist Party 27 March 1922.)


 In the run-up to the November coup Lenin and the Bolsheviks had won widespread support with their slogan "peace, bread and land". Of course the
promises of politicians are always easier to make than to fulfill, as the Russian workers and peasants very soon discovered. The peasants, having got rid of the landlord, now had their grain and cattle forcibly taken from them in return for worthless paper money. Those who resisted were shot and many villages were burnt. Lenin claimed that his policy of robbing the peasants was necessary to avoid famine but inevitably, the peasants retaliated by burning their crops and killing their cattle and so Lenin's policy produced famine anyway. In the cities and towns unemployment was rife and the workers, in or out of a job, were starving.
 Lenin's response to the plight of the Petrograd workers was to tell them to ...set out in their tens of thousands for the Urals, the Volga and the south,

where there is an abundance of grain, where they can feed themselves and their families . . ( To The Workers of Petrograd, 12 July 1918.)


How the workers and their families were go get to these areas in view of the fact that the civil war had broken out in each of them, Lenin didn't say.


 Early in 1919 many strikes and protest demonstrations were crushed with great loss of life. Starvation continued to be the workers' lot for several more years but anyone who argued that the chronic food scarcity could be eased by allowing the peasants to trade their produce instead of having it stolen by the state should, said Lenin, be shot. This argument was "counter-revolutionary" - until Lenin himself made it official policy early in l92l.


 Another myth surrounding the period of Lenin's dictatorship is that at least there was democracy within the Communist Party. This is the so-called "democratic centralism", but Lenin no more welcomed opposition from his own comrades than he did from anyone else' Communists who criticised him or his policies were denounced as "unsound elements", "deviationists" or worse' and their arguments “mere chatter", "phrase mongering" and “dangerous rubbish".
 Lenin's anger boiled over at those communists who wanted free trade unions independent of party control' He raged at the *loudmouths" and demanded complete loyalty or else they would throw away the revolution because Undoubtedly, the capitalists of the Entente will take advantage of our party’s
sickness to organise a new invasion, and the Social Revolutionaries will take advantage of it for the purpose of organising conspiracies and rebellions. (The Party Crisis, 19 January 1921 )
 He also complained that the debate on the trade unions had been . . an excessive luxury. Speaking for myself I cannot but add that in my

opinion this luxury was really absolutely impermissible' (Report on the political activities of the Central-Committee to the l1th Congress of the Russian
Communist Party, 8 March 1921.)
In short, shut-up and don't rock the boat. Faced with this attitude the dissidents had no chance. Their various groups, such as "Workers' Opposition",
were expelled (even when they agreed to abide by majority decisions against them) and many of their leaders and members were jailed or exiled.


 All Lenin's actions were the result of his single-minded determination to seize power and hold on to it, even if it meant that millions of Russian workers and
peasants died in famine and repression. The seizure of power was' given the chaotic condition of Russia at the time, comparatively simple: to hold on to power he had to create a state apparatus which, under his personal direction, was used to terrorise all opposition into submission.


 The Leninists of today will argue that all of this was a case of the end justifying the means, that it was done in order to bring about socialism. But
undemocratic means can never bring about democratic ends; any minority which seizes power can only retain it by violent, undemocratic methods. In any case, even before 1917 the Mensheviks and many European social democrats had used Karl Marx's theory of social development to demolish the idea that socialism could be established in a backward country like Russia. The absence of larger-scale industry and the consequent smallness of the working class, both of which are essential ingredients for socialism, plus the presence of a vast, reactionary peasantry made socialism impossible. This earned them Lenin's undying hatred, a hatred which only increased as he saw their view justified by events. All that was left to Lenin in the circumstances was to commence building up state-capitalism.


Regards,


Matt
mcolome1@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-14 16:24:05 UTC
Permalink
Correction it has a better software



Get Outlook for iOS





On Sat, Oct 14, 2017 at 9:21 AM -0700, <***@yahoo.com> wrote:

















This forum is more appropriate for discussions than the forum of the spgb  it is more flexible and it is a very software.  You can work on a draft and then it can be posted



Get Outlook for iOS





On Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 8:21 PM -0700, "alan johnstone ***@yahoo..co.uk [WSM_Forum]" <***@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

























 











An informative and civil exchange between MC and KE. 
Let there be more alan johnstone

From: "Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]" <***@yahoogroups.com>
To: ***@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, 14 October 2017, 8:51
Subject: Re: [WSM_Forum] Re: Was Russia ever socialist ?


 

















On 14/10/17 02:17, Ken Ellis ***@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum] wrote:


 
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
They never advocated a dictatorship OVER the
proletariat. Which was Lenin's legacy.



In all of the 45 volumes of Lenin’s works, nowhere will be
found evidence of Lenin intending such a monstrosity.
Lenin was no Hitler.





What Lenin wrote or said, he trimmed and tailed to suit either circumstances, or whoever his audience was. He was a perfidious liar.

One of the most amazing legacies of the Russian revolution and its aftermath is Lenin's image as a humane, even saintly figure, despite the wealth of evidence to the contrary. To this day thousands of people all over the world will revile Stalin but revere Lenin, yet the truth is that it was the latter who commenced the reign of terror after November l9l7 and who deserves his own place in history as a brutal, lying, ruthless dictator.


 Right up till the Bolshevik seizure of power Lenin had been agitating for the abolition of the state apparatus including the army, police and bureaucracy. Every official, he said, should be elected and subject to recall at any time. He was all for freedom of the press and the right to demonstrate for "any party, any group"'
 Immediately on gaining power he even promised to uphold the verdict of the coming elections for the Constituent Assembly
As a democratic government 'we cannot ignore the decision of the rank and file of the people, even though we may disagree with it ...and even if the peasants continue to follow the Social-Revolutionaries, even if they give this party a majority in the Constituent Assembly, we shall still say, be it so'
(Report on the Land Question,8 November 1917')
 All of this was, of course, mere window dressing, for Lenin knew that the Russian people would never have supported what he really had in mind for them.  Far from abolishing the state apparatus he set about strengthening it, especially the secret police (Cheka), in order to impose the Bolshevik dictatorship. And instead of officials being elected and recallable the Bolsheviks simply appointed their own men who were answerable to them alone'


 Gradually all opposition press was outlawed and their demonstrations forbidden' When the long-called-for elections for the Constituent Assembly resulted
in a humiliating defeat for the Bolsheviks. Lenin dissolved the Assembly by force.Later on he explained away those earlier promises on the grounds that

'This was an essential period in the beginning of the revolution; without it we would not have risen on the crest of the revolutionary wave, we should have

dragged in its wake' (Report of the Central Committee to the 11th Congress of the Russian Communist Party 27 March 1922.)


 In the run-up to the November coup Lenin and the Bolsheviks had won widespread support with their slogan "peace, bread and land". Of course the
promises of politicians are always easier to make than to fulfill, as the Russian workers and peasants very soon discovered. The peasants, having got rid of the landlord, now had their grain and cattle forcibly taken from them in return for worthless paper money. Those who resisted were shot and many villages were burnt. Lenin claimed that his policy of robbing the peasants was necessary to avoid famine but inevitably, the peasants retaliated by burning their crops and killing their cattle and so Lenin's policy produced famine anyway. In the cities and towns unemployment was rife and the workers, in or out of a job, were starving.
 Lenin's response to the plight of the Petrograd workers was to tell them to ...set out in their tens of thousands for the Urals, the Volga and the south,

where there is an abundance of grain, where they can feed themselves and their families . . ( To The Workers of Petrograd, 12 July 1918.)


How the workers and their families were go get to these areas in view of the fact that the civil war had broken out in each of them, Lenin didn't say.


 Early in 1919 many strikes and protest demonstrations were crushed with great loss of life. Starvation continued to be the workers' lot for several more years but anyone who argued that the chronic food scarcity could be eased by allowing the peasants to trade their produce instead of having it stolen by the state should, said Lenin, be shot. This argument was "counter-revolutionary" - until Lenin himself made it official policy early in l92l.


 Another myth surrounding the period of Lenin's dictatorship is that at least there was democracy within the Communist Party. This is the so-called "democratic centralism", but Lenin no more welcomed opposition from his own comrades than he did from anyone else' Communists who criticised him or his policies were denounced as "unsound elements", "deviationists" or worse' and their arguments “mere chatter", "phrase mongering" and “dangerous rubbish".
 Lenin's anger boiled over at those communists who wanted free trade unions independent of party control' He raged at the *loudmouths" and demanded complete loyalty or else they would throw away the revolution because Undoubtedly, the capitalists of the Entente will take advantage of our party’s
sickness to organise a new invasion, and the Social Revolutionaries will take advantage of it for the purpose of organising conspiracies and rebellions. (The Party Crisis, 19 January 1921 )
 He also complained that the debate on the trade unions had been . . an excessive luxury. Speaking for myself I cannot but add that in my

opinion this luxury was really absolutely impermissible' (Report on the political activities of the Central-Committee to the l1th Congress of the Russian
Communist Party, 8 March 1921.)
In short, shut-up and don't rock the boat. Faced with this attitude the dissidents had no chance. Their various groups, such as "Workers' Opposition",
were expelled (even when they agreed to abide by majority decisions against them) and many of their leaders and members were jailed or exiled.


 All Lenin's actions were the result of his single-minded determination to seize power and hold on to it, even if it meant that millions of Russian workers and
peasants died in famine and repression. The seizure of power was' given the chaotic condition of Russia at the time, comparatively simple: to hold on to power he had to create a state apparatus which, under his personal direction, was used to terrorise all opposition into submission.


 The Leninists of today will argue that all of this was a case of the end justifying the means, that it was done in order to bring about socialism. But
undemocratic means can never bring about democratic ends; any minority which seizes power can only retain it by violent, undemocratic methods. In any case, even before 1917 the Mensheviks and many European social democrats had used Karl Marx's theory of social development to demolish the idea that socialism could be established in a backward country like Russia. The absence of larger-scale industry and the consequent smallness of the working class, both of which are essential ingredients for socialism, plus the presence of a vast, reactionary peasantry made socialism impossible. This earned them Lenin's undying hatred, a hatred which only increased as he saw their view justified by events. All that was left to Lenin in the circumstances was to commence building up state-capitalism.


Regards,


Matt
Ken Ellis kennethellis@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-15 19:40:28 UTC
Permalink
•
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
What Lenin wrote or said, he trimmed and tailed to suit either circumstances, or whoever his audience was. He was a perfidious liar.
Golly, that’s a harsh review. Have you pinned down his most egregious example of lying?
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
One of the most amazing legacies of the Russian revolution and its aftermath is Lenin's image as a humane, even saintly figure, despite the wealth of evidence to the contrary. To this day thousands of people all over the world will revile Stalin but revere Lenin, yet the truth is that it was the latter who commenced the reign of terror after November l9l7 and who deserves his own place in history as a brutal, lying, ruthless dictator.
To do so would indicate a severe character flaw, whether or not the oppressed in question were the toiling masses or the filthy rich. It should not be forgotten that the murder of the Romanovs took place under Lenin’s watch, most likely with his approval.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
Right up till the Bolshevik seizure of power Lenin had been agitating for the abolition of the state apparatus including the army, police and bureaucracy.
Certainly the old monarchical bureaucracy needed to be replaced. After all, "the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.” This was a lesson of the Paris Commune, that the old feudal monarchy was totally unsuited for the use of the Communards.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
Every official, he said, should be elected and subject to recall at any time. He was all for freedom of the press and the right to demonstrate for "any party, any group”'
Immediately on gaining power he even promised to uphold the verdict of the coming elections for the Constituent Assembly
As a democratic government 'we cannot ignore the decision of the rank and file of the people, even though we may disagree with it ...and even if the peasants continue to follow the Social-Revolutionaries, even if they give this party a majority in the Constituent Assembly, we shall still say, be it so'
(Report on the Land Question, 8 November 1917’)

No conflict there with the lessons of the Paris Commune.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
All of this was, of course, mere window dressing, for Lenin knew that the Russian people would never have supported what he really had in mind for them. Far from abolishing the state apparatus he set about strengthening it, especially the secret police (Cheka), in order to impose the Bolshevik dictatorship. And instead of officials being elected and recallable the Bolsheviks simply appointed their own men who were answerable to them alone’
Well, doesn’t every oppressive state machine need a secret police force? With his expropriation agenda, Lenin had plenty of rich enemies plotting against him. The assassination attempt on his life caused a partial retirement for the next half dozen years until his death in ‘24.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
opposition press was outlawed 
 demonstrations forbidden ... Lenin dissolved the Assembly by force . .. peasants ... had their grain and cattle forcibly taken from them 
 those who resisted were shot and many villages were burnt ... peasants retaliated by burning their crops and killing their cattle and so Lenin's policy produced famine anyway 
 unemployment was rife and the workers ... were starving. Lenin told them to 
 set out in their tens of thousands for the Urals, the Volga and the south ... in 1919 many strikes and protest demonstrations were crushed with great loss of life 
 Communists who criticised him or his policies were denounced as "unsound elements", "deviationists" or worse' and their arguments “mere chatter", "phrase mongering" and “dangerous rubbish” ... "Workers' Opposition” ... leaders and members were jailed or exiled ...
Some picnic! Ably have you outlined many post-revolutionary difficulties. But, let’s confess. What was the real cause of those difficulties? Nothing less than the expropriation agenda, which caused severe internal conflicts.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
All Lenin's actions were the result of his single-minded determination to seize power and hold on to it, even if it meant that millions of Russian workers and peasants died in famine and repression.
Lenin never had to SEIZE power. The record is that of his party electing and re-electing him to top spots because of his proven abilities to out-think and out-argue his rivals. There may have been more than one instance of colleagues besting him in various elections early on in the movement, but such anomalies didn’t persist for very long.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
The seizure of power was, given the chaotic condition of Russia at the time, comparatively simple: to hold on to power he had to create a state apparatus which, under his personal direction, was used to terrorise all opposition into submission.
That sounds like a jealous rival's rant. Lenin was a true believer in his expropriation agenda, and was determined to realize it in spite of all obstacles. Of course, we now understand that it was so wrong that it couldn’t stand the test of time.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
The Leninists of today will argue that all of this was a case of the end justifying the means, that it was done in order to bring about socialism.
What kind of socialism? Certainly not the WSM definition of socialism. Leninism maintains that the dotp was the most that could be hoped for, and it would be constantly threatened by counter-revolution for decades. If the West had joined in with the Russians, then their mutual assistance and cooperation would have shortened the birth pangs considerably. But, in Europe, private property was too sacred to abolish.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
But undemocratic means can never bring about democratic ends; any minority which seizes power can only retain it by violent, undemocratic methods. In any case, even before 1917 the Mensheviks and many European social democrats had used Karl Marx's theory of social development to demolish the idea that socialism could be established in a backward country like Russia.
Once again, whose definition of socialism is to be used? We know that WSM socialism consists of a classless and stateless society, while Leninist socialism means the dotp. Many claim that the social democracies of Europe practice socialism, a type which is not the same as the other two. "Between capitalist and communist society there lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.” -KM, Gotha
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
The absence of larger-scale industry and the consequent smallness of the working class, both of which are essential ingredients for socialism, plus the presence of a vast, reactionary peasantry made socialism impossible.
But, it didn’t render 'Soviet socialism' impossible. The SLP’s moniker of the USSR as a 'bureaucratic despotism’ has merit, as the USSR was both bureaucratic and despotic.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
This earned them Lenin's undying hatred, a hatred which only increased as he saw their view justified by events. All that was left to Lenin in the circumstances was to commence building up state-capitalism.
Not much else seemed to be working out well for them, so, why not go with what stood a chance of succeeding?

