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u/youngsteinbeck · 6 pointsr/communism

If I can add a little to the main point the comrade is making here, the Soviets nationalized and then centralized production, supply, and finance (and set manageable and equitable standards for wages, rents, and prices), and even democratized the local and regional administration (with trade unions as probably the most democratic representatives of the working class in their immediate ability to organize themselves) of their government, but broadly speaking, the Soviet party and state as a whole initially politicized but eventually de-politicized the working class as a centralizing force in society against other centralizing forces, primarily the managing class.

The party and state did accomplish the technical side of a socialist society fairly well (full employment, equitable wage scaling, universal public housing), but not the political. Workers organized countless groups, policies, and programs in their immediate lives, but never exactly saw themselves as a central class in a central conflict against their managers, who were a self-governing quasi-middle class that was separate from the party in its revolutionary periods (where skilled urban workers and farm workers were the bulk of party representatives) and revisionist periods (where quasi-middle class professionals and intellectuals were the bulk).

As Marxist-Leninists or Maoists, we acknowledge the administrative successes of Soviet socialism, but clearly see the need for perpetual class struggle (creating a centralizing and even hegemonic ideology most workers can understand, accept, and then participate in to refine, expand, and make concrete) as the only way to guarantee the type of successes (intensive productivity growth as a major example) seen in the early Soviet Union.

Note: I haven't read Helen Yaffe's book on Che Guevara yet, but her shorter writings show that Che clearly had a dynamic understanding of centralization and ideology as always inter-connecting in the class struggle after the revolution, and these two articles on China offer a preliminary look at the nature of the Chinese state, which is probably the single most necessary question we have to answer before trying to reassess a new political strategy, in China or anywhere else.

u/erthunin · 5 pointsr/communism

This is one of the documents the CPUSA often cites to excuse their total and complete opportunism. The work itself is actually quite good, but here is the passage the CPUSA quotes to justify itself:

>After the first socialist revolution of the proletariat, and the overthrow of the bourgeoisie in some country, the proletariat of that country remains for a long time weaker than the bourgeoisie, simply because of the latter’s extensive international links, and also because of the spontaneous and continuous restoration and regeneration of capitalism and the bourgeoisie by the small commodity producers of the country which has overthrown the bourgeoisie. The more powerful enemy can be vanquished only by exerting the utmost effort, and by the most thorough, careful, attentive, skilful and obligatory use of any, even the smallest, rift between the enemies, any conflict of interests among the bourgeoisie of the various countries and among the various groups or types of bourgeoisie within the various countries, and also by taking advantage of any, even the smallest, opportunity of winning a mass ally, even though this ally is temporary, vacillating, unstable, unreliable and conditional. Those who do not understand this reveal a failure to understand even the smallest grain of Marxism, of modern scientific socialism in general. Those who have not proved in practice, over a fairly considerable period of time and in fairly varied political situations, their ability to apply this truth in practice have not yet learned to help the revolutionary class in its struggle to emancipate all toiling humanity from the exploiters. And this applies equally to the period before and after the proletariat has won political power.

Opportunist quotation of this passage ignores the whole context of the work. The CPUSA will quote it to justify their completely opportunist positions in relation to the Democratic Party, ignoring literally everything else about this book. I'm sure if the CPUSA bothered to actually have study groups on this work at all, they'd just want people to read this small paragraph over and over again, and ignore everything else. Such as this passage:

>We are waging a struggle against the “labour aristocracy” in the name of the masses of the workers and in order to win them over to our side; we are waging the struggle against the opportunist and social-chauvinist leaders in order to win the working class over to our side. It would be absurd to forget this most elementary and most self-evident truth. Yet it is this very absurdity that the German “Left” Communists perpetrate when, because of the reactionary and counter-revolutionary character of the trade union top leadership, they jump to the conclusion that . . . we must withdraw from the trade unions, refuse to work in them, and create new and artificial forms of labour organisation! This is so unpardonable a blunder that it is tantamount to the greatest service Communists could render the bourgeoisie. Like all the opportunist, social-chauvinist, and Kautskyite trade union leaders, our Mensheviks are nothing but “agents of the bourgeoisie in the working-class movement” (as we have always said the Mensheviks are), or “labour lieutenants of the capitalist class”, to use the splendid and profoundly true expression of the followers of Daniel De Leon in America. To refuse to work in the reactionary trade unions means leaving the insufficiently developed or backward masses of workers under the influence of the reactionary leaders, the agents of the bourgeoisie, the labour aristocrats, or “workers who have become completely bourgeois” (cf. Engels’s letter to Marx in 1858 about the British workers [26]).

