[Marxism] Cuba publishes book on why the USSR imploded

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jul 28 10:39:05 MDT 2006

Preface to "Russia: from real socialism to real capitalism"
By Alan Woods
Friday, 28 July 2006

This is the foreword written by Alan Woods for Ariel Dacal and Francisco 
Brown Infante's book recently published in Cuba by Editorial Ciencias 
Sociales. Already launched in Havana, their book "Russia: from real 
socialism to real capitalism" is an interesting analysis of the reasons for 
and consequences of the fall of the USSR.

Ariel Dacal and Francisco Brown Infante's book is remarkably interesting, 
not only to Cuban readers, but to people at large. It covers a very wide 
spectrum, from the usurpation of power by the Stalinist bureaucracy after 
Lenin's death, through the evolution of the Soviet economy and the crisis 
of the bureaucratic system, the so-called perestroika, to the destruction 
of the Soviet Union. These are key issues of our times which must be 
understood if we expect to comprehend what is going on in the world.

To the enemies of socialism, the collapse of the Soviet Union is the 
ultimate proof that Marxism failed and socialism is impossible. They speak 
about the end of socialism and communism, and even the end of history 
itself. However, the bourgeoisie's joy following the fall of the Berlin 
Wall was rather premature. Events in the last ten years provide enough hard 
evidence that history is far from over.

Everywhere we witness the deep crisis of capitalism, characterized by wars, 
revolutions and counterrevolutions. This is the most unstable period since 
the end of World War Two.

The authors conclude that Marxism is not the culprit, for its ideas have 
never been more relevant than they are today. Written over 150 years ago by 
Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto is the most modern document 
available. Through plenty of quotations and evidence, Dacal and Brown 
Infante make it clear that what failed in the Soviet Union was neither 
socialism nor communism, but a bureaucratic, totalitarian caricature of the 

We Marxists believe that the October Revolution of 1917 is the most 
important event in history, when for the first time - barring the 
short-lived, if glorious, episode of the Paris Commune - the masses 
succeeded in overthrowing the old slavery regime and started - at least 
started - the socialist transformation of society. What a great achievement!

The Russian Revolution proves that a socialist revolution is possible even 
in a tremendously backward country like the czarist Russia of old. Bear in 
mind that before 1917 there were only around four million industrial 
workers in that country of 150 million mostly illiterate people. In other 
words, czarist Russia was substantially more backward than Bolivia or Peru 
are today.

 From being an extremely backward country to becoming the world's second 
power after the United States, the Soviet Union's transformation is one of 
the most remarkable phenomena in world history. For all the bourgeois 
lying, twisting and slandering to try at all costs to underrate and deny 
the Soviets' impressive accomplishments, this transformation, with no 
historical precedent, highlights the superiority of the nationalized 
planned economy over capitalist anarchy. In a couple of decades, the Soviet 
Union built a powerful industrial base which paved the way for educational, 
scientific and cultural progress. No less important were their 
breakthroughs in healthcare and medical science. World War Two revealed the 
Soviet Union's massive superiority in the military field. The war in Europe 
was reduced to a titanic struggle between the USSR and Hitler's Germany, 
supported by resources seized from all over Europe. Both the Americans and 
the British were mere spectators up to the last minute.




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