KE
Caonabo Enriquillo mcolome1@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-16 18:47:21 UTC
Permalink
Two of the articles published under the heading of Marx vs Lenin show that he was a liar and he distorted whatever was written on the 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. The state and the revolution is total distortion of the real nature of the state. He just wanted to justify the imposition of the so called workers state 
 Without the Russian bolshevik Lenin would have ended as a bourgeoise politician , and without the Bolshevik coup socialism  would not have been converted into a reformist and opportunist trend  Leninism is a dangerous ideological current for the working class














On Sun, Oct 15, 2017 at 12:40 PM -0700, "Ken Ellis ***@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]" <***@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

























 











•
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
What Lenin wrote or said, he trimmed and tailed to suit either circumstances, or whoever his audience was. He was a perfidious liar.
Golly, that’s a harsh review. Have you pinned down his most egregious example of lying?
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
One of the most amazing legacies of the Russian revolution and its aftermath is Lenin's image as a humane, even saintly figure, despite the wealth of evidence to the contrary. To this day thousands of people all over the world will revile Stalin but revere Lenin, yet the truth is that it was the latter who commenced the reign of terror after November l9l7 and who deserves his own place in history as a brutal, lying, ruthless dictator.
To do so would indicate a severe character flaw, whether or not the oppressed in question were the toiling masses or the filthy rich. It should not be forgotten that the murder of the Romanovs took place under Lenin’s watch, most likely with his approval.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
Right up till the Bolshevik seizure of power Lenin had been agitating for the abolition of the state apparatus including the army, police and bureaucracy.
Certainly the old monarchical bureaucracy needed to be replaced. After all, "the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.” This was a lesson of the Paris Commune, that the old feudal monarchy was totally unsuited for the use of the Communards.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
Every official, he said, should be elected and subject to recall at any time. He was all for freedom of the press and the right to demonstrate for "any party, any group”'
Immediately on gaining power he even promised to uphold the verdict of the coming elections for the Constituent Assembly

As a democratic government 'we cannot ignore the decision of the rank and file of the people, even though we may disagree with it ...and even if the peasants continue to follow the Social-Revolutionaries, even if they give this party a majority in the Constituent Assembly, we shall still say, be it so'

(Report on the Land Question, 8 November 1917’)



No conflict there with the lessons of the Paris Commune.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
All of this was, of course, mere window dressing, for Lenin knew that the Russian people would never have supported what he really had in mind for them. Far from abolishing the state apparatus he set about strengthening it, especially the secret police (Cheka), in order to impose the Bolshevik dictatorship. And instead of officials being elected and recallable the Bolsheviks simply appointed their own men who were answerable to them alone’
Well, doesn’t every oppressive state machine need a secret police force? With his expropriation agenda, Lenin had plenty of rich enemies plotting against him. The assassination attempt on his life caused a partial retirement for the next half dozen years until his death in ‘24.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
opposition press was outlawed 
 demonstrations forbidden ... Lenin dissolved the Assembly by force . .. peasants ... had their grain and cattle forcibly taken from them 
 those who resisted were shot and many villages were burnt ... peasants retaliated by burning their crops and killing their cattle and so Lenin's policy produced famine anyway 
 unemployment was rife and the workers ... were starving. Lenin told them to 
 set out in their tens of thousands for the Urals, the Volga and the south ... in 1919 many strikes and protest demonstrations were crushed with great loss of life 
 Communists who criticised him or his policies were denounced as "unsound elements", "deviationists" or worse' and their arguments “mere chatter", "phrase mongering" and “dangerous rubbish” ... "Workers' Opposition” ... leaders and members were jailed or exiled ...
Some picnic! Ably have you outlined many post-revolutionary difficulties. But, let’s confess. What was the real cause of those difficulties? Nothing less than the expropriation agenda, which caused severe internal conflicts.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
All Lenin's actions were the result of his single-minded determination to seize power and hold on to it, even if it meant that millions of Russian workers and peasants died in famine and repression.
Lenin never had to SEIZE power. The record is that of his party electing and re-electing him to top spots because of his proven abilities to out-think and out-argue his rivals. There may have been more than one instance of colleagues besting him in various elections early on in the movement, but such anomalies didn’t persist for very long.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
The seizure of power was, given the chaotic condition of Russia at the time, comparatively simple: to hold on to power he had to create a state apparatus which, under his personal direction, was used to terrorise all opposition into submission.
That sounds like a jealous rival's rant. Lenin was a true believer in his expropriation agenda, and was determined to realize it in spite of all obstacles. Of course, we now understand that it was so wrong that it couldn’t stand the test of time.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
The Leninists of today will argue that all of this was a case of the end justifying the means, that it was done in order to bring about socialism.
What kind of socialism? Certainly not the WSM definition of socialism. Leninism maintains that the dotp was the most that could be hoped for, and it would be constantly threatened by counter-revolution for decades. If the West had joined in with the Russians, then their mutual assistance and cooperation would have shortened the birth pangs considerably. But, in Europe, private property was too sacred to abolish.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
But undemocratic means can never bring about democratic ends; any minority which seizes power can only retain it by violent, undemocratic methods. In any case, even before 1917 the Mensheviks and many European social democrats had used Karl Marx's theory of social development to demolish the idea that socialism could be established in a backward country like Russia.
Once again, whose definition of socialism is to be used? We know that WSM socialism consists of a classless and stateless society, while Leninist socialism means the dotp. Many claim that the social democracies of Europe practice socialism, a type which is not the same as the other two. "Between capitalist and communist society there lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.” -KM, Gotha
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
The absence of larger-scale industry and the consequent smallness of the working class, both of which are essential ingredients for socialism, plus the presence of a vast, reactionary peasantry made socialism impossible.
But, it didn’t render 'Soviet socialism' impossible. The SLP’s moniker of the USSR as a 'bureaucratic despotism’ has merit, as the USSR was both bureaucratic and despotic.
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
This earned them Lenin's undying hatred, a hatred which only increased as he saw their view justified by events. All that was left to Lenin in the circumstances was to commence building up state-capitalism.
Not much else seemed to be working out well for them, so, why not go with what stood a chance of succeeding?



KE
upralmamater UPRalmamater@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-16 20:49:22 UTC
Permalink
Bolsheviks and Anarchists who opposed the Commissars were killed. The best
real evidence, is not the lie written on the History of the Communist of
the Soviet Union, it was the letter written by Enma Goldman

The concept of socialism advocated by the WSM is the same definition given
my Marx and Engles in different occassions on all their works. This is the
definition which is the oppposite of Lenin State capitalism: ( Where is
the so called DOP in this definition ? )


Marx's Conception of Socialism

Marx usually referred to the society he aimed to see established by the
working class as "communist society". Precisely because he believed that
"communist society" would be the outcome of the struggle and movement of
the working class against its capitalist conditions of existence, Marx
always refused to give any detailed picture of what he expected it to be
like: that was something for the working class to work out for itself.
Nevertheless scattered throughout his writings, published and unpublished,
are references to what he believed would have to be the basic features of
the new society the working class would establish in place of capitalism.

*Voluntary Association*

It must be emphasised that nowhere did Marx distinguish between "socialist
society" and "communist society". As far as he, and Engels, were concerned
these two words meant the same, being alternative names for the society
they thought the working class would establish in place of capitalism, a
practice which will be followed in this article. As a matter of fact
besides *communist* Marx employed four other words to describe future
society: *associated*, *socialised*, *collective* and *co-operative*. All
these words convey a similar meaning and bring out the contrast with
capitalist society where not only the ownership and control of production
but life generally is private, isolated and atomized. Of these the word
Marx used most frequently — almost more frequently than communist — was
association. Marx wrote of future society as "an association which will
exclude classes and their antagonism" (PP, p. 197) and as "an association,
in which the free development of each is the condition for the free
development of all" (CM, p. 82). In Volume III of *Capital *Marx writes
three or four times of production in future society being controlled by the
"associated producers" (pp. 428, 430-1 and 800). *Association* was a word
used in working class circles in England to mean a voluntary union of
workers to overcome the effects of competition. This was Marx's sense too:
in future society the producers would voluntarily co-operate to further
their own common interest; they would cease to be "the working class" and
become a classless community.

*No Coercive State*

In these circumstances the State as an instrument of political rule over
people would have no place. Such a social organ of coercion was, in Marx's
view, only needed in class-divided societies as an instrument of class rule
and to contain class struggles. As he put it, in socialist society "there
will be no more political power properly so-called since political power is
precisely the official expression of antagonism in civil society" (PP, p.
197) and "the public power will lose its political character. Political
power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for
oppressing another" (CM, p. 81).

Socialist society would indeed need a central administration but this would
not be a "State" or "government" in that it would not have at its disposal
any means of coercing people, but would be concerned purely with
administering social affairs under democratic control. Marx endorsed the
proposal of Saint Simon and other early critics of capitalism for "the
conversion of the functions of the State into a mere superintendence of
production" (CM, p. 98), and also declared that "freedom consists in
converting the state from an organ superimposed upon society into one
completely subordinate to it" (CGP, p. 32). In other words, once Socialism
had been established and classes abolished, the coercive and undemocratic
features of the State machine would have been removed, leaving only purely
administrative functions mainly in the field of the planning and
organization of production.

*Common Ownership*

Natural resources and the man-made instruments of production would be held
in common: Marx speaks of "a community of free individuals, carrying on
their work with the means of production in common" (Vol. I, p. 78) and, in
his *Critique of the Gotha Programme*, of "the co-operative society based
on the common ownership of the means of production" (p. 22) and of "the
material conditions of production" being "the cooperative property of the
workers themselves" (p. 25). It is significant that Marx never defined
communist society in terms of the ownership and control of the means of
production by the State, but rather in terms of ownership and control by a
voluntary association of the producers themselves. He did not equate what
is now called "nationalisation" with Socialism.

*Planned Production*

Another feature of communist society, in Marx's view, would be consciously
planned production. He writes of a society "in which producers regulate
their production according to a preconceived plan" (Vol. Ill, p. 256) and
of "production by freely associated men . . . consciously regulated by them
in accordance with a settled plan" (Vol. I, p. 80).

Conscious planning, conscious control over the material conditions of life,
was for Marx clearly the essence of Socialism. In the 1840's, when he used
to express himself philosophically, Marx was continually emphasising this
point. This was what he meant when he said that real history would not
begin till Socialism had been established; human beings were not behaving
as human beings so long as they were controlled by blind historical and
economic forces, ultimately of their own creation but unrecognized as such;
Socialism would allow men to consciously regulate their relationship with
Nature; only such a consciously planned society was a truly human society,
a society compatible with human nature.

But Marx's approach to planning in Socialism was not just philosophical. It
was practical too. He was well aware that to regulate "production according
to a preconceived plan" would be a huge organizational task. Indeed, that
it would be, if you like, the economic problem of Socialism. Matching
production with social wants would in the first instance be a huge
statistical exercise. Marx emphasised that for this sort of reason
"book-keeping" would be more necessary in Socialism than under capitalism —
not that he envisages the books in socialist society being kept in money.
Socialist society, he felt, would use some direct measure of labour-time
for its statistics and planning (Vol. Ill, pp. 184 and 830). Calculations
would have to be made of how much labour-time would be needed to produce
particular items of wealth; the real social (as opposed to monetary market)
demand for the various items of wealth would also have to be calculated;
and all the figures put together to construct a definite plan for the
allocation of resources and labour to the various different branches of
production.

In a number of places Marx compares how capitalism and Socialism would
tackle the same problems, for instance a long-term project which would not
bear fruit in the form of finished products for some years but which in the
meantime would have to be allocated labour and resources. Under capitalism,
said Marx, this creates monetary problems and upsets; but in Socialism it
is only a question of "preconceived" planning, of making allowances for
this beforehand (Vol. II, pp. 315 and 358). Similarly with miscalculations,
say overproducing: under capitalism (where overproduction means in relation
to market demand) this causes a crisis and a drop in production; in
Socialism (where overproduction would be in relation to real social demand)
there would be no problem: it could be corrected in the next plan (Vol. II,
pp. 468-9).

In his *Critique of the Gotha Programme *(p. 22) and in Volume III of
*Capital* (p. 854) Marx lists the various major uses to which the social
product would have to be put in a socialist society:

1) Replacing the means of production (raw materials, wear and tear of
machinery, etc.) used up in producing the social product.

2) Expanding the means of production so as to be able to produce a larger
social product.

3) A small surplus as a reserve to provide against accidents and natural
disasters (and planning miscalculations, we might add).

4) The individual consumption of the actual producers.

5) The individual consumption of those unable to work: the young, the old,
the sick.

6) Social consumption: schools, hospitals, parks, libraries, etc.

7) Social administration not connected with production.

This is obvious of course but it is as well to spell it out so as to show
that Marx did discuss some of the practical problems of totally planned
production.

*Abolition of the Market*

Socialist society, as Marx repeatedly made clear, would be a non-market
society, with all that that implied: no money, no buying and selling, no
wages, etc. In fact it was his view that proper planning and the market are
incompatible: either production is regulated by a conscious previously
worked-out plan or it is regulated, directly or indirectly, by the market.
When Marx talked about men under capitalism being dominated by blind
forces, which were in the end their own creations, it was precisely blind
market forces he mainly had in mind. For him capitalism was essentially a
market economy in which the allocation of labour and resources to the
various branches of production was determined by what he called "the law of
value".

Although production under capitalism was not consciously controlled, it was
not completely anarchic: some sort of order was imposed by the fact that
goods exchanged in definite proportions, related both to the amount of
socially necessary labour-time spent in producing them and to the average
rate of profit on invested capital. Under capitalism it was the averaging
of the rate of profit on the capital invested in the different branches
that regulated production. But this was an unplanned hit-and-miss process
which was only accurate in the long run; in the short run it led to
alternating periods of boom and slump, labour shortage and mass
unemployment, high profits and low profits. The assertion by society of
conscious control over production, and the allocation of resources to the
various branches of production in accordance with a previously settled
plan, necessarily meant for Marx the disappearance not only of production
for profit, but also of the whole mechanism of the market (including the
labour market, and so of the wages system), of production for the market
("commodity-production"), of buying and selling ("exchange") and of money.

The *Communist Manifesto *specifically speaks of "the Communistic abolition
of buying and selling" (p. 72) and of the abolition not only of capital
(wealth used to produce other wealth with a view to profit) but of wage
labour too (p. 73). In Volume I Marx speaks of "directly associated labour,
a form of production that is entirely inconsistent with the production of
commodities . . ." (p. 94) and in Volume II of things being different "if
production were collective and no longer possessed the form of commodity
production . . ." (p. 451). Also, in Volume II, Marx in comparing how
Socialism and capitalism would deal with a particular problem twice says
there would be no money to complicate matters in socialist society: "If we
conceive society as being not capitalistic but communistic, there will be
no money-capital at all in the first place . . ." (p. 315) and "in the case
of socialized production the money-capital is eliminated" (p. 358). In
other words, in Socialism it is solely a question of planning and
organisation. Marx also advised trade unionists to adopt the revolutionary
watchword "Abolition of the Wages System" (VPP, p. 78) and, in his *Critique
of the Gotha Programme*, stated "within the co-operative society based on
the common ownership of the means of production, the producers do not
exchange their products" (pp. 22-3) for the simple reason that their work
would then be social not individual and applied as part of a definite plan.
What they produce belongs to them collectively, i.e. to society, as soon as
it is produced; socialist society then allocates, again in accordance with
a plan, the social product to various previously-agreed uses.

*Distribution of Consumer Goods*

One of these uses must be individual consumption. How did Marx think this
would be organised? Here again Marx took a realistic view. Eventually, he
said, the principle "from each according to his ability, to each according
to his needs" would apply (CGP, p. 24). In other words, there would be no
social restrictions on individual consumption, every member of society
being free to take from the common stock of consumer goods according to
their individual need. But Marx knew that this presupposed a higher level
of productivity than prevailed in his day (he was writing in 1875). In the
meantime, while the productive forces were being expanded, individual
consumption would unavoidably have to be restricted. How? Marx made the
simple point that how wealth would be allocated for individual consumption
in communist society would depend on what and how much there was to
allocate: "The mode of this distribution will vary with the productive
organisation of the community, and the degree of historical development
attained by the producers" (Vol. I, p. 78).

This was another obvious point, but on three or four occasions Marx went
further and referred to a specific method of regulating distribution: by
"labour-time vouchers". The basic idea of such a system is that each
producer would be given a certificate recording how much time he had spent
at work; this would entitle him to draw from the common store of wealth set
aside for individual consumption an equivalent amount of consumer goods,
likewise measured in labour-time. This, as Marx himself recognised, was
only one of many possible systems Socialist society could democratically
agree on for allocating wealth for individual consumption in the temporary
conditions of relative scarcity here assumed — realistically for 1875 — to
exist. As long as the total number of vouchers issued matched the total
amount of wealth set aside for individual consumption, society could adopt
any criteria it chose for deciding how many vouchers particular
individuals, or groups of individuals, should have; this need bear no
relationship at all to how many hours an individual may or may not have
worked. Similarly, the "pseudo-prices" given to particular goods to be
distributed need bear no relation to the amount of labour-time spent on
producing them. Marx himself described some of the defects of the
labour-time voucher system, but also made the point that any voucher system
of allocating goods for individual consumption would surfer from anomalies,
being forced on socialist society by the not-yet-developed-enough
productive forces in what he called "the first phase of communist society".

When Marx mentions labour-time vouchers in Capita! he always made it quite
clear that he was only assuming such a system as an example: "merely for
the sake of a parallel with the production of commodities" (Vol I, p. 78)
or that the producers "may, for all it matters, ..." (Vol. II, p. 358)
receive labour-time vouchers. He also emphasised that these vouchers would
not be money in its proper sense: "Owen's 'labour-money' ... is no more
'money' than a ticket to the theatre" (Vol. I, p. 94) and "these vouchers
are not money. They do not circulate" (Vol. II, p.358). (See also his
discussion of so called "labour-money" in *The Critique of Political
Economy*, pp. 83-6.)

Marx's point here is that the vouchers would merely be pieces of paper
entitling people to take such and such an amount of consumer goods; they
would not be tokens for gold like today's paper money; once handed over
they would be cancelled and so could not circulate. Besides, they would be
issued as part of the overall plan for the production and distribution of
wealth. Finally, we repeat, any voucher system, whether on a labour-time or
some other basis, was seen by Marx only as a temporary measure while the
productive forces were developed as rapidly as possible to the level where
they would permit socialist society to go over to free access according to
individual need.

This is why this is now only an academic problem. The further development
of the forces of production since Marx's day has meant that the system he
always said was the final aim of Socialism — free access to consumer goods
according to individual need — could now be introduced almost immediately
Socialism was established. The problem Marx envisaged labour-time vouchers
as a possible solution to no longer really exists.

*Conclusion*

We have seen, then, that Marx held that future communist society would be a
classless community, without any coercive State machine, based on the
common ownership of the means of production, with planning to serve human
welfare completely replacing production for profit, the market economy,
money and the wages system — even in the early stages when it might not
prove possible to implement the principle "from each according to his
ability, to each according to his need", which, however, always remained
for Marx the aim. Marx, and Engels, never drew any distinction between
"socialist" and "communist" society, using these (and other) terms
interchangeably. He did, however, believe that this society would only be
established after a "period of ... revolutionary transformation" (CGP, p.
32) of a number of years duration during which the working class would be
using its control of political power to dispossess the capitalists and
bring all the means of production under democratic social control — but,
here again, the further development of the productive forces since Marx's
day means that the socialist revolution can now be carried through very
quickly with no need for any lengthy period between the capture of
political power by the working class and the establishment of socialism.



References:

CGP. *Critique of the Gotha Programme*. Marx-Engels, Selected Works, Vol
II Moscow, 1958.

CM. *Communist Manifesto*, Moscow, 1954.

PP *Poverty of Philosophy*, Moscow, 1956.

Vol I. *Capital*, Vol I, Moscow, 1961.

Vol. II. *Capital*, Vol II, Moscow, 1957.

Vol III. *Capital*, Vol III, Moscow, 1959.

VPP. *Wages, Price and Profit*, Peking, 1969.

*Critique of Political Economy*, Lawrence and Wishart, 1971.