So the CPUSA ignores the labor aristocracy thesis, put forward here by Lenin and in many other works of his, to strip one passage completely out of context in order to justify their own diligent service to the 'American' labor aristocracy, turning themselves into "labour lieutenants of the capitalist class" in the process.

The work is essentially an attempt to get "Left" communists on board a program of actually fighting the leaders of the labor aristocracy. It is not a pamphlet about how to merge yourself into them, which is how the CPUSA would prefer to read this work.

On the other side of the 'pond', this work is also read literally by 'British' Trotskyism to justify their opportunism in relation to the Labour Party, but again, the 'British' Trotskyites read this work in a completely opportunist fashion.

Lenin only opposes dual unionism in the cases were it is still possible to openly attack the opportunist leadership of the bourgeois unions. This Lenin believed was still possible at the time in the UK, which is the only reason he actually opposes dual unionism. Why make your own union when you have freedom of criticism to point out that the leadership of the unions are "labour lieutenants of the capitalist class"?

It is, in my estimation, that such a period has long since passed in the vast majority of the West. This advice is still useful to those communists on the margins of the imperialist world, or in the Third-World. Revolutionaries in India, for instance, should be able to utilize the advice contained in here to advance the struggle against the opportunists in the labor movement there.

It is also worth pointing out that virtually no communist group in America actually does anything like this. Literally almost all of them are seeking a way to merge themselves into the leadership of the labor aristocracy. A handful of Trotskyite groups, like the SEP, will make some noise here and there, but don't really produce any useful analysis that could be utilized by Third-World revolutionaries in the labor movement to use as political ammunition. Myself, I recommend people read books like Kim Scipes' AFL-CIO's Secret War against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage?, combined with a serious understanding of imperialism, to realize just how profoundly corrupt the Western labor movement is, to such an extent that it is basically nothing but an arm of imperialism, an arm that should be vigorously opposed by the revolutionaries in the Third-World labor movement at all costs.

u/smokeuptheweed9 · 5 pointsr/communism

Unfortunately your entire ideology is based on a factual misunderstanding of American history and the purpose of the American revolution which was not to "fight off tyranny" but a coalition of slave owners seeking to expand the slave territories in opposition to limits imposed by European politics and British fear of American slave power, early industrial and merchant capitalists seeking to increase American economic protectionism, and white settlers who wanted to steal the land and wealth of the native Americans. Of course these groups conflicted at various times, leading to the mercantilist character of the Articles of Confederation clashing with the yeoman settler rebellions (Shay's rebellion being the most famous) which led to the American constitution becoming less democratic.

Obviously democratic here refers to white people, native americans and slaves were the prize of the American revolution which is why the majority of natives and blacks supported the British until the Continental army promised blacks freedom if they fought (which was a lie) while America used the war as an excuse to wipe out the remnants of the Iroquois confederacy (which was far more democratic than the American constitution).

Thus, even by the standards of the time, the founding fathers were more tyrannical than the British they were fighting, let alone the standards of today which presume blacks and natives are human beings. Thomas Jefferson understood this perfectly well and opposed the elitists like Hamilton, Washington and Adams who not only opposed democracy but opposed British parliamentary republicanism.

