Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

League for Proletarian Revolution

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

V. The Incorrect Line of the Communist League and Its International Implications

A. The Dictatorship of the Proletariat and “Socialist Relations of Production”

“Politics must take precedence over economics. To argue otherwise is to forget the ABC of Marxism.”[99] It is only by implementing this Marxist-Leninist principle that CL became the theoretical and practical leader of the movement to build a multi-national Communist Party. (It is fair to say that without the leadership of CL many of us would never have grasped the full significance of the struggle against modern revisionism.) On the question of the restoration of capitalism, in the USSR, however, CL has abandoned this principle. Rather than slavishly tail after what we believe is an incorrect line, it is our bounden duty to be open and above board and base our criticisms on the science of Marxism-Leninism. Therefore, we must struggle to correct any erroneous tendency that threatens to compromise our struggle against modern revisionism and for proletarian revolution.

For example:

The Soviet opportunists are locked in a life and death struggle with the Soviet working class. While they control the state apparatus, they have not been able to fully destroy the socialist relations of production.[100]

Comrades, may we ask how there can be “socialist relations of production” when the state through which the working class controls the means of production was taken over by capitalist roaders in 1953? Is it possible to centralise the control of the principal means of production in the hands of the bourgeoisie without taking them out of the hands of the proletariat? Lenin writes that,

The passing, of state power from one class to another is the first, the principal, the basic sign of a revolution, both in the strictly scientific and in the practical political meaning of that term.[101]

Is this not also true of counterrevolution? Would Lenin have used the words “principal” and “basic” if he had thought it possible to so simplistically wrench the base from the superstructure as you do? Is CL saying that, “socialist relations” are possible when the proletariat has lost its main instrument of the dictatorship of the proletariat – the Communist Party – through which it’s ownership of the means of production is effectively realized? Isn’t it true that the CPSU is now the main instrument of the Soviet bourgeoisie which from 1953 has led the struggle to consolidate capitalism ideologically, politically and economically? As the program of the CPSU says:

The Party attaches prime importance to more effective investments, the choice of the most profitable and economical trends in capital construction, achievement of the maximum growth of output per invested ruble, and the reduction of the time lapse between investment and return.[102]

In short, unless CL comrades believe that the relations of production are a component part of the productive force, as the revisionist Yareshenko argues in the Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR, then it must be admitted that when the revisionist seized the state and the Party in 1953, the character of the relations of production changed qualitatively in favor of the bourgeoisie. This is not to argue that every aspect of the Soviet Union underwent a complete metamorphosis all at once. On the contrary, it is to say that what characterizes socialism as opposed to capitalism is not the existence of social forms of ownership but the rule of the proletariat, i.e., the dictatorship of the proletariat. The fact that since seizing state power the Soviet bourgeoisie has further consolidated its domination, by extending the role of the market, giving power to managers of individual enterprises to hire and fire workers, instituting a capitalist wage system, etc, is the result of the principal fact – the seizure of power by the bourgeoisie. To argue otherwise is to reduce the question of capitalist restoration to an academic analysis of economic forms. Although changes in economic forms are an important indicator of the degree of capitalist consolidation, they are secondary to the decisive factor of political power and hence, class relations.

Engels long ago pointed out how the bourgeoisie disguised its domination under the cover of social forms, such as “state ownership” and “state planning”.

In any case, with trusts or without, the official representative of capitalist society the state will ultimately have to undertake the direction of production.[103]

To this statement, Engels added the following very important rider:

I say ’have to’. For only when the means of production and distribution have actually outgrown the form of management by joint-stock companies, and when, therefore, the taking them over by the state has become economically inevitable, only then – even if it is the state of today that effects this – is there an economic advance, the attainment of another step preliminary to the taking over of all productive forces by society itself. But of late, since Bismarck went in for state ownership of industrial establishments, a kind of spurious socialism has arisen, degenerating, now and again, into something of flunkyism, that without more ado declares all state ownership, even of the Bismarckian sort, to be socialistic. Certainly, if the taking over by the state of the tobacco industry is socialistic, then Napoleon and Metternich must be numbered among the founders of socialism. If the Belgian state, for quite ordinary political and financial reasons, itself constructed its chief railway lines; if Bismarck, not under any economic compulsion, took over for the state the chief Prussian lines, simply to be the better able to have them in hand in case of war, to bring up the railway employees as voting cattle for the government and especially to create for himself a new source of income independent of parliamentary votes, this was, in no sense, a socialistic measure, directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously. Otherwise, the Royal Maritime Company, the Royal porcelain manufacture, and ever the regimental tailor of the army would also be socialistic institutions, or even, as was seriously proposed by a sly dog in Frederick William III’s reign, the taking over by the state of the brothels.[104]

Stalin’s Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR takes as its starting point the fact that the proletariat and its Party have state power. Otherwise the economic forms of commodity production and the law of value would be capitalist in content. Conversely, the New Economic Policy (NEP) was instituted to strengthen the capitalist base but in no way represented the policies of a capitalist system.

