[Marxism] Why didn't Lenin go capitalist-Marx political

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Mon Jun 7 15:34:54 MDT 2004

From: Waistline2 at aol.com

Melvin P.

I will not nitpick with you my brother. I will not concede a molecule when
it comes to Marx. What you posed is to explain why gold became the standard
medium of exchange. The bottom line is that the change in the form of wealth
from landed property to movable property - as Engels called it, produced a
revolution in the mode of accumulation and exchange.


CB: There is no nitpicking or concession when it comes to Marx here.
The notion that one of the changes in socialism over capitalism is greater
planning of the economy is not a nitpicking issue. Planning is in line with
Marx on this. So, to be more blunt ,  no, "planned economy _is_ a
significant part of socialism, contra what you say here: 

Melvin P.: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." 

CB: This is so fundamental, ABC, and well known, you have to know you are
contradicting Marxist convention on this. But I don't see where you have
made the argument for deviating from the Marxist convention. Sure we aim for
more planning of economic life.



Mel P. :Engels state in his exposition of the materialist conception of
history, that history presuppose the existence of human beings. Of course we
are talking about people. Why did gold emerge as a form of wealth is an
interesting question I have looked at for no less than 17 years. 

The fact of the matter is that gold became the standard measure of value and
exchange began to take place on the basis of the exchange of gold as a
measure of price or the price form. 

I do not say we must explain why this happened to understand that it
happened in fact. It fucking happened and the explanation of "why" is a
story for later. 

Comrade, in everything we write we presuppose people or we are not talking
about history. 

"Why gold" is your question. 

CB: Actually, "why gold" is not my question I was responding to your saying:

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 bureaucracy.

I defer a full exposition of this question for later . . . much later. 

It can be stated that gold became important because of oxidation and its
malleable form. 

I will state this for the following for the historical record: in the future
gold is very important because its particles can be suspended to buttress
our atmosphere. This has nothing to do with exchange and the commodity form.
In a quirk of history you read it on Marxmail first. (In other words I
looked at the metabolic processes of the earth). 


CB: The socialist revolution is to be qualitatively different than previous
revolutions in the mode of production in that it is to be carried out by
class and socialist _conscious_ masses. So, it is conscious political
activity that makes the socialist revolution, _not_ the unconscious,
objective byproduct of economic processes , unlike the bourgeois revolution
which had less conscious actors.

Melvin P.

This is not what Karl Marx and Frederick Engels wrote. 

CB: I can probably find something by Marx and Engels fairly quickly with the
Marxist archives and search engines, but the one on this is Lenin.  He often
discusses working class consciousness, discusses socialist consciousness,
the necessity of class conscious workers to the success of the socialist

I would say the point to emphasize is the consciousness of the revolutionary
agents. Yes, what they are conscious of is the history of bourgeois property


The communist revolution is qualitatively different and communism is not
socialism. There is a misunderstanding of concepts and theory. Marx
describes how concrete bourgeois property relations evolved in the context
of feudal economic, political and social society, in the form of

Concrete communist - not socialism, economic relations cannot develop in the
context of bourgeois property. This is the meaning of "conscious

The concrete bourgeois property relations that evolved under feudalism is
the economic exchange of commodities. This economic exchange followed two
discernible lines of evolution: heavy manufacture and light manufacture as
it evolved from handicraft. Heavy manufacture was concentrated on ship
building and the conquest of the Americas. This line of development lead to
the expansion of the steel and ship building industry. Heavy industry did
not walk onto earth from the moon but evolved in real time from real
material circumstances. 

Light manufacture became what we call consumer goods. 

The socialist revolution is not qualitatively different from the bourgeois
revolution and Marx spoke of the communism revolution. 

CB: Yes it is, in Marxist theory.  It is qualitatively different in that it
does not its revolutionary class is not a new exploitative ruling class, for


A change in property is not a qualitative leap in world history or a

CB: It's what defines it as a revolution, the fact that there is a change in
the fundamental form of property.


You glorify property and socialism is a transition - a property relations
and all of Marx is about the abolition of property. 

CB: No ,I don't glorify property (??) Marx and Engels say they are  about
abolition of _private_ property. See The Manifesto of the CP.

What is property ? A relation between people regarding things....


Dear brother, do not make me get stupid in public. You must never confuse a
form of property with the abolition of property. 


CB: Abolition of _private_ property.   There will still be property
relations in socialism, but not private ownership of the basic means of


You state: "The socialist revolution is to be qualitatively different than
previous revolutions in the mode of production" and everyone within Marxism
calls socialism the transition phase or first stage towards communism. How
can a transition in any process be a qualitative different definition?

CB: Everything is in transition in dialectics. Communism (second phase) will
not be eternal, but rather in transition based on new contradictions.

In dialectics quantitative change turns into qualitative change (


 A transition in property forms is not qualitative on the scale of history.


CB: Yes it is. Transitions in the property forms in the basic means of
production _define_ qualitative changes in the mode of production.

 MARX says that we are leaving barbarism and entering human history with the
advent of the communist revolution or what he called the abolition of
property - not the change in the form of property. 

The question is posed incorrectly concerning "quality" and property forms. 



CB: Why are you arguing that there is no such thing as "socialist relations
of production, i.e. socialist property relations? Relations of production
_are_ property relations. They are the same thing, synonymous. Relations of
production are economic class relationships.


Melvin P. 

I thought I made my meaning perfectly clear.

CB: To me it is not clear.


 Mel P.The division revolves around industrial social relations, with the
property relations within and not simply classes or the concept of socialist
relations of production. I speak of industrial relations of production and
not social relations of production, which is a broader category of history.
What of feudal economic and social relations and industrial economic and
social relations? 

CB: I guess I asked you this before, but capitalism 

Socialism is not an economic system or mode of production but a property
relations and the economic system or mode of production deals with the
combination of human labor and the state of development of the technological

We disagree. 


CB: Are you saying that Marx and Engels use this terminology the way that
you are using it here, or that you are modifying the conventional usage of
these terms ?



CB: The SU had "emergent" socialist relations of production/property
relations with an modern industrial/factory technological regime.


Melvin P. 

There is no such thing as "socialist relations or production."  
End of story. Give me the reference in the writings of Marx. 

CB:  Relations of production is a logical usage within the theory that Marx
gave us.  Means of production, instruments of production, forces of
production, relation of production, mode of production.  Socialism is what
we are aiming at , and it will be defined by relations of production
qualitatively different than those of capitalism.

Give me the references in the writings of Marx for yours. Where does Marx
say there is no such thing as socialist relations of production ?


More information about the Marxism mailing list