What about Russia?
Updated: 21 May 2008, 23:58
Originally written: 12 February 2005
Contrary to common knowledge, Russia was never a socialist or communist country. None of the supposedly communist or socialist countries were socialist or communist. It has suited the Bolsheviks and their hangers-on, the rest of the left, the centre, and the right, to maintain the fiction of the socialist state. For some it was proof that against all odds workers could triumph. For others it was proof that communism and socialism do not work.
Socialism and communism are the same thing, and a mode of production fundamentally different from capitalism. Instead of production for profit (the capitalist mode of production) socialism will mean production for use. In a socialist society the wealth created by workers will belong to workers. Under capitalism the wealth created by workers belongs to the capitalists.
Under the state capitalism in Russia, China, Cuba and all the other phony communist countries, the state acted as the capitalist. That it did a poor job of that, does not change the basic mode of production. In all of those states, production was for sale with a view to profit. It has been argued that the state acted on behalf of all the workers. The arguments do not hold water. In fact, under capitalism the state acts in the interests of capitalism. In Russia it was the Communist Party and state officials, with their iron-fisted control of the state, who received the benefit. Under private capitalism, it is the private capitalists who benefit: the state ensures their profit. Either way, the state works for the capitalists.
It must be obvious to all but the most dense that it was not the average worker who controlled the state machinery in Russia. It should be equally obvious that the state did not work in the interests of the average worker. Under private capitalism, workers control the state in the interests of private capitalists. The mode of production is the same under both forms of capitalism.
Under either state capitalism or private capitalism the worker must purchase everything they require from wages which ensure they are poor compared to either the state or private capitalists.
Under either form of capitalism the workers must produce not only enough to meet people’s needs but also enough to provide a profit. Either form of capitalism uses wages as a means to restrict access to the things one needs.
Under either form of capitalism workers produce when they are told to do so and that means when there is expectation of a profit. That needs may be unmet is irrelevant. Production for the profit of a few means capitalism. Therefore all of the supposedly communist countries were clearly state capitalist.
In a social system which works for workers, there could be no need to have a huge state police forced to control workers. All of those state capitalist regimes required oppressive force to maintain power over the workers.
It was clear in 1914 that the conditions necessary for a socialist revolution did not exist in Russia. Socialists of the time recognized that, writing that the only thing qualifying the Bolshevik Revolution as a socialist revolution was the unjustified claim by the Bolsheviks.
The following 70 years proved socialists correct.
Socialism cannot be forced on people. We must choose to free ourselves from the oppression of capitalism, with the freedom of socialism.