B. CL’s Analysis of the Collective Farms in the USSR

Nonetheless, the Communist League has consistently preoccupied itself with an empirical dissection of economic forms of the Soviet economy. In doing so, they have never really specified in exactly what sector these “socialist relations” operate. Secondly, their “dissection” has been totally concerned with the production relations that exist outside the state industrial sector, i.e., the most highly socialized section of the economy which is owned and run by the proletarian state and which constitutes the vanguard of any socialist country. For example:

Under Stalin’s leadership, these collective farms were the more backward aspect of agriculture, being co-operative rather than socialist, and stood half way between capitalism and socialism. However, Khrushchev did not dare disturb the collective farms since he knew the rebellious and advanced nature of the Soviet peasantry.

They continue, saying that Khrushchev

began the process of capitalist restoration on the State farms where the rural workers were more poorly organized and more isolated than those of the city. Capitalist relations were speedily restored on the state farms. Now, the collective farms stood halfway between socialism and capitalism and became a drag on Khrushchev’s policy.[105]

Comrades, at best the confusion and inconsistency of this argument boggle the mind; at worst, it is totally untenable from a Marxist-Leninist point of view. First, it is admitted and maintained that capitalism was restored more easily in the advanced sector of agriculture – the state farms – than in the backward sector – the collective farms. This view is justified by CL on the grounds that the “rural workers were more poorly organized and isolated than those of the city”. This ignores the fact that state ownership is a higher level of organization than collective ownership and it begs the question: were the rural workers on the state farms any more “poorly organized” than the “rebellious peasantry”? Both are located in the countryside.

Second, the clear implication is that capitalism has not been restored to the collective farms because they are not owned by the state. Such thinking runs contrary to Leninism which points out that the character of collective farms conforms to the nature of the economic system under which they operate. As Lenin points out, “In a capitalist state, the cooperatives are no doubt capitalist collective institutions.”[106] Conversely, collective farms are collective socialist enterprises under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Thus it is ridiculous to say that collective farms stand halfway between capitalism and socialism and that they are “backward” and advanced”. In other words, to imply that collective farms are not capitalist because they are not owned by the state is to substitute collective private ownership by small groups for the ownership of the means of production by an entire class.

In effect, this idealist argument implies that the bourgeoisie has the state, but that the workers still own and control their collective farms. This is syndicalism pure and simple. Moreover, in the Bay Area Continuations Committee, CL went so far as to argue that the collective farms represent socialist relations of production. We need only point out that Lenin demolished all of these arguments nearly fifty years ago by pointing out that collective farms are on the condition that the working class controls the state.[107] “On Cooperatives”, Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 32.)

Finally, the CL argues that the existence of the collective farms together with the increase in the number and size of private plots under the revisionists has prevented the consolidation of capitalism in the USSR. Collective farms are a “drag on Khrushchev’s policy”.[108] In a research paper by the Bay Area unit of the CL, it is stated that private plots “impede the establishment of state monopoly capitalism”.[109] Comrades, this is equivalent to saying that capitalism in the countryside is preventing the restoration of capitalism. In essence, CL is saying that there must be a “large scale agro-industry and hence the circulation of commodities”, before we could call the Soviet system monopoly state capitalist.[110] While collective farms and private plots may hinder the complete consolidation of state monopoly capitalism they in no way prevent its establishment –particularly when the Soviet state has a monopoly over most of the industrial sector as well as the state farms. Didn’t USNA monopoly capitalism exist long before the peasantry and small farmers were mostly wiped out? Furthermore, in regards to the circulation of commodities, Stalin points out that the sale of the machine and tractor stations to the collective farms would result in ”an extension of the sphere of commodity circulation, because a gigantic quantity of instruments of agricultural production would come within its [the collective farm’s – ed] orbit.”[111] The revisionists sold the machine and tractor stations in 1958 and have greatly expanded commodity production since then.

