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Industrialization under Stalin

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Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 12 Jan 2014, 22:58
Quote:
Industrializing the Soviet Union, almost singlehandedly


So? Anyone else in his place would have done that, probably more efficiently and without such a loss of life. Stalin stole the whole idea of such an industrialization from Trotsky and the left opposition. Only a few months before the beginning of the first 5 year plan he spoke against the idea of a quick super- industrialization.
Soviet cogitations: 112
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Apr 2013, 20:13
Pioneer
Post 12 Jan 2014, 23:13
Loz wrote:
So? Anyone else in his place would have done that, probably more efficiently and without such a loss of life.


How exactly did Stalin's industrialization lead to loss of life? Stalin was certainly responsible for loss of life in some areas, but industrialization isn't one of them.

Also, how was the way Stalin industrialized the USSR not efficient? In fact, it was very efficient. Such a thing like that had never been done before, and hasn't been done since. The Soviet Union was rapidly transformed from a Third World nation of peasants into an industrial and military superpower in a period of less than twenty years. The industrialization was needed to save the Soviet Union from a later war with Nazi Germany. Stalin recognized the importance of rapidly building socialism in the USSR. What was "inefficient" about it?

And I disagree with your notion that "anyone" could have done it. First of all, no one else did, so anything beyond that is merely guessing what history would've been like. Now, were there others who could have industrialized the Soviet Union? Perhaps. But no one else could have done it as quickly and as efficiently as Stalin did. If the USSR hadn't been industrialized by the time of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the history of the world would been very different.

Loz wrote:
Stalin stole the whole idea of such an industrialization from Trotsky and the left opposition. Only a few months before the beginning of the first 5 year plan he spoke against the idea of a quick super- industrialization.


Source? Trotsky spoke about internationalizing the revolution, and was less concerned with building socialism in the Soviet Union. I don't believe he was in favor of the rapid industrialization in the USSR as Stalin was.
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
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Post 12 Jan 2014, 23:28
Quote:
How exactly did Stalin's industrialization lead to loss of life? Stalin was certainly responsible for loss of life in some areas, but industrialization isn't one of them.

Let's only take the great famine into consideration. Collectivization went hand-in-hand with industrialization which was to a large extent funded by the super-exploitation of the countryside. We know how that ended.

Quote:
Also, how was the way Stalin industrialized the USSR not efficient? In fact, it was very efficient.

It was characterized by a huge waste of material and so on. Read up about it. Lots of machines were broken down or simply left outside in the rain and so on. Sometimes the workers on construction sites didn't even have the basic tools and so on. The transport system fell apart. More could have been achieved with a more level-headed approach. Even Pravda admitted these facts.

Quote:
Such a thing like that had never been done before, and hasn't been done since. The Soviet Union was rapidly transformed from a Third World nation of peasants into an industrial and military superpower in a period of less than twenty years.

Japan did the same in less than twenty years.

Quote:
Stalin recognized the importance of rapidly building socialism in the USSR. What was "inefficient" about it?

Everything really. And while under Stalin's leadership there was obviously a huge growth of the productive forces but every other development that took place was not socialist at all.

Quote:
And I disagree with your notion that "anyone" could have done it. First of all, no one else did, so anything beyond that is merely guessing what history would've been like. Now, were there others who could have industrialized the Soviet Union? Perhaps. But no one else could have done it as quickly and as efficiently as Stalin did.

A random source:
http://books.google.hr/books?id=6iFkgDN ... on&f=false

It's from among other things a biography of Stalin by Souvarine but i don't feel like looking for the exact quote right now.
Soviet cogitations: 112
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Apr 2013, 20:13
Pioneer
Post 12 Jan 2014, 23:44
Loz wrote:
Let's only take the great famine into consideration. Collectivization went hand-in-hand with industrialization which was to a large extent funded by the super-exploitation of the countryside. We know how that ended.


First of all, no. Collectivization did not necessarily go hand-in-hand with industrialization. And second of all, the countryside was not being "super-exploited". Third of all, Stalin was not responsible for the great Soviet famine. This is something that not only Stalin-supporters such as myself believe, but most Marxists and many anti-communists as well believe. The '33 famine was brought on by a number of factors, of which one of them may have been due to radical economic and agricultural policies being firmly and rapidly put in place in a very short period of time, so it’s possible that unintended food shortages could occur. But to claim the famine was a direct result of Stalin's agricultural policies is not truthful.

Loz wrote:
It was characterized by a huge waste of material and so on. Read up about it. Lots of machines were broken down or simply left outside in the rain and so on. Sometimes the workers on construction sites didn't even have the basic tools and so on. The transport system fell apart. More could have been achieved with a more level-headed approach. Even Pravda admitted these facts.


