[Marxism] Re: Reply to Tom on the meaning of capitalism andstatecapitalism

Octob1917 at aol.com Octob1917 at aol.com
Tue Dec 14 01:03:19 MST 2004

In a message dated 12/13/2004 10:27:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, 
mekchi at verizon.net writes:
True, my position is close to yours.  But why one-sided.  Is it one-sided to 
say that capitalist exploitation occurs outside of realm of market and 
exchange?  Only private capitalists exploit people? If not, why is it one-sided to 
say that exploitation can occur also in state owned enterprises?   

But with state-owned enterprises, say as exist in Cuba, Vietnam, or as 
existed in the former Soviet Union, the key factor is in the re-distribution of 
wealth in the form of social services - education, housing, healthcare, etc. To 
say that the production of a surplus is exploitative only covers one aspect of 
the process. If not then every socialist country to date could be said to have 
exploited its citizens. I don't believe this to be the case. Instead it would 
be more accurate to state that the means of production in the hands of 
individuals constitutes expropriation. Means of production in the hands of a 
socialist state on the other hand, which is trying to achieve socialism and by 
necessity is passing through a transitory stage from privately owned production to 
socially owned, is not. 

'What we have to deal with here is a communist society, not as it has 
developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, as it emerges from capitalist 
society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally and 
intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it 

Marx: Critique Of The Gotha Programme.


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