To summarize, from our study of the People’s Tribune we have not yet found any proof that “socialist relations” exist in the Soviet Union, let alone a Marxist-Leninist argument explaining where they exist. In addition, the Bay Area section of CL has put forth such populist, syndicalist notions as, “Collective farms in the USSR represent remnants of socialist relations” and private plots “prevent” the consolidation of monopoly capitalism. What are these arguments if not warmed-over versions of Duhring’s “economic communes”[112] – utopian socialism which ignores the fundamental question of which class controls state power. As Lenin pointed out, this is precisely what distinguishes state capitalism from socialism:

To make things even clearer, let us first of all take the most concrete example of state capitalism. Everybody knows what this example is. It is Germany. Here we have ’the last word’ in modern large-scale capitalist engineering and planned organization, subordinated to Junker-bourgeois imperialism. Cross out the words in italics, and in place of the militarist, Junker, bourgeois, imperialist state put also a state, but of a different social type, of a different class content – a Soviet state, that is, a proletarian state, and you will have the sum total of the conditions necessary for socialism.[113]

At present the Soviet Union is no longer a proletarian state. Rather it is the ”last word” in modern large-scale capitalist engineering and planned organisation. In other words, there is a dialectical relationship between the superstructure and the base. Politics is not simply and only a passive product of the economy; rather it plays an active role in defining the development of the economy and the social order.

C. Is the USSR “Socialist” or Social-Imperialist?

Because CL has made the analysis of economic forms the principal affect of its analysis, it has inevitably fudged, vacillated or deviated on the major questions concerning restoration.

First, CL has vacillated on whether or not the dictatorship of the proletariat has been overthrown:

The struggle of the opportunist leadership in the Soviet Union to replace the dictatorship of the proletariat with the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie has been marred by the socialist countries of China and Albania.[114]

Later on in the same article, it is said that the investment of enough USNA finance capital in the USSR “would completely destroy the heroic victory of the proletariat, placing them in complete subjugation to imperialism.”

The question we must ask ourselves is: did any one of Stalin’s three criteria on the dictatorship of the proletariat apply to the Soviet Union in 1973? (See Section II of this paper).

1) the so-called dictatorship of the whole people was repressing the proletariat rather than the bourgeoisie. This is borne out by the penal laws passed in 1969 which emphasise the suppression of “extremely dangerous political offenders”. In addition, the Soviet revisionists have passed a decree on the confiscation of firearms, outlawed all strikes and resorted to the increasing use of mental hospitals and labor camps as a threat to any revolutionaries. The Soviet working class has, of course, fought this bourgeois dictatorship with increasing resistance with underground revolutionary organizations, demonstrations, etc.[115]
2) the revolutionary alliance of the proletariat and peasantry under the leadership of the proletariat has been abandoned in favor of chauvinism against peasant nationalities, e.g., making the Russian language mandatory for all. [116]
3) it could hardly be said that the Soviet Union was busily engaged in building socialism in 1975 when industrial enterprises operating under the profit system accounted for 92% of the industrial output and more than 95% of the profit.[117]

Isn’t it clear that the Soviet bourgeoisie does not need USNA imperialism to replace the dictatorship of the proletariat with the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie? Their own brand of imperialism has already done the job. Furthermore, the Soviet bourgeoisie would not have even been discussing such matters with the USNA imperialists if the dictatorship of the proletariat had not been replaced with bourgeois rule long before 1973! The Communist League has recently corrected this view.[118]

Second, although CL has consistently exposed the CPSU’s policies, it recently distorted its class character. “Such a heroic party will not be thrown back into the epoch of capitalist barbarism”, People’s Tribune stated.[119] The CPSU has not only led the Soviet Union back into capitalist barbarism, it has forced most if not all Eastern European countries in this direction. It has led many parties of the world into class collaboration with imperialism and has viciously attacked the Albanian and Chinese parties. The present CPSU is a revisionist, imperialist, war-mongering party which directs the exploitation of its own proletariat and the robbery of the peoples of the world in its search for maximum profits. That is, “the principal thing in the dictatorship of the proletariat” has been taken over by the revisionists and become a party of the imperialist bourgeoisie. In order to defeat USNA imperialism, it must be exposed as such.