I would like to point out that, in a situation like this, there's going to be errors; there will be mistakes made. Keep in mind that, again, this was a time of complete and utter absolute change to the entire system in Russia. And nothing like this had been tried before. The USSR was the first socialist country in history, and they were rapidly building socialism on a nationwide level. There will be mistakes made. But in the end, it was a complete success. And you can't deny that it was the success of the industrialization that made the Soviet Union everything it once was.

Loz wrote:
Japan did the same in less than twenty years.


Fair enough, but the industrialization of Japan is not really the same as the industrialization of Russia. First off, Japan was a capitalist country, which meant that it was exploiting its working class. Second, the industrialization of Japan would lead to its becoming an imperialist aggressor. Nevertheless, the industrialization of Japan was progressive. But it was done within the framework of a capitalist economy, not a socialist one.

Loz wrote:
Everything really. And while under Stalin's leadership there was obviously a huge growth of the productive forces but every other development that took place was not socialist at all.


Elaborate.
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 12 Jan 2014, 23:55
I don't feel like arguing with you about all that now.
I'll just elaborate on why i think that every development that took place in the Stalinist USSR was contrary to anything that socialist is supposed to stand for.
Was the destruction of the trade unions socialist? Was the "one man principle" in factories which deprived the workers of the few rights they had in regards to controlling and deciding about production socialist? What about the huge growth of inequality, the introduction of internal passports, the horrible bureaucratization and the explosion of the state security apparatus. What about the lack of all democratic rights of the people and the killing of any democracy in the communist party. What about the return of Russian chauvinism. I could go on forever.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Apr 2013, 20:13
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Post 13 Jan 2014, 00:07
Loz wrote:
I don't feel like arguing with you about all that now.


That's fine, but I will just make a couple of points.

    Trade unions did exist in Stalin's USSR.
    Equality in Stalin's USSR made significant achievements, such as the almost full elimination of things like racism or sexism which were prevalent in Tsarist Russia.
    The "bureaucratization" of the Soviet Union is not something that can be solely attributed to Stalin. The bureaucracy had existed since the days of Lenin, and, unlike what many say, the bureaucrats did not become a class of their own. They were subordinate to the party and state.
    Although I will admit there definitely should've been more democratic centralism within the CPSU, Stalin's USSR was not definitely not completely dictatorial or un-democratic.
    Russian chauvinism did not exist in Stalin's Russia. Extreme nationalism wouldn't become a problem until the perestroika era.
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 13 Jan 2014, 00:43
Quote:
Trade unions did exist in Stalin's USSR.

Not really. These were just bureaucratic organizations without any actual influence or power, no one asked them anything. Just to illustrate what a joke these "trade unions" were, in the 40s the maternity leave was significantly reduced at the request(!) of the trade union central.

Quote:
Equality in Stalin's USSR made significant achievements, such as the almost full elimination of things like racism or sexism which were prevalent in Tsarist Russia.

That's just nonsense. Stalin's rule is noted for the reduction of the rights of women ( including the outlawing of abortion ) and the generally resurging conservatism in the society. Racism has also gotten stronger.

Quote:
The "bureaucratization" of the Soviet Union is not something that can be solely attributed to Stalin.

Yes, but Stalin encouraged it.

Quote:
They were subordinate to the party and state.

And what was the party and the state if not the highest organs of that same bureaucracy. It was for all intents and purposes a class of its own accordion to the Leninist definition of class.

Quote:
Although I will admit there definitely should've been more democratic centralism within the CPSU, Stalin's USSR was not definitely not completely dictatorial or un-democratic.

I can hardly think of a less democratic country in modern history.

Quote:
Russian chauvinism did not exist in Stalin's Russia. Extreme nationalism wouldn't become a problem until the perestroika era.

Yes it did, even Stalin in his typical hypocrite manner ranted against it only to ally himself with it later.
Not to mention anything else, Stalin's NKVD engaged in actual deportations of entire peoples for no apparent reason.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_opera ... f_the_NKVD
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 13 Jan 2014, 01:30
I agree with absolutely everything Loz says. Except this:

Quote:
It was for all intents and purposes a class of its own accordion to the Leninist definition of class.


If you have a bit of time, I suggest you read: Ted Grant - Against the Theory of State Capitalism (Reply to Comrade Cliff) for a thorough demolition of the "new class" theory. This approach is not a correct Marxist explanation. The Marxist theory on a workers' bureaucracy is quite a bit more intricate, and it also plays a relevant role in modern class struggles. Stalin was a Bolshevik Tony Blair or Gerhard Schröder, as it were. He was not a tory though.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Apr 2013, 20:13
Pioneer
Post 13 Jan 2014, 02:12
Loz wrote:
Not really. These were just bureaucratic organizations without any actual influence or power, no one asked them anything. Just to illustrate what a joke these "trade unions" were, in the 40s the maternity leave was significantly reduced at the request(!) of the trade union central.


The trade unions were state-owned, and were organized through democratic centralism, much like the Communist Party. They helped further the goals of management, labor, worker morale, and productivity. They distributed bonuses, welfare benefits, paid vacations, oversaw factory and housing construction, etc. They were also designed to protect workers against bureaucratic arbitrariness, to make sure management adhered to collective agreements, ensure safe working conditions, etc.