(*Socialist Standard*, December 1973).
Post by Caonabo Enriquillo ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
Two of the articles published under the heading of Marx vs Lenin show that
he was a liar and he distorted whatever was written on the 18th Brumaire of
Louis Bonaparte. The state and the revolution is total distortion of the
real nature of the state. He just wanted to justify the imposition of the
so called workers state
Without the Russian bolshevik Lenin would have ended as a bourgeoise
politician , and without the Bolshevik coup socialism would not have been
converted into a reformist and opportunist trend Leninism is a dangerous
ideological current for the working class
On Sun, Oct 15, 2017 at 12:40 PM -0700, "Ken Ellis
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
•
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
What Lenin wrote or said, he trimmed and tailed to suit either
circumstances, or whoever his audience was. He was a perfidious liar.
Golly, that’s a harsh review. Have you pinned down his most egregious
example of lying?
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
One of the most amazing legacies of the Russian revolution and its
aftermath is Lenin's image as a humane, even saintly figure, despite the
wealth of evidence to the contrary. To this day thousands of people all
over the world will revile Stalin but revere Lenin, yet the truth is that
it was the latter who commenced the reign of terror after November l9l7 and
who deserves his own place in history as a brutal, lying, ruthless dictator.
To do so would indicate a severe character flaw, whether or not the
oppressed in question were the toiling masses or the filthy rich. It should
not be forgotten that the murder of the Romanovs took place under Lenin’s
watch, most likely with his approval.
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
Right up till the Bolshevik seizure of power Lenin had been agitating
for the abolition of the state apparatus including the army, police and
bureaucracy.
Certainly the old monarchical bureaucracy needed to be replaced. After
all, "the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state
machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.” This was a lesson of the
Paris Commune, that the old feudal monarchy was totally unsuited for the
use of the Communards.
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
Every official, he said, should be elected and subject to recall at any
time. He was all for freedom of the press and the right to demonstrate for
"any party, any group”'
Immediately on gaining power he even promised to uphold the verdict of
the coming elections for the Constituent Assembly
As a democratic government 'we cannot ignore the decision of the rank and
file of the people, even though we may disagree with it ...and even if the
peasants continue to follow the Social-Revolutionaries, even if they give
this party a majority in the Constituent Assembly, we shall still say, be
it so'
(Report on the Land Question, 8 November 1917’)
No conflict there with the lessons of the Paris Commune.
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
All of this was, of course, mere window dressing, for Lenin knew that
the Russian people would never have supported what he really had in mind
for them. Far from abolishing the state apparatus he set about
strengthening it, especially the secret police (Cheka), in order to impose
the Bolshevik dictatorship. And instead of officials being elected and
recallable the Bolsheviks simply appointed their own men who were
answerable to them alone’
Well, doesn’t every oppressive state machine need a secret police force?
With his expropriation agenda, Lenin had plenty of rich enemies plotting
against him. The assassination attempt on his life caused a partial
retirement for the next half dozen years until his death in ‘24.
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
opposition press was outlawed 
 demonstrations forbidden ... Lenin
dissolved the Assembly by force . .. peasants ... had their grain and
cattle forcibly taken from them 
 those who resisted were shot and many
villages were burnt ... peasants retaliated by burning their crops and
killing their cattle and so Lenin's policy produced famine anyway 

unemployment was rife and the workers ... were starving. Lenin told them to

 set out in their tens of thousands for the Urals, the Volga and the south
... in 1919 many strikes and protest demonstrations were crushed with great
loss of life 
 Communists who criticised him or his policies were denounced
as "unsound elements", "deviationists" or worse' and their arguments “mere
chatter", "phrase mongering" and “dangerous rubbish” ... "Workers'
Opposition” ... leaders and members were jailed or exiled ...
Some picnic! Ably have you outlined many post-revolutionary difficulties.
But, let’s confess. What was the real cause of those difficulties? Nothing
less than the expropriation agenda, which caused severe internal conflicts.
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
All Lenin's actions were the result of his single-minded determination
to seize power and hold on to it, even if it meant that millions of Russian
workers and peasants died in famine and repression.
Lenin never had to SEIZE power. The record is that of his party electing
and re-electing him to top spots because of his proven abilities to
out-think and out-argue his rivals. There may have been more than one
instance of colleagues besting him in various elections early on in the
movement, but such anomalies didn’t persist for very long.
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
The seizure of power was, given the chaotic condition of Russia at the
time, comparatively simple: to hold on to power he had to create a state
apparatus which, under his personal direction, was used to terrorise all
opposition into submission.
That sounds like a jealous rival's rant. Lenin was a true believer in his
expropriation agenda, and was determined to realize it in spite of all
obstacles. Of course, we now understand that it was so wrong that it
couldn’t stand the test of time.
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
The Leninists of today will argue that all of this was a case of the
end justifying the means, that it was done in order to bring about
socialism..
What kind of socialism? Certainly not the WSM definition of socialism.
Leninism maintains that the dotp was the most that could be hoped for, and
it would be constantly threatened by counter-revolution for decades. If the
West had joined in with the Russians, then their mutual assistance and
cooperation would have shortened the birth pangs considerably. But, in
Europe, private property was too sacred to abolish.
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
But undemocratic means can never bring about democratic ends; any
minority which seizes power can only retain it by violent, undemocratic
methods.. In any case, even before 1917 the Mensheviks and many European
social democrats had used Karl Marx's theory of social development to
demolish the idea that socialism could be established in a backward country
like Russia.
Once again, whose definition of socialism is to be used? We know that WSM
socialism consists of a classless and stateless society, while Leninist
socialism means the dotp. Many claim that the social democracies of Europe
practice socialism, a type which is not the same as the other two. "Between
capitalist and communist society there lies the period of the revolutionary
transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a
political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the
revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.” -KM, Gotha
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
The absence of larger-scale industry and the consequent smallness of
the working class, both of which are essential ingredients for socialism,
plus the presence of a vast, reactionary peasantry made socialism
impossible.
But, it didn’t render 'Soviet socialism' impossible. The SLP’s moniker of
the USSR as a 'bureaucratic despotism’ has merit, as the USSR was both
bureaucratic and despotic.
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
This earned them Lenin's undying hatred, a hatred which only increased
as he saw their view justified by events. All that was left to Lenin in the
circumstances was to commence building up state-capitalism.
Not much else seemed to be working out well for them, so, why not go with
what stood a chance of succeeding?
KE
Ken Ellis kennethellis@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-16 20:59:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Caonabo Enriquillo ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
Two of the articles published under the heading of Marx vs Lenin show that he was a liar and he distorted whatever was written on the 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. The state and the revolution is total distortion of the real nature of the state.
Empty accusations will get this conversation nowhere. Where’s the substance?
Post by Caonabo Enriquillo ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
He just wanted to justify the imposition of the so called workers state
Is the imposition of a feudal monarchy preferable? Or the imposition of a bourgeois state? Do you see no improvement by replacing them with a worker’s state?
Post by Caonabo Enriquillo ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
Without the Russian bolshevik Lenin would have ended as a bourgeoise politician , and without the Bolshevik coup socialism would not have been converted into a reformist and opportunist trend Leninism is a dangerous ideological current for the working class
Leninism is obsolete because of its promotion of forcible expropriation, aka expropriation without compensation. Every other ideology that promotes forcible expropriation is just as dead and useless. Because they are all dead, they no longer pose a threat to the working class.

KE
mcolome mcolome1@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-16 21:21:48 UTC
Permalink
The substance is that you have not read them. The articles are backed up with Bibliographies. Place in front of you the 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte written by Marx after the Commune of Paris, and place in front of you the State and Revolution of Lenin, and you will that Lenin is just a typical liar, an opportunist and a distorter. Now you are changing the switch of the train indicating that Leninism is obsolete, well, it is not the same opinion of the Leninists on the 21 Century. They expropriation done by the Bolsheviks was the same expropriation done by the Bourgeoisie in order to have their first original accumulation of capital. The Bolsheviks expropriated the Land owners, and some factories owners, and they became the ruling elite, and they exploited the workers in the same way that others ruling elite has been exploiting the workers. The same things were done by the Chinese and Cuban rulers. What compensation are you talking about? Now you sound like one of those right-wing politicians, who said that expropriating the ruling elite is robbery. Who is the real thieve? Isn’t there something known as surplus value? Isn’t surplus value an aggregated value stolen from the sweat of the working class? Aren’t we surrounded by dead labor? Everything around us from Machineries of production, means of transportations, means of communication, etc. etc.,  It is dead labor, or unpaid labor known as Capital. Didn’t Marx write about the expropriated expropriating the expropriator? In one side, you defend Marx and Lenin, and in other moment you reject both. Do you need glasses or



binoculars?  Ideology is the distortion of the reality, or the ideas that prevail in every class society. Capitalism is an ideology based on a distorted reality, and it continue expropriating the world working class, it is not dead yet, and it is very useful for the ruling elite. Coming back to the original topics, Was Russia socialist according to all the evidences presented in all these posting ?  The evidences have shown that it was the continuation or the realization of a bourgeoisie revolution, and the Bolsheviks became the new ruling class of Russia, With the Bolsheviks and the Soviets the Soviet Union socialism did not advance one inch, on the contrary, it was retarded for more than 70 years, they were the real counter-revolutionaries



From: <***@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of "Ken Ellis ***@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]" <***@yahoogroups.com>
Reply-To: <***@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Monday, October 16, 2017 at 1:59 PM
To: WSM <***@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: [WSM_Forum] Re: Was Russia ever socialist ?
Post by Caonabo Enriquillo ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
Two of the articles published under the heading of Marx vs Lenin show that he was a liar and he distorted whatever was written on the 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. The state and the revolution is total distortion of the real nature of the state.
Empty accusations will get this conversation nowhere. Where’s the substance?
Post by Caonabo Enriquillo ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
He just wanted to justify the imposition of the so called workers state
Is the imposition of a feudal monarchy preferable? Or the imposition of a bourgeois state? Do you see no improvement by replacing them with a worker’s state?
Post by Caonabo Enriquillo ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
Without the Russian bolshevik Lenin would have ended as a bourgeoise politician , and without the Bolshevik coup socialism would not have been converted into a reformist and opportunist trend Leninism is a dangerous ideological current for the working class
Leninism is obsolete because of its promotion of forcible expropriation, aka expropriation without compensation. Every other ideology that promotes forcible expropriation is just as dead and useless. Because they are all dead, they no longer pose a threat to the working class.

KE
alan johnstone alanjjohnstone@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-16 22:17:24 UTC
Permalink
Ken, i think you recognise as Marx did, that we should make judgements not on what people or parties say but what they do. This should be how we understand Lenin and the Bolsheviks in what was undeniably a social revolution, although not a socialist revolution. 

Unlike some of my comrades, i am willing to give Lenin and the Bolsheviks the benefit of the doubt and say that they sincerely believed their policies were positive and a path towards socialism. That, however, does not make what they did any more correct. 

The mistakes and errors were the consequences of the situation and circumstances they faced and were predictable and avoidable. Lenin and the Bolsheviks made choices and let's not forget that there were alternative policies being advocated even amongst the Party leadership.
 As Victor Serge said the seeds of Stalinism was within the Revolution but so were many other seeds present that could have sprouted a different outcome. (i paraphrase.)
As i am prone to do since i think it is good to cite ideas from other political parties, i refer you to this article which i often quote 
http://www.whatnextjournal.co.uk/Pages/Pubs.html
"...one can no longer uphold the Trotskyist thesis that from 1917 to 1923-24 the Soviet Union was a "healthy" workers’ state, and that the degeneration into bureaucratic dictatorship took off only afterwards...All one can say is that the "workers’ state" that was born in October 1917 was premature and infected from infancy. Unfortunately, as it degenerated, it infected the working-class movement internationally, and proved an obstacle on the road to socialism. My old comrade, the late Alex Acheson, who joined the movement in the 1930s and remained a committed Trotskyist till his death last year, once said to me: "It might have been better if the October Revolution had never occurred.
What factors or actions by the participants might have resulted in the non-occurrence of October and a different outcome? Assuming that nothing is inevitable until it has happened, and that "men make their own history", there are three possibilities.

Firstly, that Lenin’s April Theses that set the Bolshevik party on the road to the October insurrection had been rejected by the party. Let us recall that up till Lenin’s arrival in Petrograd, the Bolshevik leadership was pursuing a policy of critical support for the Provisional government. They felt this was consistent with the view that since the Russian bourgeoisie was incapable of bringing about a bourgeois revolution, this task would have to be carried out by the proletariat supported by the peasantry, but that the revolution could not go immediately beyond the stage of establishing a bourgeois republic. In February, the Petrograd proletariat had carried out this "bourgeois revolution" with the support of the peasant soldiers. Now that the bourgeois republic was in place, the next stage was not the immediate struggle for working-class power, but a relatively prolonged period of bourgeois democracy. Lenin now abandoned this view which he had himself defended under the slogan of "the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry", and argued for no support for the Provisional Government, and for agitation for power to the Soviets. He swung the Bolshevik party to this policy. But it was not inevitable that he should have done. The Bolshevik party might have continued its policy of critical support for and pressure on the February regime.

Secondly, even after his steering the party on its new course, Lenin had to fight again in October to commit the party to insurrection against the opposition of Zinoviev, Kamenev, etc. It is not inconceivable that Zinoviev and Kamenev might have carried the day. Then there would have been no October.

Thirdly, even after October there was, as I have pointed out, a very real possibility of a coalition Bolshevik-Menshevik-SR government, based either on the Soviets or a combination of the Constituent Assembly and the Soviets as organs of local power and administration. This possibility foundered against the mutual intransigence of the Bolshevik hardliners on one side and the Menshevik and SR right-wing on the other. But in both camps there were conciliatory wings, the Menshevik Internationalists and some Left SRs and the Bolshevik "moderates" – Kamenev, Rykov, Nogin, etc....

....A coalition government of Bolsheviks, Mensheviks and SRs, having a much broader based support than a purely Bolshevik one, would have been able to confront the White Armies more successfully, and thus shortened the Civil War, and reduced the destruction of the economy....

