[Marxism] Why didn't Lenin go capitalist-Marx political economy/bureaucracy
Waistline2 at aol.com
Waistline2 at aol.com
Fri Jun 4 08:20:58 MDT 2004
In a message dated 6/3/2004 6:40:15 PM Central Standard Time,
Waistline2 at aol.com writes:
>No matter what kind of political Russia to emerge from the incredible social
upheaval and the deadly results of the First World Imperial War, it was going
to be an industrial Russia. It was going to be bourgeois industrial Russia or
working class industrial Russia but the bottom line is the triumph and
completion of the industrial revolution or the revolutionary advance and
Engels stated that since the time of Marx, bourgeois property and the
bourgeois mode of production has been called "the capitalist mode of production."
In the Communist Manifesto and Capital Volume 1 (The Bible of the Working
Class) an inordinate amount of time is spent on tracing the development of
society from the standpoint of machine development - with the property relations
within, and how this development compels society to leap forward. A system of
production is called capitalism because the capital (the means of production) are
privately owned. An industrial economy is the combination of human labor and
power driven machinery - specifically, electromechanical processes, excited to
life on the basis of a historically specific energy grid. Its political shell
or the property relations that are protected by the state and public
institutions can be either socialist or capitalist.
It is absolutely incorrect to define socialism as a command economy or
planned economy or define socialism's essence as planning. There is nothing in the
economic writings of Marx to justify defining socialism outside of the
ownership rights or "property relations within."
Planning is an attribute of industrial economy by definition. One cannot run
their household or get to work on time without planning. When Marxists speak
of the planning of socialism what is meant is that capital is no longer in the
hands of private individuals as opposed to what ever the specific form of
organization of resources and allocation of labor prevails.
What distinguished Soviet Socialism was its property relations. What
distinguishes bourgeois America is its property relations and not its specific form of
bourgeois democracy. The form of bourgeois democracy is important but
Marxists that offered an economic unraveling of American society and focused on
incarceration rates and the domination of the industrial bureaucracy in America
would be the laughing stock of the Marxist movement.
This exact attitude prevails in discussions of Soviet socialism. To a large
degree the reason for this is anti-Sovietism and a fundamental misunderstanding
of the political economy of Marx. The fact of the matter is that the
bureaucracy is the most dangerous enemy of the social revolution in all countries
during all periods of human history after the division of labor has been realized
in society. What if not the feudal bureaucracy, were the revolutionaries of
the past two hundred years fighting?
A radical return to the political economy of Marx is necessary to make sense
of history. Revolutionaries do not create or make social revolution. In fact
it is the social revolution that creates the revolutionaries. What began to
unravel and undermine feudal economic relations was not the bourgeoisie, but
rather the transition in the form of wealth from landed property relations to gold
or what Engels calls "movable wealth." It is the ascendency of gold and the
growth and spread of metallic money that sets the stage for the universal
emergence of exchange and accelerates the advent of commodity production. This
process - this economic logic, accelerates the development of the new classes
within the feudal property relations called the bourgeoisie and proletariat. These
new classes run directly into the feudal economic, social and political
The feudal order was not overthrown by the serf and could not be overthrown
by the serf. The feudal ruling class and its bureaucracy were overthrown by
economic classes outside political and economic feudalism. This is very important
to understand if we are to locate our moment in history. The basic economic
classes of any social system are never free to overthrow the system that they
make up and this is an economic and political law abstracted by American
Marxists by carefully reading what Marx wrote.
All of history clearly shows that the basic classes of a social system cannot
overthrow the system they compose. All that can happen is a reform struggle
or an intense fight over the division of the social product and political
liberties. The feudal order and the agrarian system it stood upon were overthrown
by classes outside the system - the bourgeoisie and the modern working class.
These classes were formed around the new means of production: the transition
from manufacturing to industrial machinery.
