accumulation, primitive, more or less

DMS dmschanoes at
Mon Jul 21 07:06:40 MDT 2003

Tried posting this earlier but it seems to have vanished into the ether, apologies if it is a duplicate....dms

 > Further thoughts--
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Richard Harris"
> To: "dms" ;
> > That is very good and seems right.  I'm not sure what you mean by the dispossession of workers from the means of
production.  They did not possess them in any sense we know,
did they?  I mean as sole owners (no), as tenants in common
an old English law term that might be used in the US.

 Comrade Harris hits it right on the head if we are going to
make an assessment of the Russian Revolution, its containment,
and finally its overthrow.  But the point for me is that there
is a qualitative,concrete, and life or death difference between
its containment and the final overthrow.

It is essential in my opinion to grasp two general conditions
for the analysis:  1. the USSR functioned within  a single
world economy dominated by capital and its markets.
2. the USSR bureaucracy was not and could not become in and of
itself a class with an historic attachment to the means of

 As the result of  1 and 2, the bureaucracy functions as the
administrators of the impulse to capitalist restoration-- an
impulse transmitted through trade, debt, war, and reflected
most acutely in the breakdown in relations between city and
countryside. Comrade MP in discussions referred to the
 bureaucracy as "caricatures of the bourgeoisie."  I find that
an important characterization.

 Did the workers "own" the means of production in the USSR?
The question is misphrased as ownership of the means of
production inherently refers to privatization, a non-social
organization of production.  It is precisely the ambiguity
of the social organization in the USSR that links it
organically to its origins in the Russian Revolution, and the
failure of that revolution to conquer on the international

Comrade Harris, whom I admire for being more left than me and
more sensitive to the importance of democracy, states that "it
all went wrong quite early....(due to the impossible
difficulties the people were in)" and I'm in qualified
agreement-- because I don't believe it ALL went wrong QUITE
early, but what did go wrong was due to the material d

 Certainly what went wrong later, culminating in the overthrow
of the administrators by the impulse, is really ALL that could
go wrong.


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