It's not entirely your fault you don't know your own history, the version of American history taught in schools is simply propaganda with no relation to reality. But you need to do a lot of work before you even begin to think about having 'informed' political opinions. There are countless books to choose from, here are a few which I personally enjoy or have heard good things about:

I may be presuming too much of your abilities, in which case Zinn's A People's History of the United States is a perfectly acceptable work for laymen written in a popular style.

u/TheBaconMenace · 7 pointsr/communism

Thanks for the response. I'll give a sparce reading list, as I find it pretty extensive.


u/deicidium · 8 pointsr/communism

It's not so much a return to religion as it is the evolution and adaptation of Marx and Feuerbach to today's left. Additional analysis and review is always beneficial, though it's clearly not the religious analysis of its forefathers. In my mind, religion in communist thought can be broken into three basic streams:

  • Marx/Feuerbach's religion. Emancipation from illusory and psychological oppression is a prerequisite for our emancipation from real oppression:

    > Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.


    > My only wish is to transform friends of God into friends of man,
    > believers into thinkers, devotees of prayer into devotees of work,
    > candidates for the hereafter into students of the world, Christians
    > who, by their own procession and admission, are "half animal, half
    > angel" into persons, into whole persons.

  • Zizek's interpretation: Religion, devoid of the supernatural, is essentially communist in that most religions tend toward peace/equality.

  • Eagleton's interpretation: Communism is only possible through religious thought. Left to the devices of man, corruption is rampant. (Insert anti-Stalin remarks here.)

    Basically what I'm saying is that the new analyses of religion in communist thought exist to add more options so as not to exclude the religious and agnostic.

    NOTE -- I don't know why I wrote anything after this point. It's basically a book/theme review. I spent time on it, so I left it here. Maybe someone will enjoy it.

    Eagleton's flops around quite a bit. Literary Theory spends the majority of its time bashing postmodernism but his later After Theory narrows the argument to defining absolutes (the human body) and a need for an objective morality that sounds an awful lot like humanism. As far as contributing to communist studies, I don't consider Eagleton an authority on the subject. For example, Why Marx was Right makes no rational or coherent economic arguments for communism. His communism is a result of his faith, not the other way around. Obviously there's a strong moral argument to be made for communism but if that argument is to be made from any other standpoint than humanism I would count it as counterproductive.

    As for Zizek, he's clearly not religious and enjoys adapting the Marx/Feuerbach analyses to (post)modern thought. He's sort of the anti-Eagleton in that regard. His work on religion in particular ranges from interesting to absolutely fantastic.

    From The Puppet and the Dwarf:

    > It is possible today to redeem this core of Christianity only in the
    > gesture of abandoning the shell of its institutional organization (and
    > even more so, of its specific religious experience). The gap here is
    > irreducible: either one drops the religious form, or one maintains the
    > form but lose the essence. This is the ultimate heroic gesture that
    > awaits Christianity: in order to save its treasure, it has to sacrifice
    > itself -- like Christ, who had to die so that Christianity could emerge.

    Zizek's analysis of religion isn't always directly from a communist standpoint, though Freud/Lacan are acceptable substitutes in a pinch.

    As for Vattimo, I've yet to read Hermeneutic Communism even though I've had it sitting around for a while. His previous work on religion has been very solid. That being said, if you're not one for postmodernism it really isn't something you'll enjoy.

    BONUS: If you're interested in reading any of the material listed by these authors, please PM me. I have PDF/MOBI copies available. If I don't have it, I'll help you find it.

    I'll post a comment in reply to this one with links to all the files I upload as not to have duplicates.
u/yourlifesayshi · 3 pointsr/communism

Africa has a rich history and experience with Marxism, especially the Maoist inspired anti-colornial revolutions. It is interesting to see the neo-liberal ideological turn of many parties such as the South African Communist Party.

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa - Marxist analysis of how Europe underdeveloped and exploited Africa

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters - This book covers the Second Congo War which was the deadliest conflict since World War 2. It occurred between 1998 and 2003 and shockingly few people are even aware it happened at all. Definitely worth reading up on.

u/China_comrade · 6 pointsr/communism


To answer your question, I don't know of any such book.

