Lenin on Building Socialism

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at mailbox.swipnet.se
Tue Oct 1 03:10:41 MDT 1996


Chris's whole argument is disingenuous. The heart of his argument is:

>It seems to me rather clear that Lenin aimed to
>build socialism in the Soviet Union when he says:
>
>"If the whole of the peasantry were organised in co-operatives,
>we would be standing firmly with both feet on the soil of
>Socialism."
>
>- and then goes on to discuss how to organise the whole peasantry into
>cooperatives.


The reason Chris is playing games is that he is abstracting from the
counter-revolutionary use made by the Stalinist regime of the Socialism in
One Country dogma. The dogma ignored the fact that the cooperatives as
Lenin discussed them never materialized. The condition *if* the whole
peasantry were organized in cooperatives was never realized as Lenin
understood it (ie voluntarily).

Until Chris or any other supporter of the Stalinist interpretation starts
discussing what they actually mean by Socialism, and the kind of Socialism
they think it was possible to achieve in the Soviet Union alone, and how
this relates to what Marx and Lenin (in the first instance) had to say
about the international nature of capitalism and the socialist mode of
production that will replace it (if barbarism doesn't do so first), then
there is little point in continuing the debate. Tell us just what kind of
socialism Lenin aimed to build in the Soviet Union alone.

For me it is obvious that Lenin and Trotsky devoted the whole of their
energies after 1917 to preserving and strengthening the Soviet Union as a
workers' state, a proletarian dictatorship. They saw it as a bridgehead of
socialist revolution, as a stronghold which had taken steps in the
direction of socialism, and which had the major task of carrying the
revolution to more advanced countries in order to ensure a worldwide
transition to socialist hegemony. Neither of them ever claimed the Soviet
Union by itself would be  able to establish such hegemony in the world
market.

Perhaps the Stalinists will explain to the rest of us how complete and
final socialism can be achieved in one country without socialist hegemony
in the world market?

And then those who are really convinced that the glorious example of
completed socialism actually shone in the Soviet Union under Stalin might
like to explain how such a miraculous state of affairs failed to set the
workers of the rest of the world on fire, in the first place, and how the
Soviet workers were crazy enough to let a few bureaucrats take it all away
>from them, in the second place.

Cheers,

Hugh




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