Third, in discussing restoration, the People’s Tribune has argued that those who see the Soviet Union as either a capitalist country or a socialist country are not taking time to study the forms which the class struggle takes.[120] The conclusion drawn from this analysis is that the Soviet Union is neither socialist nor capitalist, but “in transition.” While CL describes this approach as dialectical it is really empirical. In attempting to analyze “the forms which the class struggle takes”, CL has failed to make an analysis of the content of class struggle upon which the forms are based. While it is true that facts are stubborn things, they can only be analyzed correctly with Marxist-Leninist theory which explains the internal relations between the facts. To say that there is neither capitalism nor socialism assumes that there is a situation of dual power in the USSR, a situation where the proletariat would have captured and control led base areas – a balance of power between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, so to speak. If there is no such “balance” then there must he a principal aspect. The principal aspect of the present Soviet system, as we have pointed out, is state monopoly ownership of the means of production with a single bourgeois party at the head of state. This does not mean that we ”see events only in their polarity and disregard the struggle between the poles which condition the polarity, as well as, determine their relations”.[121] Rather it means that we must grasp the principal contradiction which conditions the class polarity in the USSR. That contradiction is between labor and capital and can only lead to proletarian revolution and the re-establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. We do not see the principal contradiction as one between Marxism and revisionism as CL does.[122] This view implies that if the Party only got rid of the opportunists everything would be alright again. While, this was possible in the 1950’s and maybe in the early 1960’s, it is out of the question now. As Enver Hoxha has said:

The evils of its [Soviet Union – ed] internal and external policy arc not the evils of socialism, as presented by the bourgeois propaganda and those who have fallen victims to it or echo it. They are precisely evils of the capitalist system, which has been restored in the Soviet Union. They cannot be corrected by partial repairs. Any illusion about this would be very dangerous. They will be liquidated only when the revisionists have been overthrown and the dictatorship of the proletariat reestablished.[123]

Fourth, we believe that it is a metaphysical approach to assume that:

The Soviet capitalists are faced with the problems of the capitalist of 500 years ago – that is – how to accumulate funds into the hands of the few and how to expropriate the freeholding producer and reduce him to the level of proletarian.[124]

This analysis completely confuses the history and nature of Soviet capitalism – a capitalism of a special type. When the Soviet revisionists seized state power they expropriated the Soviet working class from the means of production. They acquired what socialism had produced – a massive industrial base, a high level of scientific and technical development, a centralized banking system, etc. Moreover, they have spent twenty years exporting and accumulating capital. In June of this year the Soviet Union loaned Mexico $600 million at 4% interest. Does this describe a bourgeoisie in the first stage of accumulation? Once again our Albanian comrades have clarified this point:

Naturally, it would be naive if we were to seek to find the degeneration of the Soviet socialist social property into capitalist property in the form of classical private property at a time when in the present conditions of large-scale production, even in the other imperialist countries, state monopoly capitalism is being developed through the extension of state ownership. Since capitalist property in the Soviet Union is born and created as a result of this degeneration of the socialist-state property, it cannot present itself except in the form of state property. But irrespective of this, just as the financial oligarchy is the true owner of the state capitalist enterprises and with the assistance of the capitalist state exploits the working class, so too, the new Soviet bourgeoisie is the true owner of the Soviet state enterprises and with the assistance of the State, exploits the working class and the whole Soviet people. By means of this exploitation it strengthens its own economic position and, on the base of this, tries to consolidate further its political domination.[125]

The failure of CL to grasp the fact that the proletariat has lost ownership of the means of production, that the means of production function as capital for the Soviet bourgeoisie and that labor power now functions as a commodity, leads them to the fuzzy formulation that on the one hand there is “plenty of” capitalism in the USSR,[126] and on the other, the Soviet worker is still a “freeholding producer”.

In other words, the capitalists control the state, there is capitalism, but the workers still control their labor power! As we have pointed out before, this is a syndicalist or utopian socialist argument which maintains that workers can control their labor power without controlling the state. Comrades, you have pointed out many times that there is no “third” road. There are only two systems and two roads – capitalism and socialism. As Lenin said in his polemics against the Narodniks, who refused to admit that Russia had become a capitalist system by the 1890’s:

Mr. Krivenko disposes of the matter with such meaningless phrases. ’It cannot be said that the role of capitalism is decisive’. Why that is the whole question: can it be said or can it not?[127]

In short, the role of capitalism in the USSR is now decisive.

As we have pointed out, it is precisely the transformation of the Soviet Union from a socialist state into a capitalist state that has created the economic, social and class basis for its transformation into a social-imperialist power. Soviet social-imperialism is characterized by the export of capital and the plunder of the colonies in search maximum profits. Therefore, it is capitalism at its highest stage is this crucial point which CL fails to acknowledge. As a consequence, CL severs Soviet social-imperialism from its state monopoly capitalist base, contending that it is only a policy of the revisionists in power. Moreover, the Bay Area section of CL has denied that a section of the Soviet proletariat is bribed. The profits only go to the social-imperialists, the have argued. If this is so, then why do engineers receive twenty-two times as much in wages as unskilled workers receive? Isn’t it a face that the revisionists consistently bribed the intelligentsia and the more skilled workers in order to create a base of support for themselves? Isn’t this exactly what Lenin meant when he talked about the inseparable economic connection between opportunism and imperialism?

