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The Offtopicgrad Soviet: A Place to Discuss All Things Red

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Cheezy the Wiz, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    I cited it as partial evidence, not as evidence by itself. It's evidence that the proletariat remains in control of the state and that huge sections of the economy are not capitalist, as critics of China are quick to quip.

    The issue is not *merely* nationalization, but nationalization to what purpose. Control over those industries by social democracy is an imperialist measure, designed to do two things: 1, maintain control in the metropole (you'll notice that the empire was falling apart during that period) by trying to "buy off" the proletariat at home, and 2, to stabilize the economy during both depression and recovery. In social democracy the capitalist class remains in firm control of the state (indeed social democracy happens because they are afraid they will soon lose it, as class antagonisms heighten under late imperialism), and the temporary measure of the nationalizations will be made apparent as they are returned to the control of individual capitalists at earliest opportunity. This is possible because being a capitalist-controlled state, their nationalization means that they never left control of the capitalist class in the first place, that property simply transferred to class control instead of individual control.

    But what is the purpose of nationalization under a proletarian state? It is to place the industries and their produce at the disposal of the entire proletariat. The proletariat controls the state, and their state has no interest in perpetuating capitalist relations or structures in society (because all states are class dictatorships that remake society according to the interests of the class that rules it), so their surplus value is disposed of differently. In China, as in the USSR under the NEP, the purpose of creating a capitalist sector and SEZs is to engage in "socialist primitive accumulation." The commanding heights of the economy are maintained so that the workers' state can accrue the necessary capital, via foreign investment and the like, so that it can build up the necessary industries to be able to push forward toward communism in such a way that it can actually be protected and maintained. Soviet Russia in 1921, like PRC in the mid-late 1970s (or Vietnam in the mid-1980s, or Cuba today), could not handle this. They took one step back in order to be able to take two, well-collected steps forward later. Of course the question is not just economic it is geopolitical: both instances also feature imperialist encirclement. In such an environment one must tread very carefully, or any and every mistake will be used against you by your enemy.

    But the creation of a capitalist sector does not mean a reversion to a capitalist state, that can only happen through violent dissolution. And we have not seen that in China. So if a worker's state once existed there, then it has never since ceased to.

    I've already done this. The soviet is the primary difference structurally, but also important is which the state's violence is wielded against (not "members of which class," because obviously there are still going to be elements of the lower class that harbor counter-revolutionary views and engage in counter-revolutionary acts. This is politics of class and power, not individual ID politics). In a worker's state the law, the police, the army, the systems that maintain power and order, and maintain the balance of forces in society are "biased" in favor of the proletariat. It is more complex than simply holding up two "models" of the state and seeing at face-value which is different. It take class analysis. That is especially true during the age of imperialism, where socialist states do not have the luxury of proceeding toward communism as fast as they would like. Protecting the proletarian dictatorship is the most important thing, because it enables everything else. They're not going to be perfect, model societies according to what the books say they should look like.
     
  2. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    It is important to point out that during post-war Austerity Labour was arguing that nationalization, housing, and health programs were to "build a New Jerusalem". While some of the arguments for their policies were purely cost/benefit analysis, almost all of their policies were envisioned as building a better future so that there would be no need for events like the Jarrow March or the mass unemployment during the 30s.
    From the way you put it, it sounds like the thing that kept Austerity Britain from becoming a proletarian state was that they never got around to shooting the capitalists.
     
  3. ReindeerThistle

    ReindeerThistle Zimmerwald Left

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    Source? Because pursuant to the Potsdam agreement, they had free elections.


    If by "That," you mean murder of the popular socialist leadership, sending in Allied troops and stuffing ballot boxes, then you have pretty much summed up bourgeois democracy.

    #whyIfight
     
  4. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    I asked a forbidden question.
     
  5. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    What was that?
     
  6. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    Capitalist welfare states are part of imperialism. A socialist society is not. There is a huge difference as to where the wealth comes from and how, and "getting around to shooting capitalists," while it matters to a certain degree, is really only part of the step that is the transition of modes of production.

    Until you lot can grasp that the real world doesn't work like a civilization game, where one simply changes governments and thus changes the economy, or like that ridiculous political compass graph where all politics is simply a sliding scale, then simple things like "what is the nature and class character of the state" will continue to elude you.

    Engels' Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State, and Lenin's State & Revolution are a good place to start. Stalin's Problems of Leninism is a good addendum, because it covers the results of the Trade Union Debate, which have an impact on the application of some of the points in S&R about how the transition to socialism can proceed.

    State, Power, Socialism by Nicos Poultanzas will cover that as well, if the mustache intimidates you.
     
