Class Analysis of the Stalinist State [formerly, Old M...]

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Feb 3 18:09:13 MST 2002

On Sun, 3 Feb 2002 18:04:44 -0500, Mohammad J Alam wrote:
>To speak in broad terms, I believe that the
>degeneration and ultimate collapse of the USSR,
>its satellites, and similar states, stands as
>proof that "the first wave" of socialism has
>failed. I think that this failure can be
>attributed to a long-standing contradiction
>between Marx's idea of capitalism from a
>Euroecentric viewpoint, and the reality of
>capitalism as an international tendency that
>initiated Third World colonization to sustain
>itself instead of simply dissolving into
>socialism in the advanced European countries.

This is probably correct, but unlike you I tend not to adopt a lofty
philosophical attitude.

>repressive network. Meanwhile, periphery
>proletariat and peasantry ended up on the other
>extreme in class struggles, coming up with
>deformed states lead by guerrilla heirarchies or
>dictators, as a result of their lack of material

Yes, those uppity Cubans should have learned not to try to overthrow
capitalism before they had achieved the labor productivity of Merrie
Olde England. Of course, the lack of such labor productivity is
exactly what drove them to revolution. How dialectically obstinate
reality is.

>Few if
>any of the satellites became independent
>politically or economically; they lacked
>industry or the development of industry and
>simply outsourced raw materials or agricultural
>to USSR.

Yes, they lacked independence. But by the same token, they lacked
infant diarrhea mortality rates on a scale that are common to the
third world. I can't blame you for finding such matters mundane, when
a vision of a future socialist humanity burns so bright in your

>So, speaking from the standpoint of a generation
>whose political consciousness arose after the
>demise of the USSR, why should we defend these
>old, antiquated, and seemingly outdated relics
>from a failed period?

I don't think there's much point to defending a workers state today
that no longer exists, but we had an obligation to defend them when
they were around. At least Trotsky did. As for you, you are entitled
to your own views. After all, this is a free country. Or email list
at least.

>In short, I think we are about to reach "the
>second wave" and we should not drown ourselves
>with all this talk about defending this or that
>deformed state against imperialism.

On this list, we actually give prizes to the people who defend
workers state effectively, deformed or not, against imperialism. You
may win a booby prize for grand indifference.

> Marx
>supported colonialism objectively in a
>historical-materialist sense, because he thought
>it would create a socialist basis in the long

Yes he did in 1853, but he changed his mind later on. If you need
references to the thinking of the Late Marx, contact me privately.

 And while instead what happened was that
>the Europeans went and plundered these countries
>instead of bringing them to socialism, indeed in
>the last analysis these countries have now been
>forced to stand on capitalist ground, paving the
>way for a world capitalism that is subject to a
>truly world revolution.

Really? You learn something new every day.

>Similarly, I think the "cleansing" of USSR and
>Eastern Bloc from deformed socialism towards
>capitalism will actually heighten class

As well as bring down the hourly rate for blow jobs.

> Deformed socialism is like
>Arafat in that sense. It is a bloody bottleneck
>that prevents the liberation movement from
>undergoing the processes necessary to reach a
>higher, sharper stage.

We prefer undeformed socialism to deformed socialism. We prefer
deformed socialism to capitalism. What you prefer is your business.

>For Serbia in example, of course we should fight
>against IMF and World Bank, but, for all the
>aforementioned reasons, I think we should be
>forward-thinking and not backward-obsessed.

Who is we? You and your goldfish? What makes people from a sectarian
background use the "royal we" with such reckless abandon?

>I eagerly await replies from what will
>undoubtedly be a number of people on this topic,
>especially Crde. Proyect.

Yes, this is entirely new stuff to many of us who have never heard of
British sectarian Trotskyism.

Louis Proyect, lnp3 at on 02/03/2002

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