Loz wrote:
That's just nonsense. Stalin's rule is noted for the reduction of the rights of women ( including the outlawing of abortion ) and the generally resurging conservatism in the society. Racism has also gotten stronger.


Stalin did bring about more social conservatism, and it is true he outlawed abortion (something I don't agree with). Nevertheless, this was not because of sexism but because of Stalin wanting to have a larger popular and, again, his socially conservative attitudes. And racism was not a problem ijn the USSR.

Loz wrote:
Yes, but Stalin encouraged it.


No he didn't.

Loz wrote:
And what was the party and the state if not the highest organs of that same bureaucracy. It was for all intents and purposes a class of its own accordion to the Leninist definition of class.


No it wasn't. They were working class. They had no economic or social interests different from those of the proletariat as a whole.

Loz wrote:
I can hardly think of a less democratic country in modern history.

You surely must be joking with this statement. Nazi Germany? Fascist Italy? Imperial Japan, or Imperial Russia? Franco's Spain? Pinochet's Chile? Chiang Kai-shek's China? "Democratic" Kampuchea? North Korea? What about even modern-day Putinist Russia? Or modern day United States? I could go on and on and on.

Loz wrote:
Yes it did, even Stalin in his typical hypocrite manner ranted against it only to ally himself with it later.
Not to mention anything else, Stalin's NKVD engaged in actual deportations of entire peoples for no apparent reason.


They were deporting people who they thought were enemies of the people. In some cases they were, other times not so much. And while I don't agree with a lot of the deportations myself, I don't see what this has to do with Russian chauvinism.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
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Philosophized
Post 13 Jan 2014, 02:21
Quote:
Or modern day United States?


You must be fragging insane. Obama cares infinitely more about public opinion than Stalin ever did, and while he and the class he represents exert a disproportionate amount of control over the political discourse, they still do it in a much fairer and more democratic way than surrounding him with a cult of personality and killing everyone who's cleverer than him.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Apr 2013, 20:13
Pioneer
Post 13 Jan 2014, 02:32
Mabool wrote:
You must be fragging insane. Obama cares infinitely more about public opinion than Stalin ever did, and while he and the class he represents exert a disproportionate amount of control over the political discourse, they still do it in a much fairer and more democratic way than surrounding him with a cult of personality and killing everyone who's cleverer than him.


Oh please.

Stalin killed everyone whose 'cleverer' than him? Where did you get that from? What is your source for this?

And no, there's no way the US could be considered a democracy. It is a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Run by the wealthy few and in the interest of the wealthy few. Capitalism is necessarily undemocratic.

As for Stalin, I definitely think there should've been more democratic centralism. I feel like Stalin had way too much power, and he dominated the Central Committee and the Politburo more than he should have. The purging of the party was another mistake of his that contributed to him acting dictatorial.

That said, he was legitimately elected as General Secretary, and held on to power through the support of the Communist Party. The Politburo under Stalin was elected. The legislative bodies of the Soviet Union were elected by the Politburo, and served four-year terms.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 13 Jan 2014, 02:56
Workers Revolution wrote:
Oh please.

Stalin killed everyone whose 'cleverer' than him? Where did you get that from? What is your source for this?


I dunno, how about, the entire history of the workers' movement?

Read the documents of the Comintern up to 1924, the documents of the left opposition in the CPSU and Comintern after Stalin's takeover, and make up your own mind. You clearly have not read any of these documents, or it would be obvious to you that Stalin's line represents a complete departure from Bolshevism. In order to accomplish this departure, Stalin killed thousands of Bolsheviks. This is an indubitable historic fact, and any attempt to whitewash it is a result of petit-bourgeois cognitive bias. Ever since 1924, Stalinism has actively sabotaged every single revolutionary proletarian movement in the world. Stalinists in the USSR continued to kill Bolsheviks until 1989. In Stalinist North Korea, it is still a mortal risk to be a communist. Stalinism ruined the Spanish Revolution (again, by killing thousands of communists who were a lot cleverer than Stalin), the revolutionary situation in France in 1968, and by crushing the mass proletarian movement in Prague in 1968 (again, by killing communists), it drove the final nail into the coffin of October. All the conditions for stagnation and counterrevolution were created by Stalinism.

Quote:
And no, there's no way the US could be considered a democracy. It is a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Run by the wealthy few and in the interest of the wealthy few. Capitalism is necessarily undemocratic.


So bourgeois democracy doesn't exist? By the way, the USSR was also run by "the wealthy few" in the interest of the "wealthy few". You're completely ignoring the class character of the respective societies here. Bourgeois democracy is democracy for the bourgeoisie, proletarian democracy is democracy for the proletariat. But this kind of democracy was abolished by Stalin, who kept consistently reducing the influence of the popular masses throughout his reign. Stalin was the one who removed the democracy of October, but you're crediting it to him as an accomplishment! It would be hard to come up with a more absurd claim.

