|First published||January 10, 2022|
This is an essay by Red-Spectre.
It contains personal opinions or rhetoric written by one or more Leftypedia contributors. This page is not an encyclopedia article, nor is it a policy or guideline written by Leftypedia.
Against Dengism, by Red-Spectre
Is China Socialist?
This can be answered by the question: does capital exist in China?
According to Lenin and Stalin:
I have already advised you to turn for help to Engels’s book The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. This book says that every state in which private ownership of the land and means of production exists, in which capital dominates, however democratic it may be, is a capitalist state, a machine used by the capitalists to keep the working class and the poor peasants in subjection; .while universal suffrage, a Constituent Assembly, a parliament are merely a form, a sort of promissory note, which does not change the real state of affairs. The forms of domination of the state may vary: capital manifests its power in one way where one form exists, and in another way where another form exists—but essentially the power is in the hands of capital, whether there are voting qualifications or some other rights or not, or whether the republic is a democratic one or not—in fact, the more democratic it is the cruder and more cynical is the rule of capitalism. One of the most democratic republics in the world is the United States of America, yet nowhere (and those who have been there since 1905 probably know it) is the power of capital, the power of a handful of multimillionaires over the whole of society, so crude and so openly corrupt as in America. Once capital exists, it dominates the whole of society, and no democratic republic, no franchise can change its nature.
-Vladimir Lenin, The State, Lecture given in 1919.
It is said that commodity production must lead, is bound to lead, to capitalism all the same, under all conditions. That is not true. Not always and not under all conditions! Commodity production must not be identified with capitalist production. They are two different things. Capitalist production is the highest form of commodity production. Commodity production leads to capitalism only if there is private ownership of the means of production, if labour power appears in the market as a commodity which can be bought by the capitalist and exploited in the process of production, and if, consequently, the system of exploitation of wageworkers by capitalists exists in the country. Capitalist production begins when the means of production are concentrated in private hands, and when the workers are bereft of means of production and are compelled to sell their labour power as a commodity. Without this there is no such thing as capitalist production.
-Joseph Stalin, Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR, P13-14 And in order to confirm the existence of Capital:
We know that the means of production and subsistence, while they remain the property of the immediate producer, are not capital. They become capital only under circumstances in which they serve at the same time as means of exploitation and subjection of the labourer. [...] So long, therefore, as the labourer can accumulate for himself — and this he can do so long as he remains possessor of his means of production — capitalist accumulation and the capitalistic mode of production are impossible. The class of wage labourers, essential to these, is wanting.
-Karl Marx,Das Capital Vol. 1, Chapter 33
Considering the fact China not only allows wage exploitation, But has either the most or second most billionares of any country on earth, It is safe to say Capital exists, Hence it cannot be Socialist.
To address some counter-arguments to this:
- But they keep their Capitalists under control! / But they kill Capitalists! / But China is a DOTP!
- None of these is correct.
- We already established that Capital exists, We also established Capital always takes control of any state or society it exists in given enough time, no exceptions.
- It follows that China cannot be a Dictatorship of the Proletariat.
- This argument will be given more detail below in its own category.
- its per capita!
- Irrelevent and dishonest. I brought up the amount the abundance of Billionares no because my point depended on it, But to point at the severity of the situation in China, to prove its not "young" Capital but rather already developed late stage Capital. In this situation it is impossible not to admit Capital has already taken control of society long ago. Using the 'per capita' argument tries to invalidate this position in the spirit of "They might be on that terrible list, And they might score high on that terrible list, But it doesn't matter because of this other terrible list they are on in which they are "only" above Brazil and Kawait and below the world average!"
- They still have alot of billionares, Which have alot of wealth. And this fact stands. More on this below.
- They still compare disfavourably in these metrics to India which by all accounts is capitalist.
- Its like the NEP!
- Adressed below.
Its Socialism with Chinese charactaristics! Its adapted to local conditions!
Socialism with Chinese charactaristics(SwCC for short) does not exist.
You speak of Sinified socialism. There is nothing of the sort in nature. There is no Russian, English, French, German, Italian socialism, as much as there is no Chinese socialism. There is only one Marxist-Leninist socialism. It is another thing, that in the building of socialism it is necessary to take into consideration the specific features of a particular country. Socialism is a science, necessarily having, like all science, certain general laws, and one just needs to ignore them and the building of socialism is destined to failure.
