[Marxism] [UCE] Re: [pen-l] Fwd: Debates within ecosocialism: John Bellamy Foster, Jason Moore and CNS | Louis Proyect: The Unrepenta

Fred Murphy fred.r.murphy at gmail.com
Tue Jun 21 09:38:07 MDT 2016

I don't read the passage below in Foster's 2005 intro as "promoting
virtues"; rather he offers a reasonably accurate analysis of Soviet
historical development - parallel in most ways to Trotsky's assessment but
without the "degenerated workers state" formulation. State-capitalist or
Maoist analyses such as the one you seem to put forward are at a loss to
explain developments in the 1990's, when "the ruling stratum [did] turn
itself into a true ruling class..." In this regard, see

"Second, crucial to the foregoing argument has been recognition of the fact
that the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 was not the end, as often said, of
actually existing socialism but simply the termination of a historical
process that had commenced three quarters of a century before with the
first significant attempt to break away from capitalism and to build a
working socialist society. The Russian Revolution and subsequent
revolutionary breaks had occurred under extremely unfavorable conditions in
economically underdeveloped countries. Internal struggles and external
interventions brought most of these revolutions down not long after they
emerged. In the Soviet case the society had ceased to pursue a socialist
path toward equality and cooperation, in which the direction of the society
would be determined by its own working class, as early as the Stalinist
takeover in the 1930s. After that it became a stagnant post-revolutionary
(but no longer in any meaningful sense socialist) society, which still
managed to maintain itself in existence and to provide a modicum of
benefits to its population. Yet, its very stagnation guaranteed that it
must at some point in the future either move decisively toward socialism by
turning back to the masses, or toward capitalism by allowing the ruling
stratum to turn itself into a true ruling class, which would inevitably
choose capitalism over socialism. In the end the latter transpired. Hence,
the real defeat of socialism in the Soviet Union, as opposed to the demise
of the Soviet Union as a separate nation state, occurred not with the end
of the Cold War, but had taken place decades prior in the 1930s."

On Tue, Jun 21, 2016 at 11:13 AM, Joseph Green via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> Correction to my last post on Foster's "Marx's Ecology":
> It was not in his book of 2000 but in his introduction to the July-August
> 2005 issue of Monthly Review  that John Bellamy Foster promoted the
> "post-revolutionary" virtues of the Soviet Union despite the bad things
> that
> happened. ("The Renewing of Socialism: An Introduction":
> http://monthlyreview.org/2005/07/01/the-renewing-of-socialism-an-introduction/
> )
> ​...
Fred Murphy  |  12 Dongan Place #206  |  New York, NY  |  212-304-9106

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