The Nature of the Soviet Union: State Capitalism?



some like to call the Soviet Union not actual socialism but capitalist clearly however the Soviet Union did not look like any capitalist society that exists today or in the past so how can it be claimed that it was capitalist well it's claimed that it was a red social democracy instead of a capitalist class they were state officials who acted exactly like the bourgeoisie they purchased labor power from the workers in order to enrich themselves I'm sure there was full employment guaranteed pensions paid maternity leave limits on working hours free health care and education including higher education subsidized vacations low-cost housing and childcare and subsidized transportation that was just because it was a social democracy state officials fundamentally had the same motives and goals as capitalists so wage labour and capital exists and there was also something called commodity production that certainly makes it capitalism right albeit a capitalism of the state a state capitalism well first off this is an empirical claim the claim that there was a class the claim that they bought labor power to enrich themselves the claim that they acted like capitalists these are all empirical claims and therefore need empirical evidence to back them up it seems to be like one of those things like communism has killed a hundred million people it's just repeated so many times everyone sort of forgets that they need to provide empirical evidence without any type of solid evidence these claims cannot be taken seriously in fact the empirical evidence which exists does contradict these notions of a class Society thirdly this claim fails to understand the nature of social democracy and the conditions that it exists under its claim that the Soviet Union had both wage labour and capital well first what exactly is wage labor well in the chapter relation of wage labor to capital Marx defines what wage labor is the laborer receives means of subsistence in exchange for his labor power the capitalist receives in exchange for his means of subsistence labor the product of activity of the laborer the creative force by which the worker not only replaces he consumes but also gives to the accumulated labour a greater value than it previously possessed the labourer gets from the capitalist a portion of the existing means of systems for what purpose do these means of subsistence serve him for immediate consumption one class of people by the another class of people's labour power so if there existed wage labor in Soviet Union it would follow that one class sold a laborer to another class for the goal of obtaining means of subsistence the labourer gets subsistence which he uses and the capitalist receives value for himself but there was no class in the Soviet Union which sold itself to another class everyone had the same relations to the means of production the state as I've shown in a previous video was heavily controlled by the proletariat and the planning of industry was not done in some closed-off far-off room the planners themselves did not have a special relationship to the means of production either planning involved the whole of the people playing this clip from a previous video however there is a further issue with his argument the model of planning which this argument assumes is not the only way the planning has to take place it's assuming the planning is done by a small group of people in some dark room somewhere where they draw up a planner than there is just the final say in the matter and this is completely unrealistic Tour's how planning needs to take place and how planning was actually implemented the Planning Commission in the Soviet Union was responsible for drawing up a general overview if this doesn't mean that the planning was done there and then the Supreme Soviet the Council of people's commissars and the workers were all involved in the creation of a plan Kannamma Ernest Mandel stated that they masses being involved in planning would solve any problem of calculation the plant's ability to each separate Factory is based on the estimated resources and needs of the community as seen by the State Planning Commission but it may neglect certain local characteristics or features of a particular factory therefore a discussion of all such plans by all the workers in Soviet factory is considered essential for this purpose there are not only general meetings of all workers but in each workshop Disqus sons take place and suggestions are made for improving the details of the plan it may happen for example that a certain shop in a certain Factory has been held up for raw materials during the past year when the workers of such a shop point this out in the meeting they may suggest that if only the supply of materials is guaranteed they will be a to increase output by twice the amount suggested in the plan or to take another example the workers of a particular workshop may state that if they could have one more machine of a particular kind they would be able to perform a certain process now performed by six men with the use of only one worker the remaining five would then be available for work where there is at present a shortage of labour and thus output would be considerably raised such general discussions in which the plan is concise or than detailed by all those whose work is to carry it out our feature of all Soviet industry my discussion of this kind is not all material to your meetings are held often monthly to check out how the plan once adopted is being fulfilled furthermore being in the state does not mean that you're paid more than most state officials were not paid much more than any other worker Stalin himself only died with a handful of possessions and was paid less than a doctor Trump certainly has more possessions than these and he's not paid less than a doctor as our other bushwell officials the inequalities of income were because of inequalities of the performance of labour not because of inequalities in the relationship to the means of production in order to communist party members enjoy any type of special relationship to the means of production in fact being a member of the communist party was actually kind of a downside to your income John Gunther learned from firsthand