[Marxism] Re: SWP position on the present class nature of former Soviet bloc states

Brian Shannon brian_shannon at verizon.net
Wed Jul 19 09:01:45 MDT 2006

> On Jul 19, 2006, at 12:31 AM, stansfield smith wrote:
> The SWP in the US has the position that the Soviet Union and the  
> Eastern bloc states were degenerated workers states.I have not  
> closely followed how their position on this has evolved since the  
> USSR collapsed, the eastern bloc countries cast off rule by  
> stalinist parties associated with the former USSR, and the GDR was  
> incorporated into capitalist Germany. I understand the SWP  
> initially characterized these changes as political revolutions  
> against the stalinist bureaucracies in those countries.
>   Does the SWP still characterize these countries as degenerated  
> workers states? Or has it said these countries are now capitalist?  
> Does the SWP now state what has occurred in the east was not a  
> political revolution but a social counter-revolution that has  
> restored capitalism? I have the impression the SWP no longer  
> addresses this issue, I assume because they recognize their  
> original analysis was not correct, but have been incapable of  
> presenting a coherent new analysis.
>       I am not aware of any former SWPers on this list who have  
> questioned the original SWP analysis. Or raised the question  
> whether the political "revolutions" in the 1990s have maintained  
> the workers states in those countries, or whether these countries  
> are now capitalist, after suffering what was in fact a social  
> counter-revolution in the 1990s that restored capitalism.

Barry Sheppard defends the SWP's and Trotsky's views in "Theories of  
the USSR in light of its collapse."


And you will find a March 2006 review (original version presented at  
an URPE conference in 2004) of several theories including Sheppard  
piece by Kamran Nayeri* at


Brian Shannon


More information about the Marxism mailing list