Louis, Kevin, Leo on state capitalism

VINCENT M M.Vincent at city.ac.uk
Tue Jul 25 09:55:29 MDT 1995

On Sun, 23 Jul 1995, jwalker wrote:


> The second sense stems from the Trotskyist movement and refers to the
> fact (or the claim) that the USSR wasn't in fact a classless society, but
> had something like a class that benefited disproportionately from the
> collective ownership of the means of production.  In this second sense
> "state capitalist" is a term of derogation, though in the first it isn't,
> at least not necessarily.
> Have I got this right so far?
> If this is right, why use the phrase "state capitalism" in the second
> sense?  Surely the existence of a privileged class in the allegedly
> classless Soviet Union is to be deplored; but is there anything
> peculiarly *capitalist* about it?
> John D. Walker
> jwalker at email.unc.edu


You are quite right.  To characterise the Soviet Bureaucracy as a
Capitalist one is a bit bonkers.....Instead of trying to put labels on
it, socialists would have done better to analyse and find out more about
what was going on.  Hillel Ticktin knows more about Russia now and what
is going on than any other Marxist I know of (there may of course be
someone I HAVEN'T heard of!).  I would recommend his books to anyone who
wants to know what is really going on in Russia now.


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