experience that the communist accept nominal managerial salaries for their labor these salaries are minuscule communist as a rule get much less than non communist technicians whom they hire the theory is that all fruits of production are pooled for redistribution to the common good Jerome Davis's experiences also confirm this there are many millions in Russia who sympathize with the party but do not join membership brings few if any privileges and poses heavy duties each member must pay the party treasury and income tax on his salary every member must devote at least several evenings a week to volunteer party work communist is expected to set a good example to others in daily life and work if he works in a factory he must turn out more goods and be absent fewer times than the non party member if he is at the front he must display more bravery than others if he fails to perform a duty or breaks the law the punishment is more severe because of the higher obligation resting upon a member of the party so being in the state or the party does not entitle you to anything more than what a worker can achieve nor does even being a planner until that you are getting more than what a worker can achieve where's the class here where's the sale of labor to those in some sort of higher class position where's the wage laborer the state were not the ones buying labor power because the state was not a separate class they were controlled by the proletariat and had no external relations to the means of production and labor power in wage labor is sold on a market it's a commodity and therefore is imposed with the rules of the market this was not true in the USSR supply and demand had no effect employment was guaranteed the man was a fixed element not something which fluctuated with a market Marx also states the means ups assistance serve the laborer for immediate consumption this ultimately creates a dependence of the laborer on the bourgeoisie but this wasn't the case a portion of the labor power went into what what can be called a common fund which served as subsidies and public services this means that immediate consumption is not the only thing that the labor got back in fact it's a very very small part of what the labor were brought back nor is it the capitalist which is giving them these means ups assistance but this common fund there is absolutely no evidence of wage labor within the soviet union therefore it cannot be said that wage labor existed in the soviet union what about capital Marx defines capital as capital does not consists in the fact that accumulated labor serves living labor as a means of new production it consists in the fact that living labor serves accumulated labor as the means of preserving and multiplying its exchange value so if there was capital labour would go to serve and increase exchange values that is increase profit it's trying to accumulate more and more of these exchange values the measurement of this exchange value is simply what we call money so production would be centered towards obtaining more and more profit more and more money well if this was the case they would have focused more on consumer goods and not on heavy industry consumer goods would have expanded the exchange values much more than focusing on heavy in the they would have also abolished industries which were entirely unprofitable foreign charging for services such as health care and education cutting pensions having unemployment the reserve army of labourers would have further added to the multiplication of exchange values the fact that this didn't take place tells us that capital was non-existent in the Soviet Union as economist Paul cockshott wrote under Soviet planning the division between necessary and surplus portion of the social product was the result of political decisions not the result of market for profit but political decisions as Marx imagined well some that claim that this is just evidence not of capital's non-existence but of a social democracy a state capitalist social democracy well this is just throwing around the term social democracy in a meaningless sense it doesn't understand what a social democracy is in the first place a social democracy still has two classes one which buys labor and one which sells labor but the bourgeois class is made to give a little bit of the surplus portion back to the workers however the important thing to note is the bourgeoisie do not give the full surplus value back they still work for capital and they still work to seek profits production is so geared toward profit but they gave a little bit of that value back under certain material conditions and these conditions are pacifying the working class when it looks like they're a threat or trying to create this labor aristocracy to pacify the working class by paying workers just a little bit of the surplus they make or by paying them with the surplus made from other nations that is third-world exploitation but in the USSR the full surplus value went back to the workers directly in the form of wages or indirectly from a common fund and it was this value that they produced themselves not other value made in the third world most fears of workers revolts actually came about because of the Soviet Union's existence for example this is why the British set up the NHS social democracies were trying to prove that they could do with the Soviet Union did they were forced to bite the bullet social democracies were popularized in response to the Soviet Union so how could the Soviet Union resemble a social democracy also the Soviet Union was a developing nation a developing nation represents an area for increased profits and super profits you can exploit their poverty you can use the fact that they're a developing nation to heavily enrich yourself they're not rushing to provide any type of benefits that socialism had you don't see social democracies arising in these third-world countries you don't see them arising in developing nations out of the goodness of the bush Rosie's heart they're an opportunity for exploitation not an opportunity to provide for impoverished masses the Soviet Union had no other class which redistributed the surplus product nor was only a portion given to them but the full value and the only reason why social democracies came about in