....It can also be argued that the attitudes and actions of the Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, SRs, their leaderships and individuals, were themselves determined by the whole of their past histories and ideological roots, and they could not have acted otherwise than they did. That what happened was inevitable. But this is to look at events from a distance and with the hindsight of 1997. What happened happened. But in 1917-18, these parties, leaderships and individuals did have a choice of actions....."
I think other informed historians could probably add to these alternative scenarios. What else should be emphasised is the rapid time-table of the Bolshevik imposition of Party-rule.
The tradition of the Bolsheviks was not based on the 2nd International [which indeed possessed many failings] but rather on the Narodnik principle of a professional revolutionary organisation. The Bolsheviks created their particular, typically Russian-type of political organism. Martov and the Left Mensheviks, Rosa's critique of Lenin and his Blanquism and Kautsky's defence of the democractic social revolution were more rooted in the 2nd International, were they not?
The insurrection that gave power to the Bolsheviks was strictly speaking the work of the Military-Revolutionary Committee of the Petrograd Soviet. The Bolsheviks used this more subtle approach of disguising its seizure of power as an assumption of power by the Congress of Soviets and it was through the organ of the Military Revolutionary Council, NOT the Soviets. .The storming of the Winter Palace , was not done by a mass of politically aware workers, but by a few hundred pro-Bolshevik soldiers . Trotsky admitted that the insurrection was planned by the Military Revolutionary Committee of the Petrograd Soviet, of which he was the chair and which had a Bolshevik majority. Trotsky describes how this Committee took its orders directly from the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party. So, although the soviets had played a part in overthrowing Tsarism and opposing the Kerensky government, the events of 7 November were a Bolshevik take-over. Were the mass of the Petrograd workers consciously involved in deciding on the revolution? No. On the morning of 7 November the workers of Petrograd woke up to find that in the night the Bolshevik Party had assumed power, the Bolsheviks had carried out a revolution while they were asleep as described by one Bolshevik. The MRC was set up by the Soviet on the basis of defending Petrograd because it was rumoured of another potential Kornilov plot or an imminent invading German army . It was not set up on the basis that it would overthrow the provisional government. But then, under the pretext of organising the military defence of Petrograd from this phantom invading German army, Trotsky at the head of the Petrograd Soviet's Military Revolutionary Committee, took over the garrison unit by unit, through a system of commissars, first securing vital points like the train stations and telegraph office, then finally taking the Winter Palace.
"even when the compromisers were in power, in the Petrograd Soviet, that the Soviet examined or amended decisions of the government. This was, as it were, part of the constitution under the regime named after Kerensky. When we Bolshevists got the upper hand in the Petrograd Soviet we only went on with the system of double power and widened its application. We took it on ourselves to revise the order sending the troops to the front, and so we disguised the actual fact of the insurrection of the Petrograd garrison under the tradition and precedents and technique of the constitutional duplication of authority” - Trotsky - Lessons of October
The explicit purpose was to present the 3rd Congress of Soviets opening the next morning with a fait accompli. Lenin was sure that only this way would the support of the Congress for immediate soviet power be assured.
Once it had happened, workers and soldiers were enthusiastic and that I am in no doubt about. And they were part of making it happen, insofar as they obeyed the orders of the MRC. But it would be misleading to say that it was carried out by the proletariat organised in soviets as such. Were non-Bolshevik proletarians in District soviets aware this was coming? No. Were the Left-SR participants in the MRC ? No. Were even the moderate wing of leading Bolsheviks supportive? No. This is not to say that Petrograd workers and soldiers didn't support the idea of a soviet government. They did. But that doesn't mean that they were consciously involved in the decision to go through with the October events in order to arrive at such a government. The total lack of opposition to the Bolsheviks and the absence of support for the Provisional Government reflected the sympathies of the workers. The Provisional Government was utterly discredited, and Bolshevism's reactionary aspect had not been revealed. Support for the action came rushing in after the event from the Soviet of Petrograd Trade Unions and the All-Russian Soviet of Factory Committees amongst others. The factory committees rallied to the Bolsheviks because the latter appeared to support the workers' aspirations.  but did this mean they were in favour of the installation of a Bolshevik government. What the workers were in favour of was a coalition government formed by all the "workers" parties, ie the Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, SRs and others. This was in fact favoured by many within the Bolshevik Party itself, but they were over-ruled by Lenin's determination to seize power for the Bolshevik party alone. In other words, it wasn't the overthrow as such of the Kerensky government but its replacement by a Bolshevik government under Lenin. There was no mandate from the soviets for this, which was why Lenin went to great pains to disguise his party's coup as the formation of a soviet government, which it wasn't. Once they got governmental power the Bolsheviks sidelined the soviets almost straightaway. The soviets were always considered as a cover to secure Bolshevik power.
It can be plausibly assumed that if the Soviet Congress had had a free vote, the Bolsheviks would have had to share power with their arch-rivals the Mensheviks and the SRs. Martov put forward a resolution demanding that the Bolsheviks form a coalition government with other left-wing parties . The resolution was about to receive almost complete endorsement from the soviet representatives thus showing that the representatives in the soviet did NOT believe in all power to the Bolsheviks but then the majority of SR and Menshevik delegates unadvisedly left the congress in protest over the Bolshevik coup giving the Bolsheviks a majority of those who remained . We can also speculate it was possible that Lenin himself could have been kept out of office due to the mistrust that many of the Mensheviks and other anti-Tsarist revolutionaries justly held him in.
On October 25th, the presidium was elected on the basis of 14 Bolsheviks, 7 Social-Revolutionaries, three Mensheviks and one Internationalist. The Bolsheviks then trooped out their worker-candidates Lenin, Trotsky, Kamenev, Zinoviev and so on. When it came to forming a government, Kamenev read out a Bolshevik Central Committee proposal for a Soviet of People's Commissars, whereby "control over the activities of the government is vested in the Congress of Soviets and its Central Executive Committee". Seven Bolsheviks from the party's central committee were nominated, and thus Lenin and Trotsky came to sit at the top. The "workers' government" was now composed of professional revolutionaries and members of the intelligensia ranging from the aristocrat (Chicherin), to the bureaucratics like (Lenin and Trotsky), via the landed bourgeois (Smilga and Kollontai), to the commercial bourgeois (Yoffe) and the higher industrial bourgeois (Pyatakov). These were the sort of people who were used to being a ruling class.
The Bolsheviks effectively re-defined "proletarian power" to mean the power of the party whose ideology was believed a priori to represent workers interests. "Who is to seize the power? That is now of no importance. Let the Military Revolutionary Committee take it, or 'some other institution', which will declare that it will surrender the power only to the genuine representatives of the interests of the people.''
Not "the people", not the "representatives of the people", but "the genuine representatives of the interests of the people" and that would be , of course , the Bolshevik Party led by Lenin.
"... just four days after seizing power, the Bolshevik Council of People's Commissars (CPC or Sovnarkom) "unilaterally arrogated to itself legislative power simply by promulgating a decree to this effect. This was, effectively, a Bolshevik coup d'etat that made clear the government's (and party's) pre-eminence over the soviets and their executive organ. Increasingly, the Bolsheviks relied upon the appointment from above of commissars with plenipotentiary powers, and they split up and reconstituted fractious Soviets and intimidated political opponents." [Neil Harding, Leninism, p. 253] ...the Bolsheviks immediately created a power above the soviets in the form of the CPC. Lenin's argument in The State and Revolution that, like the Paris Commune, the workers' state would be based on a fusion of executive and administrative functions in the hands of the workers' delegates did not last one night. In reality, the Bolshevik party was the real power in "soviet" Russia. ...." From Anarchism FAQ
The Bolsheviks had no problem at all with their "worker's state" suppressing workers' expressions of power. When it was beneficial to the Bolsheviks, they said "All power to the Factory Committees" but 9 days after taking power, they subordinated the factory committees to the trades unions and congresses which were more under the control of the Bolsheviks, and to the state itself under the direct control of the Bolsheviks. When the Mensheviks and SRs won majorities in soviets the offending soviets were disbanded, that their papers were closed down, their members harrassed, exiled and shot .The Constituent Assembly to which all parties of the Russian revolutionary left worked toward even the Bolsheviks, and elected on the basis of the first free vote in that country , was abolished after only one day in session because the Bolsheviks were in the minority. Lenin helped not only impose such conditions but deliberately smeared left critics as counter-revolutionaries to tie them in with those who were in arms against the Bolshevik government. The Cheka, which was set up within a few weeks of October and the Commissar of Justice was Steinberg, a member of the Left SRs. but he could never get control of the Cheka because the Cheka only answered to the Bolshevik party central committee, in violation of the soviet principle.
Trotsky said in History of the Russian Revolution that "The party set the soviets in motion, the soviets set in motion the workers, soldiers, and to some extent the peasantry ." In other words , the soviets existed to allow the party to influence the workers. But what if the workers reject the decisions of the party? What happens when the workers refuse to be set in motion by the party but instead set themselves in motion and reject the Bolsheviks? What then for the soviets? The soviets were marginalised and undermined by the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution and neutered of any power simply because they often did reflect the wishes of the working class and not those of the Bolshevik Party. The soviets would have to be tamed by whatever means possible in favour of party power. From 1917 all vestiges of democratic self-reliance by the working class was removed piece by piece. "Soviet power" became a sham, and Bolshevik party functionaries took total control. A Left S R said "The Bible tells us that God created the heavens and the earth from nothing. The Bolsheviks are capable of no lesser miracles, out of nothing, they create legitimate credentials."
To conclude this lengthy response (and my apologies for that) Russia could not escape its destiny. The whole Russian anti-Tsarist revolutionary tradition, not just the Bolsheviks, was elitist, and in a direct line of succession from the Jacobin elitism of the French bourgeois revolutionaries via the detour of Kautskyism "trade union consciousness" and Narodnik conspiratorialism. In view of the weakness of the Russian bourgeoisie, the bourgeois task of clearing away the obstacle that Tsarism was to the further development of capitalism in Russia fell to another social group, the Intelligentsia. Because most of the revolutionary intelligentsia despised bourgeois culture their anti-Tsarism revolution, when it came, took on a "socialist" cloak. The capitalist revolution without the capitalist.
alan johnstone



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upralmamater UPRalmamater@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-16 22:25:36 UTC
Permalink
One of the best biographer of Leon Trotsky said that the Bolsheviks and
Trosky himself created the conditions for the emerge of Joseph Stalin. I do
agree with you in some Alan due to the fact that probably, the Bolsheviks
had 'good intention" at the beginning, like many others bourgoise poitician
have had, but the economical conditions forced them to exploit the Russian
working class, and since they were a minority they were also forced to
impose themselves as the rulers. This articles posted below indicated that
there wer not any essential difference between Stalin and Trotsky. The
Bolsheviks had a fanatic worshipping for leadership and leaders. Lenin What
is to be done is based on the concept of leaders and leadership and
professionals cadres. Domination from the top to the bottom, typical
bourgeois managament conception

Trotsky and Stalin: rival leaders

- Pik Smeet
<https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/author-speaker/pik-smeet> |
- Front Organisations
<https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/subject/front-organisations> |
- John Rees <https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/subject/john-rees> |
- Julius Martov
<https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/subject/julius-martov> |
- Leadership <https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/subject/leadership> |
- Leninism <https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/subject/leninism> |
- Leon Trotsky <https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/subject/leon-trotsky>
|
- Stalin <https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/subject/stalin> |
- Vanguardism <https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/subject/vanguardism>

Despite presenting themselves as mortal enemies, the camp followers of Leon
Trotsky and Josef Stalin were competing government management teams
operating under the same basic philosophy – that the workers could not, as
a whole, come to socialist consciousness and bring socialism about for
themselves.

Trotsky himself can be seen as being one of the main causes of Stalin's
ascendancy. As Trotsky's hagiographer Isaac Deutscher points out in his *The
Prophet Armed*, Stalin began his dominance of the Soviet government as part
of “a special faction the sole purpose of which was to prevent Trotsky
having a majority which would enable him to take Lenin's place.”

This faction was aided by the fear that Trotsky as commander of the Red
Army (with a predilection for being seen in public in dashing military
uniforms) could assume the role of a military dictator. Such fears would
have been stoked by his support, in 1921, for the militarisation of labour
(in effect placing the workers under his personal direct command).


*Leadership worship*Trotsky was comprehensively out-manoeuvred by Stalin,
and eventually driven out of Russia, whereupon he tried to position himself
as head of the loyal opposition to the Bolshevik regime. His writings from
1929 onwards are full of criticisms of the leadership of the Comintern and
their policies, especially regarding his own faction. Typically, he wrote:
“Under the treacherous blows of the Stalinist bureaucracy, the Left
Opposition [i.e. him and his followers] maintained its fidelity to the
official party to the very end” (Trotsky, 'The Tragedy of the German
Proletariat: The German Workers will Rise Again – Stalinism, Never', March
1933). The debates between Trotskyists and Stalinists always revolved
around such questions of leadership – if only the leaders had acted in
such-and-such a way, things would have turned out better.

Tactics, said Trotsky, should have been framed so as to win workers over
from their Social Democratic leaders, under the command of the Communist
Party: “We must understand how to tear the workers away from their
leaders”. According to Trotsky, the official Communist leaders would not
follow his policies because they were constituted of “not a few cowardly
careerists and fakers whose little posts, whose incomes, and more than
that, whose hides, are dear to them” (Trotsky, 'For a Workers United Front
Against Fascism', December 1931) .

Two years later the Stalinist leadership did adopt Trotsky's tactics –
specifically of the “United Front” of labour organisations against fascism
– but only by surrendering leadership of the movement to the leaders of
Social Democracy. The issue remained one of leadership, backed up by a
notion that the workers were incapable of developing broad socialist
consciousness in anything like a majority, and so that the “Communists”
would have to work with reformists in order to influence them, and draw off
the active workers into their own ranks.

“Could the Communist Party succeed, during the preparatory epoch, in
pushing all other parties out of the ranks of the workers by uniting under
its banner the overwhelming majority of workers, then there would be no
need whatever for soviets. But historical experience bears witness to the
fact that there is no basis whatever for the expectation that...the
Communist Party can succeed in occupying such an undisputed and absolutely
commanding position in the workers' ranks, prior to the proletarian
overturn” (Trotsky cited by John Rees in 'The broad party, the
revolutionary party and the united front', *International Socialist Journal*,
Winter 2002).

It is, John Rees claims in the article this quotation comes from, the
“uneven consciousness” among workers that necessitates the need for
leaders, and for an organisation that can bring it together with
non-socialist workers in the name of immediate given ends, be those
organisations trade unions, or – as above – workers' councils. Thus, the
Soviets beloved of Leninists, and trade unions too, become locations for
'united front' work. This admirably demonstrates that Julius Martov's
accusation in his *State and Socialist Revolution*that Bolsheviks supported
soviets in order to help seize power as a minority was acknowledged by the
very leaders of the Russian coup d'état.


*Reformists*For almost all of their existence, both Trotskyist and
Stalinist organizations – thoroughly convinced that the workers could not
come to understand and want socialism – have orientated themselves towards
working with official reformist organisations. Instead of standing clearly
and forthrightly for socialism, they ape the manoeuvres and sounds of
official Labourism, seeking to influence non-socialist workers through
tactical manipulation, rather than convince them to change their minds.

While Rees argues that “united front” work provides an opportunity for
“revolutionaries” to discuss and convert reformists, he also states that
“the immediate aim of the united front is to provide the most effective
fighting organisation for both reformists and revolutionaries”. That is,
whatever front is going to be built must always give precedence to the
struggle at hand, and its immediate success. This position stands in some
contrast to the official Trotskyist doctrine of “transitional demands” –
i.e. advocating reforms known not to work, in order to draw workers into
“Communist” ranks through their inevitable disappointment.

Thus, we have the present example of the Stop the War coalition whereby
Trotskyists are working with pacifists, CND and Submissionists (“submission”:
the English translation of “islam”) to try and achieve their immediate
aims. John Rees himself appears in the media as a “co-ordinator” for the
coalition, his membership of the SWP never mentioned (at all other times he
is generally introduced as the “editor of the *International Socialist
Journal*”). Quite how he is supposed to bring people round to revolutionary
politics by hiding his affiliation remains a mystery.

The reality is that these fronts can only attain any sort of success by
hiding the disagreements between their constituent organisations,
specifically about means and motives. That is, they succeed by making
demands that are supported by significant numbers of workers, meaning that
any “revolutionary” content will be buried into the need for immediate
victory. As such, it is small-c conservative, taking political
consciousness as it is found, and seeking to manipulate it, rather than
change it.

Such a tactic, however, affords the Leninists an opportunity to extend
their influence. As a tiny minority, they get to work with organisations
which can more easily attract members, and can thus be part of campaigns
and struggles that reach out well beyond the tiny numbers of political
activists in any given situation.

For example, in the 50s and 60s, many trade union bureaucrats were members
of the Stalinist Communist Party (just as today, a good number are former
Trotskyists). Likewise, the SWP provide much of the material and personnel
for organising the Stop the War Coalition. The salient fact remains,
though, that despite providing all this assistance, the “revolutionaries”
are incapable of taking these campaigns and trade unions further than the
bulk of the membership are willing to tolerate.

Socialists have long argued that tiny minorities cannot, without force on
their side, simply take control of movements and use them to their own
ends. Without agreement between the parties to a project about what it is
and where it is going, leaders and led will invariably walk off in
different directions. That means, if the Leninists are right, and the
majority of workers cannot achieve socialist consciousness, then they must
be committed to using force against the recalcitrant majority in order to
achieve their aims.

Nonetheless, the Leninists continue to attach themselves to larger
movements in the hope of providing alternative leaderships and of being at
the heart of the struggle. Hence, this is why Rees continues to argue that
the official Labour Party remains “organically” linked to the working class
through its individual members and the link to the unions. Only at the
Labour Party conference could a revolt over PFI occur, he claims, because
of the link between the unions and Labour.

