Russian imperialism

Matt D. afn02065 at afn.org
Thu Aug 1 08:58:54 MDT 1996


Mick Armstrong writes:

>But even on Lenin's definition there were periods when Russia clearly did drain
>capital from E.Europe eg in the years immediately after the war when stalin
>looted East Germany, Hungary etc sending back railway line, capital equipment
>and whole factories to Russia.

There was a period (3-5 years) immediately after WW2 when plant was
moved from some parts of what had been Nazi-occupied Europe -- especially
Germany -- to the Soviet Union -- especially the European section of the
SU.  These materials served as a means for the Soviet Union to begin
reconstruction after the horrific devastation it had suffered in its struggle
to defeat fascism.

At the same time as reconstruction was getting underway in the USSR --
about 1948 -- the Soviets began extending assistance to their neighbors.
Not just materials, but engineers, technicians, accountants, experts of
every kind.  Eastern Europe could not have been rebuilt without either
immense help from the Soviet Union, or submission to *actual* imperialism
-- the Marshall Plan.

>Also there was capital flow inside the USSR from the Asiatic and other
>non-European parts to the imperialist Russia heartlands.

This is just ridiculous.  If anything, the opposite is true.

>To this very day the standard of living etc is much higher in Moscow, Leningrad
>etc where the heart of the ruling class live than in Georgia, Siberia, the
>Muslim areas etc.

If you're saying that the standard of living is typically higher in the city
compared to the countryside, you may well be correct.  But the problem
of town vs. country is an old one -- and *not* a direct analog of imperialism.

-- Matt D.

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