Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

League for Proletarian Revolution

The International Significance of the Restoration of Capitalism in the USSR, Part II


IV. Soviet Social-Imperialism

As we said in our opening statement in the Hammer and Sickle, Vol. 1, No. 3:

...we must take seriously the life-and-death character of the struggle against modern revisionism and in particular the full significance of the “restoration of capitalism in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)... Modern revisionism is not something separate and distinct from the international imperialist bourgeoisie; it is very much an important part of imperialism’s reactionary offensive against the workers and oppressed people of the world.[73]

As such, we stand firm with the position of Enver Hoxha and the PLA:

The forces of imperialism, revisionism and reaction stand on one side of the barricade, while the forces of socialism, the people’s front headed by the international working class, stand on the other.[74]

A. State Monopoly Capitalism of a New Type

The full significance of the capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union is that it has transformed the proletarian state economy into a moribund, state monopoly capitalism of a new type, which is desperately extending its rapacious, annexationist, imperialist claws and inevitably leading to a confrontation with USNA imperialism in inter-imperialist war. “Either one or the other must give up the mastery of its colonies. Such questions are not decided voluntarily in this world of capitalists. This can only be decided by war.”[75]

Imperialism – the era of bank capital, the era of gigantic capitalist monopolies, the era of the development of monopoly capitalism into state monopoly capitalism – has demonstrated with particular force an extraordinary strengthening of the ’state machine’ and an unprecedented growth of its bureaucratic and military apparatus:, in connection with the intensification of repressive measures against the proletariat both in monarchical and in the freest, republican countries.[76]

Today, the Soviet Unionís economic foundation, state monopoly capitalism of a new type, is basically the same as the state monopoly capitalist systems of the USNA, England, France and West Germany. The Soviet Union, as well as all these ether countries, has a monopoly structure dominated by finance capital. As a consequence of the falling rate of profit, which is accentuated under monopoly capitalism, Soviet social-imperialism is compelled to go abroad in search of super-profits, markets and ram materials. As Lenin stated:

Imperialism is characterized by the export of capital. Exported capital, like domestic capital, has but one purpose for the bourgeoisie, making profits. The fact that capital is exported means that the rare of profit available domestically is declining. Thus, excess capital which is not needed by the bourgeoisie to maintain its home interests is shipped elsewhere to find ware lucrative outlets. And, historically, imperialist finance capital does find more lucrative grounds for exploitation where the return on investment: is often twice or three times higher than at home.[77]

In order to, understand Soviet; social-imperialism, it is necessary to grasp not only its universal, but also its particular character:

Since the particular is united with the universal and since the universality as well as the particularity is inherent in everything, universality residing in particularity, we should, when, studying an object, try to discover both the universal and the particular and their interconnection... [78]

The particular nature of Soviet social-imperialism lies in the fact that its economic foundation is state monopoly capitalism of a new type, which did not grow out of “peaceful” competition that expropriated lesser capitalists, and did net subordinate the state to finance capital as a means of monitoring the general crisis of capitalism. No, this was not the path through which state monopoly capitalist developed in the Soviet Union. Rather, it was the seizure of the state apparatus by the revisionists in 1953 that not only separated the means of production from the proletariat, bit also transferred into the hands of the capitalist-roaders one of the world’s most trustified and monopolised economies.

B. Export of Capital

Economic “aid” free the Soviet Union to the “developing” countries started in 1553, after the death of Stalin. Between 1953-57, the largest amounts of Soviet credits want to (starting with the largest) Yugoslavia, India, Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan and Indonesia, a total of $1.4 billion.[79] By February 1, 1958, the Soviet Union had exported $1.9 billion in economic and military “aid”.[80] The largest amount of military “aid” went to Egypt – $250 million, and to Syria – $100 million.[81] The result of this “investment” can be seen by looking at how trade with Egypt changed. In 1954, only 9% of Egypt’s trade and 28% of her cotton exports went to the Soviet Union and the Eastern European countries. By 1964, it was 34% and 59%, respectively.[82] The real selling point of all these long-term investments made by the Soviet Union was their low interest rates – 2 1/2%, and the fact that the Soviet Union was willing to accept repayment in commodities.[83] By doing this, the Soviet Union was allowed to get its revisionist foot in the door, as well as realize a profit gain by getting surplus commodities at lower prices from “underdeveloped” nations and then selling them at higher prices on the world market. According to data published by the Soviet revisionists themselves, in the period between 1961-71, the USSR extorted over 1.1 billion rubles from Czechoslovakia by buying “low” and selling “dear”.[84]

India, one of the starting places for Soviet social-imperialism, has now become a neo-colony of the USSR. As revealed in the Soviet press, Indian enterprises built with Soviet “aid” now control 80% of machine-building, 60% of electrical equipment, 35% of oil processing, 38% of steel, and 23% of the electric power industries of that country.[85]