We argue, however, that since we are capable, as workers, of understanding
and wanting socialism, and of going beyond mere 'trade union consciousness'
as Lenin called it, we cannot see any reason why our fellow workers cannot
do likewise. Further, since the majority are capable of actively building
socialism, there is no need for a leadership to impose it upon them – and
that the job of socialists in the here and now is to openly and honestly
state the case, rather than trying to wheedle and manoeuvre within bigger
parties to win a supposed “influence” that is more illusory than real.
Ken, i think you recognise as Marx did, that we should make judgements not
on what people or parties say but what they do. This should be how we
understand Lenin and the Bolsheviks in what was undeniably a social
revolution, although not a socialist revolution.
Unlike some of my comrades, i am willing to give Lenin and the Bolsheviks
the benefit of the doubt and say that they sincerely believed their
policies were positive and a path towards socialism. That, however, does
not make what they did any more correct.
The mistakes and errors were the consequences of the situation and
circumstances they faced and were predictable and avoidable. Lenin and the
Bolsheviks made choices and let's not forget that there were alternative
policies being advocated even amongst the Party leadership.
As Victor Serge said the seeds of Stalinism was within the Revolution but
so were many other seeds present that could have sprouted a different
outcome. (i paraphrase.)
As i am prone to do since i think it is good to cite ideas from other
political parties, i refer you to this article which i often quote
http://www.whatnextjournal.co.uk/Pages/Pubs.html
*"...one can no longer uphold the Trotskyist thesis that from 1917 to
1923-24 the Soviet Union was a "healthy" workers’ state, and that the
degeneration into bureaucratic dictatorship took off only afterwards...All
one can say is that the "workers’ state" that was born in October 1917 was
premature and infected from infancy. Unfortunately, as it degenerated, it
infected the working-class movement internationally, and proved an obstacle
on the road to socialism. My old comrade, the late Alex Acheson, who joined
the movement in the 1930s and remained a committed Trotskyist till his
death last year, once said to me: "It might have been better if the October
Revolution had never occurred.*
*What factors or actions by the participants might have resulted in the
non-occurrence of October and a different outcome? Assuming that nothing is
inevitable until it has happened, and that "men make their own history",
there are three possibilities.Firstly, that Lenin’s April Theses that set
the Bolshevik party on the road to the October insurrection had been
rejected by the party. Let us recall that up till Lenin’s arrival in
Petrograd, the Bolshevik leadership was pursuing a policy of critical
support for the Provisional government. They felt this was consistent with
the view that since the Russian bourgeoisie was incapable of bringing about
a bourgeois revolution, this task would have to be carried out by the
proletariat supported by the peasantry, but that the revolution could not
go immediately beyond the stage of establishing a bourgeois republic. In
February, the Petrograd proletariat had carried out this "bourgeois
revolution" with the support of the peasant soldiers. Now that the
bourgeois republic was in place, the next stage was not the immediate
struggle for working-class power, but a relatively prolonged period of
bourgeois democracy. Lenin now abandoned this view which he had himself
defended under the slogan of "the democratic dictatorship of the
proletariat and the peasantry", and argued for no support for the
Provisional Government, and for agitation for power to the Soviets. He
swung the Bolshevik party to this policy. But it was not inevitable that he
should have done. The Bolshevik party might have continued its policy of
critical support for and pressure on the February regime.Secondly, even
after his steering the party on its new course, Lenin had to fight again in
October to commit the party to insurrection against the opposition of
Zinoviev, Kamenev, etc. It is not inconceivable that Zinoviev and Kamenev
might have carried the day. Then there would have been no October.Thirdly,
even after October there was, as I have pointed out, a very real
possibility of a coalition Bolshevik-Menshevik-SR government, based either
on the Soviets or a combination of the Constituent Assembly and the Soviets
as organs of local power and administration. This possibility foundered
against the mutual intransigence of the Bolshevik hardliners on one side
and the Menshevik and SR right-wing on the other. But in both camps there
were conciliatory wings, the Menshevik Internationalists and some Left SRs
and the Bolshevik "moderates" – Kamenev, Rykov, Nogin, etc........A
coalition government of Bolsheviks, Mensheviks and SRs, having a
much broader based support than a purely Bolshevik one, would have been
able to confront the White Armies more successfully, and thus shortened the
Civil War, and reduced the destruction of the economy........It can also be
argued that the attitudes and actions of the Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, SRs,
their leaderships and individuals, were themselves determined by the whole
of their past histories and ideological roots, and they could not have
acted otherwise than they did. That what happened was inevitable. But this
is to look at events from a distance and with the hindsight of 1997. What
happened happened. But in 1917-18, these parties, leaderships and
individuals did have a choice of actions....."*
I think other informed historians could probably add to these alternative
scenarios. What else should be emphasised is the rapid time-table of the
Bolshevik imposition of Party-rule.
The tradition of the Bolsheviks was not based on the 2nd International
[which indeed possessed many failings] but rather on the Narodnik principle
of a professional revolutionary organisation. The Bolsheviks created their
particular, typically Russian-type of political organism. Martov and the
Left Mensheviks, Rosa's critique of Lenin and his Blanquism and Kautsky's
defence of the democractic social revolution were more rooted in the 2nd
International, were they not?
The insurrection that gave power to the Bolsheviks was strictly speaking
the work of the Military-Revolutionary Committee of the Petrograd Soviet.
The Bolsheviks used this more subtle approach of disguising its seizure of
power as an assumption of power by the Congress of Soviets and it was
through the organ of the Military Revolutionary Council, NOT the Soviets.
.The storming of the Winter Palace , was not done by a mass of politically
aware workers, but by a few hundred pro-Bolshevik soldiers . Trotsky
admitted that the insurrection was planned by the Military Revolutionary
Committee of the Petrograd Soviet, of which he was the chair and which had
a Bolshevik majority. Trotsky describes how this Committee took its orders
directly from the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party. So, although
the soviets had played a part in overthrowing Tsarism and opposing the
Kerensky government, the events of 7 November were a Bolshevik take-over.
Were the mass of the Petrograd workers consciously involved in deciding on
the revolution? No. On the morning of 7 November the workers of Petrograd
woke up to find that in the night the Bolshevik Party had assumed power,
the Bolsheviks had carried out a revolution while they were asleep as
described by one Bolshevik. The MRC was set up by the Soviet on the basis
of defending Petrograd because it was rumoured of another potential
Kornilov plot or an imminent invading German army . It was not set up on
the basis that it would overthrow the provisional government. But then,
under the pretext of organising the military defence of Petrograd from this
phantom invading German army, Trotsky at the head of the Petrograd Soviet's
Military Revolutionary Committee, took over the garrison unit by unit,
through a system of commissars, first securing vital points like the train
stations and telegraph office, then finally taking the Winter Palace.
*"even when the compromisers were in power, in the Petrograd Soviet, that
the Soviet examined or amended decisions of the government. This was, as it
were, part of the constitution under the regime named after Kerensky. When
we Bolshevists got the upper hand in the Petrograd Soviet we only went on
with the system of double power and widened its application. We took it on
ourselves to revise the order sending the troops to the front, and so we
disguised the actual fact of the insurrection of the Petrograd garrison
under the tradition and precedents and technique of the constitutional
duplication of authority”* - Trotsky - *Lessons of October*
*The explicit purpose was to present the 3rd Congress of Soviets opening
the next morning with a fait accompli. Lenin was sure that only this way
would the support of the Congress for immediate soviet power be assured.*
*Once it had happened, workers and soldiers were enthusiastic and that I
am in no doubt about. And they were part of making it happen, insofar as
they obeyed the orders of the MRC. But it would be misleading to say that
it was carried out by the proletariat organised in soviets as such. Were
non-Bolshevik proletarians in District soviets aware this was coming? No.
Were the Left-SR participants in the MRC ? No. Were even the moderate wing
of leading Bolsheviks supportive? No. This is not to say that Petrograd
workers and soldiers didn't support the idea of a soviet government. They
did. But that doesn't mean that they were consciously involved in the
decision to go through with the October events in order to arrive at such a
government.* *The total lack of opposition to the Bolsheviks and the
absence of support for the Provisional Government reflected the sympathies
of the workers. The Provisional Government was utterly discredited, and
Bolshevism's reactionary aspect had not been revealed. Support for the
action came rushing in after the event from the Soviet of Petrograd Trade
Unions and the All-Russian Soviet of Factory Committees amongst others. The
factory committees rallied to the Bolsheviks because the latter appeared to
support the workers' aspirations. but did this mean they were in favour of
the installation of a Bolshevik government. What the workers were in favour
of was a coalition government formed by all the "workers" parties, ie the
Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, SRs and others. This was in fact favoured by many
within the Bolshevik Party itself, but they were over-ruled by Lenin's
determination to seize power for the Bolshevik party alone. In other words,
it wasn't the overthrow as such of the Kerensky government but its
replacement by a Bolshevik government under Lenin. There was no mandate
from the soviets for this, which was why Lenin went to great pains to
disguise his party's coup as the formation of a soviet government, which it
wasn't. Once they got governmental power the Bolsheviks sidelined the
soviets almost straightaway. The soviets were always considered as a cover
to secure Bolshevik power. *
*It can be plausibly assumed that if the Soviet Congress had had a free
vote, the Bolsheviks would have had to share power with their arch-rivals
the Mensheviks and the SRs. Martov put forward a resolution demanding that
the Bolsheviks form a coalition government with other left-wing parties .
The resolution was about to receive almost complete endorsement from the
soviet representatives thus showing that the representatives in the soviet
did NOT believe in all power to the Bolsheviks but then the majority of SR
and Menshevik delegates unadvisedly left the congress in protest over the
Bolshevik coup giving the Bolsheviks a majority of those who remained . We
can also speculate it was possible that Lenin himself could have been kept
out of office due to the mistrust that many of the Mensheviks and other
anti-Tsarist revolutionaries justly held him in.*
On October 25th, the presidium was elected on the basis of 14 Bolsheviks,
7 Social-Revolutionaries, three Mensheviks and one Internationalist. The
Bolsheviks then trooped out their worker-candidates Lenin, Trotsky,
Kamenev, Zinoviev and so on. When it came to forming a government, Kamenev
read out a Bolshevik Central Committee proposal for a Soviet of People's
Commissars, whereby *"control over the activities of the government is
vested in the Congress of Soviets and its Central Executive Committee"*.
Seven Bolsheviks from the party's central committee were nominated, and
thus Lenin and Trotsky came to sit at the top. The "workers' government"
was now composed of professional revolutionaries and members of the
intelligensia ranging from the aristocrat (Chicherin), to the bureaucratics
like (Lenin and Trotsky), via the landed bourgeois (Smilga and Kollontai),
to the commercial bourgeois (Yoffe) and the higher industrial bourgeois
(Pyatakov). These were the sort of people who were used to being a ruling
class.
The Bolsheviks effectively re-defined *"proletarian power"* to mean the
power of the party whose ideology was believed a priori to represent
workers interests. *"Who is to seize the power? That is now of no
importance. Let the Military Revolutionary Committee take it, or 'some
other institution', which will declare that it will surrender the power
only to the genuine representatives of the interests of the people.''*
Not *"the people", *not the *"representatives of the people", *but *"the
genuine representatives of the interests of the people"* and that would
be , of course , the Bolshevik Party led by Lenin.
"... just four days after seizing power, the Bolshevik Council of People's
Commissars (CPC or Sovnarkom) "unilaterally arrogated to itself legislative
power simply by promulgating a decree to this effect. This was,
effectively, a Bolshevik coup d'etat that made clear the government's (and
party's) pre-eminence over the soviets and their executive organ.
Increasingly, the Bolsheviks relied upon the appointment from above of
commissars with plenipotentiary powers, and they split up and reconstituted
fractious Soviets and intimidated political opponents." [Neil Harding,
Leninism, p. 253] ...the Bolsheviks immediately created a power above
the soviets in the form of the CPC. Lenin's argument in The State and
Revolution that, like the Paris Commune, the workers' state would be based
on a fusion of executive and administrative functions in the hands of the
workers' delegates did not last one night. In reality, the Bolshevik party
was the real power in "soviet" Russia. ...." From Anarchism FAQ
<http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/1931/append41.html...#app5>
The Bolsheviks had no problem at all with their "worker's state"
suppressing workers' expressions of power. When it was beneficial to the
Bolsheviks, they said *"All power to the Factory Committees" *but 9 days
after taking power, they subordinated the factory committees to the trades
unions and congresses which were more under the control of the Bolsheviks,
and to the state itself under the direct control of the Bolsheviks. When
the Mensheviks and SRs won majorities in soviets the offending soviets were
disbanded, that their papers were closed down, their members harrassed,
exiled and shot .The Constituent Assembly to which all parties of the
Russian revolutionary left worked toward even the Bolsheviks, and elected
on the basis of the first free vote in that country , was abolished after
only one day in session because the Bolsheviks were in the minority. Lenin
helped not only impose such conditions but deliberately smeared left
critics as counter-revolutionaries to tie them in with those who were in
arms against the Bolshevik government. The Cheka, which was set up within a
few weeks of October and the Commissar of Justice was Steinberg, a member
of the Left SRs. but he could never get control of the Cheka because the
Cheka only answered to the Bolshevik party central committee, in violation
of the soviet principle.
*Trotsky said in History of the Russian Revolution that** "The party set
the soviets in motion, the soviets set in motion the workers, soldiers, and
to some extent the peasantry ."* In other words , the soviets existed to
allow the party to influence the workers. But what if the workers reject
the decisions of the party? What happens when the workers refuse to be set
in motion by the party but instead set themselves in motion and reject the
Bolsheviks? What then for the soviets? The soviets were marginalised and
undermined by the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution and neutered of
any power simply because they often did reflect the wishes of the working
class and not those of the Bolshevik Party. The soviets would have to be
tamed by whatever means possible in favour of party power. From 1917 all
vestiges of democratic self-reliance by the working class was removed piece
by piece. "Soviet power" became a sham, and Bolshevik party functionaries
took total control. A Left S R said *"The Bible tells us that God created
the heavens and the earth from nothing. The Bolsheviks are capable of no
lesser miracles, out of nothing, they create legitimate credentials."*
To conclude this lengthy response (and my apologies for that) Russia could
not escape its destiny. The whole Russian anti-Tsarist revolutionary
tradition, not just the Bolsheviks, was elitist, and in a direct line of
succession from the Jacobin elitism of the French bourgeois revolutionaries
via the detour of Kautskyism "trade union consciousness" and Narodnik
conspiratorialism. In view of the weakness of the Russian bourgeoisie, the
bourgeois task of clearing away the obstacle that Tsarism was to the
further development of capitalism in Russia fell to another social group,
the Intelligentsia. Because most of the revolutionary intelligentsia
despised bourgeois culture their anti-Tsarism revolution, when it came,
took on a "socialist" cloak. The capitalist revolution without the
capitalist.
alan johnstone
------------------------------
Matt Culbert lists@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-17 02:31:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Ellis ***@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]
Post by Caonabo Enriquillo ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
He just wanted to justify the imposition of the so called workers state
Is the imposition of a feudal monarchy preferable? Or the imposition
of a bourgeois state? Do you see no improvement by replacing them with
a worker’s state?
The point is it was not and never was, a workers state, nor could it
have been.

Look what happened to Riazanov the founder of the Marx-Engels Institute.

"Radical French writer Boris Souvarine
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Souvarine> later lauded Riazanov's
activity in this period as that of "a conscious marxist, a democratic
communist, in other words, opposed to any dictatorship over the
proletariat."^Riazanov's defense of trade union autonomy against the
will of the party came at price, however, as Riazanov was effectively
excluded from any active political responsibility after May 1921.^

Thereafter he assumed the role of Marxist academic."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Riazanov

Regards,

Matt
mcolome mcolome1@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-17 02:50:47 UTC
Permalink
You are jumping from one topic into another topic. How  is it possible to jump from a semi-feudal society into a socialist society ? Now, it sounds like the permanent revolution of Leon Trotsky proven that it is absurd. In any way, it was never a worker’s state, it was a capitalist state. Socialism has to be a stateless society. We have an arsenal to arsenal all your questions, but you do not read them. This is what we have said about the so-called workers state:







https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2000s/2009/no-1263-november-2009/workers-state-pull-other-one



Workers State? Pull the other one


How could anyone have seriously argued that the workers ruled in Russia?

Incredible as it might seem millions believed that Russia under Stalin and his successors was some sort of “Workers State”. Most – those in and around the official “Communist” parties – thought it was a workers’ paradise, socialism even. A minority – the Trotskyists – wanted to have their cake and eat it: to claim credit for what they saw as Russia’s achievements but to repudiate the things they didn’t like. They called it a “degenerate Workers State”. One of these was the Belgian journalist and academic, Ernest Mandel (1923-1995), a biography of whom by Jan Willem Stutje Ernest Mandel, A Rebel’s Dream Deferred has just been published in English translation by Verso.

“Workers State” is a bit of a contradiction in terms, but if it is to mean anything it would have to mean that the workers controlled the state; which could only be done through some democratic mechanism. But the workers never controlled the state in Russia. Within a few years of the Bolsheviks seizing power in November 1917 they had suppressed all other parties and established a one-party dictatorship. While he was a member of the government Trotsky justified the description “Workers State” by arguing that the Bolshevik Party, which controlled the state, was the party of the workers who therefore controlled the state through it. When, however, he and his followers were banned too he could no longer use that argument. So, in the Revolution Betrayed (1936) he came up with another: that Russia was still a “Workers State” because most industry was nationalized, there was central planning and a state monopoly of foreign trade. This, despite his admission that state power was actually controlled by a privileged “bureaucracy” and his producing statistics to show that the workers were badly off and oppressed

This argument was so absurd that it soon aroused criticism within the ranks of his own followers. Some refused to be described a state in which the workers were oppressed and powerless as a “Workers State”. They disagreed about what to call it – some saw it as a new exploitative class society, others as “state capitalism” – but agreed that it wasn’t any kind of “Workers State”, not even a degenerate one. Trotsky stuck to his “degenerate Workers State” theory till one of its agents assassinated him in 1940.

Mandel had become a Trotskyist while still a teenager and during the war took part in underground Trotskyist activity in Belgium where his family lived. He was caught in 1944 and spent the remainder of the war in labor camps in Germany. After the war, he emerged as one of the leaders of the Trotskyist “Fourth International”. One of the photos in this book is of a meeting of six leaders of this organization in Paris in 1948. Of the six two had or came to regard Russia as state-capitalist. But not Mandel. He stuck to Trotsky’s dogma, and even extended it, describing the puppet regimes Russia set up in eastern Europe as “deformed Workers States”.

Dogma

In 1969, in a polemic against Michael Kidron, of the International Socialism group of Trotskyists (later the SWP) who argued that Russia was state capitalist, Mandel wrote:

“Ever since social-democratic opponents of the Russian October revolution hatched the theory of ‘capitalism’ continuing to exist in the Soviet Union, supporters of that theory have been faced with a difficult choice. Either they consider that Russian ‘capitalism’ has all the basic features of classic capitalism as analyzed by Marx, to start with generalized commodity production, and that it also shows all the basic contradictions of capitalism, including capitalist crisis of overproduction— and then they have a hard time discovering evidence for this. Or they admit the obvious fact that most of these features are absent from the Soviet economy, and they then have to contend that these features are not ‘basic’ to capitalism anyhow, which in the last analysis only means exploitation of wage-labour by ‘accumulators’.” (The Inconsistencies of State Capitalism, p. 11).

As a matter of fact the social and economic system in Russia did exhibit the basic features of capitalism: minority control of the means of production (via nationalisation); generalised commodity production (i.e. generalised production for sale and the use of money); the accumulated of capital valued in money out of profits; and, in particular, yes, the exploitation of wage-labour by those who monopolised the means of production. Of course there were differences from what Mandel called here “classic” capitalism, due to the specific circumstances under which the system had come into being and developed which had resulted in a hugely increased economic role for the state.. Hence state capitalism. In any event, even if Mandel’s narrow definition of capitalism as private enterprise is accepted, that would not make Russia into any kind of “Workers State”, only some new form of exploitative class society.

Disappointment

After discussing the “increasing rights for factory managers” then being granted as part of economic reforms introduced by the Russian government, Mandel declared:

“We are therefore convinced that capitalism could be restored in the Soviet Union or in any Eastern European country only after breaking the fierce resistance of the working class. ( 
) Given the present constellation of social forces, both nationally and internationally, we think it very unlikely that this resistance could actually be broken under these conditions, and that capitalism could be restored either in the Soviet Union, or in Yugoslavia, or in any other bureaucratically degenerated or deformed workers' state.” (p. 16)

When this happened (and we, neither, saw this happening within twenty years) the working class put up no resistance to the transition from state capitalism to a more “classic” type of capitalism. Clearly, they did not share the same illusion as Mandel about Russia and its satellites being some sort of workers’ regime and so worth defending. Because Mandel and his Fourth International did believe the workers would resist, they placed great hope in the outcome of events in eastern Europe in the 1980s, trying to establish Trotskyist cells there. According to Stutje, they had some rather limited success in Poland and Czechoslovakia. But the outcome – a full return to “classic” capitalism rather than a regenerated “Workers State” – must have been a great disappointment. In fact, reading between the lines of this biography, Mandel never seems to have recovered from it.

Earlier Mandel had offered his expert advice as an economists to one of the “deformed Workers States” – Cuba when Che Guevara was Minister of Industry between 1961 and 1964. He visited Cuba a number of times and supported Guevara’s view that enterprises should be financed by direct grants from the central government and not be instructed to balance the books from their own activities. In other words, he was in favour of a much more centralised form of state capitalism than existed (or was eventually adopted).

Having said this, when it came to writing about “classic” capitalism Mandel was not too bad. In his Marxist Economic Theory (1962 in French, 1968 in English translation) he set out to show, on the basis of contemporary facts (and not just on the facts from the 1850s and 1860s that Marx had used), how Marx’s analysis of capitalism was still valid. The English hardback edition was divided into two volumes, the first of which, dealing with Marx’s theories, can still be recommended (the second part, dealing with the theories of Lenin and Trotsky and the nature of Russian society relapsed into Trotskyist scholasticism). His introductions to the Penguin edition of the three volumes of Capital are also good, as is his short pamphlet An Introduction to Marxist Economic Theory, even though it introduces the dubious concept of “neo-capitalism”, which he later called “late capitalism”.

Duplicity

Politically, Mandel was a dyed-in-the-wool Trotskyist, explaining every working class failure by a lack of the right leadership, i.e. of a Trotskyist vanguard. He also practised the dishonest Trotskyist tactic of “entryism”, joining the reformist Belgian “Socialist” Party in 1951, with a view to winning a leftwing following which he hoped to lead out of the party to form an open Trotskyist vanguard party. He achieved some success, even rising to be for a short while the editor of the BSP’s daily paper, Le Peuple. He lost this post when another paper he helped edit, La Gauche, criticised the party’s leadership. La Gauche advocated “structural reforms” of capitalism, basically the nationalisation of the holding companies which dominated the Belgian economy. This was popular amongst many workers in the coal, steel and manufacturing industries of the French-speaking part of Belgium, and Mandel managed to get the support of some of the union leaders and local politicians there.

