State capitalism

glevy at acnet.pratt.edu glevy at acnet.pratt.edu
Tue Aug 1 13:34:58 MDT 1995


Richard:

Welcome aboard!  We seem to be growing lately (could one of the moderators
please give us some new statistics about list membership?). You wrote:

> The best way to find out about the "state capitalist" theory is to order
> a copy of "The Marxist-Humanist Theory of State-Capitalism" by Raya
> Dunayevskaya from News & Letters at 59 East Van Buren, Rm 707, Chicago IL 60605
> or to get Dunayevskaya's book Marxism and Freedom out of the library. Another
> state-capitalist theorist is Tony Cliff, the man behind the British SWP.

Actually, there are a lot of cogent works in the state capitalist theory
tradition (of which Dunayevskaya's book is just one).  In general, they
fall into four major divisions regarding when the USSR was said to become
state capitalist.

1.  Beginning in 1917;
2.  Beginning with the NEP;
3.  Beginning with Stalin;
4.  Beginning with Khruschev.

I can't say that I find any of these theories particularly appealing. All
4 seem to rest on a understanding of capitalism that I do not find
convincing. 2-4 have major problems, also, for explaining the
"restoration of capitalism."

What do you think?

Jerry


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