Quote:
As for Stalin, I definitely think there should've been more democratic centralism. I feel like Stalin had way too much power, and he dominated the Central Committee and the Politburo more than he should have. The purging of the party was another mistake of his that contributed to him acting dictatorial.


Look. When you look at Stalin honestly, his only substantial achievement is industrialization. In every other area, especially politics, Stalinism was extremely reactionary. And even industrialization was done in an incredibly crude and brutal way that revealed that at no point, had Stalin any true, comprehensive idea of what he was doing. Thousands of Bolsheviks understood this, tried to resist, and were butchered. Industrialization was carried out by Stalin not in order to build communism, but to secure the foundation of his own power and privileges. It is a huge mistake to applaud him for any of this. The ones who deserve applause are the heroes of the left opposition who fought against this madness.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 112
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Apr 2013, 20:13
Pioneer
Post 13 Jan 2014, 03:31
Mabool wrote:
In order to accomplish this departure, Stalin killed thousands of Bolsheviks. This is an indubitable historic fact, and any attempt to whitewash it is a result of petit-bourgeois cognitive bias.


Indeed he did. It was a grave error he made in his tenure and I deeply criticize him for it. Stalin was not without his faults you know.

Mabool wrote:
Ever since 1924, Stalinism has actively sabotaged every single revolutionary proletarian movement in the world. Stalinists in the USSR continued to kill Bolsheviks until 1989.


Really? What about all of the proletarian movements that occurred in China? In Korea? In Vietnam? Or what about all of the international parties, workers' movements, etc. "Stalinism" somehow all ruined those, huh?

Mabool wrote:
In Stalinist North Korea, it is still a mortal risk to be a communist.


North Korea isn't Stalinist.

Quote:
Stalinism ruined the Spanish Revolution (again, by killing thousands of communists who were a lot cleverer than Stalin)


You mean the Spanish Civil War? The Soviet Union was the biggest supplier of arms and weapons to the Republican forces.

Quote:
and by crushing the mass proletarian movement in Prague in 1968 (again, by killing communists), it drove the final nail into the coffin of October.


So, you call the market-reforms of the Czechoslovak leadership a "mass proletarian movement"? Interesting, very interesting.

Quote:
All the conditions for stagnation and counterrevolution were created by Stalinism.


LOL no. The stagnation didn't occur until the mid-to-late seventies under Brezhnev. Under Stalin, however, the USSR saw unprecedented economic growth.

Quote:
So bourgeois democracy doesn't exist?


Of course it does. But that's why it's called 'bourgeois democracy' -- it's democracy for the bourgeoisie. It's not democratic to the masses of society, and therefore cannot be considered truly democratic or participatory.

Quote:
By the way, the USSR was also run by "the wealthy few" in the interest of the "wealthy few". You're completely ignoring the class character of the respective societies here.


No it wasn't. The high-ranking members of the CPSU were not wealthy.

Quote:
But this kind of democracy was abolished by Stalin, who kept consistently reducing the influence of the popular masses throughout his reign. Stalin was the one who removed the democracy of October, but you're crediting it to him as an accomplishment! It would be hard to come up with a more absurd claim.


No it wasn't. The dictatorship of the proletariat did not cease to exist under Stalin. In fact, the structure of the government didn't really change all that much from the Lenin era.

Quote:
Look. When you look at Stalin honestly, his only substantial achievement is industrialization.


No, that wasn't his only achievement, and if you honestly believe that it was, you need to do a lot more reading about him. Besides, you're treating industrialization, which was his greatest achievement, as a minor thing. To treat this undeniable accomplishment as a minor achievement is to completely ignore history.

Quote:
And even industrialization was done in an incredibly crude and brutal way that revealed that at no point, had Stalin any true, comprehensive idea of what he was doing.


Yes, of course. Stalin had absolutely no idea how to industrialize Russia. That must've been why industrialization was such a success, right?

Quote:
Thousands of Bolsheviks understood this, tried to resist, and were butchered. Industrialization was carried out by Stalin not in order to build communism, but to secure the foundation of his own power and privileges.


Your claims are absolutely ridiculous.

Oh yes, it all makes sense to me now! Stalin, a communist who spoke of building socialism in the USSR, clearly industrialized the Soviet Union not because, you know, he actually gave a damn about his country or his people, but because he just cared about his own power.

This claim is absurd.

Quote:
It is a huge mistake to applaud him for any of this. The ones who deserve applause are the heroes of the left opposition who fought against this madness.


Yeah, why would we ever want to applaud Stalin for the incredibly important and decisive achievements he made?
And what did the Left Opposition manage to achieve? Nothing.

What we as communists need to do is to analyse Stalin objectively.