According to Stutje, it was not until 1961 that Mandel told one of the trade union leaders that he was a Trotskyist:

“Until now Mandel had always kept quiet about his membership of the Fourth International. Now it was time to break the silence. He went to Yerna’s office and confessed to his bewildered friend, ‘I need to tell you the truth. I am a member of the Fourth International.’ Yerna was disappointed that his comrade had not trusted him sooner” (pp. 80-1).

In the end, as later with Militant in Britain, the inevitable happened. In 1964 Mandel and his followers were booted out of the BSP. In a letter to Ken Coates (then a fellow Trotskyist, later a Labour MEP) that year he told him: “A left wing had been built in the Socialist Party from 1961 on, accompanied by an autonomous, clandestine Trotskyist core group” (emphasis added).

According to Stutje,

“The question of when, where and how to leave the SP was clearly on the agenda from the early 1960s. Mandel had only wanted to make sure they left with a substantial group – and by that he meant thousands” (p. 85).

In the event, the main trade union leader he had relied on went off at a tangent and embraced Walloon (i.e. French-speaker) nationalism and Mandel left with a few hundred only. But a new bandwagon soon came along – student unrest – and he was able to jump on that, influencing student leaders such as Alain Krivine in France, Tariq Ali in Britain (both of whom became Trotskyists) and, to a lesser extent, Rudi Dutschke in Germany (who didn’t but, like Daniel Cohn-Bendit, eventually joined the Greens). Tariq Ali, though no longer a Trotskyist but still an admirer of Mandel, has written the foreword to Stutje’s biography.

Mandel was perfectly aware of what socialism really was as he had written in his polemic with Kidron:

“[S]ocialism means a classless society. It therefore presupposes not only the suppression of private property of the means of production, henceforth managed in a planned way by the associate producers themselves, but it also calls for a level of development of the productive forces which makes possible the withering away of commodity production, of money, and of the state.” (p. 17)

According to him, however, the productive forces had not yet reached the necessary level of development, so socialism was not an immediate possibility.. Only a new society – based on nationalisation, planning and a state monopoly of foreign trade – was. He called it “transitional society” but it would only have been a form of state capitalism and state capitalism is not, as the experience of Russia in the last century showed, a step towards socialism. It turned out to be, in the joke circulating towards the end of the regime, “the longest route between capitalism and capitalism”.











Date: Monday, October 16, 2017 at 7:31 PM
To: <***@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [WSM_Forum] Re: Was Russia ever socialist ?
Post by Caonabo Enriquillo ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
He just wanted to justify the imposition of the so called workers state
Is the imposition of a feudal monarchy preferable? Or the imposition of a bourgeois state? Do you see no improvement by replacing them with a worker’s state?



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alan johnstone alanjjohnstone@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-17 03:13:26 UTC
Permalink
Nor was he an isolated case, it seems Matthttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_Kollontai#Political_career

 "Lenin managed to dissolve the Workers' Opposition, after which Kollontai was more or less politically sidelined. Kollontai lacked political influence and was appointed by the Party to various diplomatic positions from the early 1920s, keeping her from playing a leading role in the politics of women's policy in the USSR."https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Shliapnikov#Opposition_leader
"In 1921, Shliapnikov was forced out of his elected post as chairman of the Metalworkers' Union."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Bogdanov#After_the_October_Revolution

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavril_Myasnikov
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Medvedev_(revolutionary)
 Then there washttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Wac%C5%82aw_Machajski

"Machajski thus attempted a theoretical synthesis of anarchist political critique and Marxist political economy and theory of history (historical materialism), by applying the Marxist critique of class-dominated ideology to Marxism itself. Machajski theorised a "state capitalist" moment of social development, approximating the seizure of power by intellectuals of the state apparatus, and the oppression of the working class by intellectuals acting to further capitalism in its dying days. In comparison, Machajski theorised socialism as the direct political control of economic institutions by the working class itself. "
There were many others to cite who were part of the Bolshevik tradition but held to ideas far from Lenin's,Trotsky's or Stalin's alan johnstone

From: "Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]" <***@yahoogroups.com>
To: ***@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, 17 October 2017, 9:31
Subject: Re: [WSM_Forum] Re: Was Russia ever socialist ?
Post by Caonabo Enriquillo ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
He just wanted to justify the imposition of the so called workers state
Is the imposition of a feudal monarchy preferable? Or the imposition of a bourgeois state? Do you see no improvement by replacing them with a worker’s state?

The point is it was not and never was, a workers state, nor could it have been.

Look what happened to Riazanov the founder of the Marx-Engels Institute.

"Radical French writer Boris Souvarine later lauded Riazanov's activity in this period as that of "a conscious marxist, a democratic communist, in other words, opposed to any dictatorship over the proletariat." Riazanov's defense of trade union autonomy against the will of the party came at price, however, as Riazanov was effectively excluded from any active political responsibility after May 1921.

Thereafter he assumed the role of Marxist academic."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Riazanov

Regards,

Matt
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upralmamater UPRalmamater@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-17 03:23:24 UTC
Permalink
Jilus Martov was the one who had the best political and economical stands.
It was totally discredited by Lenin, and the Leninists, and most of them
have not read his works

Martov: a Russian Social-Democrat

In the Socialist Party of Gt. Britain Martov is mainly remembered for his
pamphlet *The State and the Socialist Revolution, *in which he does a
brilliant demolition job on Lenin’s *State and Revolution. *Israel
Getzler’s study (*Martov: a political biography of a Russian social
democrat, *Cambridge University Press, 70s) is the first biography of this
leader of the Russian Mensheviks to be published. Although it has a number
of defects – not least the author’s irritating Jewish nationalism –it is
nonetheless better than nothing.

When measuring up Martov’s contribution to the working class movement it is
convenient to compare him with Lenin, the leader of the Bolshevik fraction
of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. The Menshevik-Bolshevik
split of 1903 was largely centred on different conceptions of how a
social-democratic party should be organised. Lenin, with his Jacobin turn
of mind, wanted (as Rosa Luxemburg put it) *“the blind subordination of all
party organisations and their activity, down to the least detail, to a
central authority which alone thinks, acts and decides for all”*. Martov,
on the other hand, favoured an organisation roughly modelled on the German
SPD. This then was not a controversy between Socialists – since both sides
accepted the need for leaders and both were opportunists, prepared to ally
themselves with, and support, anti-socialists if it seemed politically
expedient.

Although Lenin and Martov opposed the first world war, their position on
militarism was not a consistent Socialist one. Thus Lenin, in a letter to
the Central Committee of the Bolsheviks, September 26-27, 1917: *“Only our
party, having won a victory in an uprising, can save Petrograd, for if our
offer of peace is rejected, and we obtain not even a truce, then we shall
become ’defensists’, then we shall place ourselves at the head of the war
parties, we shall be the most ’warring’ party, and we shall carry on a war
in a truly revolutionary manner.” *(Lenin’s emphasis). In a similar style
Martov denounced the Brest-Litovsk peace, calling for *“a nation-wide
call-up”,* and in a speech to the combined session of the Executive
Committee of Soviets, the Moscow Soviet and trade unions on May 5, 1920 he
pledged his party’s support to the war effort against Poland – although he
wanted a ’defensive war’.

Martov, however, came into his own after the Bolsheviks seized control of
the state. Since the Mensheviks were then excluded from any share in
political power he no longer had much opportunity to squander his talents
on reformist issues. Instead he was able to use his Marxist knowledge to
hammer away at the efforts of the Bolsheviks to convince the working class
that they were constructing a Socialist system in the Russian empire. When
Lenin suggested ’Socialism in one country’:

“If for the construction of socialism a certain level of culture is
required . . . why should it not be permissible for us to begin by seizing
by revolutionary means the preconditions for that certain level, and then
*afterwards, *on the basis of the workers’ and peasants’ state-power and
the Soviet order, advance further and catch up on the other (Western)
nations.”

Martov was able to answer by flinging back at Lenin his own words, written
in 1905:

“We declare he is an *agent provocateur *who strives to use state power for
the realisation of socialism in backward Russia.”

Similarly, when they enforced the death penalty, he reminded the Bolsheviks
of their former stand – how they had voted for a resolution against
execution at the Copenhagen Congress of the International in 1910 and had
protested against the reintroduction of the death penalty in Russia in
July, 1917. He singled out Lunacharsky:

“You, A. V. Lunacharsky, you who loved to come to the workers and depict
them in resounding words the greatness of the socialist teaching; you, who
casting your eyes up to heaven, extolled the brotherhood of men in
socialist construction; you who denounced the hypocrisy of a Christian
religion which sanctioned homicide, you who preached the religion of
proletarian socialism – you are three times a liar, three times a Pharisee
when, in a pause in your self-intoxication with cheap phrases, you become
an accomplice of Lenin and Trotsky, in the organisation of murder, with or
without trial!”

But, unlike the vast majority of the critics of the Soviet Union, Martov
went much further than just sniping at the unpleasant features of the
Bolshevik regime – at the smashing of democracy and the use of terror.
While he acknowledged the Russian revolution as being historically
progressive he also recognised its capitalist nature, despite the idealism
of Lenin and his associates. He realised that the Bolsheviks’ wild shrieks
for world revolution would soon give way to an even more fervent passion
for normalising their relations with the rest of the capitalist world as
they set about the task which confronts any young capitalist state – the
twin process of industrialisation and beating down the peasantry into a
mass of propertyless wage-earners. Nor did he fall into the trap of
criticising the lack of democracy in Russia simply on ethical or moral
grounds. Instead he contrasted the clumsy and arbitrary repression in the
Soviet Union with the Bolsheviks’ claim that they were advancing to
Socialism. He pointed out that this was a primitive concept which had been
popular among many of the utopian Socialists of the nineteenth century.
Babeuf, Weitling, Cabet, Blanqui – all had their elitism summed up for them
by Charles Naine:

“The minority possessing the knowledge of the truth of scientific socialism
has the right to impose it on the mass . . . Later, that is, after the
social order will have been totally transformed by the socialist dictators,
liberty and democracy will be reconstituted.”

Martov put forward the Marxist argument against this. Socialism, he argued,
could only be achieved by a politically conscious working class. It is the
experience of workers under capitalism which drives them to understand the
need for Socialism and this process is enhanced by the degree of democracy
which they have won for themselves. Dictatorial power wielded by a vanguard
minority, no matter how sincere its intentions, can never act as a
substitute. That way the workers remain a subject class and the dictators,
having acquired a taste for power, consolidate their own rule.

This then is Martov’s value to Socialist theory. Even however when bitterly
criticising the Bolsheviks, he still had no real alternative to offer – not,
at any rate, in uncompromising, revolutionary terms such as those of the
Socialist Party. But like other social democrats – Plekhanov, Kautsky,
Luxemburg – despite all his errors, he made a contribution to the general
body of Marxist theory. Lenin is a pale shadow at the side of him.


This is another analysis of Martov
https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/subject/julius-martov
https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1940s/1940/no-425-january-1940/state-and-socialist-revolution-j-martov
https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/audio/martovs-criticism-bolshevism
Post by alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
Nor was he an isolated case, it seems Matt
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_Kollontai#Political_career
"Lenin managed to dissolve the Workers' Opposition, after which Kollontai
was more or less politically sidelined. Kollontai lacked political
influence and was appointed by the Party to various diplomatic positions
from the early 1920s, keeping her from playing a leading role in the
politics of women's policy in the USSR."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Shliapnikov#Opposition_leader
"In 1921, Shliapnikov was forced out of his elected post as chairman of
the Metalworkers' Union."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Bogdanov#After_the_
October_Revolution
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavril_Myasnikov
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Medvedev_(revolutionary)
Then there was
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Wac%C5%82aw_Machajski
"Machajski thus attempted a theoretical synthesis of anarchist political
critique and Marxist political economy and theory of history (historical
materialism <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_materialism>), by
applying the Marxist critique of class-dominated ideology to Marxism
itself. Machajski theorised a "state capitalist
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_capitalist>" moment of social
development, approximating the seizure of power by intellectuals of the
state apparatus, and the oppression of the working class by intellectuals
acting to further capitalism in its dying days. In comparison, Machajski
theorised socialism as the direct political control of economic
institutions by the working class itself. "
There were many others to cite who were part of the Bolshevik tradition
but held to ideas far from Lenin's,Trotsky's or Stalin's
alan johnstone
------------------------------
*Sent:* Tuesday, 17 October 2017, 9:31
*Subject:* Re: [WSM_Forum] Re: Was Russia ever socialist ?
Post by Caonabo Enriquillo ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
He just wanted to justify the imposition of the so called workers state
Is the imposition of a feudal monarchy preferable? Or the imposition of a
bourgeois state? Do you see no improvement by replacing them with a
worker’s state?
The point is it was not and never was, a workers state, nor could it have been.
Look what happened to Riazanov the founder of the Marx-Engels Institute.
"Radical French writer Boris Souvarine
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Souvarine> later lauded Riazanov's
activity in this period as that of "a conscious marxist, a democratic
communist, in other words, opposed to any dictatorship over the
proletariat." Riazanov's defense of trade union autonomy against the will
of the party came at price, however, as Riazanov was effectively excluded
from any active political responsibility after May 1921.
Thereafter he assumed the role of Marxist academic."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Riazanov
Regards,
Matt
mcolome mcolome1@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-17 03:34:59 UTC
Permalink
Another one who pulverized Lenin was Karl Kautsky. Lenin also lied about Karl Kaustky, he said the Kautsky became a renegade in 1914, and it is not true either, and Lenin also forgot that Kautsky had made an immense contribution to socialism before 1900. This is what we wrote about the polemic between Marx and Lenin





The Russian Dictatorship

In 1918 a sharp controversy took place between Karl Kautsky, of the German Social Democratic Party, and Nikolai Lenin, of the Russian Bolsheviks, on the question of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. The debate has lately been translated into English, Kautsky’s contribution by the ILP, under the title The Dictatorship of the Proletariat, and Lenin’s by the BSP, under the title The Proletarian Revolution.

Lenin’s pamphlet is the more lively, the more abusive and, on a superficial level, the more effective statement. One capitalist critic has been so carried away by the stream of denunciations that runs from one end to the other of the pamphlet that he declared that Lenin had practically pulverised Kautsky.

But denunciation, however justified, is not argument, and when the case is more closely examined one gains the impression that a good deal of the abuse is used to hide the lack of argument, that in some cases is painfully apparent.

How valueless is Lenin’s judgement of Kautsky is shown by one outstanding fact. In Lenin’s view Kautsky was a Marxist until the war broke out in 1914, when he became a "renegade". Yet as every Socialist knows, apart from previous actions in Germany, 14 years before the war Kautsky had proclaimed his renunciation of Marxism when he drafted the well-known "Kautsky resolution" at the 1900 International Socialist Congress. That resolution stated that a Socialist could accept a gift of a seat in a capitalist cabinet in a national emergency, such as war. His support of the German capitalist class in the war was therefore only the logical outcome of his resolution in 1900.

Kautsky says the question is one of the "clashing of two fundamentally distinct methods, that of democracy and dictatorship" (p. 1). Lenin retorts by claiming that the question is one "of the relation between the proletarian State and the bourgeois State, between proletarian democracy and bourgeois democracy" (p. 10).

It is obvious that Lenin’s statement is a shuffle. For relations to exist between a proletarian State and a bourgeois State both these States must exist at the same moment. Are these two States existing in Russia to-day? If not there can be no question of such a relation there.

Again, what is "Democracy"? Kautsky says "Democracy signifies the rule of the majority, but not less the protection of minorities" (p. 30).Lenin pours scorn upon the latter part of this definition, and refers to the repression of strikers, internationalists, and others in democratic countries like America, Switzerland, and England. True as this retort is against the "protection of minorities", it does not touch the question of what is democracy, and Lenin carefully evades any definition himself. His use of the terms "proletarian" and "bourgeois" democracy merely clouds the issue.

Democracy means "Rule by majority", and the trimmings introduced by both Lenin and Kautsky are quite secondary to this main point. It is generally taken that the minority shall be allowed to express their views and may endeavour to convert the majority to their ideas, while accepting for the time being the majority decisions. This, however, depends upon circumstances and conditions, such as war, where this allowance would not be made. Kautsky himself supported the German Government in repressing minorities in Germany.

His grief at the capitalists being deprived of the vote under the Bolsheviks, receives an answer from Lenin that will hardly please the supporters of the latter here, who have proclaimed it as a necessary factor in working-class policy. He says: "One may say in this connection that the question about the suppression of the franchise of the exploiter is entirely a Russian question and not at all one of the dictatorship of the proletariat in general" (p.. 38. Italics in original).

As a matter of fact, it is a question of the conditions existing at the time. If the capitalists were endeavouring to foment civil war - as they were doing at that time - they would be outlawed and thus deprived of most civil privileges.

But what is "bourgeois" democracy? Lenin points to modern capitalist countries as examples. Yet in all these countries the proletariat not only form the majority of the population, but also have the majority of the votes.

So a "bourgeois" democracy is one where the proletariat are in a majority. Then what is a "proletarian" democracy? We are told that it is "a democracy for the poor" (p. 31. Italics Lenin’s) while in a bourgeois democracy, even the best, "We are ruled, and our State is run by bourgeois bureaucrats, by capitalist parliaments, by capitalist judges" (Ibid.).

But if democracy is the rule of the majority, and in the capitalist countries mentioned the proletariat form the majority of the population and have the majority of the votes, it is clear that the proletariat must have voted the capitalists into Parliament and power. Why did they not vote themselves into power? Lenin’s statement on this point is such a stupid lie as to cause wonder that a man of his abilities should have written so glaring a contradiction of the facts. He says: "The labouring masses are kept away from bourgeois parliament (which never decides the most important questions in a bourgeois democracy as they are decided by the Stock Exchange and the banks) by a thousand and one barriers" (p. 29).

Lenin does not give one, let alone a thousand and one of these barriers, for the simple reason that they are non-existent outside his imagination.

This is one of the points on which Kautsky scores heavily and Lenin is reduced to evasion.

On page 12 of his pamphlet Kautsky says:

"Every conscious action presupposes a will. The Will to Socialism is the first condition for its accomplishment."

"This Will is created by great industry 
 Small production always creates the Will to uphold or to obtain private property in the means of production which are in vogue, not the Will to social property, to Socialism."

This is the situation. While the workers agree with capitalism, they will vote capitalists into Parliament. When they agree with Socialism - or "Will to Socialism" - they will send Socialists there.

