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World revolution or Socialism in one country(Options added)

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Trotsky's World revolution
Stalin's Socialism in one state.
Total votes : 29
Post 16 Jun 2012, 22:21
Opposing socialism in one country =/= demanding simultaneous revolution

The question is whether socialism is possible in isolated conditions where most of the world's capital is still not expropriated, such as the case of Russia and SIOC. Lenin never conceived of building socialism in russia alone, without the powerful productive forces in the industrialized countries. Without them, Russia was stuck in a phase of capital accumulation and subsequently bound to the law of value (though stalin tried to claim the latter as something intrinsic to socialism, which is false and a blatant revision of marxism). The existence of the outside market, where most of the world's capital still laid within, only enforced this.

Lenin only thought this would be best managed in a state capitalist system:

What is state capitalism under Soviet power? To achieve state capitalism at the present time means putting into effect the accounting and control that the capitalist classes carried out. We see a sample of state capitalism in Germany. We know that Germany has proved superior to us. But if you reflect even slightly on what it would mean if the foundations of such state capitalism were established in Russia, Soviet Russia, everyone who is not out of his senses and has not stuffed his head with fragments of book learning, would have to say that state capitalism would be our salvation.

I said that state capitalism would be our salvation; if we had it in Russia, the transition to full socialism would he easy, would be within our grasp, because state capitalism is something centralised, calculated, controlled and socialised, and that is exactly what we lack: we are threatened by the element of petty-bourgeois slovenliness, which more than anything else has been developed by the whole history of Russia and her economy, and which prevents us from taking the very step on which the success of socialism depends. Allow me to remind you that I had occasion to write my statement about state capitalism some time before the revolution and it is a howling absurdity to try to frighten us with state capitalism.

He never claimed it would be socialism though, only that it would help create the conditions for it. All of this would be part of completing the bourgeois revolution, but it couldn't be limited to it. It had to be tied to the socialist revolution, because for Lenin imperialism represented decaying capitalism that was destroying itself and the life that enables it.

Does this mean Lenin thought Russia could build socialism alone, or any other country could? He thinks the 'victory of socialism' is possible in numbered capitalist countries (a far cry from stalin's declarations of actual socialism in 1936), but does he think Russia was one? He never equated Russia to any advanced capitalist country, he instead made a unique theory about tying the completion of the bourgeois revolution to the international socialist revolution, drawing non-stagist types like trotsky. There's no evidence that Lenin didn't consider Russia a special exception deserving of special considerations, it was an opportunity delivered to us exactly because of uneven and combined development. We can't simply apply marxist views of developed, centralized capitalism with the issue of capitalism in Russia, where the bourgeoisie was starved, repressed, under the control of the aristocracy, and the country itself ripe for any revolution yet lacking in a material basis.

I wrote this about the revolutionary-democratic state, the state of Kerensky, Chernov, Tsereteli, Kishkin and their confreres, about a state which had a bourgeois basis and which did not and could not depart from it. I wrote at that time that state capitalism is a step towards socialism; I wrote that in September 1917, and now, in April 1918, after the proletariat’s taking power in October, when it has proved its capacity: many factories have been confiscated, enterprises and banks nationalised, the armed resistance of the bourgeoisie and saboteurs smashed—now, when they try to frighten us with capitalism, it is so ludicrous, such a sheer absurdity and fabrication, that it becomes surprising and one asks oneself: how could people have this idea? They have forgotten the mere trifle that in Russia we have a petty-bourgeois mass which sympathises with the abolition of the big bourgeoisie in all countries, but does not sympathise with accounting, socialisation and control— herein lies the danger for the revolution, here you have the unity of social forces which ruined the great French revolution and could not fail to do so, and which, if the Russian proletariat proves weak, can alone ruin the Russian revolution. The petty bourgeoisie, as we see, steeps the whole social atmosphere with petty-proprietor tendencies, with aspirations which are bluntly expressed in the statement: I took from the rich, what others do is not my affair.

I think Lenin would have approved of Stalin's performing the 'accouting, socialisation, and control' (but not his political developments before he arrived at the conclusion that it was necessary, which put him closer to bukharin) which creates the most efficient form of capital accumulation and thus the best conditions for socialism, but I am certain he would have disagreed this was socialism or that it was anything but a 'victory of socialism', 'step towards socialism', or other vague phrases relevant the immediate post-revolutionary period that comes before the defeat of the imperialists and the expropriation of their capital.

The next question is whether the regime and state that's managing this system can simply transition to socialism, with or without the aid the international proletariat and the advanced productive forces present in the industrialized countries, or if it's merely only relevant in this immediate post-revolutionary period and can only score 'victories of socialism' and 'steps towards socialism'. If it's only there to administer modern state capitalism and its associated efficiencies, than it's easy to assume that it could degenerate and become counter-revolutionary, since the material basis, the capital-labor relationship, is already there. It's already capitalist, but it could fall to the liberal bourgeoisie or the degenerate under the control of the revisionist bureaucracy (stalinism), or both in some order as it happened historically.
Post 18 Jun 2012, 15:56
Socialism in one country is not opposed to international world revolution. On the contrary, both are intrinsically connected to one another. The problem with Trotsky's view is that he was so naive to believe that the USSR would be able to simply "expand" the revolution without stabilizing and consolidating itself first.
Post 18 Jun 2012, 16:51
Permanent revolution has nothing to do with expanding soviet borders, otherwise we'd be applauding stalin after 1945.

It's more about stalins shitty foreign policy.
Post 18 Jun 2012, 17:06
Aout the possibility of building socialism in one country, yes of course it's possible. Lenin said it more than once, he said that they had everything for it in the USSR. This is what Stalin called the "complete victory" of socialism. We must not forget that socialism is a stage of transition between capitalism and communism, and therefore it can't be perfect. The problem is to secure it, and if you wan't to secure it you need world revolution, or at least more socialist countries. The fact that the USSR disappeared is a proof that this statement of Stalin about the "final victory" was true. However, the USSR was not doomed to fail. They helped very much foreign revolutions, especially in Vietnam and in many other countries. Therefore we can't accuse the USSR about worldwide revolution. I think that one of the biggest mistakes was to break relations with the Chinese comrades. Even though there was disagreements, the unity of the International Communist Movement is fundamental.
Post 20 Jun 2012, 02:52
Aout the possibility of building socialism in one country, yes of course it's possible. Lenin said it more than once, he said that they had everything for it in the USSR.

It is perhaps not Lenin's job to tell us,nor Stalin's, nor Trotsky's, but ours to figure out; after all we live 22 years in a post-soviet world. I think the USSR's support of national liberation movements will show its full extent once we feel, and have started feeling, the effects of decolonization in a world dominated by imperialism with no anti-imperialist counter-acting force. The thesis of socialism in one country is contradictory to our conception of proletarian internationalism, as one must seek to act along the guidelines "workers of the world unite", and bring freedom to the oppressed working class of the world. Despite this history has proved to give strategic advantage to "socialism in one country", as many of the socialist states of the previous century have sprung from underdeveloped productive roots. The question of Socialism in one country or World revolution is answered by elements specific to geography. Maoist and comrades contributing to the struggle in an underdeveloped nation or region should strive for socialism in one country, while those comrades struggling in the heart of imperialism and capitalism should approach it the issue with world revolution as the immediate strategic and tactical objective.
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