the first place was because of the popularity of the Soviet Union was because of the Soviet Union represented a strong alternative clearly this cannot be said to resemble a Western social democracy one bit social democracies tried to resemble the Soviet Union those are the conditions which it came about not the other way around nor was there a another class of people which provided a part of the surplus value there was a way flavour or capital or that it was like a social democracy what about this thing called come on unlike wage labor in capital commodity production in and of itself is not a distinct aspect of capitalism commodity production existed before capitalism but its nature depended on the system that existed around it what changed within commodity production was the quantity of production of commodities that is the generalization of it and with this changes the quality or type of commodity production in existence so what matters is the quality of the commodity production the type of quantity production in existence it's not commodity production in and of itself but the nature of this commodity production which matters without wage labor without capital if commodity production is necessary then what's wrong with it it cannot represent a capitalist force without wage labor and it's clearly evidence that the commodity production in the Soviet Union was of a vastly different nature than in a capitalist sense Marx writes about the exact nature of a capitalist commodity in his work called the commodity the commodity is immediate unity of use-value and exchange-value thus of a – opposed entities thus it is an immediate contradiction this contradiction must enter upon a development just as soon as it is no longer considered as hitherto in an analytic manner at one time from the viewpoint of use-values and at another from the viewpoint of exchange values but is really related to the other commodities as a totality thus real relating of commodities to another however is their process of exchange what this means is that the use of a product and the exchange comes in contradiction in capitalist society there is a contradiction between use-value and exchange-value what we can use of a product and what money we can make from a product to use an example in modern day we could talk about housing every homeless person in America can own more than one house in America so why is homelessness an issue because America has capitalist commodity production which creates a contradiction between the use-value and exchange-value homeless people could use these houses but the contradiction is that they cannot put up this exchange value they can't put up the money for the house so they go without and this often leads to you know crisis a capitalist crisis there is just more stuff that you could use and there's just no possible way that everyone could buy it up they can't provide all of this exchange value for it and this creates a contradiction which leads to a crisis now we're free to look at the Soviet Union there was no crisis they didn't suffer from any type of problems of recession and in regards to the housing question every person was housed if you cannot put up exchange value for something that had immense use value then that wasn't a problem resources were distributed by democratic decision not on the basis of who had the most exchange value the contradiction between use and exchange value was non-existent this means that the commodity production in the USSR could not have possibly have been capitalist since it did not possess main contradiction contained in a capitalist commodity there are something called necessary and sufficient conditions wage labor is necessary for capitalism to exist in its sufficient to establish capitalism's existence commodity production is necessary for capitalism but the confusion here is that the fact that it's not sufficient to establish capitalism existence this is where the confusion comes from it's because production of commodities exists doesn't entail that capitalism exists also what even is communism in the first place what's the main goal what's the main aspect of it Engels himself clears this up what is communism communism is the doctrine of conditions of the liberation of the proletariat so the goal above all else is the liberation of the proletariat now we have a clear basis on which to analyze commodity production the clearly wage labor cannot be used under socialism it doesn't liberate the proletariat by definition yet commodity production doesn't really seem to be liberating one way or the other we can imagine a society which eliminated commodity production yet the proletariat are still in Chains Poppins Kampuchea actually did eliminate commodity production and I doubt left coms with the fanic Pol Pot or consider Kampuchea socialism I doubt that Left coms would like this USSR anymore if all conditions had been the same but they issued labour vouchers which were destroyed on use instead of rubles I doubt left comms would suddenly praise Stalin and wave the hammer in the sickle we can imagine a capitalist society consisting of one or a few monopoly companies which issue their own certificates to its workers to buy their products or a capitalist society where automation has made commodity production obsolete this would not be commodity production obviously since these certificates would cease to have value upon use yet the proletariat would not be free they would still be enslaved to the bourgeoisie on the reverse we can imagine a society with proletarian democracy no wage labor in no classes yet production of commodities still exists so this tells us that by Engels his own conception of communism it's not commodity production itself which is Levent but the conditions which exists around it now we should strive to eliminate commodity production if possible but if it exists for a small amount of time it does not take away from the socialist character of a society so the Soviet Union is not represent capitalism it did not represent a social democracy it is not have the contradictions of a capitalist system it was post capitalist it did not have a class of people over another it did not have wage labor it wasn't focused on multiplying exchange values it was dare I say a socialist system




