Reassessing Nikita Khrushchev

Henry C.K. Liu hliu at mindspring.com
Wed May 9 08:59:27 MDT 2001


Charles,

Stalin did a lot of things not so much because he was evil, but because of revolutionary dialectics.
Luther could be considered a Stalinist.  Or more accurately, Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (1879-1953) would in fact fit the definition of a Lutheran diehard, at least in revolutionary strategy if not in ideological essence.  Like Luther, Stalin would suppress populist radicalism to preserve institutional revolution, and would glorify the state as the sole legitimate expediter of revolutionary ideology.
Early Protestantism, like Stalinism, would become more oppressive and intolerant than the system it would replace.  Ironically, puritanical Protestant ethics celebrating the virtues of thrift, industry, sobriety and responsibility, would be identified by many sociologists as the driving force centuries later behind the success of modern capitalism and industrialized economy.  Particularly, ethics as espoused by Calvinism which in its extreme would advocate subordination of the state to the Church, diverging from Luther's view of the state to which the Church is subordinate, would be ironically credited as the spirit behind the emergence of the modern Western capitalist industrial state.

K's de-Stalinization followed the path of the Counter Reformation along the line of the Jesuits.  K erroneously identified the Party strength as its weakness and vice versa, laying the foundation for the Party's eventual self destruction.

The Western Left never understood the necessity of terror as a revolutionary tool while it sheepishly accepts the structural terrorism of the bourgeoisie.  What destroyed the Soviet revolution was not the lack of freedom, but the demand for the wrong kind of freedom.

China is facing the same struggle and the outcome is still in doubt.  Freedom is always the result of revolutionary success, never the cause of it. Those who accuse China specifically and communism generally of suppressing freedom are merely playing into the hands of the bourgeois strategy of counter-reformation.

Henry C.K. Liu

Charles Brown wrote:

> >>> hliu at mindspring.com 05/08/01 05:18PM >>>
> Charles, cancer hits even the healthy ones.
>
> ((((((((
>
> Henry, I think that probably K and his group were able to win because there was mass support for changing some of the Stalinization,  perhaps even more in the Party than among the working masses, since the Party was treated more harshly by Stalin and his group's direct actions than the working masses in general were.  In my opinion, it could not possibly be the best path for all those Party members to die.  Execute Fruenze ?!  Lets get real. Something had to be screwed up. Even if it was due in (small) part to German agents, it is a screwup to let German agents in to fool you, manipulate you by your differences.
>
> There would have to arise a struggle within the Party against such. It's dialectics. K is probably accurate in saying that Stalin's crimes with of murderous Party purges in violation of socialist legality and Leninist norms were unforgivable (and some other bad superlatiive that I can't remember).
>
> So, it was this weakness in Stalin and his group that produced K and his group, like a tumor growing up on a spot on the body that is beaten and smashed too much in this health , organism, cancer metaphor.
>
> )))))))
>
> What is needed is a virus like Bush to keep China back on the socialist path.
>
> ((((((((
>
> CB: I can see the whole development of areas of capitalism in China under CP control as having a dimension like creating vaccine viruses in petry dishes.  The antibodies are developed before the  real virulent virus, ClintonBush et al., come in.
>
> The anti-bodies must be the workers. You can't really have workers , proletarians, without some capitalism.
>
> A problem in the history of the Soviet Union was that the longer time went on without revolution in Western Europe and the U.S., the less the "working  class" in the SU had that direct contact with the horribleness of the capitalists. They lose the edge they get from facing the capitalists at the point of production, that class conscious edge. Ironically, the fact of being the ruling class in the SU, and not being exploited and oppressed by capitalists, makes the working class less able to fight the bourgeoisie in the foreign countries.
>
> I think this also means slower production. There is no basic need to have all the hellbent rate of production that capitalism whips up. There is no real need to drive the working class like that. So, naturally production is slower in socialist countries. Yet , the bourgeoisie are eventually able to use this fact in two important ways to win the struggle and Cold War with the SU. Both the substantive fact of having to have masses of hi tech weapons and the appearnce of "lower productivity as relative poverty" are used against the SU.
>
> I believe the Chinese policy today is based in part on knowing that there must be _some_ capitalism in China as a necessity of keeping up with productivity rates in the capitalist world . It is no shame to admit that capitalism produces more furiously than socialism. Capitalism is producing at a rate of  cancer cells, to use your metaphor another way. Capitalism overworks the working class. In power, the working class doesn't work itself so hard. Yet, with capitalism in the world, we have learned from the experience of  the SU, and perhaps the CP is forced to have some capitalism to keep up and not get taken over physically by being out produced.  You can certainly set me straight on my speculation here.
>
> (((((((((
>
> The problem of K was that he underestimated the US at first and then over-estimated it. His anti-personality cult report in 1956 at the
> All-Union Party Congress was the beginning of de-Stalinization which had devastating effects on the entire Soviet Block. His international politics was both incompetent and advanturist.  His domestic policy caused the failure of Soviet agriculture.  Krushchev's
> great blunder was his policy on China.
>
> ((((((((
>
> CB: I agree that the K's worst blunder was the break with China !  I have been meaning to reiterate more regularly that it was the combination of failure of workers' revolution in the "advanced " capitalist countries _and_ the break between the SU and China that caused the failure of the Soviet Union.  These are the main errors that we must draw lessons from in the first period of building socialism.
>
> Workers of the West, it's our turn . Learn from the workers of the East.
>
> Henry
>
> Charles Brown wrote:
>
> > >>> hliu at mindspring.com 05/08/01 04:13PM >>>
> > There is a world of difference between Khrushchev and Deng/Jiang.
> >
> > Deng/Jiang policies were reactive to a world of little real options while
> > Khrushchev open the gate voluntarily.  K was poisoning a health organism,
> > while Deng/Jiang were trying to keep a dying patient alive with certain
> > compromises.  Without Deng/Jiang policies, China would have gone the way of
> > Russia in 1989.
> >
> > If K had not introduced revisionism, the US would not have been able to
> > split the Socialist block with geopolitics.
> >
> > (((((((((((
> >
> > CB: Henry, my question of your analysis would be, how would such an individual and political trend get to be the Soviet leadership ? It does not seem likely or consistent to me that such a backward trend could just takeover in the middle of a healthy organism.




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