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The Soviet Union was Capitalist

Submitted by gooey in Communism (edited )

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.


True Communism

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.

Comments

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4

asstrain wrote

The problem with this definition of communism or socialism is that it can’t possibly mean anything concrete. It simply means what you can project yourself on to. Political ideologies are social constructs that change with the wind. So “true whatever-the-hellism” is mainly a projection.

Because like going with something like the Paris Commune, they still had leaders and elections and that and still produced things. It was an incredibly unique emergency situation like any other war or battle. They really didn’t have deep political ideologues.

But that aside, where else would real communism exist? Well probably just in people’s imaginations of political essentialism.

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gooey wrote

Anarcho-Communism doesn't necessarily mean no leaders at all.

It rather looks at unjustified hierarchies. If the hierarchy is temporary and they have no authority but just act as a delegate of some sort, that is permissible.

There was no other practical way to coordinate millions of other people, but it was compensated with democratic values, and every person having a say in politics. It was fully participatory, if everyone participates, then forms of domination are abolished.

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BigGeorge wrote (edited )

It rather looks at unjustified hierarchies. If the hierarchy is temporary and they have no authority but just act as a delegate of some sort, that is permissible.

Then stop calling it anarcho-communism. That has nothing to do with anarchy. Call it Chomskyism or something.

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Anarcropolis wrote

Anarcho-Communism doesn't necessarily mean no leaders at all.

Anarchy = no leaders

I get what you mean with "temporary hierarchy" but that isn't a leader.

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asstrain wrote

"I'm inconsistent in my views, and accept hierarchy in that if I like it."

Anarchists, every Goddamn time.

The only solution to Capitalism isn't your Utopianism. It's to develop a class consciousness and let the workers rule themselves. Free from states, free from law, free from tax.

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gooey wrote

No. Anarchism is about abolishing unjustified hierarchies of domination and exploitation.

It would be best if all hierarchies are abolished but practically in some cases it might be needed.

I know plenty of cooperatives that have elected managers, and they rotate them every week. So every worker becomes a manager at some point, and they all discuss things.

Authority can be kept in check if there is democracy and the hierarchy is temporary.

The FAI zones in Catalonia operated on something like this. Some farms were managed like this, where groups of 10 worked on a farm and they rotated their leaders to avoid them entrenching in their authority.

2

BigGeorge wrote

No. Anarchism is about abolishing unjustified hierarchies

No. It isn't.

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VulgarMarxist wrote

The Paris Commune wasn't true Communism. At least not by any Marxist interpretation of the word "Communism". Rather, it was an example of what the Revolutionary Dictatorship of the Proletariat could look like. Marx at least described it as such in his(& Engels') work about the 1871 civil war in France.

Communism isn't a state of affair to which reality will have to adjust itself. Communism isn't a set of policies to be implemented. Communism isn't a "right/wrong" thing. Communism is the movement to abolish the present state of things, meaning the Capitalist/Liberal/Bourgeoisie/Whateverothernamesithas mode of production, to give rise to the next mode of production, which would be the Socialist mode of production,

Also: Chomsky is a US college Commie with no ties to any Labourers, sitting in his glass castle in MIT, and while he raises some legitimate critiques of Capitalism, his ideas are inherently flawed, in that he doesn't actually offer solutions, nor does he actively aim to help the working class.

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gooey wrote

I didn't said it was, it had elements in it, some workplaces were run without money and hierarchy (it's so interesting that whenever a leftist revolution happens, some people immediately abandon greed and money, as if it's just a burden on them, thought ancoms are always a minority, mostly syndicalists prevail as a temporary idea, because communism can only happen after all forms of exploitation and domination dissapear).

The Paris Commune was Radical Socialism as the Wiki page describes and that is fair, that is why I said partially.

Also: Chomsky is a US college Commie with no ties to any Labourers, sitting in his glass castle in MIT, and while he raises some legitimate critiques of Capitalism, his ideas are inherently flawed, in that he doesn't actually offer solutions, nor does he actively aim to help the working class.

That is true. He is a middle-class intellectual. But come on give peace to the man, he is a very valuable intellectual, the most prominent one of Libertarian Socialist school of the 20th century.

Everyone does what they can, and in the capitalist system you can't blame anyone for trying to do their best even if they fail. Capitalism provides limited opportunities for activists /intellectuals.

Chomsky focused his work largely criticizing US foreign policy, Soviet Union, Corporate Media and Politics including Burgeoise criticism, Corporations, Nuclear War and recently Climate Change.

In normal circumstances radical leftists work together with Social Democrats, and that is what he did too, so I don't blame him for that.