Comrades, this combination of vacillation, confusion and deviation from Marxism-Leninism must be corrected if we are to carry out our internationalist duty to the working class and oppressed peoples of the world.

D. The International Significance of the Struggle Against Social-Imperialism

First, what is the nature of the contradiction between the USSR and China? Is it strictly an ideological contradiction? Can the Chinese people deal with the million troops on their border by appealing to “reasonable” social-imperialists, by appealing to some metaphysical “remnants” of proletarian internationalism in the CPSU? Why are those troops on the border? Is it simply because the CPSU leaders are angry at being exposed and are seeking revenge? If we take the view that the USSR is still basically a socialist country then we are admitting the possibility that a socialist country could have such a rotten imperialist policy towards another socialist country. He cannot admit such a thing because it is not true, and it objectively unites us with the left-wing of the revisionist pro-Soviet social-imperialist parties all over the world, and repeats what anyone can read in the Trotskyite Workers’ World.

The nature of the contradiction between the USSR and China is not only one between revisionism and Marxism; it is also, and now most fundamentally, one between an imperialist country and a socialist country. The reason for the million troops menacing China is to be found in Lenin’s analysis of imperialism, in the necessary impulse towards gaining new markets and new areas of super-exploitation.

Social-imperialism, when Lenin wrote about it, consisted of an alliance between the upper stratum of the working class in the imperialist countries and the imperialist bourgeoisie. This was manifested in the concrete, material support given to the imperialist bourgeoisie by the ”socialist” parties in the first world war. But the situation is different today, only in one respect – that the revisionists are in power in the Soviet Union, are in control of the vast economy of that country, and aggressively seeking the maximization of profits internationally and domestically. Today it is not simply a question of a policy which splits the working class in a single country, or even of an objective alliance in support of imperialist war for annexations, though it still means those things. Today it also means being economically impelled towards, and actively preparing for, the redivision of the world by means of imperialist war. As Enver Hoxha has said:

The ideological struggle against revisionism remains a prime current duty which should be carried through to the end until the complete defeat of revisionism. But today this would be insufficient and would not have a successful conclusion if the present Soviet Union were not considered as an imperialist state power.[128]

What is the nature of the contradiction between the Soviet state and the nationalities within its borders? Are those to be still considered as Socialist Republics, or are they now being forcibly retained within one state? Are they just suffering from a ”bad socialist policy”? Or are they now in fact a part of the contradiction between oppressor and oppressed nation. Do we have to wait until the Great Russians themselves occupy the positions of authority throughout the Soviet territories before we recognize a colonial relationship? Soviet social-imperialism operates no differently from other imperialist powers; the Georgians who occupy positions of authority in Georgia are no more than compradors betraying the national interest. A socialist policy is one which aids in the development of the productive forces of the nation in question, which evens up the differences between the nation and the industrially more developed nation, which makes sacrifices in the interests of proletarian unity. An imperialist policy – the current policy of the Soviet state – exploits the productive forces of the Soviet republics, enriches the Great Russian nationality at the expense of the oppressed nations, and exploits the differences.

Similarly, the Eastern European countries have been turned into appendages of the Soviet state-capitalist (imperialist) economy, into neo-colonies. If we do not understand the imperialist character of the Soviet state, then we will have, in consequence, an incorrect policy towards the nations oppressed by Soviet social-imperialism and will not recognize and adequately defend their right to self-determination.

If we fail to take into consideration that the Soviet state is reaping super-profits and gaining political strength as a result of its subjugation of these nations, then how can we make an objective estimate of the international role of Soviet social-imperialism? By ignoring the national-colonial question in regard to Soviet social-imperialism, CL underestimates the strength of the Soviet state in world affairs. The hegemony gained by USNA imperialism is a real enough, though temporary, phenomenon, but does this hegemony extend to Bulgaria, to Poland, to Georgia and Uzbekistan?