Comments
  1. This sounds like a fucking ancap video "The market was perfect, the bonuses were based on their hard work"

    Where have I heard that before

  2. The Evidence is in Lenin's own statement "For socialism is merely the next step forward from state-capitalist monopoly. Or, in other words, socialism is merely state-capitalist monopoly which is made to serve the interests of the whole people and has to that extent ceased to be capitalist monopoly." The rest is here = it's pretty much all nonsense and has nothing to do with Socialism, it's Blanquism by another name. https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/ichtci/11.htm

  3. I think that the terms 'state capitalism' and 'state socialism' are misnomers. Socialism is collective/worker ownership of the means of production. Capitalism is the private ownership of the means of production. Neither involve state ownership of anything.

  4. Thus the problem of producing commodities in manner that would satisfied the economy of hundreds of millions. Thus failing as economy for the people. Thus being the laughing stock of the world of capitalism.

  5. Mao Zedong also talked about state capitalism very clearly.In fact State capitalism has the elements of socialism.

  6. To those people that said socialist countries are never socialist, they need to asked themselves, "what's the difference between socialism and communism?"

  7. Do those of you who agree with the viewpoint set forth in this video find things like worker cooperatives and anarcho sydicalism unappealing? Personally I find the syndicalist communes of revolutionary Spanish Catalonia much more inspiring than the USSR, whether you consider the USSR to be state capitalist, right communist, or whatever…
    Spanish Catalonia communes were relatively short lived, due to their defeat by the Nationalist forces and those who backed them, and also it was far from perfect. The war climate promoted violence all over Spain and Catalonian anarchists were certainly influenced by this climate. But from an economics perspective I find these few years in Catalonia history inspiring.
    Cooperatives in Spain, like Mondragon exist because of the same anarchist/socialist culture that gave rise to the communes of revolutionary Catalonia.

  8. 11:22 "You don't see social democracies rising in developing nations" I would disagree. What would you call Venezuela and Bolivia? You certainly can't call their government systems socialist or revolutionary, although they like to call themselves that. They continue to have prole and bourgeois classes and capital continues to exist in them.

  9. This is a great video. People can somewhat make the argument about post stalin Soviet Union, but even then it doesn’t really work. Even Khrushchev’s reforms weren’t that big and didn’t have overarching changes, mostly minor ones

  10. When people say that the Soviet Union did not involve socialist decision making, they are simply pointing out that the planning was done by those who were members of the communist party and then only those members in good standing. Planning in capitalist states is done by cliques of capitalists, who often form antagonistic parties, especially when an industry is composed of many smaller firms. Some capitalists support making large mainframes, other desktop microcomputers, others decide to make tablets, and so on. That never happened in Soviet style economies.

    The antagonism in Capitalism was replaced by a uniformity of thought in Soviet economies, which means nobody wanted to propose a new idea, because then those that disagreed would dislike them, and they would no longer be "in good standing" in the communist party, which had a monopoly on capital and a monopoly on new ventures. Even if you had a product that a million people wanted to buy, you would still need to convince a party-member to let you manufacture it. In effect, that meant that only the person who was at the head of the party, or those of a small group in good standing with the party head, could safely decide to direct new initiatives. This is exactly like ONE gigantic capitalist firm, with ONE totalitarian CEO, for every industry in your economy. While Stalin was a reasonably competent "national CEO" in terms of overall economic coordination, this wasn't too hard for coordinating steel production and heavy industry and arms, it is manifestly impossible for a single person can make decisions for 200,000,000 people and all the consumer goods they need, and some of the decisions in his and subsequent leadership struggles were abysmally bad, like inappropriate grain-crops for various regions, extremely sluggish adaptation to new technology like transistors and lasers, suboptimal product design together with inability to rotate failing designers, no retooling of obsolete plants, and so on. The result was an economy about one-quarter as productive per employee as Western ones, an industrial base that was a creaking out-of-date monstrosity by 1970, and that's despite full employment, no homelessness, no drugs, no advertizing, great health-care, ideal eduction, great social projects, and all the many other benefits of a state-socialism.