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VulgarMarxist wrote

Your last segment where you list the Paris Commune is literally called "***What was True Communism (or at least as close as we can get to it, obviously not perfect):"*

The Free Territories of Ukraine weren't exactly that great either. They existed only as a state in revolutionary Warfare, instead of as a revolution by themselves. The same goes for revolutionary Catalonia. Rather than being carried through Revolutions, these two examples came from warfare, and were upheld by warfare. Not by revolutionary vigor. Oppertunism was what it was, nothing more.

I'll repeat myself. Communism is not a thing that "happens". It is not a state of affairs. To claim so is useless Utopianist drivels.

**"**Es macht ihn ein Geschwätz nicht satt,

das schafft kein Essen her."

Chomsky is overrated. There are plenty of earlier critiques of Capitalism that make the same points as him, the only difference being that Chomsky just happened to be the right place at the right time. There is a reason why we don't hear about him here in Europe, because all of his points were made by figure back when he was a kid, or even before he was born. Chomsky is only regurgitating old Socialist thought to young ears. His intellectual value is questionable at best, considering that his audience isn't the workers, but mostly students, who then continue to take their education, and at best themselves become armchair anarchists, leaving behind their activism when they leave their education.

I only now started on a University education, after getting a traditional labour job at a brewery right out of my Gymnasiumial education, and I see this all around me. Plenty of fired up ideologues, but no activists. They come out for May Day and that's it. They join Yellow Unions, and say "it's the same". They praise the Liberal turns in the Social Democratic party, saying that it "at least still helps the workers".

Calling Chomsky the most Prominent Libertarian Socialist of the 20th century is a direct insult to people like Luxemburg, Korsch, Reich, Rühle, Durruti, Hoffmann, Debord, and many others far more prominent thinkers. Hell, I wouldn't even consider Chomsky the most prominent American Libertarian Socialist of the 20th century, when you also have figures like Mattick, Day, Boggs, Thomson, and Bookchin.

Chomsky was only lucky to be picked out by the media. He is nothing more than a lucky face among many possible. To claim that Chomsky hasn't been given opportunities is wrong as well. He has been literally spoon fed from the day he was born. He has had plenty of time to throw himself into active Labour party politics. Instead he has placed himself in his aforementioned glass castle, and plays "the perfect theoretician".

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martasultan wrote

The Free Territories of Ukraine weren't exactly that great either. They existed only as a state in revolutionary Warfare, instead of as a revolution by themselves... these two examples came from warfare, and were upheld by warfare. Not by revolutionary vigor. Oppertunism was what it was, nothing more.

I just want to say, there isn't really a much better time to seize autonomy for yourself (e.g. modern Rojava) than when the government is pre-occupied with other foes, and often isn't very present in your region; I also note they were revolutions as well, having overthrown the local tentacles of the Directorate before being able to establish their own communes and councils in place, as the Ukrainian People's Republic had already government in the area.

Capitalism is global and a global revolution is unlikely to happen soon; the best choice is to be 'opportunist' if you wish to secure a land where you can be free of capitalism, because there's no better time thus far.

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gooey wrote (edited )

Not by revolutionary vigor. Oppertunism was what it was, nothing more.

Ah come on, what kind of argument is that. I said there that it was not perfect. Like how can you even expect perfect communism where capitalism encloses the entire planet, of course it will be tainted by some form of imperfection.

Bakunin was slightly misogynist, Marx mooched off of his friends, Kropotkin supported WW1 Germany.

Does that mean that we throw all their ideas in the trash?

Just pick out what is good and discard the rest, we know what communism is, and if we identify new forms of oppression then we act on it.

So they did their best what they could at the time. Women and LGBT were barely getting liberated, and most revolutionaries were white people with patriarchal tendencies.

Now we know that is bad, so in the past 60 years we have improved our ideology, but you can't blame them in the historical context they did their best.

Communism is not a thing that "happens". It is not a state of affairs.

Yes communism is a goal, it's a state of being in total harmony with nature. Did I claim otherwise?

His intellectual value is questionable at best, considering that his audience isn't the workers, but mostly students,

21 century Anarchism doesn't focus that much on the working class, because the industrial working class is alredy going away in automation. Instead we are trying to be more inclusive and work with groups that we can.

Students are always a good and energetic group that can help us progress society and be the future intellectuals.

Chosmky is not organizing a revolution but rather planting seeds of progressiveness and socialism in the next generation of capable intellectuals who will have the opportunity to be influential.

Plus he also wrote plenty of books that anyone can read and teach their own groups from.

Chomsky is more an indirect influencer, and his material is mostly aimed towards civil societies that look for social issues. He is not a labor activist obviously.