Rather than perusing an incredibly ideologically-biased view of Stalin or the history of the USSR, as you are doing, we must look as the leadership of Stalin through its positives and its negatives. To blindly dismiss the achievements of Stalin and attack his mistakes is no better than to blindly praise him for everything he did. Ever leader in history has a good and a bad side. And with Stalin, it is no different. However, if you analyse the growth and development that occurred under the Stalin administration, it should be absolutely clear that the achievements of Stalin vastly outweigh his mistakes. Stalin must be criticized for his mistakes, and praised for his accomplishments.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Dec 2013, 14:24
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
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Post 13 Jan 2014, 10:24
Stalin’s’ achievements? Well the undertakers did a roaring trade. Except that they didn’t, his victims were buried in mass graves.
He cured unemployment in the USSR by shooting the excess population. Dead men and women don’t need jobs. Plus many men got jobs as NKVD executioners.
If you want to laugh at Stalin apologists I suggest you go to a meeting of the Stalin society.
Harpal Brar will say “we are here to counter the lies told against Comrade Stalin” and the 4 people and the dog in the audience will murmur “ mmmhmm, yes, lies”.
2Let’s talk about the achievements of our glorious comrade Stalin!” again the murmurs “yes, mmm, achievements”
Check their Monty Pythonesque youtube videos.
As for his mistakes? Well there are 15 million of them for a start and that not counting the victims of the famine or the gulags.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Jun 2006, 02:14
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 13 Jan 2014, 17:23
Yami, I won't say it again. Start backing up your posts with sources or you'll get carded. We allow multiple points of view, but not trolling.
Re-read the forum rules if you must.


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Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 16 Jan 2014, 12:49
Quote:
If you have a bit of time, I suggest you read: Ted Grant - Against the Theory of State Capitalism (Reply to Comrade Cliff) for a thorough demolition of the "new class" theory. This approach is not a correct Marxist explanation.

I've read it but didn't understand much. Anyway according to Stalin's criteria which i also don't really understand there were three classes in the USSR: the collective farmers, the workers and the intelligentsia. If the intelligentsia was considered a class for some reason or other why couldn't the same apply to the bureaucracy?

According to Lenin
Quote:
Classes are large groups of people differing from each other by the place they occupy in a historically determined system of social production, by their relation (in most cases fixed and formulated by law) to the means of production, by their role in the social organization of labor, and, consequently, by the dimensions of the share of social wealth of which they dispose and the mode of acquiring it. Classes are groups of people one of which can appropriate the labour of another owing to the different places they occupy in a definite system of social economy.
To which can be added this: "class divisions are based upon three main criteria: a person's position in the occupational structure, a person's position in the authority structures (how many people a person must take orders from versus how many people a person can give orders to), and a person's ownership of property (or, more specifically, the ownership of property that produces profit, such as stock ownership), which we can call the property structure. These three criteria tend to intersect, producing more of less distinct class divisions.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 16 Jan 2014, 13:26
Loz wrote:
I've read it but didn't understand much.


Feel free to ask questions.

Quote:
Anyway according to Stalin's criteria which i also don't really understand there were three classes in the USSR: the collective farmers, the workers and the intelligentsia. If the intelligentsia was considered a class for some reason or other why couldn't the same apply to the bureaucracy?


The intelligentsia are not a class, I don't think Lenin ever said that. The GDR called itself a workers' and peasants' state, not a state of workers, peasants and intelligentsia. Besides, the stalinist states were very fond of the fact that its intellectuals were workers. The intelligentsia are a social layer (quite like the bureaucracy indeed!), but not a class. They don't play an independent role in production or distribution, they just work for a wage like everyone else. They don't have any economic interests that could be contingent on the fact that they are intellectuals. Being an intellectual doesn't put you in a special position in class struggle.

Quote:
Classes are large groups of people differing from each other by the place they occupy in a historically determined system of social production, by their relation (in most cases fixed and formulated by law) to the means of production, by their role in the social organization of labor, and, consequently, by the dimensions of the share of social wealth of which they dispose and the mode of acquiring it. Classes are groups of people one of which can appropriate the labour of another owing to the different places they occupy in a definite system of social economy.


Legally, the bureaucracy didn't have a special relation to the means of production. But sure, this quote shows that they did have some characteristics of a class (such as unfairly acquiring much more wealth than the majority), and their natural tendency was to evolve into a class. But this only happened in perestroika, and then that class turned out to be a new bourgeoisie, not a previously unknown, historically unique, new class of its own. Capitalism is a much more efficient system for exploitation than stalinism. Once you reach a point where the bureaucracy feels safe enough to do so, it will choose to transform itself into a bourgeoisie. But until that happens, they remain the degenerated leadership of a workers' state.

Quote:
class divisions are based upon three main criteria: a person's position in the occupational structure, a person's position in the authority structures (how many people a person must take orders from versus how many people a person can give orders to), and a person's ownership of property (or, more specifically, the ownership of property that produces profit, such as stock ownership), which we can call the property structure. These three criteria tend to intersect, producing more of less distinct class divisions.