    The concept of ownership in capitalism is really a concept of power-sharing among the owner-class, and the idea of socialism is that those who work should be making the decisions, that is, that there should be no owner-class. This is not the same as having a political party that claims to speak for workers making all economic decisions for workers. It means that a worker with a good idea can get a loan, get some friends, manufacture new products, keep the profits, and eventually collectivize the firm gradually as they grow.

    The Soviet system was improved upon vastly in Yugoslavia, when they allowed employees to own the state industries locally, and decide on their own management and profit-sharing structure. This made Yugoslavian socialism light years more nimble than the Soviet system. Yugoslavian socialism was about half of a Western market economy in productivity. The restrictions of capital aggregation and the planned aspects still stifled new initiative, but nowhere near like in the USSR. The philosophy of decentralized socialism was worked out by Yugoslavs starting with Djilas and Kardelj, and these are the role-models to follow.

    The modern socialist approach is simply to transition to a worker-owned workplace even without a political party taking over. This can be done with appropriate tax-incentives to split corporations, and strong unions that can bargain higher wages, and buy their workplaces from capitalists before those workplaces become enormous. It can also be achieved by regulating and taxing publicly traded company stock, to avoid it being captured by a capitalist class. If you have a goal in mind, it is easy to herd companies and capitalists with subtle price-nudges and modest taxes, because they can only maximize profit, that's the only activity they know how to do. So if you make it worth their while to share ownership, they will.

  11. Я почти согласен с автором. До 1953 года в СССР развивался социалистический строй, но с момента прихода к власти Хрущева действительно начался откат к капиталистическому строю, а с введением в действие Косыгинской реформы, которая делала упор на прибыльность предприятий, (на западе известной как "Реформа Либермана") в СССР начал действовать государственный капитализм. Точно не помню дату реформы, но она была осуществлена в 1970 десятилетии.

  12. I love you so much, this was an incredible piece of scientific work, thank you so much for the effort. We all know leftcoms are full of shit but putting the proof out is a lot of work 😀

  13. Yeah you're right it comes down to this : if there indeed is no ruling class but that the workers all decide how to produce and what through centralized democracy, any of the other points are moot. IT's just really hard to imagine worker control on the scale of a Magnitogorsk or the entire Ukrainian agriculture but as long as democracy is at play and elected officials are indeed elected, revocable and close to the the electors, that indeed is a worker control democracy and no exploitation can be found in such a system.

  14. Lol this is not a rightcom claim it is a leftcom claim. Lenin and the Bolsheviks were widely regarded in their time by Marxists as a right wing deviation of traditional socialism. Leftcoms are the ones who say the ussr wasn't socialist

  15. People who call themselves socialists destroy a nation and kill and destroy countless lives.
    "Oh, but that's not "real" socialism.
    And repeat.

  16. Not clash of classes but clash of races.

    Iberian-Caucasian Civilization versus invading
    part-Neanderthals,

    organized by bogs-snakes type macaques that learned mark
    clay tablets for movement of goods…

    Macaques steal and plagiarize the best people and justify it
    by capitalism…

    Russia since 1947 is Antichrist that corrupt Western elite
    even more…

    Trump is KGB-burglar – they rob my inventions, including
    "PAL"…

    =

    Russians did evil, Stalin tried good – under house arrest
    1947, killed in 1953…

  17. Dude no amount of people will plan effectively without self interest. I invite you to visit my home town of Zaporozhye, industrial giant of USSR era. And investigate yourself how grotesque, bloated and ineffective metal factories of those age are. Poor copy of US industrial complex of 1930s, it does not changed much since then even these days! This shit doesnt work!

  18. The claim that the USSR was "state capitalist" is not only a meme but a fallacious argument taking the form of projection.

