[Marxism] bureaucracy etc

DoC donaloc at hotmail.com
Sat Jun 5 06:31:45 MDT 2004


Enjoyed reading Melvin's recent posts on the variety of subjects. Was
wondering if he has read Rudolf Bahro's book 'The Alternative' written
in 1978 in East Berlin. I've since discovered Bahro was imprisoned for
it for a year, before getting released and deported, he then started the
Green party in West Germany, recieved a full pardon and the was present
to start up the Party of Democratic Socialism in Berlin in the early
1990s. Some of his later writings on the need to engage (effectively)
with potential fascists got him in hot water but I think he had a
genuine communitarian understanding of socialism and a fear that the
left will fail to counteract the attraction of the fascists in the
future (perhaps understandable given the German experience).

He too makes the (correct) argument that the Soviet bureaucracy was not
formed by actions of the super-structure, e.g police but as a result of
the division of labour within the Soviet relations of production. The
state just backed these up consequently. However, we must recognise that
the role of the state in all this is not neutral. A judgement can be
passed on just how effective the state was in combating the development
of bureaucracy. This is where it gets difficult though - it requires
concrete analysis.

He goes back to discuss the need for everybody to get to do what Marx
calls 'General labour' meaning a variety of types of work as opposed to
just getting stuck doing the same things. He made a number of
recommendations which he felt would open up the door to everybody in
soviet (and east German) society playing a more full role. I wonder if
Melvin has read this - perhaps he might be able to get a copy somewhere.
It would appear to back up what he's saying about the way bureaucracy
arose.

Le meas,
DoC.




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