Soviet statistics

Andrew Wayne Austin aaustin at
Fri Aug 20 09:30:54 MDT 1999

The state socialist system was weakened when during the B-phase of the
post-WWII Kondratieff cycle--which is a global long-wave since no systems
are entirely independent of the modern world-system--the core of the
socialist world-economy intensified its integration with the capitalist
world-economy and elites stupidly dismantled the Soviet system. The state
socialist model is successful to the degree that it delinks from the
capitalist world-economy, that is, to the degree that the periphery
de-peripheralizes. At a time when socialism should have delinked to an
even greater extent, it did the opposite, plugging into global decline.
Peripheralization is not a characteristic of the state socialist model,
which in a diametrically opposed fashion to capitalism actually develops
its dependencies, and this meant that when the Soviet core was dismantled
other socialist countries were weakened, as well (which would be the
opposite effect if the capitalist core were dismantled).

The slogan "The Soviet model didn't work" is an empty slogan. If we are to
give the slogan any meaning at all it is completely refuted by the facts:
the state socialist system worked, guiding peripheralized zones in the
capitalist world-economy to become advanced industrial societies that
surpassed or pulled even with virtually all capitalist countries. By any
measure that is success. One doesn't come around at the aftermath and say,
"See, it doesn't work." Under this logic no social system in history has
ever worked! And if we believe that capitalism will fail one day, then
capitalism doesn't work either!

As for the claim that the state socialist model becomes at some point a
fetter on further development, this is true at some theoretical point in
the development of communism. But this point was nowhere in actuality at
the time the Soviet system was dismantled. Just look at the situation now!
These countries have sunk back into peripheral status, with widespread
poverty and corruption, superexploited by global capitalism, when they are
not abandoned completely by global capitalists! How was the dismantling of
the Soviet system a freeing up of developmental forces? No, it was just
the opposite.


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