  19. No separate classes in the USSR?
    Sorry, the ruling class was the state. To say that it was controlled by the "proletariat" is just a bad joke. How do the people control a government that did not even have a fair election system? When you have one party rule for 70 years, and leaders like Stalin that could only be fired by being assassinated, calling this a "democracy" is just flat out funny. Countries with actual free and fair elections dont keep electing the same people that starve and oppress them decade after decade. That doesnt even happen in prosperous societies like the US.

  20. I really enjoyed this video, and have reevaluated some of my positions because of this. However my one issue is with the argument you provide for commodity production (and I know, after reading the rest of the comments, that this is a contentious issue). You say that the existence commodity production doesn't necessitate the existence of capitalism, as it has existed under other modes of production. However, it doesn't sound like you specifically explained how commodity production can exist within the context of Socialism. If socialism is to be the entire negation of capitalism, doesn't that mean that socialism cannot have commodity production? I might be misunderstanding this quip, but I'd like to hear your perspective on it.

  21. I'll repost my comment to your Response to Xexizy:

    Quit quote mining the Critique of the Gotha Programme, this quote from the document literally the passage before:

    "Within the co-operative society based on common ownership of the means of production, the producers do not exchange their products; just as little does the labor employed on the products appear here as the value of these products, as a material quality possessed by them, since now, in contrast to capitalist society, individual labor no longer exists in an indirect fashion but directly as a component part of total labor. The phrase "proceeds of labor", objectionable also today on account of its ambiguity, thus loses all meaning."

    Exchange and the active maintenance law of value are not included in the "birthmarks of the old society". This is what separates the real movement to abolish the current state of things from social democracy. Rejection of the USSR as "actually existing socialism" isn't "book worship", it's coherent theory that doesn't buy into the appropriation of genuine proletarian movements by capitalist states.

    >production for use

    This is an empty concept. Even though some of the plans – which by the way often had no connection to the actual inputs and outputs – in the USSR were drawn up in physical quantities, this is not special. It has been done in all capitalist economies before. The state industry in the USSR competed and was even legally obliged to make a profit.

    >the law of value

    Stalin himself admits in his work on the economy of the USSR that the law of value operated in the USSR, effectively admitting that it operated on capitalist social relations. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1951/economic-problems/ch04.htm

    >Extraction of surplus value

    The Soviet Union extracted surplus value like any other capitalist economy.

    >socialist commodity production

    An oxymoron.

    >"But this commodity production serves people, not profits!"

    This is Berniecrat-tier argument. Commodity production maintains the law of value, the law of value maintains the rule of capital, the rule of capital is capitalism.

    >"B-but capitalism is different now! Marx and Engels not longer fully apply!"

    I suggest you read Capital volumes I, II, and III, as you'd understand that the fundamentals of capitalism and its functions have remained unchanged.

    In short;

    Capitalists existed in Russia. Both social and actual individuals. The state took the form of a capitalist and also the collective farms and peasants with their private plots. Markets existed, even free markets, including a black market. There were even "soviet millionaires". Private property was enshrined by law in the collective farms.

    Capital ran Russia. The law of value made itself felt by the shifting changes in prices and wages and on what was produced. Profit existed, in fact, it was made into a legal requirement for state firms to make a profit. Speculation existed in the countryside with their markets.

    Labour was alienated, there was a constant drive to push down wages and make labour more productive (along capitalist lines, of course). Relative freedom was only awarded due to the need for labour in the process of industrialisation. Still, unemployment was wide spread.

    Russia was not tending towards or transitioning to socialism/communism only to be thwarted at the last minute by "revisionists" and "capitalist roaders".

    Democratization of production doesn't make production non-capitalist, if the Law of Value still dominates. This is the very reason why Marx didn't see worker's co-ops as capitalist:

    > That the workers desire to establish the conditions for co-operative production on a social scale, and first of all on a national scale, in their own country, only means that they are working to revolutionize the present conditions of production, and it has nothing in common with the foundation of co-operative societies with state aid. But as far as the present co-operative societies are concerned, they are of value only insofar as they are the independent creations of the workers and not protégés either of the governments or of the bourgeois.

    [Critique of the Gotha Programme](https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/ch03.htm)

    This letter written in collaboration with Marx should be clear and all you need.

