[Marxism] RE: USSR, Democracy, and the Environment

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Sun May 16 08:57:28 MDT 2004

Where in Detroit this old message from September 29, 2003, was found. 
Reprinted without alteration. 

>Soviet socialism was a part of the twentieth century's accommodation with 
the vast upheavals of the nineteenth century, when masses of peasants were 
decanted from the land and sent to work in satanic industrial cities. In fact, 
Soviet socialism exhausted its historical potential by 1945. From that time 
onwards it became a deeply conservative force, a roadblock in the way of history. 
Once it was swept away, a fortress of old resistance to the curses of 
capitalism, nothing was left to prevent the final emergence of a truly global capitalism 
and its social counterpart, a truly global working class. <

Comrade Mark J was insightful and there was much overlap in our individual 
thinking. Sovietism, Soviet Power and the USSR really existed socialism as it 
existed at a specific point in the curve of industrial development. The state 
was legally empowered with the right to weld the social power of capital. There 
did not exist a mechanism in Soviet life that would allow the social power of 
capital to pass into the hands of individuals. 

The theory problem within the Marxist movement is a refusal to identify the 
meaning of the bourgeois property relations. Capitalism means social capital in 
the hands of private individuals, connected on the basis of the 
infrastructure and market relations - exchange. This possession of the social power of 
capital by individuals allows for a circuit of investment based on competition 
between capitals seeking expanded value. This quest for expanded value - maximum 
profits, creates the developmental curve of capitalist commodity production. 

Under Soviet socialism nothing could pass into the hands of individuals 
except means of consumption. The bourgeoisie is very clear on the difference 
between the private property relations and socialist property. The bureaucratic 
structure of society is not a property relation. The form of democracy in a 
society is not a property relationship. Money is not a property relationship in 
itself, but an expression of value - generally speaking. 

Ownership of socially necessary means of production is a material 
relationship. No individuals owned the factories or physical assets of the industrial 
infrastructure in the Soviet Union. How can this not be understood? Who in the 
Soviet Union owned the apartment buildings and houses? Who owned the material 
properties of the energy infrastructure?  Who owned the raw materials and the 
implements used to extract the raw materials? 

The existence of a black market, theft of property on a grand scale or the 
bureaucratic administration of things is not a property relation. The elementary 
is misunderstood. Society is formed on the basis of the unity of productive 
forces - the material power of production at a given state of development, and 
productive relations. The material power of production determines how people 
are organized in the actual process of production based on the existing form of 
energy, the kinds of tools, instruments and machinery being used in the 
context of a definable infrastructure. Productive relations are the laws in a 
society defining property rights and the relationship of people to property in the 
process of producing. 

The reason production relations are wedded to the laws in a society defining 
property is because machine society spontaneously organizes people on the 
basis of cooperation by definition. How people come together to utilize a given 
state of development of technology is called a social relation of production, 
but this does not define ownership rights. 

The bourgeoisie and then the modern bourgeoisie Marx speaks of, owned real 
materially existing property. Marx is to be understood as stating commodity 
production on the basis of the ownership rights of the bourgeoisie, as he deploys 
the social power of capital. Hence, capitalist commodity production. The 
industrial system is not a property relations but a mode of production.  The 
ownership rights within this mode of production is the property relations. 

Soviet socialism was not ugly to the majority of humanity who had not entered 
or attained it state of development of the industrial infrastructure. Today, 
the obvious is becoming very clear to the workers and intellectuals in the 
imperial centers of world capital. 

Melvin P. 


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