Monday, March 17, 2014
BOLSHEVISM AND BUREAUCRACY
It is theoretical Monday and I am reaching back half a century to 1964 and an article first published in the journal SOCIALISM OU BARBARIE. It was written as an introduction to Alexandra Kollontia's "The Workers Opposition." Many theories have been put forth as to what caused the development of the Bureaucratic State Capitalist State of the Soviet Union. This one traces it back to pretty close to the beginning. In my opinion, we have come a long way on this issue since this article was written, but this has to remain as part of the foundation at least of modern theory of what went wrong (or went right, I guess, depending on your point of view).
Keep in mind again that this was written in 1964. It was a time when many were seriously searching for an alternative to Stalinism, to the so called really existing socialism, to vanguard partyism, to orthodoxy. I say that, but as I do, I start thinking about all the attempts before then, since then, today, and realize the autonomous Marxism to which I proudly see myself a part actually has a long history and a long pre-history. And as I write that I wish to remind you that the capitalism, the class composition, the level of social production, the meaning of the collapse of the law of value, and so much more make today way, way different then the world which Lenin found himself in back in 1917. We can learn from Lenin and his methodology, but we cannot pretend his conclusions for 1917 were written in stone. He surely could not have possibly believed that was the case. Those who did, owe us all a deep apology.
I ask you to remember the article I am posting below is not me talking. This is not my view. I have to say this because so many on the left find it impossible to believe that any kind of a Marxist could possibly publish something that he or she does not absolutely believe is absolutely correct. They can't figure out the purpose behind Theoretical Monday. Maybe someday I will tell them.
In the meantime, the following is from Class Against Class.