A good example of Soviet plunder under the guise of “aid” is the exploitation of a large copper mine in Mongolia. The Soviet and Mongolian states have farmed a joint stock company to carry out the operation: 49% of the company is owned by the Soviet Union, and 51% by Mongolia. Mongolia’s share is financed by the USSR, which has provided the plant manager and only allows primary processing in Mongolia, thereby depriving that country of the right to develop its own heavy industry – i.e., smelting, casting, manufacture of copper, etc. On top of this, the Soviet Union has the right to buy Mongolian copper under world prices.[86] This is exactly the sane method Anaconda and Kennecott used to exploit Chile’s two largest copper mines. It is the method through which the exploiting country steals surplus value, seizes resources, dumps commodities and develops itself, while the “less developed” country becomes more and more economically dependent. What is this but imperialism, the exploitation of nations and colonies by finance capital for maximum profit?

In response to the ’“underdeveloped” nations’ demand for the sovereign right to fish 200 miles off their coastal shores, the Soviet social-imperialists not only clean out the water with their giant, modern trawlers, but also demand the right to set up factories and canneries in these nations. This is nothing but outright theft of natural resources, and the demand to exploit the proletariat in the ports, followed by penetration and plunder of the whole economy.

In recent years the Soviet Union has gone all out to capture superprofits, markets and raw materials. The Moscow bourgeoisie have granted the Brazilian dictatorship $400,000,000 in aid. They have held talks with the United Fruit Company, Windsor Metal Corporation, and other USNA monopolies in South America on the subject of creating joint imperialist enterprises.[87] The Soviet social-imperialists are financing a Soviet tractor plant in Mexico, and a long-term, $600,000,000, 4 1/2% interest loan to Argentina for a hydro-electric station, to be a joint enterprise with Westinghouse Electric. ([88], [89]) Brezhnev, speaking of the juntas in Latin America, “describes collaboration with these regimes as one of the most relevant tasks of the international political activity of the Soviet Union.”[90] Nigeria has agreed to accept Soviet “aid” in order to build an iron and steel plant, possibly in return for oil.[91] And later this year, the USSR will begin to provide “aid” to Morocco, for mineral prospecting.[92]

The Soviet Union owns major banking concerns in Western Europe, which are participating in a $500,000,000 loan to the Council of Greater London, a $110,000,000 loan to Dubai Dry Dock Co., Ltd., and a $600,000,000 loan to the Institute Mobilaire Italiano.[93] “The Soviet Union’s Paris-based Banque Commerciale pour I’Europe de Nord (Euro-Bank) is providing funds for a number of major loans recently floated on the Euro-dollar market. These include a $200,000,000 five-year credit to the Central Bank of the Philippines, a $50,000,000 two-year renewable loan to the Venezuelan Nitrogen Company, and a $20,000,000 eight-year loan to the government of Senegal. For its part, Vneshtorbank is participating in a $1.5 billion medium-term offering to the government of France.”[94]

The Soviet Union owns a tractor plant in France that controlled 3% of the market in its first years of operation, between 1968-73. Moreover, they are financing the means of production for textile plants in France and subsidiary plants in the Central African Republic and the Republic of Niger. In other areas of Western Europe, the Soviet Union has financial interests in ”wholly-owned subsidiaries, agency agreements, and joint ventures”; these include a majority interest in Nafta, an Antwerp-based oil products company, since 1967. Nafta has an international network of service stations in Europe and in Latin America. Other Soviet ventures include insurance companies in Vienna and London.[95]

Peking Review reports that the Soviet Union has a material interest in supporting the treacherous Lon Nol regime in Cambodia. Quoting Vanguard, organ of the Communist Party of Australia (M-L): “The Russians have been shown to have a direct stake in the success of the Mekong River convoys bringing petroleum, imported foodstuffs and military supplies three times a month from south Viet Nam to the beleaguered Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.” [96] The article goes on to point out that the Soviet Union’s state-owned insurance company is one of seven foreign insurance companies that insures the insurance company of the Lon Nol clique, which in turn insures these cargo shipments. What an example of proletarian internationalism!

The new czars now export Iranian natural gas to Eastern European countries, as well as to Austria, Finland, West Germany, Italy, and soon, France. Soviet authorities openly brag about the “relief” their new trade agreement has brought to the Italian economy. This agreement provides for the construction of a natural gas pipeline from the USSR to Italy, which will bring in 6 billion cubic meters of gas a year when completed. Italy is paying for the pipeline by building two petrochemical plants in the Soviet Union, at a cost of $1 billion. The Soviet press, commenting on the deal, states: The USSR would also like to participate in the economic development of Italy’s impoverished south.”[97]

The Soviet Union’s economic penetration of Italy has to be seen from the point of view of Italy’s internal economic situation. Italy is in the midst of an extreme capitalist crisis, demonstrated by massive unemployment and skyrocketing prices. This situation has caused a ground swell of spontaneous strike activity. The three major trade union organizations, led by the revisionist Communist Party of Italy–itself under the tutelage of the CPSU, is doing everything possible to hold back the growing revolutionary onslaught of the masses. Both the CPSU and the CPI are doing everything to preserve Italian capitalism, and allow the Soviet Union to increase its financial grip on Italy.