One book I do often recommend to people is Roselyn Hsueh's China's Regulatory State: A New Strategy for Globalization. Dr. Hsueh's book is a true treasure. Simply put; what people think they know about the Chinese economy is all wrong. To quote one reviewer of the book:

>The widely accepted narrative of China’s reforms since 1978 reads as that of a communist party‐state embracing the market and enmeshing its economy within the global system. It is a compelling story of an autarkic Maoist regime starting cautiously by privatizing agriculture at the local level and opening a handful of special coastal zones to foreign investment before ultimately unabashedly embracing a booming nationwide market economy and absorbing more foreign direct investment than any other developing country.

>Roselyn Hsueh’s careful research reveals why this plot line is not only unsatisfactory but also inaccurate. Delving beneath the outer macroeconomic layer, the author uncovers a cyclical pattern of central government policies in which waves of liberalization are followed by counter‐waves of “reregulation.” Hsueh labels this dance the “Liberalization Two‐Step, ”whereby what the state deregulates with one hand at the macro level, it reregulates with the other hand at the micro level. According to Hsueh, China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 did not significantly alter the situation, as Beijing has sought to give the appearance of complying with WTO commitments by loosening economy‐wide regulations while at the same time retaining "selective controls at the sectoral level"

To put it simply, you simply can't trust most Western scholarship on anything about communism, and how the economy of China functions is no different.

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/communism

If you want to read more about Cuba's political system I'd definitely recommend this book.

Good for beginners as it's not very lengthy and the author also provides evidence and data he collected himself which is always a nice touch.

u/leninlenin · 0 pointsr/communism

> I don't care what Engels thinks about homosexuality since it is not a very historical materialist account, and there have been far better accounts since then––particularly in those who struggled against this backwards line in recent history.

I've been looking over Jasbir Puar's Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times. She says a lot of rather alarming things about how the Western imperialist nations use gay-rights discourse to further imperialist ends. Care to comment?

>You just have serious problems reading because possiblegoat pointed out your translation of "abominable practice of sodomy" was wrong, and validated what I was initially saying about the quote.

One has to think you're intentionally trying to confuse people with this. First off, it isn't "my" translation at all. It was copied and pasted from Secondly, you try to make an artificial separation of being attracted to young men and homosexuality. Would you make the same distinction for heterosexuality? Is a man with ephebophilia not still primarily heterosexual? Thirdly, it's obvious from the quote I provided Engels links the two explicitly, and does not try to splice them into two different and unrelated phenomena, as you do.

>Your weasel words of "cardinal question" are despicable. Any communist project now must take queer solidarity, but along class lines, into account as well as race and sex.

So, you see upholding homosexuality as a cardinal question, in other words. You wouldn't belong to a party that let people in who thought homosexuality was linked to capitalism and fascism. That is, you would not be in a party with Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao.

> All of the arguments about homosexuality being part of "decaying imperialism", "fascistic", etc. have been critiqued, and very well so, from a variety of communist positions for years by now.

I've not seen a communist critique of Joseph Massad's Desiring Arabs or the previously mentioned work of Jasbir Puar, which IMHO persuasively agrees that the discourse around homosexuality in the Western imperialist nations serves the interests of imperialism. This seems to be the most up to date stuff, which coincidentally or not, justifies the old communist line regarding homosexuality.

Maybe you are interested in making sure everyone respects modern socially-constructed Western identities. I am not. I am interested in ending imperialism. Whatever it takes to end imperialism.

u/veldurak · 2 pointsr/communism

Thank you! Work of this type is great. Many people seem to take Trotsky's words for granted that Stalin came along and messed everything up. The Vietnam War page is great stuff as well.

I think I'll pick up his book at some point.

u/Sihplak · 2 pointsr/communism

The book "Ho Chi Minh On Revolution" is really great if you can acquire a copy of it. I managed to find it while volunteering at my local library and read through it at the end of the summer. Basically it's a collection of various speeches and writings by Ho Chi Minh. It includes writings by him before the August revolution, addresses to the people of Vietnam while he was the leader, interviews with him, speeches, excerpts from his prison diary from the 40's and so on.

