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The USSR was a capitalist state: Stop celebrating it as a shining example of communism

Submitted by ShadowResidue in Socialism (edited )

Wage labour was in place in the USSR. Surplus value was extracted from the labour of the proletariat in the USSR. Thus, capitalism remained in tact. This surplus value went to line the pockets of the state as well as mangers of factories who were often paid 10x or so what the workers were paid. Even if that money were shared among everyone equally, it would still mean the capitalist mode of production was still in place.

The means of productions didn't even had worker's ownership in the USSR, they continued the model of a manager with power to fire, hire, demote, promote.

The extraction of surplus value still happened and the worker's ownership over means of production didn't happen which makes the USSR a capitalist state.

In the late 1940s the various state industries were mandated by law to make a profit because state subsidising was now over. This is really just the enshrining in law of what was already a material reality. Russia, and the USSR, were involved with capitalist accumulation before and after the October revolution.

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12

SpiritOfTito wrote (edited )

The ussr had some bad aspects to it: News at ten

It also had some fantastic parts to it: Which are blatantly ignored by main stream media and first world leftists.

The fall of the USSR is still the greatest blow to socialism to happen. Immediately after its fall the Yugoslavia was carved up which wasn't Stalinist (hell stalin tried to assassinate Tito to which he responded if you send more men to Yugoslavia to assassinate me I'll send one to Moscow and I wont have to send another) but despite that an invasion of yugoslavia was unthinkable while the Soviet union existed, Cuba went into a special period because the Soviet union was sending it vast amounts of exported food, the capitalists jerked themselves into a frenzy of "there is no alternative" even going as far to declare the end of history, they then doubled down and forced an even more degrading version of capitalism (neoliberalism) on the world via the world bank, IMF and Us military.

I don't celebrate the ussr. But I've nothing but contempt for the people who shit on it while ignoring or trivialising its achievements. Trying to build socialism in the face of the horrors of 1910s-1950s with what reality has given you and not by the standards of 21st century first worlders dreams.

Even today the USA claims the credit for 'liberating europe from fascism' despite the fact it was the Soviet Union that did it and it cost them 14 percent of their population to do it. 7/8 nazis died on the eastern front. And we know now from historical documents the uk and US ignored Stalins offer to smother nazi Germany in its cot because they were hoping for the nazis and commies to kill each other and they could pick off the victor. And in every one of those documents they stressed how they preferred a fascist europe to a communist one.

Especially the fact the USSR was a beacon of hope for most third world nations and even helped liberate a lot of those countries from the yoke of imperialism. Hell go back to the 40s when yankies were lynching blacks on the streets as part of their weekend and have a look at their propaganda posters; saying black men were equal to whites etc.

Hell even the gulag - the archtype anti communist propaganda gets bandied around by socialists and trotskyists alike. Meanwhile today the USA is the society that has imprisoned more of its population as a percentage than any society thats ever existed. More than the soviet union at the height of the gulag period, more than modern day russia, Iran, north korea or china.

Most social democracies are going through a roll back of the rights they gained post world war 2 as a direct result of US global hegemony being uncontested ideologically

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F7inseat wrote

I don't celebrate the ussr. But I've nothing but contempt for the people who shit on it while ignoring or trivialising its achievements.

Here's a tip for engaging people then: when someone denounces the USSR for its atrocities, don't jump in and start defending the USSR for its irrelevant other aspects

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SpiritOfTito wrote (edited )

Depends on the context. If they're just repeating capitalist anti communist propaganda rather than an intelligent analysis of the ussr than thats going to change my response.

Those aspects are completely relevant given the rise of fascism in the early 20th century, capitalist invasion and encirclement from day one of its existence

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Defasher wrote

People who defend the USSR make the argument that it had to embrace capitalist tendencies in order to survive while it was being attacked on all fronts by imperialists.

I think that's a cop out argument, and it was simple power dynamics at play - the powerful people at the top of USSR society were the precursors of modern Russia's oligarchs. And most of them come from the same families.

The USSR destroyed the dream of communism for most actual communist revolutionaries at the time, and it continues to be a thorn in the side of modern anticaps.

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ShapesInMist wrote (edited )

I think that's a cop out argument, and it was simple power dynamics at play - the powerful people at the top of USSR society were the precursors of modern Russia's oligarchs. And most of them come from the same families.

Modern russia became an oligarchy as a result of the 1990s and privatisation of every sphere of life in Russia. It was treated like a goldrush in the capitalist west.

This basically provided the grounds for oligarchs to buy up the entire economy.

Wealth inequality was much, much less in the Soviet Union compared to modern day Russia. After capitalist restoration was when inequality spiraled to the ridiculous state it is.

The richest slice of Russian society has doubled its wealth in the past 20 years, while almost two-thirds of the population is no better off and the poor are barely half as wealthy as they were when the Soviet Union fell, according to researchers.

Experts at Moscow's Higher School of Economics (HSE) found that the purchasing power of the average Russian has grown by 45% since the early 1990s, but income disparity is widening by the year.

The report reinforces a widely held view that oligarchs got rich quick by snapping up the country's choicest assets in the turbulent post-Soviet period.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/11/russia-rich-richer-poor-poorer

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BlackFlagged wrote

Modern russia became an oligarchy as a result of the 1990s and privatisation

It's hardly surprising that state capitalism would eventually morph into oligarchy.