C. Collusion and Contention

From this brief sketch we can see hew the inter-imperialist rivalry between the USNA and the USSR is taking shape not only in the colonies and semi-colonies, but also in Eastern and Western Europe.

As we pointed out in the Hammer and Sickle, Vol. 1, No. 3, USNA imperialism is the principal enemy of the international working class movement and struggles for national, liberation. Nonetheless, as this analysis demonstrates, the USSR is a. formidable imperialist rival which is compelled to exploit nations and colonies and compete with other imperialist powers for world hegemony. In order to maintain their predominance, these two powers have formed a counter-revolutionary alliance against the common revolutionary front of the proletariat, led by the socialist camp and the national liberation movements. “The greatest counter-revolutionary force opposed to the struggle for freedom and socialism the Soviet-US alliance.”[98] Undoubtedly the collusion between these imperialist giants has temporarily strengthened their hegemony over their respective spheres of influence. The currency revaluations and the tremendous hike in world oil prices (predominantly controlled by the USNA and USSR) were a serious defeat of the Japanese and West European imperialists. Still, it would be foolish to see only the harmony of interests between the USNA and the USSR. At the heart of this alliance of thieves is struggle for total hegemony: their collusion only intensifies their contention. Thus, the present crisis in the capitalist world has intensified inter-imperialist rivalry, and has accelerated the drive towards fascism and war. The vicious designs of Soviet social-imperialism cannot be underestimated!

D. Social-Imperialism is Reaction All Down the line: Soviet Social-Fascism

Neither bourgeois nor proletarian democracy exists in the Soviet Union. The only legal party is revisionist. Like the Austrian and German social-democrats in power during the 1920’s, the present-day revisionists are paving the road to fascism. Thus, they are serial-fascists who rely primarily upon bribery, demagoguery and lies backed, up by force. They are what Stalin called the moderate wing of fascism. Soviet social-imperialism, like all moribund capitalism, is in extreme crisis. Plagued by agricultural crises, shortages of key commodities, racked by divisions within the revisionist camp and threatened by the militance of the Soviet working class, the Soviet bourgeoisie is relying increasingly on open terror as the primary means to maintain their power. Social-imperialism, which means the forcible oppression and enslavement of other nations as well as the active preparation for imperialist war, demands brutal suppression of democratic rights and any revolutionary resistance. Soviet social-imperialism, then, is compelled to resort to open terror as its principal form of rule. Otherwise it will be unable to maintain its domination ever the Soviet working class and its colonies. The present social-fascists, Brezhnev and Kosygin, are paving the way.

Endnotes

[73] Hammer and Sickle, Vol. 1, No. 3, p.1.

[74] Party of Labor of Albania, Sixth Party Congress.

[75] Lenin, On War and Peace, Peking ed., p. 257.

[76] Lenin, On Imperialism, Peking ed., p. 69.

[77] “Uphold Lenin’s Thesis on Imperialism”, LPR working paper to Bay Area Continuations Committee, May, 1974, p. 4.

[78] Mao Tse-tung, Selected Works, Vol. 1, p. 329.

[79] Berliner, Soviet Economic Aid, Praeger Publishers, New York, p. 57.

[80] The Sino-Soviet Economic Offensive in the Less Developed Countries, Greenwood Publishers, p. 23.

[81] Ibid.

[82] Leo Tansky, US and USSR Aid to Developing Countries, Praeger Publishers, New York, 1967, p. 150.

[83] Ibid., p. 109,

[84] Hsinhua News, June 23-24, 1974, p. 27.

[85] Peking Review. #45, 1273, p. 13.

[86] Hsinhua News,” OP. cit., p. 25.

[87] Albania Today, January-February, 1974, p. 47.

[88] Soviet Business and Trade, June 24, 1974.

[89] Ibid., May 28, 1974.

[90] Albania. Today, op. cit., p. 47.

[91] Quarterly Economic Review USSR, London, No. 2, 1974, p. 13,

[92] Ibid.

[93] Soviet Business and Trade, April 29, 1974.

[94] Soviet Business and Trade, May 28, 1974, p. 6.

[95] Soviet Business and Trade, March 18, 1974.

[96] Peking Review, #22, 1973, p. 12.

[97] Soviet Business and Trade, May 28, 1974, p. 6.

[98] Ener Hoxha, Report to the Sixth Congress of the PLA, p. 19.