This is of course the position of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. This also
means that the theory of "permanent revolution" is permanent ideological
Industrial workers did not and could not overthrow industrial society. It is
simply not possible. What unravels industrial society as a specific
combination of human labor and electromechanical process is a development in the means
of production that creates new classes outside the system of buying and selling
of labor power. Preserving the revolution in permanence spoken of by Marx is
not simply an ideological or political statement but the economic logic of
revolutionizing the means of production. Calling for world revolution when the
world is not ready for social revolution is buffoonery.
The question of the bureaucracy is first and foremost an underlying economic
issue that presents itself at every stage in the development of commodity
production and every technological stage of production and distribution. The
ideologist have stated for half a century that the bureaucracy grows of the state
apparatus, when in fact the bureaucracy arises from the division of labor,
specialization of the labor process and its social (not political) forms are in
the last instance dependent upon a certain state of development of the material
power of production.
In other words the opportunist leadership of the old CPSU cannot be mistaken
for the whole of the old Soviet bureaucracy. The military establishment and
police agencies cannot be mistaken for the whole of the Soviet bureaucracy,
because we are speaking first and foremost of an industrial bureaucracy - as
opposed to say the feudal bureaucracy. The industrial bureaucracy does not grow out
of the military establishment or the police agencies.
The industrial bureaucracy emerges from somewhere and functions to safeguard
production and distribution of the social product. This question answers
itself. The industrial bourgeoisie and proletariat did not come from the moon or
the state power or the military or the police agencies. They evolved from the
manufacturing process and this should be clear to anyone that calls themselves a
Ideologists however are forever trapped in a world of their own subjective
ideas. The idea that the industrial bureaucracy arises from police agencies is
silly and childish. If anything the police agencies are enlarged to protect the
industrial bureaucracy as fundamentality. Those ideologist that reverse this
materialist conception - approach, to social development merely show their
anti-Sovietism, which today has morphed into anti-Russianism.
What regulates bureaucracy to the ash bin of history - as a property relation
manifesting itself as domination over the individual, is not the
consciousness of men or the purity of their hearts, but the technological revolution or
social revolution. Social revolution is the result of changes in the means of
production or the emergence of new economic laws that compel society to leap
forward to a new political basis.
In this light one can make general sense of the intense political struggle in
Soviet history and the exceptionally violent character of combat between the
bourgeoisie and the proletariat. One can also begin to unravel the economic
problems of socialism in the old USSR without relying upon muddle headed
ideological concepts about "planning" as the essence of socialism and the absence of
"democratic socialist relations of production."
What in God's name is "socialist relations of production?" What existed in
the Soviet Union was the emergence of industrial production relations or social
relations characteristic of industrial society - with the property relations
within. These indisputable industrial social relations manifested a specific
combination of human labor and electromechanical process. Who but the
anti-Soviet petty bourgeois ideologue cannot understand this simple formulation any
industrial worker in America and the world can immediately grasp?
Can human beings overthrow an industrial bureaucracy? "Regime Change" or
changing the political players and political grouping dominating a system of
production, can never overthrow an industrial bureaucracy. Human being can never
decisively defeat the industrial bureaucracy, until a development takes place
within the material power of production that renders the industrial bureaucracy
superfluous. We have finally arrived at the start of this historical process,
that is being driven by the injection into the production process of
computers, digitalized processes and advance robotics.
The Soviet proletariat arrived hit this historical barrier first - on a wave
of change in front of the workers in the imperial centers. The entrenched
interest of the real people in various departments of the industrial bureaucracy -
not simply the state authority, blocked the need to revolutionize the
industrial means of production. The state power is not the industrial bureaucracy
and the CPSU was not the industrial bureaucracy.
Nevertheless, one must oppose and fight this material domination over the
individual with full awareness of the limits and framework of transition. This
accounts for the intense and complex ideological struggle in the Soviet Union,
without simply relaying on the personalities of the Russian Revolution.
A radical return to the political economy of Marx is need to understand our
own history as well as that of the Soviets.
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