Even worse is CL’s explanation of why the USNA has been able to consolidate. “The situation between the USSR and China ....made it possible”.[129] “The situation”? What does this mean? This is to say “a plague on both your houses” and to completely fail to place the responsibility where it belongs – on the CPSU and Soviet state. If someone had asked Lenin why it was, with all the apparent strength of socialism, that imperialism was able to wage imperialist war and get the workers to slaughter each other, would he have said: “well, you see it’s because of this bad situation, this split among the socialists”. Never! Lenin never hedged and conciliated with the opportunists of the Second International. He said that the imperialists were able to do this because the “socialist” parties split from Marxism and the proletarian revolutionary movement and joined the imperialists. Despite the fact that the majority in all the parties (except Bolsheviks) sided with opportunism, this didn’t prevent Lenin from doing everything possible to unite the revolutionary workers against these parties.

Most of those workers, in Germany, in France, etc., believed they were being true to the cause of the proletariat. They believed they were going to war to defend the right of self-determination. But they were deceived. What they thought was socialist consciousness was actually social-imperialist consciousness, and Lenin refused to unite with them, no matter how well-intentioned some of them were. The same is true today in the Soviet Union. No doubt most of the workers believe they are building communism and defending the “socialist” camp. There is evidence that there was much resistance to the invasion of Czechoslovakia, but like the resistance to the imperialist invasion of Vietnam, it was not enough to prevent it. Many workers believed the invasion was necessary to defend the right of self-determination and to protect socialism. Is this socialist consciousness? If the foreman, a party member, appeals to the workers to work harder for less pay, and quotes Lenin on the Subbotnik spirit, is it a reflection of socialist consciousness to support the policy in the name of self-sacrifice? Can we, on the basis of this false consciousness, lump together the Soviet peoples with the peoples of China and Albania?[130] How can we do this and fight against opportunism and revisionism? How can we defend the socialist countries? With such a position how can we isolate and defeat the CPSU, the CPUSA and the other revisionist parties around the world? The answer is that we cannot. The answer is that we would be uniting with opportunism and further splitting the international proletariat. Comrades, we are not uniting with the Soviet people when we say “such a party” can’t be thrown back into capitalist barbarism.

When the Marxist-Leninists attack the Moscow renegades, their policy and activity, they are in no way attacking the Soviet people and, still less, their glorious traditions. They have never identified the Soviet people with the ruling Kremlin clique. The struggle of the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists against Khrushchevite revisionism is of great help to the Soviet people themselves to shake off the revisionist yoke, to return to the Leninist road. Any sentimental attitude towards this question, any concession for the sake of the past would be a genuinely anti-Soviet stand, would cause great harm, first of all, to the Soviet people themselves.[131]

However, it is important to understand that there is more to CL’s argument than sentimentalism. For over thirty years of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviet Union the touchstone dividing the revolutionary workers from the petty-bourgeois radicals and opportunists was one’s attitude towards the Soviet state. After all, who was it who issued a steady stream of critical judgments on the Soviet state, who continually spoke of its inevitable degeneration? No one knows this better than the older communists. Having lived through it, having correctly estimated the counter-revolutionary nature of the “critics”, it is understandable that they have some suspicion about the new critics.

All the rotten remnants of the Second International, and the Trotskyites especially, this collection of renegades, spies, saboteurs, all received a tremendous political boost when Khrushchev attacked Stalin. And when the Chinese and Albanian parties exposed modern revisionism, it was easy for these opportunists to identify themselves with the revolutionary movement in order to lend it a certain character of opposition to Stalin and the Soviet dictatorship of the proletariat during his leadership.

But a concrete analysis of concrete conditions shows that it is not the old Trotskyites and Social-Democrats, it is not Lin Piao and the Monthly Review who are the main enemies, who influence the advanced workers and represent the main prop of the bourgeoisie and the main obstacle to the revolutionary unity of our class. No. It is precisely the CPSU and the CPUSA and the other parties of their ilk. On all other questions, the CL has taken the view, and has carried it out in practice, that the CPUSA is our main enemy within the workers’ movement and within the communist movement. It was the CL who exposed the opportunist lie of Gus Hall that imperialism is crumbling, who exposed the opportunist lie of Victor Perlo that the Anglo-American workers aren’t bribed, who has taken the CPUSA as the prime teacher by negative example on the national-colonial questions, fascism, party organization, etc. But on the question of the Soviet Union, there is a sudden break with this otherwise consistent and systematic policy. Who beats the drum for Soviet “socialism” and the CPSU as the model Leninist party? It is the CPUSA! Moreover, the revisionists and the Trotskyites all join together in that they all agree that the Soviet Union, China and Albania are all the same types of states and social-systems. WE CANNOT ALLOW THE PARTY TO CONCILIATE WITH THIS VIEW! On this question and this one alone, CL fails to direct its fire at CPUSA and Trotskyite revisionism and instead focuses on a “left” error. And some of their volleys actually spread to the CCP and PLA. This is absolutely wrong and must be opposed.

