Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

League for Proletarian Revolution

The International Significance of the Restoration of Capitalism in the USSR

III. The Character of the Restoration

From this historical background, we can determine the character of the capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union. Again, several key points stand out:

1) The revisionists succeeded in restoring capitalism by first seizing control of the Party, then replacing the dictatorship of the proletariat with a social-fascist state, and finally assaulting the socialist economic base;
2) This revisionist clique represents the same bourgeois class and its international allies that were defeated by the October Revolution, and not some new sort of rising bourgeoisie;
3) The restoration of capitalism inevitably led to drastic changes in foreign policy. The Soviet leaders replaced proletarian internationalism with Great Russian chauvinism, and the Soviet Union has been transformed from a base of world revolution into an aggressive, social-imperialist power. Soviet social-imperialism, which is forced to rely increasingly on open terrorism, is moribund capitalism, capitalism in an ever-deepening crisis. This has aroused the resistance of the Soviet people, not to mention the peoples of the world.

First, we hold that capitalism has been forcibly imposed on the Soviet people by a revisionist clique that represents the interests of the bourgeoisie both inside and outside the Soviet Union. These revisionists were able to impose capitalism by starting their attack on the advanced detachment of the socialist state, the Communist Party. Using the Party as a beach-head, the revisionists replaced the socialist state with a social-fascist dictatorship, which gave them the means to break up the socialist economic base.

Once in control of the Party and the state, the revisionists attacked the unified, planned economy, which is essential to the growth of socialism. Individual enterprises were given the power to decide independently on their production and management plans. Premiums of factory managers were tied to the profitability of the factory. Enterprises were empowered to own, use and dispose of all property, to sell “surplus” materials, to write off “obsolete” fixed assets. As present, managers receive enormous salaries and special privileges at the expense of workers; they have the power to fix or change wages, and to determine for themselves the structure and personnel of the enterprises. In 1965, Brezhnev called for “urgent measures” to be taken in Soviet agriculture and said, “the rate of profit should be made the basis for the objective assessment of the operation of the collective and state farms.” (Quoted in “How the Soviet Revisionists Carry Out All-Round Restoration of Capitalism in the USSR”, Peking, 1968, p. 2) Kosygin also stressed that profit and the quote of profit should be used as “the best means for inducing enterprises to raise their productivity.” (Ibid., p. 2) He suggested that “economic incentives” be increased through “prices, profit, bonuses and credits.” (Ibid., p. 2) Other lackeys have spoken about the “success” of their new system: “At the end of 1970 industrial enterprises operating under the new system accounted for about 92% of the industrial output and more than 95% of the profit.” (Soviet Economic Reform; Progress and Problems, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972, p. 212) According to the 24th “Congress of the CPSU, the Brezhnev gang expects to have the entire economy converted to the profit system by 1975. In this way, the revisionists have not only actively cultivated the growth of their own material and class interests, but have relied upon the most unmitigated forms of bribery In order to spread degenerate bourgeois ideology and create a reactionary, bourgeoisified labor aristocracy. The present Soviet system, in short, has as its basis the drive for maximum profits and the promotion of production through the use of material incentives.

As Enver Hoxha has summed up:

The change In the character of the party and state, the counter-revolutionary transformation in the field of the political and ideological superstructure, could not fail to lead to the changing of the economic base of socialism as well. The economic reforms undertaken by the Khrushchevites in conformity with their anti-Marxist ideological concepts, led to a radical change in the relations of production. They introduced a system of organisation and management into the Soviet economy in which the aim of production became the extraction of capitalist profit... The common socialist property has been transformed into a state capitalism of a new type. (“Report Submitted to the 6th Congress of the Party of Labor of Albania”, Tirana, p. 238)

Second, the revisionist clique does not represent a new type of capitalist class which arose from the socialist state apparatus. Rather, it represents those enemy forces which wormed their way into the Party and the state. As an administrative and not a productive process, the socialist state apparatus provides no material basis for the spontaneous regeneration of capitalism. “Bureaucracy,” said Stalin, “is a manifestation of bourgeois influence on our organisation.” (Works, Vol. 2, p. 137) Moreover, under the dictatorship of the proletariat, centralization of the means of production and organised state planning represent a necessary precondition for the development of socialist relations of production. In this sense Lenin wrote, “...without all-sided state accounting and control of production end distribution of goods, the power of the toilers, the freedom of the toilers cannot be maintained and a return to the yoke of capitalism is inevitable.” (Selected Works, Vol. 7, p. 527)

In short, it is impossible for some “new” and rising bourgeoisie, unconnected with the overthrown class and its international cousins, to he born out of the socialist state apparatus itself. This distinction is important because the notion that a new bourgeois class has arisen from the socialist state isolates modern revisionism from the whole history of class struggle which has preceded it, and fosters the illusion that capitalism can still be a rising and developing force. This is certainly not true. We are in the era of imperialism, or moribund capitalism. There can be no new capitalist era in human history. The next stage is socialism.