    >The present co-operative movement, I repeat, must perish as its kindred have done before it—and, if not, its success would be a new curse to the community. Why do the rich smile on it? Because they know it will prove in the long run harmless as regards them—because they know it has always failed, hitherto, to subvert their power. True the attempts often succeed in the beginning—and why? Because the new idea attracts many sympathisers—while it is too weak to draw down the opposition of the money lord. Thence the co-operators are enabled to pick up some of the crumbs that fall from the table of the rich. But what is the £3,000 of Rochdale amid the proud treasures of its factory lords? Let the shock come among the mighty colossi of trade, and the pygmies will be crushed between them.

    [Ernest Jones' letter in collaboration with Marx](http://gerald-massey.org.uk/jones/c_misc_letters_etc_1.htm#Co_operative)

    >“But, the transformation — either into joint-stock companies and trusts, or into State-ownership — does not do away with the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. In the joint-stock companies and trusts, this is obvious. And the modern State, again, is only the organization that bourgeois society takes on in order to support the external conditions of the capitalist mode of production against the encroachments as well of the workers as of individual capitalists. The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine — the state of the capitalists, the ideal personification of the total national capital. The more it proceeds to the taking over of productive forces, the more does it actually become the national capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage-workers — proletarians. The capitalist relation is not done away with."

    Friedrich Engels, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

    >“It is just as pious as it is stupid to wish that exchange value would not develop into capital, nor labour which produces exchange value into wage labour.”

    Karl Marx, Grundrisse, The Chapter on Capital 1858

    Communism isn't fair distribution of capital or value to each worker. It's the elimination of capital and the Law of Value. Commodity production, foreign and domestic trade, and Stalin admits the law of value, and thus capital, persevered in the Soviet Union.

  22. There were two classes: partyheads… People with higher rank and higher education by the party were set to organize and manage the production. The ruling politicians held party's with luxury goods, to which the people of their country had no access to. Now tell me again that there were no classes in former soviet countries.

  23. It was a dictatorship of the proletariat. It never transitioned to socialism in its 74 year history. Maybe because it never could, whether from foreign interference, or from the inefficiencies and inabilities of the state.

  24. 6:35 — great example and a good debunking of this idea of the supposed "Red Bureaucracy" that left-coms/anarchists talk about often.

  25. I'm not an expert of the USSR, only studied their systems briefly when I was working on a political science degree, but your claim around 5:00 that government officials were not paid much higher than the average laborer are just false, according to what I remember from that time and what little I could find as I look for details on this matter now. In fact what I found specifically condemned Stalin's practice as secretary-general where he increased his salary from 225r to 10,000r between 1935 and 1947. Managers were paid a rate of 5:1 to workers, officers paid 3.5:1 to enlisted. The wealth Gap in the USSR by its collapse was, again mostly from recollection so you can add a pinch or two of salt, more severe than the United States in 07. I'm not going as far as to say they were capitalist, I'm just not convinced of the accuracy of that statement.

  26. I love this comrade, but I wish you would acknowledge the difference of eras in Soviet Union. While a lot of these policies were kept, evidently many of the more important systems were discontinued in some form in the latest years of the USSR. The spread of McDonald's and other western companies in the RSFSR pre collapse and very few even extending to the early 80's shows us there was a problem. Nobody has managed to answer the exact origin in which we can all agree on. Someone undid something important, which lead to the collapse. But when, the era of when this inevitable demise started is unclear.

  27. There is a very good argument here. As an ex-Marxist, it did ring some bells for me. However, I would say that you are assuming that the power was this vertical with local planning by referring to the official mechanism where you claim everybody in the USSR was related to processes of production in the same manner.

    What would thus be valuable would be to have case studies of how this actually functioned on the ground. How much POWER did the individual actually hold in the face of law. It is difficult to quantify this, but humans do produce and beact more innovatively in free environments, creative environments once they reach certain minimums in their living standards.

    I am assuming the USSR failed to provide this environment due to its obsession for holding the system intact and thus creating an unfree but providing environment. This would explain a lot about the increasing incapacity of Soviet economy to innovate at the micro-meso levels. I am not referring simply to R&D, but rather to tech spillover failures.

    In the end, technology isn't about simply the quality of a good you produce. It is an hypothetically endless cycle of micro-improvements and global interactions in an entrepreneurial environment.

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