With whom are we uniting when we say “such a party”? It is acknowledged by all Marxist-Leninists that the CPSU is now a revisionist party, a variant of a bourgeois political party. Facts regarding the purges carried out by the party have been mentioned. The restorationist policies, the spreading of the bourgeois world outlook, the imperialist relations with industrially undeveloped countries, all this couldn’t have been carried out without purges, without getting rid of opposition. The bourgeois clique who took over the party leadership, as we have shown, wasted no time immediately after Stalin dies before they set about restoring capitalism. It is now more than twenty years since Stalin’s death and we can assume that the party is no longer “such a party”, that the party which will lead the Soviet workers back to the dictatorship of the proletariat will have to be a party in irrreconcilable opposition to the Khrushchevite revisionist CPSU. By saying that ”such a party” will not allow counter-revolution, we would give the impression that the party is still that kind of a party. Yet the facts are that the party – such as it now is – has indeed “allowed” counter-revolution. Thus the old Trotskyites and Social-Democrats are given an opening to creep back in and say, this is the same old party as it always was, and it is leading the proletariat to barbarism, as it always has.

In considering the implications of CL’s position, we realize that there are also implications connected to our position. And it is certainly important to consider the implications of particular conclusions. But it should be remembered that implications are based on conclusions and not the other way around. Conclusions can only be based on an analysis of the internal relations between the facts. The facts show that there is, in the main, social ownership of the means of production along with a single bourgeois political party at the head of the state. This is not socialism. This is state-monopoly capitalism; it is a social-economic system in severe crisis, heading for civil war and frantically looking for a way out of its predicament through deals with other imperialist states and preparations for inter-imperialist war. The implication of such a conclusion is very definitely that the Soviet workers and the oppressed peoples of the Soviet Union, who had a vanguard party and the dictatorship of the proletariat for many long years, and who defended that party and that state with their lives, through all the trials and tribulations of Soviet power, that those workers and those peoples failed to prevent it.

...when you enquire into the causes of the counterrevolutionary successes, there you are met on every hand with the ready reply that it was Mr. This or Citizen That who “betrayed” the people. Which reply may be very true or not, according to circumstances, but under no circumstances does it explain anything not even show how it came to pass that the ”people” allowed themselves to be thus betrayed. And what a poor chance stands a political party whose entire stock-in-trade consists in a knowledge of the solitary fact that Citizen So-and-so is not to be trusted.[132]

We have already spoken about the constant struggle of imperialism to overthrow the Soviet state during its long history, about the tremendous cost of the defeat of the imperialist invasion. Without these external conditions it would not have been possible for the agents of imperialism internally to accomplish counter-revolution. Internally, the revisionists made use of the prestige of the party to deceive the workers as to their real aims. For a time the revolutionary workers believed that the new regime represented insignificant shifts in policy which could be justified by changed conditions. In the meantime the counter-revolutionary revisionists consolidated their positions and began a systematic policy of bribing a stratum of the workers. While the bribed stratum is very small, it is influential way beyond its numbers, consisting as it does of the most skilled workers and most capable leaders of the class. The Russian working class retains the forms of socialist consciousness but it is overwhelmingly dominated by social-imperialist ideology. In pointing this out, we have to understand that our internationalist responsibility is to combat our own opportunism and not someone else’s. In this sense, we have no use for chauvinists who are quick to point out the failures of some other working class, who are anxious to expose someone else’s social-reformism, and do not expose the bribery of the Anglo-American workers and the material basis for social-reformism in our own proletariat. (for example, the RU, OL, etc.) While we understand this, it can never be used to cover the fact that there is a material basis for social-reformism in the European and Russian working class.

What is the state of Marxism-Leninism in the Soviet working class? The Soviet workers and peoples were once raised on proletarian internationalism and the teachings of Lenin and Stalin. It is a part of the heritage which cannot be erased, and will provide the basis for again building a Bolshevik party. Such a party, a genuine revolutionary communist party, is being built today under severely difficult conditions. If today there are little signs of impending revolution, we should keep in mind the acuteness of the class contradictions, and the imminence of an awakening on the part of the revolutionary workers. Tomorrow, or the day following, a genuine revolutionary communist arty could very rapidly win millions of supporters. The historic lessons of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the construction of socialism shows that the proletariat must consciously make resolution even after the dictatorship of the proletariat has been established, even after socialist relations of productions have been thieved. The struggle for socialism is a revolutionary movement and without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement.