The property structure is the important thing. The other criteria for a class were fulfilled. When they assumed private property over the factories, thereby fulfilling the third criterion, capitalism was restored immediately. In our present epoch, you can only have a workers' state or a bourgeois state. Nothing in between. A state is either progressive or reactionary, it belongs to the proletariat or to the bourgeoisie, not to any "new" class, because this assumption leads to a host of dilemmas: Is the "new class" progressive or reactionary in relation to the bourgeoisie? Was the restoration of capitalism in the USSR progressive or reactionary? What are the defining criteria of this new class? And so on.

It may help to think of this in terms of quantity and quality. Degeneration is a quantitative change in the workers' state. When a certain limit of degeneration is passed, this change becomes qualitative and an exploitative class society (capitalism) is restored. It's important not to commit the ultra-leftist error of claiming that the restoration of capitalism was completed in the 20s and 30s, because from this follows a false strategy.
Last edited by Mabool on 16 Jan 2014, 19:09, edited 2 times in total.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 16 Jan 2014, 22:27
Quote:
Feel free to ask questions.

I will later.

Quote:
The intelligentsia are not a class, I don't think Lenin ever said that. The GDR called itself a workers' and peasants' state, not a state of workers, peasants and intelligentsia. Besides, the stalinist states were very fond of the fact that its intellectuals were workers. The intelligentsia are a social layer (quite like the bureaucracy indeed!), but not a class. They don't play an independent role in production or distribution, they just work for a wage like everyone else. They don't have any economic interests that could be contingent on the fact that they are intellectuals. Being an intellectual doesn't put you in a special position in class struggle.

Maybe they're not a real class but a social stratum of sort still to a large extent different workers and peasants but with the tendency of proletarisation, as the GSE says.
However, Marx also took note of the special position of engineers and technicians, which entitles them to supervise production workers. The part of the intelligentsia that works in the state-administrative apparatus directly or indirectly performs functions that inflict repression and oppression on the working people. The duality of the intelligentsia’s social position was also noted by Lenin, who pointed out that the intelligentsia belonged “partly to the bourgeoisie by their connections, their outlooks, etc., and partly to the wage workers as capitalism increasingly deprives the intellectual of his independent position, converts him into a hired worker and threatens to lower his living standard.

Quote:
Legally, the bureaucracy didn't have a special relation to the means of production.

How come when it had near-absolute control over production and the appropriation of surplus value over which the producers had pretty much no say or influence ( even less than in capitalist countries ) at all?

Quote:
But this only happened in perestroika, and then that class turned out to be a new bourgeoisie, not a previously unknown, historically unique, new class of its own.

I tend to think of that counterrevolution as a step backwards. What was done in the USSR and so on, the immense destruction of the productive forces and the emergence of some sort of a lumpen-bourgeoisie interested only in stealing don't correspond to what is usually seen as the historical role of the bourgeoisie.

Quote:
Capitalism is a much more efficient system for exploitation than stalinism.

How come? It seems to me that in capitalism workers have the means to fight for higher wages and so and the whole national economy isn't controlled to the point of some bureaucrats being able to dictate what sort of wheat will be sown in some village. Wages and prices aren't dictated by some ministries. The peasantry in undeveloped capitalist countries also isn't forced into collective farms where they're super-exploited and basically working for a couple of kilos of grain a day. In Stalinism the working people didn't even have a right not to immigrate elsewhere, but to move away from their towns and villages.

Quote:
A state is either progressive or reactionary, it belongs to the proletariat or to the bourgeoisie, not to any "new" class, because this assumption leads to a host of dilemmas: Is the "new class" progressive or reactionary in relation to the bourgeoisie? Was the restoration of capitalism in the USSR progressive or reactionary? What are the defining criteria of this new class? And so on.

And what about progressive "socialist-oriented" states that are however still in fact bourgeois states, like Venezuela?
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 28 Jan 2014, 03:08
Loz, I hope you're not pissed if I suggest to discuss this in real life.


Quote:
What about all of the proletarian movements that occurred in China? In Korea? In Vietnam?


Korea and Vietnam weren't "proletarian" struggles by any means, nor was China. Not only did the Maoists shoot striking workers, they were also sabotaged by Stalin. Stalin's "advice" to Mao was so exceptionally bad that a declared enemy couldn't have acted much differently.

Quote:
The Soviet Union was the biggest supplier of arms and weapons to the Republican forces.


The "republican forces", i.e. the Stalinist popular front, ended the socialist revolution which was going on in Spain (and which you seem to know nothing about) by killing all the revolutionaries. This was immensely reactionary. Please study some basic history of the workers' movement.

Quote:
So, you call the market-reforms of the Czechoslovak leadership a "mass proletarian movement"? Interesting, very interesting.