And - how short is Lenin’s memory! - both he and his colleagues were voted into a "bourgeois" Parliament by the "labouring masses".

Lenin on p. 30 of his book says: "the Soviet regime is a million times more democratic than the most democratic regime in a bourgeois republic".

What is the Soviet Regime?

The word "Soviet" is used by many supporters of the Bolsheviks as though it denoted some newly discovered magical power. When one is told that it merely means "Council" the magic vanishes.

At the base of this system are the Urban and Rural Councils, directly elected by the sections qualified to vote. The delegates are elected in the proportion of one delegate to every 1,000 members in the towns (up to a maximum of 1,000 councillors), and one delegate to every 100 in the country.

Above this comes the Volost Congress. A Volost is a group of villages, and the Congress is composed of delegates from the Councils of these village groups.

Next above in the order is the District Congress composed of representatives from the Village Councils.

Still higher is the County Congress consisting of representatives from the Urban Councils and the Volost Congresses.

Overriding all these bodies is the Regional Congress made up of delegates from the Urban Councils and Congresses of the County Districts.

At the apex of the system is the All Russia Congress of Councils which is the supreme authority of the Russian Republic. This is formed of delegates from the Urban Councils and the Congresses of County Councils.

We have, then, six grades of authority in the Russian system. But note how they are elected.

The "labouring masses" vote once - namely, at the local councils, urban and village. This is their one and only vote. All the other grades are elected by the delegates of the Congress immediately below it.

This the Volost Congress is elected by the Village Group Councils; the District Congress by the general Village Councils; the County Congress by the Urban Councils and Volost Congresses; the Regional Congress by the Urban Councils and Congresses of County Districts; and the All Russia Congress by Urban Councils and Congresses of County Councils.

We see, then, that "the supreme authority of the Russian Council Republic" is removed five stages beyond the vote, reach, or control of the workers.

Another interesting point is the ratio between the urban and country representatives. Thus for the All Russia Congress of Councils the Urban Councils send one representative for every 25,000, while the County Council Congresses send one delegate for every 125,000, or to put it another way, the Urban Councils have five times the representation of the County Councils. The same ratio applies to Regional and County Congresses. These figures have a peculiar significance.

The Bolsheviks, naturally, find their chief support in the urban centres. By this basis of representation they are able to ensure the practical certainty of a majority in "the supreme authority of the Russian Republic". "And that’s how it’s done", as the stage conjurer says.

This method may be suitable to Russian conditions, but to claim for such a system that it is "a million times more democratic than the most democratic regime in a bourgeois republic" - where the workers have a direct, and overwhelming, vote for the very centre of power - is the wildest nonsense.

But what of the Recall? we may be asked. Let us see what the clause says.

"The electors have at any time the right to recall the delegates whom they have sent to the Council and to proceed to new elections."

Two interpretations may be given to this clause. First - if as the words state - the recall is limited to the Councils, all the Congresses are free from this control. Secondly, if the clause is intended to apply to all the grades, then the workers can only use it for Local Councils as they are not voters in any other grade.

Marx, of course, is freely quoted by both writers. On p. 140 Kautsky, while stating that the Bolsheviks are Marxists, asks how they find a Marxist foundation for their proceedings.

"They remembered opportunely the expression ‘the dictatorship of the proletariat’, which Marx used in a letter written in 1875."

Kautsky states that this is the only place in the whole of Marx’s writings where this phrase occurs, though Engels used it in his preface to the 3rd edition of Marx’s Civil War in France.

Lenin’s reply to this is to call the passage a "celebrated" one, and to call Kautsky several names. He then makes the following statement:

"Kautsky cannot but know that both Marx and Engels, both in their letters and public writings, spoke repeatedly about the dictatorship of the proletariat, both before and after the Commune" (p. 12. Italics in original).

Here was a grand opportunity for Lenin to get in a powerful blow by giving some of these "letters and public writings", but, to the chagrin, no doubt, of his followers, he does not give a single case outside those mentioned above. There are endeavours to twist some of Marx’s statements on the Commune of Paris (1871) into a support of this claim, but they are all dismals failures. Only in the Communist Manifesto is found a phrase - "the proletariat organised as a ruling class" - that bears any resemblance.

But a more important point remains. Every student of Marx knows how he laid bare the laws of social evolution and claimed that, in broad outline, all nations must follow these laws in their development.

Kautsky uses this fact with great effect, and it forms the strongest argument in the whole of his pamphlet. On page 98 he gives the well-known phrase from the preface to the 1st Volume of Capital.

"One nation can and should learn from others. And even when a society has got upon the right track for the discovery of the natural laws of its movement - it can neither clear by bold leaps, nor remove by legal enactments the obstacles offered by the successive phases of its normal development. But it can shorten and lessen the birth pangs."

How does Lenin deal with this famous phrase of Marx’s? By entirely ignoring it. There is not a single reference to it in the whole of his reply. More than this, the quotation given above from page 140 of Kautsky’s pamphlet is printed by Lenin on page 11-12 of his reply. Immediately preceding the sentence quoted Kautsky says:

"The Bolshevists are Marxists, and have inspired the proletarian sections coming under their influence with great enthusiasm for Marxism. Their dictatorship, however, is in contradiction to the Marxist teaching that no people can overcome the obstacles offered by the successive phases of their development by a jump or by legal enactment."

This ignoring of one part of a paragraph while quoting the other part is full proof Lenin deliberately avoided this important question.

Kautsky’s analysis of the conditions prevailing in Russia, with the danger to the Russian Republic from American and even more from German capital, is well done, but is entirely ignored by Lenin.

This controversy, along with the events that have taken place since it occurred, adds considerable evidence to the correctness of the deduction we drew from the situation in 1918.

In the midst of the special conditions and chaos caused by the war, when the old exploiting regime had broken down and the new exploiting class were too weak to take hold of power, a small but resolute minority seized the political machinery and took control of affairs. The mass of the workers in Russia are not Socialists, neither do they understand the principles of Socialism nor desire to see Socialism established.

The new ruling minority promised peace and - to their highest credit- established it. That this peace has been broken and they have been compelled to take up war again is due entirely to the Imperialist aims of the capitalist class of Europe. Despite this great burden and the appalling chaos in which they found Russia, they have, according to the accounts of various witnesses who have visited Russia since the Bolsheviks came to power, done wonders in the way of reconstruction and reorganisation. Their success in these matters has caused large numbers of Russians who are opponents of Socialism to give their support to the Bolsheviks as the only party in the country who can get things done.

But rule by a minority - even a Marxist minority- is not Socialism. Not until the instruments and methods of production have reached the stage of large machinery and mass organisation is it possible for social production to develop. When the workers, organised and trained in this social production, reach an understanding of their slave position, and decide to supplement social production by social ownership, through the seizure of political power, then, and not till then, will Socialism be established.

The Bolsheviks based their hopes on a rising of the proletariat of Western Europe to make their position secure. But the Western proletariat did not rise, nor do they show any signs of doing so up to the present. This failure of their basic hope leaves the Bolsheviks in conditions that make inevitable the entry into, and development of capitalism in, Russia.

The Bolsheviks may try to save as much of their system as possible, but the events will prove the correctness of Marx’s view on the failure of attempts to jump the stages in social evolution. Their failure, however, will not be all disaster.

They will have shown the workers of the world that the capitalist class is a useless and parasitic class in modern society. They will have shown that men holding Socialist views and of the working class could take charge of huge affairs and manage them with great success, in the midst of the wildest chaos, and while hampered by enemies within and without. Already the lesson is beginning to be learnt, and though only affecting a few relatively at present, it is spreading with steady persistence.

When the workers awaken to an understanding of the position in which they exist, and begin to fight the class war consciously in numbers that seriously count, the rule of the Russian Bolsheviks will be a splendid lesson, not on the value of "Soviet" or "Dictatorship", but on the ability of the working class to manage its own affairs. It will have done its share in "shortening and lessening the birth pangs" of Socialism.

(July 1920)









https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1920s/1920/no-191-july-1920/russian-dictatorship





From: <***@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of "alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]" <***@yahoogroups.com>
Reply-To: <***@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Monday, October 16, 2017 at 8:13 PM
To: "***@yahoogroups.com" <***@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [WSM_Forum] Re: Was Russia ever socialist ?





Nor was he an isolated case, it seems Matt

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_Kollontai#Political_career



"Lenin managed to dissolve the Workers' Opposition, after which Kollontai was more or less politically sidelined. Kollontai lacked political influence and was appointed by the Party to various diplomatic positions from the early 1920s, keeping her from playing a leading role in the politics of women's policy in the USSR."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Shliapnikov#Opposition_leader



"In 1921, Shliapnikov was forced out of his elected post as chairman of the Metalworkers' Union."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Bogdanov#After_the_October_Revolution



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavril_Myasnikov

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Medvedev_(revolutionary)

Then there was

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Wac%C5%82aw_Machajski



"Machajski thus attempted a theoretical synthesis of anarchist political critique and Marxist political economy and theory of history (historical materialism), by applying the Marxist critique of class-dominated ideology to Marxism itself. Machajski theorised a "state capitalist" moment of social development, approximating the seizure of power by intellectuals of the state apparatus, and the oppression of the working class by intellectuals acting to further capitalism in its dying days. In comparison, Machajski theorised socialism as the direct political control of economic institutions by the working class itself. "



There were many others to cite who were part of the Bolshevik tradition but held to ideas far from Lenin's,Trotsky's or Stalin's



alan johnstone



From: "Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]" <***@yahoogroups.com>
To: ***@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, 17 October 2017, 9:31
Subject: Re: [WSM_Forum] Re: Was Russia ever socialist ?
Post by Caonabo Enriquillo ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
He just wanted to justify the imposition of the so called workers state
Is the imposition of a feudal monarchy preferable? Or the imposition of a bourgeois state? Do you see no improvement by replacing them with a worker’s state?

The point is it was not and never was, a workers state, nor could it have been.

Look what happened to Riazanov the founder of the Marx-Engels Institute.

"Radical French writer Boris Souvarine later lauded Riazanov's activity in this period as that of "a conscious marxist, a democratic communist, in other words, opposed to any dictatorship over the proletariat." Riazanov's defense of trade union autonomy against the will of the party came at price, however, as Riazanov was effectively excluded from any active political responsibility after May 1921.

Thereafter he assumed the role of Marxist academic."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Riazanov

Regards,

Matt
upralmamater UPRalmamater@gmail.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-17 03:45:29 UTC
Permalink
Will all the information that we have posted, if someone still believe that  Russia was a socialist country, that person might have serious reading comprehension problems



From: <***@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of "mcolome ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]" <***@yahoogroups.com>
Reply-To: <***@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Monday, October 16, 2017 at 8:35 PM
To: <***@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [WSM_Forum] Re: Was Russia ever socialist ?









Another one who pulverized Lenin was Karl Kautsky. Lenin also lied about Karl Kaustky, he said the Kautsky became a renegade in 1914, and it is not true either, and Lenin also forgot that Kautsky had made an immense contribution to socialism before 1900. This is what we wrote about the polemic between Marx and Lenin





The Russian Dictatorship

·

In 1918 a sharp controversy took place between Karl Kautsky, of the German Social Democratic Party, and Nikolai Lenin, of the Russian Bolsheviks, on the question of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. The debate has lately been translated into English, Kautsky’s contribution by the ILP, under the title The Dictatorship of the Proletariat, and Lenin’s by the BSP, under the title The Proletarian Revolution.

Lenin’s pamphlet is the more lively, the more abusive and, on a superficial level, the more effective statement. One capitalist critic has been so carried away by the stream of denunciations that runs from one end to the other of the pamphlet that he declared that Lenin had practically pulverised Kautsky.

But denunciation, however justified, is not argument, and when the case is more closely examined one gains the impression that a good deal of the abuse is used to hide the lack of argument, that in some cases is painfully apparent.

How valueless is Lenin’s judgement of Kautsky is shown by one outstanding fact. In Lenin’s view Kautsky was a Marxist until the war broke out in 1914, when he became a "renegade". Yet as every Socialist knows, apart from previous actions in Germany, 14 years before the war Kautsky had proclaimed his renunciation of Marxism when he drafted the well-known "Kautsky resolution" at the 1900 International Socialist Congress. That resolution stated that a Socialist could accept a gift of a seat in a capitalist cabinet in a national emergency, such as war. His support of the German capitalist class in the war was therefore only the logical outcome of his resolution in 1900.

Kautsky says the question is one of the "clashing of two fundamentally distinct methods, that of democracy and dictatorship" (p. 1). Lenin retorts by claiming that the question is one "of the relation between the proletarian State and the bourgeois State, between proletarian democracy and bourgeois democracy" (p. 10).

It is obvious that Lenin’s statement is a shuffle. For relations to exist between a proletarian State and a bourgeois State both these States must exist at the same moment. Are these two States existing in Russia to-day? If not there can be no question of such a relation there.

Again, what is "Democracy"? Kautsky says "Democracy signifies the rule of the majority, but not less the protection of minorities" (p. 30).Lenin pours scorn upon the latter part of this definition, and refers to the repression of strikers, internationalists, and others in democratic countries like America, Switzerland, and England. True as this retort is against the "protection of minorities", it does not touch the question of what is democracy, and Lenin carefully evades any definition himself. His use of the terms "proletarian" and "bourgeois" democracy merely clouds the issue.

Democracy means "Rule by majority", and the trimmings introduced by both Lenin and Kautsky are quite secondary to this main point. It is generally taken that the minority shall be allowed to express their views and may endeavour to convert the majority to their ideas, while accepting for the time being the majority decisions. This, however, depends upon circumstances and conditions, such as war, where this allowance would not be made. Kautsky himself supported the German Government in repressing minorities in Germany.

His grief at the capitalists being deprived of the vote under the Bolsheviks, receives an answer from Lenin that will hardly please the supporters of the latter here, who have proclaimed it as a necessary factor in working-class policy. He says: "One may say in this connection that the question about the suppression of the franchise of the exploiter is entirely a Russian question and not at all one of the dictatorship of the proletariat in general" (p. 38. Italics in original).

As a matter of fact, it is a question of the conditions existing at the time. If the capitalists were endeavouring to foment civil war - as they were doing at that time - they would be outlawed and thus deprived of most civil privileges.

But what is "bourgeois" democracy? Lenin points to modern capitalist countries as examples. Yet in all these countries the proletariat not only form the majority of the population, but also have the majority of the votes.

So a "bourgeois" democracy is one where the proletariat are in a majority. Then what is a "proletarian" democracy? We are told that it is "a democracy for the poor" (p. 31. Italics Lenin’s) while in a bourgeois democracy, even the best, "We are ruled, and our State is run by bourgeois bureaucrats, by capitalist parliaments, by capitalist judges" (Ibid.).

But if democracy is the rule of the majority, and in the capitalist countries mentioned the proletariat form the majority of the population and have the majority of the votes, it is clear that the proletariat must have voted the capitalists into Parliament and power. Why did they not vote themselves into power? Lenin’s statement on this point is such a stupid lie as to cause wonder that a man of his abilities should have written so glaring a contradiction of the facts. He says: "The labouring masses are kept away from bourgeois parliament (which never decides the most important questions in a bourgeois democracy as they are decided by the Stock Exchange and the banks) by a thousand and one barriers" (p. 29).

Lenin does not give one, let alone a thousand and one of these barriers, for the simple reason that they are non-existent outside his imagination.

This is one of the points on which Kautsky scores heavily and Lenin is reduced to evasion.

On page 12 of his pamphlet Kautsky says:

"Every conscious action presupposes a will. The Will to Socialism is the first condition for its accomplishment."

"This Will is created by great industry 
 Small production always creates the Will to uphold or to obtain private property in the means of production which are in vogue, not the Will to social property, to Socialism."

This is the situation. While the workers agree with capitalism, they will vote capitalists into Parliament. When they agree with Socialism - or "Will to Socialism" - they will send Socialists there.

And - how short is Lenin’s memory! - both he and his colleagues were voted into a "bourgeois" Parliament by the "labouring masses".

Lenin on p. 30 of his book says: "the Soviet regime is a million times more democratic than the most democratic regime in a bourgeois republic".

What is the Soviet Regime?

The word "Soviet" is used by many supporters of the Bolsheviks as though it denoted some newly discovered magical power. When one is told that it merely means "Council" the magic vanishes.

At the base of this system are the Urban and Rural Councils, directly elected by the sections qualified to vote. The delegates are elected in the proportion of one delegate to every 1,000 members in the towns (up to a maximum of 1,000 councillors), and one delegate to every 100 in the country.

Above this comes the Volost Congress. A Volost is a group of villages, and the Congress is composed of delegates from the Councils of these village groups.

Next above in the order is the District Congress composed of representatives from the Village Councils.

Still higher is the County Congress consisting of representatives from the Urban Councils and the Volost Congresses.

Overriding all these bodies is the Regional Congress made up of delegates from the Urban Councils and Congresses of the County Districts.

At the apex of the system is the All Russia Congress of Councils which is the supreme authority of the Russian Republic. This is formed of delegates from the Urban Councils and the Congresses of County Councils.

We have, then, six grades of authority in the Russian system. But note how they are elected.

The "labouring masses" vote once - namely, at the local councils, urban and village. This is their one and only vote. All the other grades are elected by the delegates of the Congress immediately below it.

This the Volost Congress is elected by the Village Group Councils; the District Congress by the general Village Councils; the County Congress by the Urban Councils and Volost Congresses; the Regional Congress by the Urban Councils and Congresses of County Districts; and the All Russia Congress by Urban Councils and Congresses of County Councils.

We see, then, that "the supreme authority of the Russian Council Republic" is removed five stages beyond the vote, reach, or control of the workers.

Another interesting point is the ratio between the urban and country representatives. Thus for the All Russia Congress of Councils the Urban Councils send one representative for every 25,000, while the County Council Congresses send one delegate for every 125,000, or to put it another way, the Urban Councils have five times the representation of the County Councils. The same ratio applies to Regional and County Congresses. These figures have a peculiar significance.

The Bolsheviks, naturally, find their chief support in the urban centres. By this basis of representation they are able to ensure the practical certainty of a majority in "the supreme authority of the Russian Republic". "And that’s how it’s done", as the stage conjurer says.