In this regard, it is necessary to grasp the significance of Mao Tsetung’s writings and to understand that he has made some contribution to Marxism on this question. Where does theory come from? Does it not rest on the richness of social-practice, the revolutionary class struggle of the masses in their millions? How could it not be the case that Mao would contribute to the Marxist understanding of this question, given the content of the struggle in China, the extent and intensity of mass participation in the struggle? If one actually believes that no new theory resulted from the struggle against modern revisionism and the capitalist road in China, then one must believe that theory arises in the head of geniuses, or drops from the sky into the genius’ head. Didn’t the struggle against Trotskyism, the struggle to construct socialism in the Soviet Union, didn’t these movements provide the rich content and mass proletarian participation on which Stalin’s contributions were based? It is impossible for us to deal with the subject of the historic experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat without discussing the experience of the proletarian state under Lenin and Stalin, and distinguishing that from the period of restoration since Stalin’s death. It should be equally inconceivable that the subject could be discussed without reference to Mao Tsetung’s most important theses on the question and without reference to the cultural revolution in China.

Moreover, the Albanian comrades, closest to the situation in many ways, have provided the most comprehensive theoretical analyses of the character of the Soviet party, state and society. The Albanians have never allowed themselves to become optimistic with regard to opportunism, and in considering our internationalist role and duty towards the Soviet workers, we should follow their example:

The overthrow of revisionism and social imperialism in the Soviet Union, the restoration of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the country’s return to the road of socialism, are an irresistible process. But it will not happen by itself. The Soviet people have a historic responsibility to the cause of socialism in the Soviet Union, as well as to the world revolutionary movement and the peoples who are the victims of the aggression and interference of Soviet social imperialism; they must therefore discard any illusions as soon as possible, rise overthrow the new Kremlin czars, take back the state power usurped by the Soviet bourgeoisie and turn the Soviet Union back to the road of the October Revolution, to the glorious road of Lenin and Stalin.[133]

The present heroic struggle of the Soviet masses and the revolutionary comrades who are presently organizing a new Bolshevik party prove more than anything else that THE SOVIET UNION IS A CAPITALIST COUNTRY.



[99] Lenin, CW, Vol. 32, p. 83.

[100] People’s Tribune, Vol. 6, #1, p. 2.

[101] Lenin, CW, vol. 24, p. 44.

[102] Program of the CPSU, International Publishers, p. 920.

[103] Engels, Socialism Utopian and Scientific, p. 68.

[104] Ibid.

[105] People’s Tribune, Vol. 5, p. 8; emphasis added.

[106] Lenin, CW, Vol. 32, P. 473; emphasis added.

[107] Lenin, “On Cooperatives,” CW, Vol. 32.

[108] People’s Tribune, Vol. 5, p. 9.

[109] Ibid., p. 2.

[110] Ibid.

[111] Stalin, Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR, p. 96.

[112] Ibid.

[113] Lenin, CW, Vol. 27, p. 339.

[114] People’s Tribune, Vol. 5, #5, p. 9.

[115] See Peking Review, #4, 1974.

[116] See Peking Review, #29, 1974.

[117] Soviet Economic Reform: Progress and Problems, p. 212.

[118] People’s Tribune. Vol. 6, #6.

[119] Ibid., p.13

[120] Ibid.

[121] Ibid.

[122] People’s Tribune, Vol. 5, #6.

[123] Enver Hoxha, op. cit., p. 237.

[124] People’s Tribune, ”Vol. 6, #6, p. 12.

[125] Fiqret Shehu, ”About Some Actual Problems of the Struggle Against Modern Revisionism”, Some Questions of Socialist Construction in Albania and of the Struggle Against Modern Revisionism, p. 156.

[126] People’s Tribune., Vol. 6, #6, p.” 12.

[127] Lenin, “What the Friends of the People Are”, CW, Vol. 1, p. 231.

[128] Enver Hoxha, op. cit., p. 23.

[129] People’s Tribune, Vol. 6, #5.

[130] People’s Tribune, Vol. 5, #5.

[131] Ramiz Alia, The Banner of Struggle and Victories, Tirana, 1970 p. 36.

[132] Marx and Engels, Germany: Revolution and Counter-Revolution, International Publishers. New York, 1969, p. 10,

[133] Albania Today, March-April. 1974, p. 41.