Because of all of these works collected in the book are primary sources I'd say that they are a great way to get information or a general sense about the way Ho Chi Minh thought, operated and so on throughout the bulk of his political life.

u/MasCapital · 3 pointsr/communism

Definitely check out Michael Parenti's Superpatriotism. Zak Cope's book might be good for this, though I don't know if he deals in depth with America specifically.

u/EngelsFritz · 2 pointsr/communism

Thanks very much! Would anyone happen to have a PDF version of 'Farm to Factory' by Robert Allen?

u/DerRonny · 14 pointsr/communism

I don't know myself but I can refer you to r/redpreppers and r/privacytoolsIO. Maybe read up about Guerilla tactics and Urban guerrilla warfare. Definitely read up about counter insurgency and COINTELPRO, you have to know your enemies' tactics and get yourself to keep a steady plan and date, discipline is key. Great to hear Americans are preparing, it seems more and more necessary with every passing day!

u/AudaciousBeat · 10 pointsr/communism

I recommend starting with the works of Ho Chi Minh.

You can find a copy of selected writings from 1920-1966 here.

u/Jerlenard · 5 pointsr/communism

This list provided by /u/marxism-feminism is pretty good, but I would argue many Third-Worldist websites and articles lack concrete details about the nature of the Western labor bureaucracy (the institutions of the labor aristocracy). That is to say, it's not simply a case of arguing things like how large the labor aristocracy in the imperialist nations is, or whether they even have a proletariat, but you have to explain the fact that the institutions of the 'working class' itself have been overtly in support of their own imperialists for over a century now.

Even those who are not Third-Worldists have understood this, they just have not been able to come up with a concrete explanation for why it is the case. In that regard, reading this material with a Third-Worldist lens is quite illuminating, and I think, profoundly important for bringing the Third-Worldist analysis out of pure theoretical abstraction and into a concrete historical materialist analysis.

AFL-CIO's Dark Past ( by Harry Kelber

Organized Labor and U.S. Foreign Policy: The Solidarity Center in Historical Context ( by George Nelson Bass

Solidarity for Sale ( by Robert Fitch

Unequal Exchange and the Prospects of Socialism ( by the Communist Working Circle

Labor Aristocracy: Mass Base of Social-Democracy ( by H.W. Edwards

Taking Care of Business: Samuel Gompers, George Meany, Lane Kirkland, and the Tragedy of American Labor ( by Paul Buhle

Where were you, brother? An account of trade union imperialism ( by Don Thompson and Rodney Larson

Workers of the World Undermined: American Labor's Role in U.S. Foreign Policy ( by Beth Sims

Divided World Divided Class: Global Political Economy and the Stratification of Labour Under Capitalism ( by Zak Cope

The Worker Elite: Notes on the Labor Aristocracy ( by Bromma

AFL-CIO's Secret War against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? ( by Kim Scipes

The Influence of Organized Labor on U.S. Policy toward Israel, 1945- 1967 ( by Peter L. Hahn

Settlers: Mythology of the White Proletariat ( by J. Sakai

Two Pages from Roman History (, by Daniel De Leon.

The Labor Lieutenants of American Imperialism ( by Jay Lovestone

That last one is particularly interesting, because it is clear Lovestone used his understanding of the nature of the US labor bureaucracy to actually catapult himself to the top of it, after he was expelled from the CP for refusing to accept the Black Nation line.

The term "Labor Lieutenants" comes from Daniel De Leon. If the Bolsheviks had never succeeded, it would be possible to reconstruct the labor aristocracy thesis almost entirely from Daniel De Leon and his group's struggle with the US labor bureaucracy.

u/str8baller · 2 pointsr/communism

I'm in the process of reading Divided World Divided Class by Zak Cope who explores and traces the stratification of white Labor Aristocracy:

u/ikeapencil · 3 pointsr/communism

Mao also took copious notes on the book, some of which were published by Monthly Review Press under the title A Critique of Soviet Economics. Less well known (although arguably more politically and theoretically sound) is a similar study of the text by Che Guevara - at the moment only a spanish edition is available, but some of the key points are summarised by Tablada and Yaffe.

u/CumredSkeltal · 2 pointsr/communism

There’s a very short book call War of the Flea by robert taber

It’s to the point, not as in depth as shadow1917’s post, but if you want a quick overview of specifically guerrilla war (vietnam and cuba) turning into a standing war then it’s helpful.

There’s also the Mini-Manual of the Urban Guerrilla by Carlos Marighella of Brazil.

I don’t know about any books on Focoism but an analysis of it would be interesting

u/IllusiveObserver · 11 pointsr/communism

Here's a basic video you can show anyone.

Here are books:

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America

The Open Veins of Latin America. Here it is for free.

Failed States

Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism

War is a Racket This one is from the most decorated Marines in US history.

Occupy Finance. This one is (indirectly) about dependency theory on a national scale. The people of the US have become victims of capital. They go into debt for their health, transportation, education, housing, and daily activities with credit cards. They then put their pensions at the whim of the stock market, as it is plundered by Wall Street. When capitalism can no longer expand geographically, it needs to plunder the lives of people to maintain itself. In this case, the first source of capital to exploit was the lives of the people of the US. Unlike Europe, the US populace was left defenseless in the wake of the attack because of a history of active repression of the left (like COINTELPRO).

The financialization of the US populace is discussed in this essay from the Monthly Review, Monopoly Finance Capital. Here is a book on the topic.

If I remember any more resources, I'll make sure to throw them your way.

u/StormTheGates · 20 pointsr/communism

I see the Soviet question a lot so I am gonna repost somthing I posted a while back.

My opinion on your first hypothetical question:

I am not entirely sure. It would depend on the disposition of the world to be honest. The United States as a rival and destabilizing factor was tremendously important to the downfall of the Soviet Union even outside of military channels. If the US wasnt around? Probably. With the US? Would probably see market changes like China so it would cease being the "Soviet" Union. Just my thoughts.

The Soviet Union collapsed for numerous reasons, Ill just list a few of them:

  1. The second economy. This was an economy that was blackmarket and involved corrupt part officials. Basically manufacturing product or goods would be rerouted, misrepresented, misreported, ect, and then resold to people. This really kicked off under Khrushchev, and then rocketed after. The real danger came from a new strata of petty-bourgeoisie who started to make their whole livings off the second economy. They then began agitating for more free market reform, which eventually game to a head under Gorbechev. Also this threw off the planned economic model. Its hard to plan to deliver 500 shoes to X town, and then have some official lie and deliver 400 shoes, selling 100 off to the black market. This would escalate more and more later on.

  2. External pressure. The USA primarily under Reagan began aggressive campaigns to destabilize the Soviet economy. The sold bad computer chips, a much needed resource for a country looking to rapidly develop their technological infrastructure, to the tune of 10 billion +. I think the Chernobyl incident cost another 10 billion +. The aggressive CIA funding of the hardline Islamic mujaheddin in Afghanistan cost the Soviet Union billions in equipment, lives, munitions, logistics, and political capital. Also the US went to OPEC and got the Saudis to produce millions more barrels of oil a day, sending the price of oil plummeting. Obviously this was devastating to the Soviet oil industry, which watched 10 billion dollars worth of value dry up over night.

  3. Brezhnev. The man came into power and established a "cadre of stability". What this basically meant was the old guard stayed in power, and corruption began to run rife. The second economy begins to expand rapidly. Brezhnev decidedly attempted to retain the status quo.

