Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

SpiritOfTito wrote

State capitalism is a useless phrase.

In Towards a New socialism Paul Cockshot makes the point that attempting to build society off an idea can be socialist merely by being called socialist by its creators because its an idea you're attempting to implement.

Now a lot of the 20th century states said they were working towards communism whilst also describing themselves as communist.

(Kruschevs famous "we'll reach communism by the 1980s")

And to be fair thats how it would happen. After generations of sweeping away capitalist rule and people forgetting capitalist relations and commodity production social relations at which point people no longer even remember the materialist conditions of capital accumulation and commodity production


zombie_berkman wrote

yeah well it didnt. so by your logic north korea is a democracy because they call themselves that. if you arent a worker owned and democratically operated workplace without a motivation for profit you arent socialist. The fact that they werent stateless, werent moneyless, and werent classless shows that they clearly werent communist. i could be murdering people in the street at random and say "oh im working towards socialism" but it doesnt mean im socialist. but hey dont let facts get in the way


SpiritOfTito wrote (edited )

Actually you could be murdering people on the street (much like the RAF in Germany or the Red Brigades in Italy) and I doubt many people would say those people weren't socialists.

A lot of nations call themselves democracies but by my definition they certainly aren't.

The US calls itself such a democracy it thinks it can export democracy via the gun and the bomb and wholesale murder of millions of people.

Now I dont doubt that americans think their country is a democracy.

But its a far cry from Platos definition 2000 years ago being representatives by lotto and no man can earn 6 times the wage of another.

You would have to go back to the ancient pharoahs to get the wage disparity the US now has been a minimum wage worker and say Bill Gates, Walmart family, the average politician in congress.


zombie_berkman wrote

wait a sec i thought you said that

"an idea can be socialist merely by being called socialist by its creators"

so why does this magicly not apply else where?


SpiritOfTito wrote

Socialism is way, way more vague and means different things to different socialists.

Most socialists see it as an intermediary stage before communism.

Some see it as an end game of itself IE. Worker owned production and decision making.



zombie_berkman wrote

so you in your opinion the soviet union and china were socialist and communist?


SpiritOfTito wrote (edited )

Yes right down to 1993 when 3000 communists were shot trying to stop Yeltsin illegally dissolving the Supreme Soviet when people started crossing over to capitalism.

Nobody could earn great wealth off the labour of another human being in the Soviet union Sure some leaders had great holiday dachas, big inauspicious houses outside the Kremlin and party members were privileged with consumer goods being first in line etc.

But they didn't have the capitalist mode of production that sought imperialism in the way the west does: To invest capital to accumulate more to capture more markets to invest more etc.

The spread of wealth was more like 4/1 compared to capitalisms (if you compare bill gates or forbes or koch brothers) 10000000/1 to average wage earner.

The soviet union typically made trade agreements that were outright charity or at least heavily in favour of the third world. Global capitalism does not do this but rather treats debtor nations like war spoils and colonies.

I think they were broadly considered socialist though both suffered from revisionism, the lure of the west etc.

Theres a reason China doesn't have a military base outside China and why the US has over 900 worldwide.