Capitalism in the Soviet Union, then, is not a vital and growing force. It is a degenerate kind of capitalism precisely because it has been forcibly imposed on a previously socialist country and because it represents a backward motion contrary to the development of history. It is a caricature of capitalism in the West, a crude imitation that copies the most decadent features of moribund capitalism. Restricted by the socialist forms which they seized and which they don’t oven now dare to openly renounce, the revisionists can never completely restore capitalism as it exists in the USNA.

Nonetheless, we know that the principal aspect of a thing determines its character. That is, the dictatorship of the proletariat and its party have been destroyed. The present Soviet state no longer serves the interests of the working class, but rather defends and reinforces the domination of the Soviet revisionist clique. This clique in turn represents the remnants of the exploiting classes of Czarist Russia and the labor aristocracy they have fostered. This is precisely what Lenin meant when he said, “What is restoration? It is the reversion of state power to the political representatives of the old order.” (Quoted in Peking Review #27, 1974, p. 17) This is also what Mao means when he says, “The rise to power of revisionism means the rise to power of the bourgeoisie.” (Tenth Party Congress of the CPC, p. 47)

In its search for maximum profits the Soviet Union has become not only a capitalist system, but a social-imperialist one as well. The Soviet Union has reduced the Warsaw Pact countries to the status of colonies. It exports capital in the form of economic and military “aid” to Asia, Latin America, and Africa. The purpose of this “aid” is to subjugate these countries by making them economically dependent on the Soviet Union. In this way, the Soviet Union has become a neo-colonial power.

As Comrade Enver Hoxha has said:

The Soviet revisionists try to keep other peoples and countries under their heel... For this [they] are following the same road that the old imperialists followed in times more favorable for them. They are using lies, blackmail, threats, demagogy and credits and investments with the character of capitalist exploitation. (Some Questions of Socialist Construction in Albania and of the Struggle Against Revisionism, p. 163)

Finally, capitalism in the Soviet Union–like all moribund capitalism–is in extreme crisis. Inflation, agricultural crises, shortages of commodities, unemployment and increasing impoverishment of the working class are the irresolvable results of the capitalist system, something that not even contracts with Lockheed can solve. Moreover, the revisionist clique must defeat and subdue not an uneducated and inexperienced proletariat, but the Soviet proletariat, which has been steeled In struggle, raised under socialism, and educated in Marxism-Leninism. Consequently, the revisionists are moving relentlessly toward an open terrorist dictatorship as the only means to maintain their control. This policy of fascist repression within the Soviet Union is dialectically related to social-imperialism. Social-imperialism, which means the forcible oppression, exploitation and enslavement of other peoples, demands an equally brutal reaction against basic democratic rights, let alone revolutionary action or thought which arises from within. They must institute open terrorism in order to maintain their domination.

For this reason, the revisionists are forced to increase their police and secret security agencies, to consistently purge all those who are loyal to Bolshevism, to set up special prisons, labor camps, and “mental hospitals,” and to confiscate firearms. In addition, they have sent troops to suppress strikes, established a “Ministry of Public Order,” and have made it a crime punishable by imprisonment to “spread anti-Soviet rumors” or to speak out against “Soviet politics and social order.” Just this last week the bourgeois press reported that the Soviet revisionist clique has ordered several million dollars worth of riot equipment from the USNA.

We must not, however, accept the idealist trash that the Soviet working class has gone to sleep, that there is no class struggle in the Soviet Union. The Soviet working class, whose contributions to the international communist movement have been immeasurable, must never be confused with the revisionist clique that has seized power. On the contrary, the Soviet people recognize the revisionists for the enemies that they are, and are meeting this ruthless suppression with increasing resistance. They are resorting to slow-downs, protest meetings and demonstrations; they are distributing leaflets and forming underground revolutionary organizations. Large-scale strikes are increasing, as are the struggles of the national minorities against the policies of great-Russian chauvinism.

We must heed the words of our communist sisters and brothers inside the USSR:

The Marxist-Leninists in other countries do not know intimately the feelings and life of the Soviet workers and by judging the state of public opinion on the basis of press reports alone, could over-estimate The strength of the revisionists (for example, the petty bourgeois nonsense which fills our literature). Even in the present conditions the working class of the Soviet. Union is not shaken and has not fallen into the trap of revisionist provocation. Its hatred for the revisionists has no bounds and only she lack of a concrete program leaves it unarmed for the moment. (Program and Principles of the Revolutionary Soviet Communists (Bolsheviks)).