[Marxism] Re: Class struggle...

Nick Fredman srcsra at scu.edu.au
Mon Nov 28 21:09:37 MST 2005


Tom:

>>it's not just a matter of the NEP. I don't really see why this is 
>>so hard for some Fidelistas to accept ... perhaps one barrier is 
>>the spectre of the dreaded Tony Cliff ... I'm not arguing about the 
>>Stalin regime. I'm arguing about the Lenin period when we all agree 
>>the society was a "workers' state". Cliff doesn't come into it.<<

I was actually agreeing with you, more so than with Louis anyway, and 
bringing up the "real" meaning of "state capitalism" was a bit of a 
facetious aside. To correct myself a bit: of course there's different 
classes and hence class struggle in any transitional post-capitalist 
society, this will be the case until the happy day of global 
classless socialist society. Even before the NEP, there were 
different petty bourgeois layers with somewhat divergent interests 
from the working class, and bureaucratic distortions which, as 
Trotsky put it, acted as a transmission belt for imperialist 
interests. The NEP, however necessary it was due to the Soviet 
Union's level of development, didn't create but exacerbated these 
contradictions, and also recreated  actual labour employing 
capitalists (which is why the issue, and the resolution, came up in 
1921 rather than in 1917).

So one doesn't have to see bureaucratic elements, dominated elements 
under Lenin and a dominant caste under Stalin, as a state capitalist 
class or whatever, to agree with the CPSU resolution on independent 
trade unions and class struggle that you posted. Even from an 
"orthodox Troskyist" view, the anti-bureaucratic struggle, like all 
political struggles, is fundamentally a class struggle, as the 
bureaucracy  (whether dominated in a relatively health workers state, 
or dominant in a Stalinist one) has a petty bourgeois nature and 
mediates bourgeois interests (and tends to want to turn into itself 
actual capitalist class eventually). Further I think the Cuban and 
Vietnamese revolutions, despite bureaucratic distortions, operate in 
the spirit of this resolution. I know far less about Vietnam, but 
Mike Karadjis, resident there, has posted some interesting things to 
the Green Left list about the "class struggle" there, e.g:

 From http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GreenLeft_discussion/message/23609

"I'm not sure on what basis only certain strike stories get into the English
language VN media, but I know I read about strikes in foreign, domestic
private, and occasionally state, enterprises every day in the daily
newspaper 'Lao Dong' (Labour) run by the (Communist Party led) Vietnam
General Confederation of labour (VGCL), and in every case Lao Dong
energetically backs the workers. One recent case is in a state company that
is in the process of 'equitisation' (ie share privatisation where the state
keeps a significant stake). It is precisely this process that drives former
state companies to attempt to step up pressure on workers to make things
more "efficient", like a private company, for the share-holders. But
though 'equitisation' is government policy (for a certain number of
enterprises), the CP-led VGCL has shown it is fighting every step of the way
to stick up for workers rights in the process. In supporting this strike, the
VGCL also denounced the union on site, which had been bought out by
management and opposed the workers, as a "pocket union" (ie, company union)
-- 



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