The Soviet Union was Capitalist. Yes you read that correctly. The SU was Capitalist, State Capitalist with a giant welfare system, but nontheless Capitalist.
Now before you downvote to hell me or lash out on me furiously because I am challenging 100 years of propaganda, I will explain everything and we can debate this.
What is Capitalism? The definition in the sidebar is decent.
What is Socialism? A society where the means of production are owned by the workers and they play some role in controlling their work, but it might not be absolute. Not all forms of socialism is communism, but communism is socialism.
What is Communism? An egalitarian classless society free from exploitation and domination. A society where everyone is equal and free.
Now by definitoon the SU can't be Communist, because:
- It was a State.
- It had all the institutions of any other western liberal democracy: police, military, political party, bureaucracy, prisons, etc..
- It was authoritarian, and it had hierarchy and domination
- It had exploitation, the Bolshevik party elite lived a luxorious lifestyle while others were starving
- It had money
- Everything was state managed by the Bolshevik ruling class.
It was the antithesis of Communism, and it looked like a Capitalist dictatorship. Authoritarian State Capitalism with nationalized industry and a welfare state.
Just because the burgeoise was replaced by an authoritarian vanguard ruling class that called itself Communist, that didn't made it so. They just lied.
The farms, industries, workshops were nationalized, not collectivized. There is a difference. So it was not even socialism, because there was no property for the workers, as everything was owned by the state.
Leninism even allowed petite burgeois Capitalism: small shopkeepers. Stalin totally nationalized everything and was sort of a Nationalist himself, all his "motherland" propaganda and militaristic discipline, patriotism, in WW2 reeks of nationalism.
Let's put that in perspective:
Currently 10 companies own the food industry in the West, and in the US about 6 companies control the majority of the media. The US has a 2 party system which is more and more converging into a 1 party system with very many common policy items.
That is pretty close to Leninism in my opinion. Like what is the difference between a Corporation's internal economics and the Soviet Economy? Remember there is no money mechanism internally. So a corporation's internal trade system between it's subsidiaries and supply chain is the same as the organization of the soviet economy. Because you capitalists always say that just because the industry was not privately owned, it can't be capitalist. But then see for yourself, the corporations internall work exactly the same way.
Soviets have used money to trade resources with other countries, even the US.
Now if these corporations centralize even more and 1 corporation will totally dominate an entire industry, how is that different from Stalinism, where the State managed everything?
You capitalists say that the state can't run the economy. But then look at the corporate system, how 5-6 corporations do run the economy. So how is that different if that merges into 1?
It's all capitalism. And yes the Soviet Union had an extensive welfare system, which it must have had because it messed up the economy by displacing many workers, that it had to put people on welfare.
Well that is exactly what is happening now. How now the corporations are laying off people, gobbling up the economy, and less and less jobs are available.
So people are crying out for a welfare state, but that is the same what happened in these Marxist-Leninist states.
Plus the authoritarianism rises proportionally with the concentration of capital.
The Soviet Union harshly persecuted any dissident faction. Lenin banned all factions in the CPSU, and imposed the domination of the CPSU on the entire country.
How is that different from having 1 dominant party of burgeoise/opportunists running the entire economy.
So just wait until these corporations consolidate more and more economic power, and you'll have exactly the same kind of authoritarianism as it was in the SU.
Anything that is not explicitly Communist has some form of Capitalism in it, except indigenous societies with "primitive-communism" but that is a different debate.
- Socialism is not Communism
- Capitalist welfare state is not Communism
- State Capitalism is not Communism
- Corporate welfare state is not Communism
- Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism-Maoism is not Communism
Communism is not parliamentary and not statist. Any system that has the same state institutions by definition can't be Communist.
It doesn't matter what they call themselves, they are just liars. Chomsky explained this very well:
- The west called the SU Communist because to imply that Communism is an authoritarian dictatorship and to make everyone scared of it.
- The SU called itself Communist to fool the working class and to pretend that it cared about them.
Pretty hard to realize the truth when the 2 biggest propaganda machines agree on something.
After 100 years of propaganda, it's really time to clear up the terminology.
What was True Communism (or at least as close as we can get to it, obviously not perfect):
- The Paris Commune (partially, mostly Socialist)
- The Saint Petersburg Soviet of Workers' Delegates (before Trotsky subverted it and took it over on behalf of Lenin)
- The Free Territory in Ukraine controlled by the Makhno Rebels (until Trotsky invaded them)
- The CNT-FAI-UGT-POUM controlled territories during the Spanish Revolution of 1936 (until Stalin destroyed them)
Ironically the Bolsheviks were the enemies of Communism, because they tried to control and dismantle any form of worker control over industry. The Bolsheviks did more damage to Communism than the liberal burgeoise.