As I said, we want to abolish all forms of oppression, and Capitalism is just 1 of them. It's pretty hard to dismantle Capitalism so focusing on other forms of oppression might be easier.

Calling Chomsky the most Prominent Libertarian Socialist of the 20th century

Sorry, I mean the 2nd half of the 20th century.

2

martasultan wrote

Sorry, I mean the 2nd half of the 20th century.

What of Libertarians that actually acted upon it, like Apo? Or theorists that actually influenced things that have happened like Bookchin?

1

VulgarMarxist wrote

What I hear from you is that you think that the US should aim to become more like where I live, Denmark, because it's "better" Capitalism, right?

You are nothing but someone with loose ideas trying to fit your ideology into Bourgeoisie politics, instead of aiming to solve the problems of the Bourgeoisie systems, you embrace them.

1

alesto wrote

The irony of "real socialism" 1 - being a 10 day murder arson fest, 2 - central planning by a nomenklatura but it's totally not a state, 3 - central planning by a fucking militia but totally not a state, and 4 - Socialist Catalonia literally had a state.

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martasultan wrote

central planning by a fucking militia but totally not a state

Can you get me a source on central planning? It seems to me it was mostly the local communes that would determine what went on, with the council being used for wartime decisions. The militia also wasn't strictly like one perceives a militia, being not people joining a militia to strictly fight a war, but a group that varied in numbers as they passed through areas, peasants joined for two or three days for battle, then peasants returned to farms- it wasn't really strictly organized.

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gooey wrote

  1. It was a battle okay, like any other battle. But look at what the workers did in that zone, one of the first places to separate church and state, pension system, debt forgiveness, labor rights, etc..

  2. Do not confuse the Saint Petersburg Soviet of Workers' Delegates with the later Petrograd Soviet. The former was a genuine worker controlled union, the latter is a centrally planned Trotskyist government.

  3. The Makhno rebels have collectivized the farms, that zone was heavily agrarian so it had less of an industrial working class. It was agrarian communism. But the militia cam from the peasants as well.

  4. Nonsense. The region was controlled predominantly by the CNT-FAI coalition, the state had no authority there whatsoever, were labor unions organized from below, not by a centralized bureaucracy. Direct workplace democracy in every work establishment with elected secretary from every workplace who would join the regional union council. The representatives could be called back at any time, they were not politicians, they were from the workers too. The militia was voluntary, they were armed workers.

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alesto wrote

1 - It lasted 10 days, what kind of an accomplishment is that?

2 - "They called it something different". Yeah we got it.

3 - "They called it something different". Right.

4 - You're still wrong. Production in Catalonia was being centrally planned by worker council's because when they first took over they basically just stood around trying to figure out how the fuck voting actually produces anything. Not only did central council's plan production but they shut down factories because coordination was too difficult with such diverse production.

1

gooey wrote

I am going to address the Catalonia claims because that is what I have researched the most.

Production in Catalonia was being centrally planned by worker council's

How the hell was it centrally planned, tell me? What do you mean by central planning?

Every single shop,factory, was literally run by the workers. They have met every day, discussed how to produce things and worked. They elected 1 or more secretary who would be their delegate that would represent them in their dealings with other groups. The secretary can be called back, it was not an authority.

It was literally a network of worker run establishments.

And yes there was a regional council, but to call that a State, is fucking silly. The council was made up of those secretaries elected by the workplaces, and they elected a comitte to run things. You can see here how the CNT is organized to this day (with a few changes since then):

The regional council simply existed to coordinate larger scale industrial or military operations.

The military didn't have a hierarchy, all soldiers were equal and from the workers and farmers, and groups of 10 elected a leader to coordinate with other groups, so whatever hierarchy they had was symbolical.

It was true direct democracy, where every worker had their voice heard. All complaints were submitted to the regional councils and were discussed in meetings.

1

alesto wrote

Every single shop,factory, was literally run by the workers.

Wrong. They had to form central councils because they couldn't produce anything without them. You can fantasize about them being "democratically run" but they were still centrally managed.

1

gooey wrote

Depends on the size of the workplace. Sure there were factories there with 2000 workers, yes they may have elected managers to coordinate things. But elected managers are not the same as central planning, because the workers have ultimately decided the course of action in meetings.

You are confusing organization with domination.

And small shops were totally anarchistic. Barber shops with 10-15 people, run autonomously without leaders, they just discussed things and did it just like that.

There are many coops right now from book stores to coffee shops that are still running in this form today, with total workplace anarchy, however they have to participate in the market so at best they are mutualists: