- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on August 03, 1999 at 16:41:37:

In Reply to: They sold out the communist system to be sure. posted by DonS on August 03, 1999 at 12:32:32:

: Don: The "state capitalist" system never turned a profit, and couldn't even support itself.

It supported itself for 70-odd years, just as much as the US isn't an isolated economy, so too was Russian state capitalism a part of the world economy. And since it had some economic growth, we must assume that was profit.

:And it was communist,

No, since communism is 'the common and democratic control of the means of production and distribution', we must assume it was not. Further, since the Rulers never, ever called it communist, we can assume further that it was not.

: The wealth of the few at the top was not based on a profit, but on the fact that the rulling elite was able to allocate adittional resources for themselves.

Which is what, other than profit, if they could afford additiobnal resources, they must have been in excess of those required to maintain and run the system- since they would be used unrpoductively- those resources were the profits (whicch were inheritable, you know).

: Don: You have it backwards. Just because they didn't achieve your ideal does not mean they were not communist.

No, because the essential definitive components of communism were not even present, whereas the components of capitalism (production for the market and profit, wage-labour, etc.) were there.

: Don: I am quite willing to discuss any of your ideas on socialism on their merits, but I am not willing to redefine the USSR and PRC into something other than a form of socialism. I have not heard your vision of socialism yet, and RD has not given me sufficient answers.

Pardon I, but I have answered sufficiently. here's a checkable source for you, page 10 of 'The Chief tasks of our time' Lenin says that State Capitalism would be a step forward for Russia, check it out. The SPGB has been saying russia was state capitaliost since, more or less, 1917. Nationalisation does not equal socialism- unless you can present reasoned propositions for why the USSR was not State-Capitalist, we'll continue calling it such.

: Don: A black market always existed in the USSR, and some form of market will always exist. Someone will always provide a supply if a demand exists. Even in the absense of money. People will barter, to get what they want. A socialist society will have to provide for everyone's wants in order to prevent this, and I don't see how it can do that.

It can do it very easilly- for one thing, if people want something, they will decide to produce it. For another, we can provide an abundance of everything, it is possible, and demand is related to social experience- currently would could fead the whole world 1.5 times, with current food stocks. If people want it, they can produce it, or ask someone to produce it. Markets, black or otehrwise, can only function in conditions of scarcity- the point is that capitalism nearly, but does not quite, abolish scracity- to achieve abundance, and thus end the need for the market, we need abundance.

Follow Ups:


The Debating Room Post a Followup