Raya Dunayevskaya

An Analysis of Russian Economy

Introductory Note

The National Editorial Board of News & Letters Committees is proud to print the very first (1942) comprehensive study from original sources of the Russian economy which its analyst, F. Forest (Raya Dunayevskaya), called state-capitalist. As the readers will see, this historic study by an American founder of the theory of state-capitalism, was grounded in Marx’s greatest theoretical work, Capital.

The four year lapse between the first set of articles and the second (1946) series on political conclusions was not due to a division between economics and politics in the original analysis, any more than the concentration on the nature of the Russian economy meant a separation from the new stage of the world economy signified by the Depression. Rather, it was due, on toe one hand, to the vicissitudes of being a Minority in the Trotskyist movement, and, on the other hand, to the shock that state-capitalism had appeared first in Russia, which had been a workers’ state.

Refusing to recognize that Russia had been transformed into a state-capitalist society, even when its politics took the form of the Hitler-Stalin Pact in 1939, Leon Trotsky continued to consider Russia “a workers” state, though degenerate,” and at the outbreak of World War H called for its defense. This led to a split in the Trotskyist movement. The founding, first of the Tendency based on the state-capitalist theory which was never separated from new forms of workers’ revolt, and then of Marxist-Humanism, coincided by no accident whatever with the objective movements the world over for a totally new society.

It was no accident that the counter-revolutionary suppression of the Hungarian Revolution went hand-in-hand with the suppression of thought. It was Mao who urged Khruschev to crush the Hungarian Revolution; and it was both Mao and Khrushchev who designated Marxist Humanists as “revisionists,” and “revisionism” as the “main danger.”

The dual rhythm in the dialectics of liberation, uprooting the old and creating the new, points the way to a unity of philosophy and revolution which alone assures what Marx called “the development of human power which is its own end.”


Last updated on 15 February 2015