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Soviet Union and Marxism

Hematite12
Posts: 400
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4/17/2014 6:38:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Having read the Communist Manifesto in full and some of his other writings, and learning about the history of the Soviet Union, I don't understand why it's associated with Marx.

These are a few separate but related differences I see:

1. The Bolshevik revolution was carried out by a small group of people that worked totally independently of the Russian working class; it was NOT a proletariat revolution that Marx called for.

2. The Bolsheviks, contrary to their name, were not even supported by the majority of Russians, and as time went on and their absolute governmental incompetency became clear, the communist party fabricated all of the elections because very, very few actually wanted them to stay in control. This shows that the "proletariat" was NOT in control of society, they had NOT come to dominate the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie were simply replaced by an equally oppressive governmental force that did not act on the desires of the WORKERS, but on the desires of a few professional revolutionaries.

3. The kind of government that Marx called for was, as far as I understand, a kind of government that acted on the will of the working class. It is a communal government. What the Bolsheviks established was a non-democratic authoritarian government.

4. Marx spoke much about how awful factories were for the proletariat's "souls", since it alienates them from their labor, their products, and other people. But the Soviet Union didn't abolish factories, as far as I know.
Wocambs
Posts: 1,505
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4/17/2014 7:40:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Well, if you define socialism as 'worker self-management', then Lenin is not a socialist,

"the same revolution demands"precisely in the interests of its development and consolidation, precisely in the interests of socialism"that the people unquestioningly obey the single will of the leaders of labour"

(http://www.marxists.org...)

Might as well say 'in the interests of socialism, we must destroy socialism'.

Leinin actually defined socialism as this: "Socialism is merely state-capitalist monopoly which is made to serve the whole people". (http://www.worldsocialism.org...)

So yes, the USSR is not particularly 'socialist'.
Hematite12
Posts: 400
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4/17/2014 7:54:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/17/2014 7:40:16 PM, Wocambs wrote:
Well, if you define socialism as 'worker self-management', then Lenin is not a socialist,

"the same revolution demands"precisely in the interests of its development and consolidation, precisely in the interests of socialism"that the people unquestioningly obey the single will of the leaders of labour"

(http://www.marxists.org...)

Might as well say 'in the interests of socialism, we must destroy socialism'.

Leinin actually defined socialism as this: "Socialism is merely state-capitalist monopoly which is made to serve the whole people". (http://www.worldsocialism.org...)

So yes, the USSR is not particularly 'socialist'.

I didn't say it wasn't socialist, I said it wasn't Marxist.
Wocambs
Posts: 1,505
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4/17/2014 7:59:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/17/2014 7:54:37 PM, Hematite12 wrote:
At 4/17/2014 7:40:16 PM, Wocambs wrote:
Well, if you define socialism as 'worker self-management', then Lenin is not a socialist,

"the same revolution demands"precisely in the interests of its development and consolidation, precisely in the interests of socialism"that the people unquestioningly obey the single will of the leaders of labour"

(http://www.marxists.org...)

Might as well say 'in the interests of socialism, we must destroy socialism'.

Leinin actually defined socialism as this: "Socialism is merely state-capitalist monopoly which is made to serve the whole people". (http://www.worldsocialism.org...)

So yes, the USSR is not particularly 'socialist'.

I didn't say it wasn't socialist, I said it wasn't Marxist.

Well I guess I disagree with you then?
Hematite12
Posts: 400
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4/17/2014 8:00:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/17/2014 7:59:20 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 4/17/2014 7:54:37 PM, Hematite12 wrote:
At 4/17/2014 7:40:16 PM, Wocambs wrote:
Well, if you define socialism as 'worker self-management', then Lenin is not a socialist,

"the same revolution demands"precisely in the interests of its development and consolidation, precisely in the interests of socialism"that the people unquestioningly obey the single will of the leaders of labour"

(http://www.marxists.org...)

Might as well say 'in the interests of socialism, we must destroy socialism'.

Leinin actually defined socialism as this: "Socialism is merely state-capitalist monopoly which is made to serve the whole people". (http://www.worldsocialism.org...)

So yes, the USSR is not particularly 'socialist'.

I didn't say it wasn't socialist, I said it wasn't Marxist.

Well I guess I disagree with you then?

Disagree with me on what? I said Marxist not socialist lol
Wocambs
Posts: 1,505
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4/17/2014 8:05:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/17/2014 8:00:54 PM, Hematite12 wrote:
At 4/17/2014 7:59:20 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 4/17/2014 7:54:37 PM, Hematite12 wrote:
At 4/17/2014 7:40:16 PM, Wocambs wrote:
Well, if you define socialism as 'worker self-management', then Lenin is not a socialist,

"the same revolution demands"precisely in the interests of its development and consolidation, precisely in the interests of socialism"that the people unquestioningly obey the single will of the leaders of labour"

(http://www.marxists.org...)