  4. Khrushchev. His revisionist policies aside of appealing more to the peasant class than the labor class. He introduced reforms that vastly expanded party membership, thinking that average person had achieved a premier socialist mindset (not true). He dismantled the Stalinist state owned tractor plants, instead forcing communes to purchase their tractors. He pushed a "virgin lands" program, that aimed to till and farm millions of acres of Siberian untouched land. He transitioned the Soviet economy from a heavy metal and heavy machinery economy to a consumer goods and light machinery based one, intending to compete with the capitalist west and increase living standards (something that was nigh impossible). The virgin lands campaign would produce the grain that would offset the cost of the retooling of infrastructure. The problem was that the grain harvest was poor several years in a row, and the virgin lands campaign never really succeeded quite to predictions. Also he dissolved many government branches that were responsible for portions of the planned economy, merging them into others and altogether destroying them in some cases. This threw off the planned economic model developed under Stalin. Khrushchev wanted quick solutions to problems that needed deeper long term solutions. He did not realize the long term damage of the second market and did not do enough to curb it when it was possible.

  5. Andropov. He came in with the right ideas, to bring in new minds and flush out the old cadre. In one case he completely dismissed the entire board of the party of Azerbaijan (I think it was like the party leader and 15 of his family who had set up a corrupt circle that disregarded many things). To push the importance of labor. "The harder we work the better we will live". Sadly he died, within 15 months of taking over the Party. If he hadnt died he most likely could have corrected the economic mistakes made under Khrushchev, but sadly we will never know.

  6. Gorbachev. Ah Gorbachev. A lot can be said about the man, viewed as a hero in the West (got a Nobel peace prize), but generally disliked at home. He toured the west more than any other party leader. He let the reigns of the media go, which opened the door for criticism of the government. This lead to popular unrest, combined with the war in Afghanistan and Chernobyl, a standard of living not comparable to the West in many regards, long simmering ethnic tensions, all came together to force the dissolution of the Soviet Union. State owned companies were recklessly auctioned off, and power came into the hands of very very few (known as tsars, I think there were 5 of them, 2 in exile after Putin went to curb their power).

    Some of the things that were accomplished under the Soviet Union:

  7. In fifty years the country went from an industrial production of 12% of the US, to a country with 80% of the production of the USA, and 85% of the agricultural production.

  8. Employment was guaranteed

  9. Free education for all

  10. Free healthcare for all and about twice as many doctors as the USA

  11. Injured workers had job guarantees and sick pay

  12. State regulated and subsidized food prices

  13. Trade unions had the power to veto firings and recall managers

  14. Rent only constituted 3% of the normal family budget, utilities only 5%

  15. No segregated housing by income existed (Though sometimes Party members lived in nicer areas)

  16. State subsidies kept the price of books, magazines, periodicals down.

  17. A concerted effort to bring literacy to the more backwards areas of Russia.

    Now, as for how people feel about the Soviet society now. Some of the things that happened when the Soviet Union converted to gangster capitalism.

  18. People living in poverty increased by 150 million.
  19. Inflation skyrocketed
  20. National income declined dramatically
  21. By 1998 the economy was half the size it had been in 1990
  22. Meat and dairy herds were a quarter their size
  23. Wages were less than half
  24. Typhus, typhoid, cholera, and other diseases reached epidemic proportions
  25. Male life expectancy dropped to 60 years old, where it was at the end of the 1800s

    As you can see capitalism was not kind to the Soviet Union. Last I remember (though I have no sources) the average ground level support for the return of communism was somewhere between 20-30%. The problem now is that almost all the power is invested politically in Putin, and economically in Moscow and several "tsars" who control large portions of the mining, gas, natural resources industry. The real problem is that the Russian society is rotting, the population is decreasing rapidly, political apathy is rampant, and the opposition is harshly dealt with by Putin (For example on Friday, the State Duma passed a law imposing heavy burdens on foreign funded NGOs. The new law requires frequent audits, spot checks, and organisations will have to identify themselves publicly as "Foreign Agents".)

    There is a lot more, for additional reading I very much recommend Socialism Betrayed by Rodger Keeran:
u/commenter1202 · 1 pointr/communism

This book looks interesting as a sort of First-Worldist understanding of the global labor movement. It is clear, at least from this summary, that the author denies the labor aristocracy thesis. To quote the summary:

>One reason lies in the withering of labor movements across the North, and a belief in some circles, flowing from that withering, that the working class is shrinking and perhaps ceasing to be an instrument of social change. In part such viewpoints are due to a failure to see office workers in “white-collar” professions to be part of the working class. (Surplus value is extracted from them just the same.)

