EIGHT SUPPLEMENTARY THESES ON RUSSIA
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Eight Supplementary Theses on Russia
(Dialogue with Stalin 1953)
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1. The economic process underway in the territories of the Russian union can be defined essentially as the implanting of the capitalist mode of production, in its most modern form and with the latest technical means, in countries with economies that are backward, rural, feudal and asiatic-oriental.
2. The political state, nevertheless, has its origins in a revolution in which the feudal power was defeated by forces dominated by the proletariat - followed in order of importance by the peasantry, while the bourgeoisie was virtually non-existent. In consequence, however, of the failure of the proletarian political revolution in Europe, the state was consolidated into a political organ of capitalism.
3. The outward manifestations and entire superstructures of such a regime coincides fundamentally, with certain differences due to time and place, with every form of developing capitalism breaking through into the initial cycle.
4. All the policies and propaganda of those parties that exalt the Russian regime in other countries have been emptied of class and revolutionary content, and represent a complex of 'romantic' attitudes that have been deprived of meaning by the historical development of western capitalism.
5. The assertion that in present day Russia there is no statistically definable bourgeois class isn't enough to contradict the preceding theses; since just such a situation was envisaged by Marxism long before the revolution; and since the power of modem capitalism is defined by its forms of production and not by national groups of individuals.
6. The management of large-scale industry by the state in no way contradicts the proceeding theses; since it still takes place on the basis of wage-labour and internal and external mercantile exchange; and since it is a product of modem industrial technique that is applied, just as it is in the west, once the obstacle of pre-bourgeois property relations has been removed.
7. The lack of a parliamentary democracy is in no wise at odds with the preceding theses, since wherever it does exist it does nothing but mask the dictatorship of capital. Furthermore, it becomes redundant and tends to disappear wherever the production techniques that enable future development are based on large-scale networks, on the state, rather than private organisations; apart from that, open dictatorship has been adopted by every capitalism in the emergent and 'adolescent' stage.
8. This doesn't mean that we can say that Russian capitalism is 'the same' as in every other country since there are two different phases in question. In the first phases capitalism develops the productive forces and forces their application beyond old geographical limits, so completing the framework for the world socialist revolution. In the second phase, it exploits these same productive forces in an exclusively parasitical way; beyond the point where their use would allow 'improvement' in the conditions of living labour'. Such an improvement is rendered possible only by an economic form no longer founded on wages, market and money, that is, the one and only socialist form.
Source: «The texts of the Communist Left», No.5, «Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Russia», p.43
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