[Marxism] Proletarians, peasants, and polemics

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Mon Mar 23 14:32:25 MDT 2009

How do you propose to defeat the bureaucracy? 

I will try  to add something different and distinct to this dialogue. It is 
agreed that Mao  did not create the Chinese Revolution; neither did Lenin, 
Trotsky or Stalin  create the Russian revolutions, although all played fundamental 
- history  altering, roles in the overthrow of a decrepit ruling class and 
the  establishment of Soviet Power. 

Actually the bureaucracy, any  bureaucracy, does in fact generate something 
independently and on its own, as it  embody the property relations and state in 
a society. What the bureaucracy  generates, spontaneously, is self 
reproducing cycles of ritual behavior, as  society reproduction, which is the organic 
reason for its conservatism.  Bureaucrats arise on the basis of this ritual self 
reproducing logic.  Bureaucrats never try and change their own habits and 
proverbial  stupidity. "Bad thinking" or a "lack of revolutionary fervor," or  
bureaucrats do not create "the Bureaucracy." 
The bureaucracy creates the bureaucrats because it can only become  
operational on the basis of flesh.  

Here is what is being  responded to: 

>> The bureaucracy is not the bearer of a new  system of economy, peculiar to
itself and impossible without itself, but is  merely a parasitic growth over
the body of an organisation or society. And  you say it should have a
historic root.<< 

Comrade,  stating the bureaucracy is "merely a parasitic growth over the body 
of an  organisation or society," is a classless ideological statement of ones 
belief.  Nor does such an ideological statement disclose the self reproducing 
inherent  nature of bureaucracy. 

In other words if a comrade said the state  is "merely a parasitic growth 
over the body of an organisation or society," all  of Marxism would raise an 
eyebrow of concern. Is not the most important function  of the bureaucracy 
expressed as the functions of the state  power?  

To the degree that bureaucracy, can only be expressed in real life as  the 
centralization of power and authority it is best to "connect it" to the  Marxist 
conception of the state as a historical artifact. The history of the  
bureaucracy mirrors the history of the state. 


The bureaucracy, any bureaucracy, is also an agency of  administration . . . 
of something. Bureaucratic function also means  administration to guarantee 
self reproducing function. 

To the  degree that the bureaucracy, any bureaucracy, is an agency of  
administration  . . . . of something, marks it as a historical phenomena,  rooted in 
class and specific stages of development of the productive forces. If  we can 
agree that the bureaucracy, any bureaucracy is posed as a historical  
phenomenon, one can properly speak of a socialist  bureaucracy, a bourgeois  
bureaucracy, a feudal bureaucracy, a precapital bureaucracy of slave society,  all the 
way back to the emergence of class as a property relation and the state  as 
it arises as an expression of the irreconcilability of class antagonism.  

If this approach is valid and within the general Marxist  framework, 
bureaucracy is bound up with the emergence of the state and class but  not identical 
to the state. The actual - material, organization of the state  power is as a 
bureaucratic instrument. In the context of Soviet society this  bureaucratic 
organization of violence existed in collusion and colliding with  highly 
militarized bourgeois states. Here I do not argue over the correctness or  
incorrectness of any particular policy of the Soviet state.  

Bureaucracy, as the self reproducing logic of administration must  embody and 
express each stage in the development of the means of production,  property 
relations; the division of labor in society and with the emergence of a  social 
division of labor, bureaucracy appears to dominate the totality of  society. 

Bureaucracy conforms to and expresses the self  reproducing act of 
administration and as such is impossible to overthrow. What  can be overthrown, jailed 
or put on trial is the organization of people -  individuals, carrying out 
certain bureaucratic task and functions in  society.  Then bureaucracy springs 
back to life more powerful than ever,  with new people. 

In my youth this logic was called "the revolution  eats its children." But no 
one could disclose its inner logic and history until  the decay of industrial 
society began. 

Bureaucracy is also rooted  in the division of labor in society. 


