"Transitional states"

Adam Rose adam at pmel.com
Fri Jun 7 03:08:15 MDT 1996


Malecki,

I'm doing my best to have a rational discussion with you.
Perhaps this was a mistake . . .

>
> Adam writes:
> >States in transition from what to what ?
> >
> >Russia in 1917 was a workers state.
>

Malecki writes:
> Russia in 1917 was a specific workers state. A dictatorship of the
> proletariat.

Adam:
As far as I am concerned, the words "workers state" and "dictatorship of the
proletariat" are just two ways of saying the same thing. It's like
courgette and zucchini.

Now, if you think they are two related but different terms, like courgette and
marrow, or even courgette and cucumber, then please explain.

Malecki writes:
> Trotsky talked about a bridge between capitalism and communism.
> he also talked about the Soviet Union being a transitional state. In
> transition from capitalism to communism.
> >

Adam:
Well, of course, a socialist state is a state in transition from capitalism
to communism, a state in the process of withering away. The point is that
the Russian state between say 1921 and 1928 was going in the OPPOSITE direction.
The state was doing anything but wither away. It WAS a workers state, but instead
of less coercion, less inequality, we had more coercion and more inequality.

Adam:
> >After this, it wasn't. So a state in transition from a workers state to
> something
> >else means something for the period after 1917. For othordox trotskysists, this
> >transition went on for 70 years, which seems to me to be rather a long
> "transition",
> >certainly 40 years longer than Trotky thought it would be. Never mind
> though, at least
> >I understand what is meant.
> >
> >But there were no workers revolutions, in the sense of revolutions made by
> workers,
> >in any of the other states you mention. In some ( China,Vietnam,Cuba )
> there were
> >revolutions, but in others, the states were produced by tanks rolling in (
> Eastern
> >Europe ). Nor were there workers states in the sense that Marx + Lenin meant.
>
Malecki:
> Hello there! I said that the above states did not come about through a
> workers revolution.

Adam:
Do you have a brain or not ?
It is exactly my point that there were no workers revolutions.

How can something be in transition from state A to state B when it was never
in state A to start with ?

I am not sure which direction you have the transition going in.
Is it from capitalism to socialism, or from socialism to capitalism ?

case 1 :
"GDR was in transition from capitalism to socialism"

Counter argument:
Well, facts are stubborn things.
What we have today isn't socialism, is it ?
So at best, it was in transition from capitalism to capitalism.
A state which is in transition from capitalism to capitalism sounds like
a capitalist state to me. Also, there are two uncomfortable facts :
at the foundation of the state, the working class rose up against it
( 1953 ) , and at the demise of the state, the workers rose up against
it.

case 2 :
GDR was in transition from socialism to capitalism

Counter argument:
There was no workers revolution. Socialism cannot be achieved without
workers revolution. There never was any workers state, as there was in
Russia. Therefore there never was any socialism in the GDR. Therefore
it cannot be in transition from socialism to anything, because it never
was socialist.

I have tried to present a logical argument, which you can argue against.
I have tried to make it simple and use everyday language, in order to
make my argument clear. Please explain where you agree and where you
disagree.

Adam.



Adam Rose
SWP
Manchester
UK


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