Soviet-Empire.com U.S.S.R. and communism historical discussion.
[ Active ]
[ Login ]
Log-in to remove these advertisements.

USSR Without Marxism

POST REPLY

Was Marxism necessary for the economic and military successes of the Soviet Union?

Yes
13
59%
No
5
23%
Other
4
18%
 
Total votes : 22
Soviet cogitations: 2407
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Nov 2003, 13:17
Ideology: Other
Forum Commissar
Post 13 Sep 2013, 06:22
Could a revolutionary government have achieved the mass industrialisation and then later developments by successive leaders if it did not have Marxist ideology? For example, what if the revolution of 1917 had been led and successfully carried out by nationalists or even anti-communists? They could still have implemented command economy type policies and done all that the Bolsheviks did.

Therefore was Marxism necessary for the economic and military successes of the Soviet Union?
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 13 Sep 2013, 12:07
This is a good question. They couldn't have done what the Communists did. Nationalizations wouldn't have been possible because they support would have come from the bourgeoisie, not the working class and the poor peasantry. I don't think such a country would have survived war against Nazi Germany. It's was the same problem with Chiang Kai-Shek in China, he couldn't mordernize and organize the country fast enough because of the bourgeoisie and its thirst for profits.
Image

"Fishing is part of agriculture" Gred
"Loz, you are like me" Yami
"I am one of the better read Marxists on this site" Gred
Loz
[+-]
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 11879
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 13 Sep 2013, 13:16
Quote:
Could a revolutionary government have achieved the mass industrialisation and then later developments by successive leaders if it did not have Marxist ideology?

Hardly. What did Kerensky's government do in its six or so months in power? Nothing. Obviously War Communism of the Bolsheviks wasn't very nice but at least it served its purpose, to win the war and preserve workers' power.
I don't think Denikin and Kolchak and co. could have done any better than the old Tzarist government, not to mention the various gangs and bands and figures such as von Ungern.

Quote:
For example, what if the revolution of 1917 had been led and successfully carried out by nationalists or even anti-communists? They could still have implemented command economy type policies and done all that the Bolsheviks did.

Even most Bolsheviks didn't exactly have in mind the collectivization as it was done under Stalin, or his brutal industrialization policy of the first two five year plans.
Soviet cogitations: 216
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Jul 2013, 05:04
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 13 Sep 2013, 14:28
The extensive debates regarding how to organize the Soviet economy in the early years after the end of the Civil War were all informed by Marxism. Marxism formed the basis for the Soviet planning economy. Also, as Loz points out, the major possible alternatives likely would not have done better than the Tsarist regime.

That being said, we do have successful examples of state-led industrialization in non-socialist regimes, particularly in East Asia (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan), so perhaps it is not impossible that a nationalist Russia would have industrialized, I just don't think it is likely. A good book on the subject is Farm to Factory: A Reinterpretation of the Soviet Industrial Revolution by Robert C. Allen. See book description and sample chapter below.

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/7611.html

http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/s7611.html
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 758
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Jan 2008, 19:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 13 Sep 2013, 21:29
I believe there was a study done by a bourgeois historian, who I don't recall at the moment, who did a study of whether industrialization under Bukharin, who was a Marxist of a sort but also a Market Socialist who would have continued NEP, would have happened fast enough to defeat Hitler, and his answer was a resounding no. Without Stalinist squeezing of the peasantry, the capital to fund industrialization would never have existed. Not to mention the purely military question of shifting important Soviet industries to the east out of the hands of Hitler, which would have been impossible under the market mechanism.

I believe without question that there had to be a Bolshevik government in Russia, and that a Czarist or Kerenskyist government would have lead the nation to disaster, which they in fact already did, which is why there were overthrown. Even a market-oriented Russia would have had to have been a Dengist style regime under the CPSU.
Kamran Heiss
Soviet cogitations: 216
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Jul 2013, 05:04
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 13 Sep 2013, 22:46
heiss93 wrote:
I believe there was a study done by a bourgeois historian, who I don't recall at the moment, who did a study of whether industrialization under Bukharin, who was a Marxist of a sort but also a Market Socialist who would have continued NEP, would have happened fast enough to defeat Hitler, and his answer was a resounding no. Without Stalinist squeezing of the peasantry, the capital to fund industrialization would never have existed. Not to mention the purely military question of shifting important Soviet industries to the east out of the hands of Hitler, which would have been impossible under the market mechanism.

I believe without question that there had to be a Bolshevik government in Russia, and that a Czarist or Kerenskyist government would have lead the nation to disaster, which they in fact already did, which is why there were overthrown. Even a market-oriented Russia would have had to have been a Dengist style regime under the CPSU.


