Louis N Proyect
lnp3 at columbia.edu
Tue Jun 4 11:22:40 MDT 1996
Louis: This is particularly germane to the question of how much the USSR
can serve as a model. Adam says that 1928 is the dividing line.
Pre-1928 = socialist. Post-1928 = state-capitalist. Anybody who looks at
Soviet history in any kind of depth will come to the conclusion that
worker's power is a dubious notion at best when describing this period.
There was no "worker's power" during War Communism. The CP ran Russia as a
garrison state in a manner that would make the Cuban CP look like a
debating society at Oxford (well, not an exact analogy, but you get the
point.) When the NEP was instituted, the Russian working-class was
completely atomized. The CP acted as its "dauphin" in order to get the
economy moving again. Its partners in this effort were kulaks and NEP-men.
What took place in this period was all too reminiscent of the Chinese
The point is that there are no "socialist" examples in the 20th century.
We can only observe partially successful steps in this direction. To
create a reductionist dichotomy between "capitalism" and "socialism"
exacts a terrible toll on our ability to explain a social reality in a
On Tue, 4 Jun 1996, Raymond Hickman wrote:
> If your answer is that, during the revolutionary transformation
> of society, workers' consciousness will be transformed so that
> they will not act in a reprehensible manner, then things get a
> little trickier. Will all workers be similiarly transformed? If
> not what is the role of the revolutionary party - for example the
> SWP - as the discilplined collective of the most advanced/class
> conscious members of the class, in this post revolutionary
> sitiuation. Will you/they have to keep on leading. And if so what
> should you/they do about those elements of the working class who
> steadfastly refuse to be lead; remember they might even be to the
> left of the vanguard party.
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