  7. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    YouTube is too full of good stuff to watch propaganda. He explains away China's ongoing human rights violations? Tl/Dr version. We all know the US had problems but at least we are free to discuss them without government censorship.
     
  8. REDY

    REDY Duty Caller

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    What happened to Tank Man?
     
  9. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    Take your own advice.
     
  10. west india man

    west india man Immortal

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    The whole NSA thing wasn't an attempt to censor the whistleblowers?

    Nobody knows for sure
     
  11. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    The whole NSA thing is, to me, pretty damn worrisome.

    But here's the thing: I, as an American living in the US, can sit on my computer and make posts on CFC about how the government is a pack of lying murderers who don't think twice about committing a war crime if it means some of their business cronies will benefit in some way.
    That is not the case in China. I invite you to go there and see how long you can last criticizing the government without being detained. They probably won't do anything too bad if you have a foreign passport.
     
  12. ReindeerThistle

    ReindeerThistle Zimmerwald Left

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    You can SAY anything in America; when you DO something...

    It's not the criticism in China, it's the gunfights that land you in prison.
     
  13. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    China has long record full of government repression and censorship. I'm sorry you don't like reality.
     
  14. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    Maybe, can you be more specific?
     
  15. west india man

    west india man Immortal

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    Edward Snowden is currently living in Moscow because he believes (probably correctly) that he'll end up in Federal prison if he goes to the US, and probably tortured and killed.

    The US isn't somewhere where you get censored for saying general anti-government things, or saying ''Bush/Clinton/Obama/Congress sucks ass'', but if you uncover something the US government wanted to keep a secret, you can expect to be persecuted
     
  16. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Wow, the government doesn't like that he embarrassed it and exposed classified information? Big surprise, that. Point me out a single government in the whole world that doesn't act the same way.

    Like I said the anti-whistleblower crusade that's been going on under Obama is a problem; but using the example of Snowden to say that there isn't substantially more freedom to criticize the government in the US than, say, China (or Russia for that matter - which is why Snowden's sojourn there is rather ironic) is specious.
     
  17. Daw

    Daw Emperor

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    In fact, I, as an American Russian living in the US Russia, can sit on my computer and make posts on CFC about how the government is a pack of lying murderers who don't think twice about committing a war crime if it means some of their business cronies will benefit in some way.

    Not a big deal.

    The fact that I practically never do it is another story and is related not to any prohibitions or fears thereof but to my personal stance: I just don't think that way about my government, though there're quite a few scumbags there indeed.

    The point is that there are people on the Russian-speaking section of the Internet who post nothing but that, and I'd guess that the Russian-speaking part of the Internet is monitored by the relevant authorities somewhat closer than CFC.
     
  18. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Sure, tell that to Pussy Riot. Russia's not as bad as China, at least AFAIK, but it's not as good as the US either. If you think Obama cracks down on whistleblowers you should pay attention to Putin sometime.

    The only possible conclusions are
    a) the USSR was not a socialist state, or
    b) the USSR did not engage in imperialism

    I bet I know which one you'll claim is true.

    But weren't you, as recently as a few pages ago in this thread, telling us that in all types of societies wealth comes from labor? So what is the 'huge difference'?

    Ironically, it's your thinking that more closely reflects the belief that reality is like Civ-IV's civic changing. The "class character" of the states you claim are 'socialist' is that the ruling (one might say, capitalist) class is composed of Party officials and those who are well-connected with Party officials. But it's you who wants to claim that because these societies are run by states which label themselves socialist, they are of a fundamentally different character from other societies whose states don't use the label.
     
  19. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    I'm not saying that Russia is perfect in terms of dealing with the political opposition, but in this particular case, they were sentenced according to the law. There were similar cases, like with the guys who drew swastika on a synagogue and got 6-years term, IIRC.

    In my opinion, the P-riot didn't deserve anything more than 15 days arrest, but Russian criminal codex treats religious hatred crimes unusually harshly.
     
  20. ReindeerThistle

    ReindeerThistle Zimmerwald Left

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    @Lexicus: find and Read Fidel Castro's "Speech to the Fourth Conference of Non-Aligned Nations," 1973, where he debunks the "Socialist Imperialist" accusations against the USSR.

    Imperialism is a stage of capitalism; it's the export of capital for the extraction of surplus value (wealth created by labor). The USSR did none of that.

    The property question and the state question in socialist societies is that the contradiction between labor and capital are resolved in favor of labor.

    In China, CEOs of companies whose products kill people get the firing squad; while a worker in a crime of passion gets jail time.

    In America, no Union Carbide execs punished for the murder of tens of.thousands of Indians; but a man stealing three children's videos ($26 value) can get life in prison.

    As for Pussy Riot: quite sure they'd be jailed in America for what they did.
     

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