-Joseph Stalin, From the Conversation with the Delegation of the CC CP of China in Moscow
When taking into account the local conditions the end goal remains the same. If we wish to reach from B(beginning) to E(end), Regardless of what C(conditions) we have in the middle, We find a way to get past them(or utilise them if helpful) and proceed. We take into consideration C, Then set a course from B to E. In this case, We take into consideration national conditions(C), Set a course from Feudalism(B) / Capitalism(B) to Socialism(E) and reach the one type of socialism that is real.
Instead, SwCC capitulates to the national conditions and nationalism itself, Declaring that due to C they will go from B to R(revisionism). This is not considering specific features or conditions but surrendering to them. This is not Internationalism, Not Socialism, But Nationalism.
The Marxist approach:
B -> E while planning for C
The Nationalist, Antimarxist approach:
B + C = R
Comrade Stalin was indeed correct when he stated:
As far as I know in the CPC there is a thin layer of the proletariat and the nationalist sentiments are very strong and if you will not conduct genuinely Marxist-Leninist class policies and not conduct struggle against bourgeois nationalism, the nationalists will strangle you. Then not only will socialist construction be terminated, China may become a dangerous toy in the hands of American imperialists.
But they kill Billonares! Why would a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie do that?
A few more observations on fascist philosophy. They write as if they have socialism. This needs to be exposed in economic terms. This is what Hitler says: 'The State, The People! our capitalists receive only 8%. That is enough for them'! The formulation of this question needs to be accompanied by throwing light on the question of competition and the anarchy of production, with the attempts of the capitalists to get rid of competition with the help of the theory of ultra-imperialism. It must be demonstrated that they are doomed. They are propagating a corporativist system, as if it is above the class of workers and the capitalists and the State cares and looks after the workers. They are even arresting individual capitalists (it is true that Thyssen could escape). One should say that in all of this there is more of demagogy, that this is just the pressure of the bourgeois State on individual capitalists who do not want to subject themselves to class discipline. It should be mentioned once in the section on cartelisation and their unsuccessful attempts at planning. Mention it again in the section on Socialism. In your system, gentlemen fascists, to whom do the means of production belong? To individual capitalists and to groups of capitalists and, therefore, you cannot have genuine planning, except for bits, as the economy is divided among groups of owners.
-Joseph Stalin, Conversations with Soviet Economists, "On Fascism"
In short, It is Bourgeoisie infighting, Using the state against individual bourgeoisie who break class discipline. It is the result of the centralised cartel-like structure of the CPC allowing their capitalists to be better coordinated, And to coordinate "class rules", And punish whatever capitalist breaks these "rules". Much like a DoTP would arrest individual workers for breaking the law(I.E a workers state arrests and executes a worker for taking an action that helps them individually but hurts the working class as a whole) can a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie arrest individual capitalists for breaking their agreements, Pacts, Concensus, Or even just because the wrong person stands to gain from their death(I.E a capitalist state arrests and executes a capitalist for taking a profitable action that hurts the capitalist class, Or a few other capitalists which are "stronger". Alternatively, The execution occurs because it would be profitable to this stronger group to do so).
The CPC has bad factions in it but Xi Jinping are fighting to restore / preserve the dictatorship of the proletariat.
An argument I once heard on why we should support China went along the lines of "The Central Committee has multiple lines and trends in it, fighting against one another. In the meanwhile they have a centralised economic structure that builds up the economy. When thats done we will reach socialism".
Another, "Xi Jinping and his group are good and are cleaning the CPC of revisionism".
But even if we accept either of these incorrect points we reach a point where no Dictatorship of the Proletariat exists. If we have many lines, why are they not purged away? Is it because the "good faction" isn't strong enough? This means the bad ones control the state. A dictatorship of the Bourgeoisie. Just because the group of Alexander Shelepin existed, which wanted a return to Socialism and to liquidate revisionism after Khrushchev was ousted, does not mean we should defend the government of Brezhnev and Kosygin - quite the contrary, we should call for its overthrow! it matters little if its done from within the CPSU or from without. Whats important is that its done. Once we actually see Kosygin and Brezhnev get ousted, once we see the SU authorities move to Re-Stalinisation, once we see Khrushchevite economic policies being reversed in deeds and not only in words we can declare the workers are in power, to declare the state a dictatorship of the working class.