Again, you prove that you know nothing about history. If you have time, I strongly suggest you read this to find out what happened in Czechoslovakia in 1968.

http://www.marxist.com/czechoslovakia-1968-part-one.htm
http://www.marxist.com/czechoslovakia-1968-part-two.htm
http://www.marxist.com/czechoslovakia-1 ... -three.htm

Quote:
LOL no. The stagnation didn't occur until the mid-to-late seventies under Brezhnev.


LOL are you actively refusing to use your brain and understand cause and effect? The Brezhnev stagnation happened because the Stalinist model of planning proved horrendously inefficient for anything that went beyond basic industrialization. Stalin installed a system in which the production of millions of different kinds of commodities would be directed by one central planning agency. This task is impossible to fulfill and it's not at all what a planned economy is supposed to look like.

At Stalin's time, Trotsky already warned that democracy is the air that socialism breathes, and that Stalin was suffocating it. The Brezhnev stagnation was its death. The Gorbachev counterrevolution was the logical result of stagnation. Please try to regard a historical process in its entirety instead of resorting to stupid abstractions like "Stalin Good, Brezhnev Bad". The men are parts of a continuum.

Quote:
The dictatorship of the proletariat did not cease to exist under Stalin. In fact, the structure of the government didn't really change all that much from the Lenin era.


Except, you know, Stalin completely emasculated the Soviets, which constituted the backbone of the state under Lenin, and in 1936 he made this official with his constitutional reform which changed everything and turned the political system of the USSR into a caricature of bourgeois democracy, with ministries, a parliament and all, only without the democracy.

Please stop talking out of your ass. You're not doing anyone a favor by making things up.

Quote:
Stalin had absolutely no idea how to industrialize Russia. That must've been why industrialization was such a success, right?


Here's a random example (out of hundreds): Stalin's mania for repression and his dedication to the economics of slave labor. It dovetailed so neatly that contemporary observers found it hard to say whether he raised the number of arrests in order to build more camps, or vice versa. Throughout the 1940s, Stalin insisted on giving the NKVD more and more economic power, so much so that by 1952 the NKVD controlled 9% of the capital investment in Russia, and the five year plan written for 1951-5 called for this investment to more than double.

What this means is that Stalin launched a series of spectacular, ridiculous Gulag construction projects because he was an insane megalomaniac. The most notoriously useless and deadly of these was the White Sea Canal built in the early 30s, but Stalin also personally advocated the construction of a railway line across the Arctic tundra, fom Salekhard to Igarka, known as the "Road of Death" for obvious reasons. There were also the Volga-Don, the Volga-Baltic and the Great Turkmen Canals, all of which were a horrendous waste of human lives. Although there were no open objections to these projects in Stalin's lifetime, several, including the "Road of Death" and a tunnel to Sakhalin, were aborted within days of his death, because the pointlessness of these feats of crude manpower had been well understood. One inspection carried out in 1951 showed that an entire 83 kilometers of far northern railway track, constructed at great expense and at the cost of many lives, had not been used in three years.

This was not only an immense waste of human lives and labor power, it was also an immense waste of money because the Gulag was notoriously unprofitable. In 1952, in fact, the state had subsidized the Gulag to the tune of 2.3 billion roubles, more than 16% of the state's entire budgetary allocation. For nothing! What a success!

And don't try to shift the blame away from Stalin here. The Russian historian Galina Ivanova has noted that NKVD memos to Stalin concerning expansion to the camps often began with the phrase "in accordance with your wishes", as if to emphasize the writer's subtle objections.

Quote:
Stalin, a communist who spoke of building socialism in the USSR, clearly industrialized the Soviet Union not because, you know, he actually gave a damn about his country or his people, but because he just cared about his own power.

This claim is absurd.


Yeah because you know, dictatorships never happen ever. That is absurd.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 112
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Apr 2013, 20:13
Pioneer
Post 28 Jan 2014, 04:59
Mabool wrote:
Korea and Vietnam weren't "proletarian" struggles by any means, nor was China. Not only did the Maoists shoot striking workers, they were also sabotaged by Stalin. Stalin's "advice" to Mao was so exceptionally bad that a declared enemy couldn't have acted much differently.


If China, Korea, Vietnam, etc. were not proletarian struggles, than was a proletarian struggle? Was it only the ones that rejected Stalin and glorified Trotsky? See, that's your problem. You (and most other Trotskyists I've encountered) always shrug off every single communist movement, party, organisation, etc. that is friendly to Stalin in some way as "not really proletarian". Don't be so sectarian.

Quote:
The "republican forces", i.e. the Stalinist popular front, ended the socialist revolution which was going on in Spain (and which you seem to know nothing about) by killing all the revolutionaries. This was immensely reactionary. Please study some basic history of the workers' movement.


I never really understood why so many Trotskyists have a problem with the "popular front". The Republican forces were working against the fascists, and the Republicans were composed of communists/socialists. Although I must admit I'm not that educated on this subject, to claim I don't understand basic history of the workers' movement is quite ridiculous.