Was this historian Robert C. Allen? I referenced his work in my earlier post and I do believe he did a computer simulation of Russian economic performance under a continued NEP and under a continuation of the Tsarist-era system of protectionist capitalism and neither alternative did better than Stalinist industrialization. Next to Japan, the USSR was the most successful developing economy in the 20th century. I doubt Russia could have won World War II without Stalinist industrialization. The relatively poor performance of the Imperial Russian Army during World War I revealed the weakness of Russian capitalism when it came to withstanding major shocks such as an invasion and world war.
Loz
[+-]
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 11879
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 13 Sep 2013, 23:15
The Soviet Army didn't perform that well either, at least not until 1943 or so. Stalin is responsible for the three million dead and taken prisoner in the first weeks of the war. He's also directly responsible for the disastrous Kiev operation which was one of the biggest defeats in military history, where the Red Army lost more than half a million (!) people for nothing, because Stalin and co. did not want to approve retreating until it was too late ( an idiocy later often repeated by Hitler in the second part of the war in the East ).
Granted, in the WW1 Russia only fought a fraction of the German forces ( the A-H Army was rather inefficient and always lost when facing the Russians alone ).
And i think the fact that Soviet peoples in general stood loyal to Stalin's regime had a lot to do with the German barbarity and their monstrous crimes commited in the East. Still, more than a million Soviets joined the German Army and pro-Nazi militias.
And let's not let Lend Lease out of the picture when talking about Soviet victory.
Soviet cogitations: 2051
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Jun 2011, 08:37
Party Bureaucrat
Post 14 Sep 2013, 20:14
I'm not a stalin apologist, but I think the events of 1941 would go largely as they did, regardless of tactics.

Standing and fighting was as much for morale as anything else. Conducting a fighting withdrawal on that scale takes a very disciplined army, which the red army was not yet. When you add up, that there's no guarantee a defense further back will hold, it becomes like picking from a list of bad decisions.

It doesn't help that the red army was being reorganized from the war in finland, and was still lacking much modern equipment. T34 were slow in making it to the front and the aging T26 were abandoned or destroyed by the thousands.


Of course, noone else fared much better. The French and British armies on paper should have defeated the Germans handily, but were outwitted and outfought. The Poles were not push overs but they fell just the same, as did Norway (despite allied aid).
Soviet America is Free America!

Under communism, there is no freedom; you are not free to live in poverty, be homeless, to be without an education, to starve, or to be without a job
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 237
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Jul 2014, 21:53
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 08 Aug 2014, 04:22
Under the unequal economic development model, ruling classes in backwards countries are usually averse to changes. If a country reaches a certain state of economic development that allows its ruling class a confortable state of living, they will usually opose any change. That way economic material problems are not the most difficult obstacle to change, but the ruling class unwillingness to risks. Even a poor country has some kind of surplus, or else, how could the elites in those countries be "elites" ?

So, lets see what we have in Russia at that time. We have a filth rich elite of landowners and burgeois (at cities). Those landowners are used to consume imported products from france and other more industrialized countries in Europe. Russian small industrialization has a character common to most late industrialized countries. The capital needed to setup the factories came majoritarely from a foreign power (in that case, France). So we have two classes, the landowners, who are satisfied in buying from abroad, and the capitalists, who are associated with the very same foreingn powers (so wont compete in equal terms with said foreign powers).

In other words, Russian economic structure at the time is, under some sense, equal to Brazil's or China in the era. Even with governments wanting to industrialize, they couldnt, due to lack of funds and the resistence from landowers. Funds that could be obtained from outside, but that usually comes with strings attached, because neither france, germany or england would want a new competitor in those markets.

You can see what Russia would become without socialism by looking at Brazil where most industrial plants are owned by multinationals (because the capital came from outside). This had a large the effect in Brazil's internal and external politics.

So what the socialist revolution in Russia achieved ? By breaking the ownership of land and factories and decreasing the economic inequality, released capital for industrialization. Thats the root cause of the fast russian economic industrialization.

Even if you say that the initial capital came from selling grains (and that this caused a famine - holodomor - if you believe that in part or in totality) abroad, that money obtained by seling grains would, under capitalism, sustain the luxury of landowners and capitalists. In other words, Russia exchanged the luxury of the filth rich, for machines for the industry. You might very well have a capitalist holodomor in a capitalist Russia, because you cannot guarantee that those kulaks would not sell the same ammount of grain, but for a different porpuse.
Alternative Display:
Mobile view
More Forums: The History Forum. The UK Politics Forum.
© 2000- Soviet-Empire.com. Privacy.
cron