Might as well say 'in the interests of socialism, we must destroy socialism'.

Leinin actually defined socialism as this: "Socialism is merely state-capitalist monopoly which is made to serve the whole people". (http://www.worldsocialism.org...)

So yes, the USSR is not particularly 'socialist'.

I didn't say it wasn't socialist, I said it wasn't Marxist.

Well I guess I disagree with you then?

Disagree with me on what? I said Marxist not socialist lol

Uh... I interpreted what you said as saying that the USSR was not particularly socialist by any real definition of the word, and the reply you gave seems to indicate that you disagree with that.
Hematite12
Posts: 400
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4/17/2014 8:09:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/17/2014 6:38:32 PM, Hematite12 wrote:
Having read the Communist Manifesto in full and some of his other writings, and learning about the history of the Soviet Union, I don't understand why it's associated with Marx.

These are a few separate but related differences I see:

1. The Bolshevik revolution was carried out by a small group of people that worked totally independently of the Russian working class; it was NOT a proletariat revolution that Marx called for.

2. The Bolsheviks, contrary to their name, were not even supported by the majority of Russians, and as time went on and their absolute governmental incompetency became clear, the communist party fabricated all of the elections because very, very few actually wanted them to stay in control. This shows that the "proletariat" was NOT in control of society, they had NOT come to dominate the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie were simply replaced by an equally oppressive governmental force that did not act on the desires of the WORKERS, but on the desires of a few professional revolutionaries.

3. The kind of government that Marx called for was, as far as I understand, a kind of government that acted on the will of the working class. It is a communal government. What the Bolsheviks established was a non-democratic authoritarian government.

4. Marx spoke much about how awful factories were for the proletariat's "souls", since it alienates them from their labor, their products, and other people. But the Soviet Union didn't abolish factories, as far as I know.

Looking back over, I never even used the word "socialist" lol
Chimera
Posts: 178
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4/17/2014 10:30:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I can entirely agree with you that the USSR was not Marxist.

However, Marx didn't necessarily want to abolish factories, he simply believed that workers who were bound by wage-slavery to the factory, and to the capitalist who owns it, needed to be liberated. That the cooperative that works the factory should own the factory, and that the workers should decide when, how, and what they will work.

Other than that, you're dead-on.
YYW
Posts: 36,426
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4/17/2014 11:05:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/17/2014 6:38:32 PM, Hematite12 wrote:
Having read the Communist Manifesto in full and some of his other writings, and learning about the history of the Soviet Union, I don't understand why it's associated with Marx.

These are a few separate but related differences I see:

1. The Bolshevik revolution was carried out by a small group of people that worked totally independently of the Russian working class; it was NOT a proletariat revolution that Marx called for.

That's the difference between Leninism (and Bolshevism, generally) and orthodox Marxism. The ends are similar, but both have divergent means to those ends.

2. The Bolsheviks, contrary to their name, were not even supported by the majority of Russians, and as time went on and their absolute governmental incompetency became clear, the communist party fabricated all of the elections because very, very few actually wanted them to stay in control. This shows that the "proletariat" was NOT in control of society, they had NOT come to dominate the bourgeoisie.

Lenin thought that a vanguard party was necessary to act in the people's best interest because they were not yet aware of their oppression and therefore could not act in their best interest. But, there was widespread support for the Bolshevik party, actually, once they came to rule.

The bourgeoisie were simply replaced by an equally oppressive governmental force that did not act on the desires of the WORKERS, but on the desires of a few professional revolutionaries.

More or less, yeah. Lenin actually viscerally opposed Stalin's ascension to power, and spoke about it at length and called for Stalin's removal as General Secretary. He wanted his final testament (it's actually more accurately translated as "Lenin's Will") read at the twelfth party congress, but health problems precluded that from happening. So, we know at least that Lenin foresaw Stalin's ambition and possibly his megalomania and took the measures he could to prevent what he saw as an onslaught disaster and the ideological betrayal of Lenin's political ideology.

3. The kind of government that Marx called for was, as far as I understand, a kind of government that acted on the will of the working class. It is a communal government. What the Bolsheviks established was a non-democratic authoritarian government.

Well, what Stalin did was non-democratic. Lenin's vision accommodated for Marx's ends.

4. Marx spoke much about how awful factories were for the proletariat's "souls", since it alienates them from their labor, their products, and other people. But the Soviet Union didn't abolish factories, as far as I know.

Marx talked about bad working conditions and how those working conditions were deleterious to workers, but never called for the abolishment of industry -but rather the what he considered a more justifiable distribution of labor's benefits.

The USSR didn't abolish factories, and actually Soviet industrialization was pretty wretched and Soviet industrialization policies led to woes ranging from drought and starvation to the very kind of worker oppression and godforsaken quality of life that Marx (and, also Lenin) lamented. No, the irony is not lost on me -but Stalin wasn't much of an academic, either. Lenin, however, was.
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