Quote:
Again, you prove that you know nothing about history. If you have time, I strongly suggest you read this to find out what happened in Czechoslovakia in 1968.


You're sending me links to a blatantly Trotskyist source. That would be like me sending you likes written by a hardline Stalinist organisation about how Trotskyism was supposedly responsible for all these horrible things and trying to pass it off as truth. Please, you're going to have to do better than that.

Quote:
LOL are you actively refusing to use your brain and understand cause and effect? The Brezhnev stagnation happened because the Stalinist model of planning proved horrendously inefficient for anything that went beyond basic industrialization. Stalin installed a system in which the production of millions of different kinds of commodities would be directed by one central planning agency. This task is impossible to fulfill and it's not at all what a planned economy is supposed to look like.

At Stalin's time, Trotsky already warned that democracy is the air that socialism breathes, and that Stalin was suffocating it. The Brezhnev stagnation was its death. The Gorbachev counterrevolution was the logical result of stagnation. Please try to regard a historical process in its entirety instead of resorting to stupid abstractions like "Stalin Good, Brezhnev Bad". The men are parts of a continuum.


The planned economy was efficient most of the time. Yes, a stagnation occurred in the '70s, but I don't believe this was due to the inherent nature of the planned economy, and it certainly wasn't because Stalin was responsible. And I love then how you claim Gorbachev's reforms were a direct result of the stagnation, which in turn were a direct turn of the Stalinist economy. Is there anything you don't blame Stalin for? It seems you point out every negative thing that ever occurred in the Soviet Union, or any socialist country for that matter, and claimed Stalin or "Stalinism" ruined it.

By the way, I'm not against Brezhnev at all. So to say I claim things such as "Stalin good, Brezhnev bad" is stupid. And what 'continuum' were there a part of? These two men were different leaders in different eras of the country.

Quote:
Except, you know, Stalin completely emasculated the Soviets, which constituted the backbone of the state under Lenin, and in 1936 he made this official with his constitutional reform which changed everything and turned the political system of the USSR into a caricature of bourgeois democracy, with ministries, a parliament and all, only without the democracy.

Please stop talking out of your ass. You're not doing anyone a favor by making things up.


I'm the one talking out of my ass? Where is all the evidence for your claims?

Quote:
Here's a random example (out of hundreds): Stalin's mania for repression and his dedication to the economics of slave labor. It dovetailed so neatly that contemporary observers found it hard to say whether he raised the number of arrests in order to build more camps, or vice versa. Throughout the 1940s, Stalin insisted on giving the NKVD more and more economic power, so much so that by 1952 the NKVD controlled 9% of the capital investment in Russia, and the five year plan written for 1951-5 called for this investment to more than double.

What this means is that Stalin launched a series of spectacular, ridiculous Gulag construction projects because he was an insane megalomaniac. The most notoriously useless and deadly of these was the White Sea Canal built in the early 30s, but Stalin also personally advocated the construction of a railway line across the Arctic tundra, fom Salekhard to Igarka, known as the "Road of Death" for obvious reasons. There were also the Volga-Don, the Volga-Baltic and the Great Turkmen Canals, all of which were a horrendous waste of human lives. Although there were no open objections to these projects in Stalin's lifetime, several, including the "Road of Death" and a tunnel to Sakhalin, were aborted within days of his death, because the pointlessness of these feats of crude manpower had been well understood. One inspection carried out in 1951 showed that an entire 83 kilometers of far northern railway track, constructed at great expense and at the cost of many lives, had not been used in three years.

This was not only an immense waste of human lives and labor power, it was also an immense waste of money because the Gulag was notoriously unprofitable. In 1952, in fact, the state had subsidized the Gulag to the tune of 2.3 billion roubles, more than 16% of the state's entire budgetary allocation. For nothing! What a success!

And don't try to shift the blame away from Stalin here. The Russian historian Galina Ivanova has noted that NKVD memos to Stalin concerning expansion to the camps often began with the phrase "in accordance with your wishes", as if to emphasize the writer's subtle objections.


And what does this have to do with Stalin's "failure" to industrialise Russia? This seems to be critiquing Gulag labour rather than the industrialisation of the Soviet Union. Yes, the Gulag was used to build industrial projects, but it's not as though industrialisation was entire built on the back of Gulag inmates, as you seem to be implying.

And not all of these Gulag projects were "pointless", nor did all of them result in the loss of many human lives. Gulag prisoners were: a) usually not there for political reasons (~7% of all Gulag inmates were there for political reasons), and b) were usually released in about 2 to 5 years. It's not as though people were "worked to death" or anything along those lines. That said, the Gulag was ridiculously overdone and de-Stalinization was absolutely necessary in this case. I definitely don't support a lot of the excesses of the Gulag labour camps.

Quote:
Yeah because you know, dictatorships never happen ever. That is absurd.


I'm not claiming dictatorships never happen. You were the one claiming that Stalin only industrialised the Soviet Union because he only cared about his own power. That is absurd.
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