This  aspect of bureaucracy cannot be overthrown or discarded at the 
industrial state  of development and its corresponding division of labor.  No 
democratic  organization of the masses can overthrow or fundamentally defeat 
bureaucracy at  the industrial stage of the productive forces. The ritualized character 
and  nature of industrial production and the value system, even when value 
production  is restricted, defeats all forms of democratic organization of the 

Look close . . . very close . . . see the value relations at work  now 
driving the historical phenomenon of "the bureaucracy" and reproducing it in  a 
widening scope? 

The bureaucracy in correspondence with the state  withers away. 

The withering away of the state is predicated on the  withering away of the 
value relations. Don't forget your Engels. Remember in a  footnote in Anti 
Duhring where he mentions what will be left of the state is the  residual 
aftermath of value? 

Since the bureaucracy represents the  embodiment of the centralization of 
power, and the centralization of power is a  class thing and express property 
relations, in the material act of  production/administration, is it possible to 
overthrow administration and the  ritual of value production?  

Stated another way, the  bureaucracy is the indispensable condition for the 
maintenance of the revolution  - any revolution, and more importantly 
revolutionary reconstruction and  simultaneously the most powerful enemy of the 
revolution.  In real life  this means the revolution has to fight the bureaucracy 
with the bureaucracy on  the basis of the vanguard of the proletariat, and 
whatever state of development  of the productive forces and ritual culture of the 
people, allows successive  layers of bureaucracy, to be systematically stripped 
- purged, from  society.  

During the rising curve of industrialization in the  Soviet Union, an 
industrial form of bureaucracy takes shape, with the property  relations within, in 
which it - the property relations, begins to work. This  scared everyone. But 
there was no way out of this predicament. 
How do you propose to defeat the bureaucracy? 

Here is  why the political struggle within Soviet Power assumed such sharp 
and bloody  dimensions, with various political tendencies seeking to use the 
bureaucracy to  defeat their opponents in the bureaucracy. Add to this seemingly 
bizarre  struggle, the individual subjective dimensions of Stalin the person 
and the  Stalin regime, say in the form of Beria the person, and one has a 
blood purge of  the revolutionary organism as the party. The Red Terror spilled 
unto the streets  of Soviet society but without question its location and 
concentration was within  the state organs and the party itself.  

This is also the  reason political Trotskyism, with its anti-bureaucracy 
ideology and political  orientation evolved and emerged outside the sphere of 
Soviet Power, with all its  political consequences. The Soviet bureaucracy, called 
the Stalinist  bureaucracy, could not be overthrown outside of overthrowing 
the Soviet state  and Soviet Power. The Soviet Power refused to be overthrown 
and could not  be overthrown until a new revolution - qualitative change, in 
the productive  forces began, compelling Soviet society to leap to a new basis. 
During this  process of leap - transition from one qualitative state to 
another, the  bourgeois counterrevolution won out. 
Interestingly, the leaders of the counterrevolution appeared from the  party 
and state organs of violence. In America we need to understand why this  
happened and what it means for us, given the massive bureaucracy we face.  

On the chain of history the bureaucracy cannot be fundamentally  defeated 
until a development of the productive forces cause the decay of class  and 
property and allows for the withering away of the state itself.  

Here is why Mao's attempt to cleanse the bureaucracy, through the  Great 
Proletarian Cultural Revolution, did in fact lead to a certain dislocation  of 
Chinese society. Add to this Mao's mistaken notions of large scale social  
production. Ten thousand or a hundred thousand peasants producing steel in small  
furnaces does not equal a steel mill.  Mao did publicly criticize himself  
before 600 million Chinese and the International Communist Movement, and the  steel 
mill fiasco did not harm the Chinese Revolution irreparably.   

Whatever Mao's mistakes, real, alleged or perceived does not  diminish his 
stature on the scale of history. 

The Chinese  Revolution was what it was and what it openly stated it was. A 
victorious  anti-colonial and anti-imperialist revolution, crowned with a 
Peoples Democracy  as a state form. That is why the Chinese communists called their 
country The  People's Republic of China, rather than the Soviet Republic of 


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