To Mine

Julio Pino jpino at
Mon Aug 7 13:57:41 MDT 2000

>Mine and Gary et al: With all due respect to V.I., I do not all agree that
Lenin promoted a non-capitalist road to modernity.While the Bolsheviks
carried out the "expropriation of the expropriators" and collectivized the
means of production, they did not do away with the relations between labor
and management---did not revolutionize relations INSIDE the factories and
collective farms.I know this is a huge subject, but I'd like us to consider
what I see as the errors of the Bolsheviks in this regard.For i have come
to the conclusion that the Bolsheviks were essentially trying to build
socialism using capitalist methods, wittingly or unwillingly.This was the
"mechanistic Marxism" they should have rejected, and which would later be
criticized by Che and Mao.
1. I believe it was wrong (although understandable) to turn the labor
unions into "armies of the proletariat", with the discipline that comes
with being drafted into an army.
2.The introduction of Taylorism into the USRR, much praised by Lenin, was
done without considering how such "scientific" practice would strengthen
the hand of factory managers.
3. Borrowing from the production techniques of Ford in automobiles or
Rockefeller in Petroleum production likewise reintroduced large gaps in
wages and distanced workers from their "Red Bosses."

I do not now nor have I ever ben a "state-cap" fellow. The USSR after 1917
was a transitional society, moving towards socialism but still marked
deeply by capitalist property relations. But I will sset that the
Bolsheviks(and by this I include Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin)took steps
that, however necessary for short survival, ultimately resulted in the
political marginalization of the working class. In other words, it did not
start with Stalin, nor can Stalinism be blamed solely on the capitalist
encirclement of the USSR.
Julio Cesar
1) Sure, we need to promote a non-capitalist modernity.
>2) Regarding Lenin, I understand what you mean, though I want to be fair
to him. My
>reading of him is that he still wanted to promote a non-capialist
modernity. I
>would not argue that soviet socialism, at least in Lenin's time, aimed to
>facilitate a progress of capitalist modernization. On the contrary, Lenin
>questioned the most vulgar/eurocentric versions of Marxism, when he aimed
to show
>that a "backward country" like Russia could do a revolution. Lenin was the
>who questioned the mechanistic theory of historical stages common among
>materialists. This version of marxism saw socialism as the end result of
>modernization, which aimed at passively waiting for the revolutuion to
take place
>untill the material circumstances mature.  Whereas European marxists were
>expecting revolution in advanced capitalist countries, Russia proved the
>a) imperialism b) working class/peasent alliance were the decisive factors
in the
>struggle against capitalism.. To a certain extend, Russia broke away with
>orthodoxy, and Lenin's model of socialism confirmed this development.

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