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Piers 'Soviet Russia' red herring? (51* d) RE: 'Soviet Russia' red herring? 04 Dec 06

When Marx wrote about capitalism collapsing it was not about any inherent component of the market mechanism or environmental catastrophe. It is about the action of people bringing about the change of capitalism to socialism/communism.

So-called 'communist countries' like former eastern-Europe and Cuba were based on state-capitalism. The means of producing and distributing wealth were controlled by a minority, workers were paid less that the value of what they produced, goods and services were distributed on the basis of ability to pay or to create further wealth - the essential features of capitalism existed. Socialism/communism entails that the means of producing and distributing wealth are controlled democratically (in the literal sense) by everybody, goods and services are distributed according to need - a world of free access.

It is true that Soviet Russia developed out of a mainly feudal society, they were not in a position to develop a socialist society because they lacked the forces of production to meet even basic needs. But the main reason is that a socialist/communist society must be borne democratically, because it is to be run democratically and for it to work requires a majority of people to want it and understand it. We cannot be like the capitalist society were we are forced to do things and don't have a say in how things are run - socialism means no leaders and no followers. The Bolsheviks were into hierachy and elitism in a big way. Lenin said workers could only organise into Trade Unions and needed a revolutionary elite, a vanguard of the working class to take place of government, and introduce socialism on the workers behalf - it never happened. The Blanquists at the time of the Paris Commune had similar ideas to the Bolsheviks in the early 20th century. Marx and Engels were very critical of them.

Capitalism is not going to collapse because it isn't about physical relations between things. Wages, prices, profits, property, growth, productivity, the state, etc, etc, are social relations between people and as long as they are accepted by most people then they exist. We have to make a revolution not sit around waiting for it.

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