The summary here is clear: people working in New York office buildings for $15 an hour are being exploited. Not just exploited, but having "Surplus value...extracted from them just the same." An extraordinary statement, that basically completely ignores Marx's own comments on productive and unproductive labor in the Gundrisse:

>A. Smith was essentially correct with his productive and unproductive labour, correct from the standpoint of bourgeois economy. [45] What the other economists advance against it is either horse-piss (for instance Storch, Senior even lousier etc.), [46] namely that every action after all acts upon something, thus confusion of the product in its natural and in its economic sense; so that the pickpocket becomes a productive worker too, since he indirectly produces books on criminal law (this reasoning at least as correct as calling a judge a productive worker because he protects from theft). Or the modern economists have turned themselves into such sycophants of the bourgeois that they want to demonstrate to the latter that it is productive labour when somebody picks the lice out of his hair, or strokes his tail, because for example the latter activity will make his fat head – blockhead – clearer the next day in the office.

Marx is clear: people hired to pick the lice out of the fat blockheads of the capitalist class do not produce surplus value. Any argument put forth to substantiate this idea is "horse-piss," in Marx's own words.

But enough about that. This work, written by New York professor Immanuel Ness, is basically a First-Worldist attempt to atleast grapple with the state of the global labor movement in some fashion. It is interesting then, that instead of attacking the imperialist institutions of the AFL-CIO and the ITUC, the author instead chooses as his target the Chinese, Indian, and South African labor movements.

After having read works like Kim Scipes' AFL-CIO's Secret War against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage?, Don Thompson and Rodney Larson's Where were you, brother? An account of trade union imperialism, and Beth Sims' Workers of the World Undermined: American Labor's Role in U.S. Foreign Policy (among others), it is clear to me that this is not only a wrongheaded approach, but that the institutions professor Ness sets his targets on are actually the only forces opposing the imperialist trade unions of the West.

For instance, the leaders of the COSATU themselves understand the nature of the imperialist trade unions of the West, whereas professor Immanuel Ness seems to implicitly deny it. To quote from Divided World Divided Class:

>According to Thomson and Larson, the recipients of ICFTU funding demonstrate “an increasingly visible identity of interest between the international work of western trade union centres and the foreign policies of their governments.” Thus, for over half a century, *the ICFTU has committed itself to maintaining the imperialist status quo: from the 1950s, when the ICFTU supported US aggression against Korea, to more recently, when, alongside the International Labor Organisation and the AFL-CIO and through ORIT, it facilitated a destabilization campaign against the elected Haitian government and, subsequent to the latters overthrow, ignored massive persecution against public sector workers between 2004 and 2006.

>Cognisant of this fact, in 2010, COSATU (the Congress of South African Trade Unions, representing the coun­try’s biggest trade unions) issued a statement directly criticising the Northern constituents of the ICFTU for their complicity with im­perialisms oppression of the Third World:

>It is now even clearer that the designs of the global politi­cal economy are such that all structures and institutions in the north serve and reinforce the agenda of the global ruling class. In this regard, even trade unions see their main responsibility as, first and foremost, about the protection of the capitalist system, except questioning its excesses. They scorn every attempt to question its legitimacy and call for its challenge. It was deliberately designed by imperialism that they must see their future as tied to the existence and success of the system. This is why they defend with passion all that is seen to threaten the core elements of the system. The defence of the global markets and trade system that furthers our underdevelopment, the interests of their rul­ing classes in the Middle East, and their unfettered con­trol over the international trade union movement and its related systems, all help to sustain the dominant system and protect it from those who are its victims and would want to see it removed. This is the basis for the ideological and political choices made by our comrades in the north in pursuing the trade union struggle.

So a First-World labor scholar writes a book which implicitly denies the labor aristocracy thesis, in order to attack actually revolutionary trade union movements around the globe.

That this thing could be published just shows the depths of the utter and complete bankruptcy of First-Worldism.