[Marxism] State Capitalism and the writings of Kautsky

DoC donaloc at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 17 06:49:00 MST 2004

A chairde,

Does anyone know if the state capitalist theories of the ISO were 
influenced by the writings of Karl Kautsky.

I take this quote from his work social democracy vs communism (chapter 

"Certainly, it is the aim of Socialists to deprive the capitalists of 
the means of production. But that in itself is not enough. We must also 
determine who is to control these means of production. When another 
minority takes the place of the capitalists and controls the means of 
production, independently of the people and frequently against their 
will, the change in property relations thus accomplished signifies least 
of all Socialism. There are forms of Oriental despotism in which the 
master of the state wield also mastery over the country's instruments of 
production. [2] In comparison with this form of state economy, the 
capitalist system of production is much less oppressive, and resistance 
to it much more promising of results. In Russia it is the government, 
not the people, who controls the means of production. The government is 
thus the master of the people."

There are a few following choice paragraphs too. The similarities are 
profound. BTW, I think that he makes a sound point about the question of 
control of means of production - yet things are not so clear cut (of 
course) with the case of the Soviet union - the existence of a separate 
'minority...independent of the people...against their will' is 

Another set of similarities I have come across is the sectarianism of 
some extreme 'trotskyist' and 'marxist-leninist' groups. Their critique 
of the soviet union, Cuba, China, Vietnam. Almost parallel. The big 
difference is that various cliques are shown to be 'revisionist' or 
'degenerate' through references to quotes by Marx, Lenin and 
(Stalin/Mao/Hoxha) or (Trotsky/Cliff/Healy).

There must be an underlying sociological explanation for parallel 
processes arising repeatedly.

Le meas

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