This method may be suitable to Russian conditions, but to claim for such a system that it is "a million times more democratic than the most democratic regime in a bourgeois republic" - where the workers have a direct, and overwhelming, vote for the very centre of power - is the wildest nonsense.

But what of the Recall? we may be asked. Let us see what the clause says.

"The electors have at any time the right to recall the delegates whom they have sent to the Council and to proceed to new elections."

Two interpretations may be given to this clause. First - if as the words state - the recall is limited to the Councils, all the Congresses are free from this control. Secondly, if the clause is intended to apply to all the grades, then the workers can only use it for Local Councils as they are not voters in any other grade.

Marx, of course, is freely quoted by both writers. On p. 140 Kautsky, while stating that the Bolsheviks are Marxists, asks how they find a Marxist foundation for their proceedings.

"They remembered opportunely the expression ‘the dictatorship of the proletariat’, which Marx used in a letter written in 1875."

Kautsky states that this is the only place in the whole of Marx’s writings where this phrase occurs, though Engels used it in his preface to the 3rd edition of Marx’s Civil War in France.

Lenin’s reply to this is to call the passage a "celebrated" one, and to call Kautsky several names. He then makes the following statement:

"Kautsky cannot but know that both Marx and Engels, both in their letters and public writings, spoke repeatedly about the dictatorship of the proletariat, both before and after the Commune" (p. 12. Italics in original).

Here was a grand opportunity for Lenin to get in a powerful blow by giving some of these "letters and public writings", but, to the chagrin, no doubt, of his followers, he does not give a single case outside those mentioned above. There are endeavours to twist some of Marx’s statements on the Commune of Paris (1871) into a support of this claim, but they are all dismals failures. Only in the Communist Manifesto is found a phrase - "the proletariat organised as a ruling class" - that bears any resemblance.

But a more important point remains. Every student of Marx knows how he laid bare the laws of social evolution and claimed that, in broad outline, all nations must follow these laws in their development.

Kautsky uses this fact with great effect, and it forms the strongest argument in the whole of his pamphlet. On page 98 he gives the well-known phrase from the preface to the 1st Volume of Capital.

"One nation can and should learn from others. And even when a society has got upon the right track for the discovery of the natural laws of its movement - it can neither clear by bold leaps, nor remove by legal enactments the obstacles offered by the successive phases of its normal development. But it can shorten and lessen the birth pangs."

How does Lenin deal with this famous phrase of Marx’s? By entirely ignoring it. There is not a single reference to it in the whole of his reply. More than this, the quotation given above from page 140 of Kautsky’s pamphlet is printed by Lenin on page 11-12 of his reply. Immediately preceding the sentence quoted Kautsky says:

"The Bolshevists are Marxists, and have inspired the proletarian sections coming under their influence with great enthusiasm for Marxism. Their dictatorship, however, is in contradiction to the Marxist teaching that no people can overcome the obstacles offered by the successive phases of their development by a jump or by legal enactment."

This ignoring of one part of a paragraph while quoting the other part is full proof Lenin deliberately avoided this important question.

Kautsky’s analysis of the conditions prevailing in Russia, with the danger to the Russian Republic from American and even more from German capital, is well done, but is entirely ignored by Lenin.

This controversy, along with the events that have taken place since it occurred, adds considerable evidence to the correctness of the deduction we drew from the situation in 1918.

In the midst of the special conditions and chaos caused by the war, when the old exploiting regime had broken down and the new exploiting class were too weak to take hold of power, a small but resolute minority seized the political machinery and took control of affairs. The mass of the workers in Russia are not Socialists, neither do they understand the principles of Socialism nor desire to see Socialism established.

The new ruling minority promised peace and - to their highest credit- established it. That this peace has been broken and they have been compelled to take up war again is due entirely to the Imperialist aims of the capitalist class of Europe. Despite this great burden and the appalling chaos in which they found Russia, they have, according to the accounts of various witnesses who have visited Russia since the Bolsheviks came to power, done wonders in the way of reconstruction and reorganisation. Their success in these matters has caused large numbers of Russians who are opponents of Socialism to give their support to the Bolsheviks as the only party in the country who can get things done.

But rule by a minority - even a Marxist minority- is not Socialism. Not until the instruments and methods of production have reached the stage of large machinery and mass organisation is it possible for social production to develop. When the workers, organised and trained in this social production, reach an understanding of their slave position, and decide to supplement social production by social ownership, through the seizure of political power, then, and not till then, will Socialism be established.

The Bolsheviks based their hopes on a rising of the proletariat of Western Europe to make their position secure. But the Western proletariat did not rise, nor do they show any signs of doing so up to the present. This failure of their basic hope leaves the Bolsheviks in conditions that make inevitable the entry into, and development of capitalism in, Russia.

The Bolsheviks may try to save as much of their system as possible, but the events will prove the correctness of Marx’s view on the failure of attempts to jump the stages in social evolution. Their failure, however, will not be all disaster.

They will have shown the workers of the world that the capitalist class is a useless and parasitic class in modern society. They will have shown that men holding Socialist views and of the working class could take charge of huge affairs and manage them with great success, in the midst of the wildest chaos, and while hampered by enemies within and without. Already the lesson is beginning to be learnt, and though only affecting a few relatively at present, it is spreading with steady persistence.

When the workers awaken to an understanding of the position in which they exist, and begin to fight the class war consciously in numbers that seriously count, the rule of the Russian Bolsheviks will be a splendid lesson, not on the value of "Soviet" or "Dictatorship", but on the ability of the working class to manage its own affairs. It will have done its share in "shortening and lessening the birth pangs" of Socialism.

(July 1920)









https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1920s/1920/no-191-july-1920/russian-dictatorship





From: <***@yahoogroups.com> on behalf of "alan johnstone ***@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]" <***@yahoogroups.com>
Reply-To: <***@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Monday, October 16, 2017 at 8:13 PM
To: "***@yahoogroups.com" <***@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: Re: [WSM_Forum] Re: Was Russia ever socialist ?





Nor was he an isolated case, it seems Matt

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_Kollontai#Political_career




"Lenin managed to dissolve the Workers' Opposition, after which Kollontai was more or less politically sidelined. Kollontai lacked political influence and was appointed by the Party to various diplomatic positions from the early 1920s, keeping her from playing a leading role in the politics of women's policy in the USSR."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Shliapnikov#Opposition_leader



"In 1921, Shliapnikov was forced out of his elected post as chairman of the Metalworkers' Union."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Bogdanov#After_the_October_Revolution



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavril_Myasnikov

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Medvedev_(revolutionary)

Then there was

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Wac%C5%82aw_Machajski



"Machajski thus attempted a theoretical synthesis of anarchist political critique and Marxist political economy and theory of history (historical materialism), by applying the Marxist critique of class-dominated ideology to Marxism itself. Machajski theorised a "state capitalist" moment of social development, approximating the seizure of power by intellectuals of the state apparatus, and the oppression of the working class by intellectuals acting to further capitalism in its dying days. In comparison, Machajski theorised socialism as the direct political control of economic institutions by the working class itself. "



There were many others to cite who were part of the Bolshevik tradition but held to ideas far from Lenin's,Trotsky's or Stalin's



alan johnstone



From: "Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]" <***@yahoogroups.com>
To: ***@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, 17 October 2017, 9:31
Subject: Re: [WSM_Forum] Re: Was Russia ever socialist ?
Post by Caonabo Enriquillo ***@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
He just wanted to justify the imposition of the so called workers state
Is the imposition of a feudal monarchy preferable? Or the imposition of a bourgeois state? Do you see no improvement by replacing them with a worker’s state?

The point is it was not and never was, a workers state, nor could it have been.

Look what happened to Riazanov the founder of the Marx-Engels Institute.

"Radical French writer Boris Souvarine later lauded Riazanov's activity in this period as that of "a conscious marxist, a democratic communist, in other words, opposed to any dictatorship over the proletariat." Riazanov's defense of trade union autonomy against the will of the party came at price, however, as Riazanov was effectively excluded from any active political responsibility after May 1921.

Thereafter he assumed the role of Marxist academic."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Riazanov

Regards,

Matt
Ken Ellis kennethellis@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-18 11:53:42 UTC
Permalink
The substance is that you have not read them. The articles are backed up with Bibliographies. Place in front of you the 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte written by Marx after the Commune of Paris, ...
Not after. The Commune occurred in 1871, while the 18th Brumaire was published in 1852. Perhaps you are thinking of Marx’s “The Civil War in France”, which was published right after the Commune fell.
and place in front of you the State and Revolution of Lenin, and you will that Lenin is just a typical liar, an opportunist and a distorter.
No substance there. Plus, the rest of what you wrote appears less than coherent, rendering further discussion likely fruitless.

KE
mcolome1 mcolome1@yahoo.com [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-20 20:46:46 UTC
Permalink
The message should have said: The 18 brummaire and the Civil War in France written after the Commune. In any way, the important idea is the pamphlet which shows that Lenin lied on his book the State and the revolution. We have had a prior disccussion about this topic in this forum . Keep putting the head in the sands and skipping the reality. Whatever has been  published in this thread take several days to digest it



On Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 04:54:03 GMT-7, Ken Ellis ***@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum] <***@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

 
The substance is that you have not read them. The articles are backed up with Bibliographies. Place in front of you the 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte written by Marx after the Commune of Paris, ...
Not after. The Commune occurred in 1871, while the 18th Brumaire was published in 1852. Perhaps you are thinking of Marx’s “The Civil War in France”, which was published right after the Commune fell.
and place in front of you the State and Revolution of Lenin, and you will that Lenin is just a typical liar, an opportunist and a distorter.
No substance there. Plus, the rest of what you wrote appears less than coherent, rendering further discussion likely fruitless.

KE


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Ken Ellis kennethellis@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-19 20:14:20 UTC
Permalink
Ken, i think you recognise as Marx did, that we should make judgements not on what people or parties say but what they do. This should be how we understand Lenin and the Bolsheviks in what was undeniably a social revolution, although not a socialist revolution.
Very true.
Unlike some of my comrades, i am willing to give Lenin and the Bolsheviks the benefit of the doubt and say that they sincerely believed their policies were positive and a path towards socialism. That, however, does not make what they did any more correct.
True again.
The mistakes and errors were the consequences of the situation and circumstances they faced and were predictable and avoidable. Lenin and the Bolsheviks made choices and let's not forget that there were alternative policies being advocated even amongst the Party leadership.
The situation they were in was so new to the world that I doubt if any more than a tiny handful of discriminating observers could have predicted fatality as the revolution evolved through its first few years. The world was simply awestruck over the progress, regress and possibilities, all at the same time. The rhetoric was very Marxist, while the expropriation policy doomed the experiment to eventual failure. The world has learned its lesson, and a Marxist utopia will never be attempted again. Forcible expropriation was the culprit. Mystery solved.

KE
Matt Culbert lists@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-19 21:32:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Ellis ***@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]
The situation they were in was so new to the world that I doubt if any
more than a tiny handful of discriminating observers could have
predicted fatality as the revolution evolved through its first few
years. The world was simply awestruck over the progress, regress and
possibilities, all at the same time. The rhetoric was very Marxist,
while the expropriation policy doomed the experiment to eventual
failure. The world has learned its lesson, and a Marxist utopia will
never be attempted again. Forcible expropriation was the culprit.
Mystery solved.
Hogwash.

"Is this huge mass of people, numbering about 160,000,000 and spread
over eight and a half millions of square miles, ready for Socialism? Are
the hunters of the North, the struggling peasant proprietors of the
South, the agricultural wage slaves of the Central Provinces, and the
industrial wage slaves of the towns convinced of the necessity, and
equipped with the knowledge requisite, for the establishment of the
social ownership of the means of life?

Unless a mental revolution such as the world has never seen before has
taken place, or an economic change has occurred immensely more rapidly
than history has recorded, the answer is “No!”

http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1910s/1918/no-168-august-1918/revolution-russia-where-it-fails
alan johnstone alanjjohnstone@yahoo.co.uk [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-20 00:58:54 UTC
Permalink
"Forcible expropriation was the culprit. Mystery solved."

In Marxist terms, primitive accumulation. Disagreement resolved ;-))

alan johnstone

On Friday, 20 October 2017, 03:14:24 GMT+7, Ken Ellis ***@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum] <***@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

 
Ken Ellis kennethellis@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-23 12:04:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt Culbert ***@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
Post by Ken Ellis ***@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]
The situation they were in was so new to the world that I doubt if any more than a tiny handful of discriminating observers could have predicted fatality as the revolution evolved through its first few years. The world was simply awestruck over the progress, regress and possibilities, all at the same time. The rhetoric was very Marxist, while the expropriation policy doomed the experiment to eventual failure. The world has learned its lesson, and a Marxist utopia will never be attempted again. Forcible expropriation was the culprit. Mystery solved.
Hogwash.
"Is this huge mass of people, numbering about 160,000,000 and spread over eight and a half millions of square miles, ready for Socialism? Are the hunters of the North, the struggling peasant proprietors of the South, the agricultural wage slaves of the Central Provinces, and the industrial wage slaves of the towns convinced of the necessity, and equipped with the knowledge requisite, for the establishment of the social ownership of the means of life?
Unless a mental revolution such as the world has never seen before has taken place, or an economic change has occurred immensely more rapidly than history has recorded, the answer is “No!”
http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1910s/1918/no-168-august-1918/revolution-russia-where-it-fails

The quote above appears to have come from the SPGB way back in August of 1918. The SPGB was delivering its verdict that 'socialism was not possible in the fledgling Soviet Union'. Who would argue with that? Who would dare say that the new Soviet Union was well poised to ascend to a classless and stateless society?

But, was anyone in the Soviet Union even TRYING to ascend to such a lofty height? A tiny handful of dreamers, perhaps, but certainly no one grounded in reality. Back then, it was all the new victors could do to establish a semblance of a social democracy, aka a proletarian dictatorship, and even that attempt would too soon sink into the pathos of a dictatorship over the vast majority.

I hope that the SPGB was not trying to congratulate itself for having early on detected that the Soviet Union was failing to ascend into a classless and stateless society, for it certainly was not on the table for any country in the world, then or now.

What kind of charlatanism would it have taken to fault the Soviet Union for failing to match the exacting standards set by the SPGB and the American SLP? Asking the Soviets to do the impossible, and then faulting them for failing to meet impossible standards would have been an easy armchair game to play on gullible followers.

We do know that Marx believed that not all nations need to pass through the exact same hurdles on the path to socialism. If a country were democratic enough, they could avoid the sometimes troublesome, and even violent, struggle for democracy. Plus, democracies also happened to be where the means of production were the most highly developed. But nowhere did Marx ever give us the slightest hint that the advanced countries would be able to avoid a proletarian dictatorship, as if the dotp were some kind of evil mark of the devil, fitted only for underdeveloped countries. Rather, democratic countries enjoyed the form of government needed for the masses to PRACTICE proletarian dictatorship, if their consciousness spurred them in that direction, which it didn’t. No matter how democratic we might be today, billionaires dictate policy to us peons. The only threat to ultra-bourgeois rule will be if they get too giddy over their success in dominating us, and decide to push the envelope a little too brazenly.

KE
Matt Culbert lists@prolerat.org [WSM_Forum]
2017-10-23 13:14:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Ellis ***@earthlink.net [WSM_Forum]
But, was anyone in the Soviet Union even TRYING to ascend to such a
lofty height? A tiny handful of dreamers, perhaps, but certainly no
one grounded in reality. Back then, it was all the new victors could
do to establish a semblance of a social democracy, aka a proletarian
dictatorship, and even that attempt would too soon sink into the
pathos of a dictatorship over the vast majority.
They certainly were pretending to.Many of those 'grounded in reality'
were reinterpreting their reality for western consumption and misusing
Marx to that end..

The whole point is the misinformed view by leftists then and since, that
this WAS an embryonic socialist society and provided a model to be
emulated in other countries. It was NOT as you repeatedly state, a
'proletarian' dictatorship, but a dictatorship OVER the proletariat and
peasants.

" It is claimed by many that the Russian Government has discovered a
means of developing Russian industry on Socialist lines and free from
the disturbing effects of the world trading conditions that affect the
other capitalist countries. Actually, the more Russian industry enters
into the world market as importer and exporter, the more Russian
industrial conditions will be affected by conditions outside."
"
 Mr. Fenner Brockway,
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fenner_Brockway,_Baron_Brockway>the new
Chairman of the I.L.P., writing in the /New Leader/ (April 17th),
assumes that Russian industry is being run on a “ Socialist basis.” This
is quite incorrect and indicates either a misreading of the Russian
industrial system or—more probably—a failure to grasp what constitutes
Socialism. In Russia, as elsewhere, goods are produced, not for use, but
for sale. The producers are a wage-earning class with no effective
control over the machinery of production. There is great inequality, as
in other capitalist countries. The first charge on industry is the
payment of interest to the investors in the State loans. "
https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1930s/1931/no-323-july-1931/editorial-russian-illusions

"Our correspondent points to the unquestioned advances made in Russia in
such matters as getting rid of illiteracy, but claims that these
advances “have been made possible by the introduction of the rudiments
of Socialism.” The latter claim is utterly unsupported and unsupportable
by any evidence. Similar and greater advances have been made in
countries such as Britain, which make no claim to being Socialist."

https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1930s/1938/no-412-december-1938/letters-russian-workers-under-czar-and-under-bols

Trotsky: "       “The Soviet State, in all its relations, is far closer
to a backward capitalism than to Communism.” It cannot yet even think of
endowing each “ according to his needs.” But for this very reason it
cannot permit its citizens to work “according to their abilities.” It
finds itself obliged to keep in force the system of piecework payment,
the principle of which may be expressed thus, “Get out of everybody as
much as you can and give him in exchange as little as possible. . . . ”
The most brutal as well as the most refined methods of exploitation run
into limits set by nature. Even a mule under the whip works “according
to his ability,” but from that it does not follow that the whip is a
social principle for mules. Wage labour does not cease, even under a
Soviet regime, to wear the humiliating label of slavery. Payment
“according to work” —in reality, payment to the advantage of
“intellectual” at the expense of physical, and especially unskilled
work—is a source of injustice, oppression and compulsion for the
majority, privileges and a :happy life ” for the few."

https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1930s/1939/no-420-august-1939/trump-card-trotsky

Regards,

Matt

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