But the CPC shows no such signs, not even the slightest ones. Quite the contrary, China's course and Xi Jinpings speeches point to the further strengthening of the already omnipotent capital.
Reform and Opening up Is Always Ongoing and Will Never End Reform and opening up is a long-term and arduous cause, and people need to work on it generation after generation. We should carry out reform to improve the socialist market economy of China, and adhere to the basic state policy of opening up to the outside world. We must further reform in key sectors with greater political courage and vision, and forge ahead steadily in the direction determined by the Party’s 18th National Congress. The “Invisible Hand” and the “Visible Hand” We should let the market play the decisive role in allocating resources, while allowing the government to better perform its functions. This is a theoretical and practical issue of great importance. A correct and precise understanding of this issue is very important to further the reform and promote the sound and orderly development of the socialist market economy. We should make good use of the roles of both the market, the “invisible” hand, and the government, the “visible” hand. The market and the government should complement and coordinate with each other to promote sustained and sound social and economic development. Revolutionize Energy Production and Consumption Fourth, we must revolutionize the energy market. We will proceed with reform, restore energy’s status as a commodity, build a system of workable competition, and put in place a mechanism in which energy prices are largely driven by the market. In addition, we will change the way that the government supervises the energy industry, and establish and improve the legal framework for energy development. -Xi Jinping, The Governance Of China Vol.1, P87, 134, 149 respectively
I think we can all see how the reform needing "generations" more, How the Market should play the decisive role in allocating resources, And how evergy should be treated as a commodity (Making an ironic mockery to Lenin's GOLERO plan - Instead of electrification being the condition to move on from the market and embrace a planned economy, Elecrticity becomes just another tool of it. Just another commodity to buy and sell) suffices to disprove the above mentioned Liberal notions. What is a pro-market doing in such a high position, if not serving the interests of the bourgeoisie? Lenin one said
Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country
-Lenin, Our Foreign and Domestic Position and Party Tasks
But it seems that """comrade"" bourgeoisie" does not agree with Lenin. Who is Lenin anyways? Instead, are we supposed to believe "Communism - Soviet power = Electrification of the whole country"? Perhaps that is the reason they plagiarise our symbols as such!
What about poverty reduction?
Why does a country with more GDP Per capita(I.E per person) then the USSR still have poverty?
Furthermore, Why does rent still exist? both Dengists and Anti-Dengists have likely already grown tired of the "billionare" debate, But what about the Landlords? Capitalists, Like under the NEP, Can "contribute" to society, Using the term loosely. But what do Landlords do except create poverty and raise house prices? Nothing.
Hence no self proclaimed Communist will ever try to justify the existence of Landlords, Or claim they produce anything. Allowing the existence of parasites who contribute nothing and hold homes for ransom is, By itself, Terrible. But what happens when a large part of society cannot afford basic rent? The average rent in Beijing at the time of writing is 7,485¥ per month. At the cheapest district in Beijing, Is 2,377¥. Around 11% of the city earns between 2,000¥ - 3,000¥ per month, Taxes and basics not included. Another 12.5% earns between 3,000¥ - 4,500¥.
The average Dengist will try to downplay this thing, Claiming "its not that bad!" or "other places have it worse!". The former is incorrect, The latter irrelevant(and probably incorrect too). Private rent existing in China, A developed country which - again - has more GDP per capita then the USSR is by itself bad enough. How costly the rent just makes it worse.
Isn't it just like Lenin's NEP?
No. To explain why not we need to explain two things about the NEP:
What was the NEP, And why was it needed?
The NEP was a strategic retreat on the economic front. A sharp transition to Socialism was attempted due to the circumstances of the civil war and invasion by foreign powers, When the USSR was invaded by Czechoslovakia, UK, Canada, Australia, India, South Africa(latter four as U.K colonies), The U.S.A, Italy,, France, Japan,, Greece, Estonia, Serbia, Poland, Finland / Alternative incident, Finland again, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia backed by German soldiers, Austria-Hungary, The Ottoman Empire, Germany and probably more. This is based only on bourgeoisie sources that aim to downplay such events.
This policy, According to Lenin, Failed.
Of course, tasks on the economic front are much more difficult than tasks on the war front, although there is a general similarity between the two elementary outlines of strategy. In attempting to go over straight to communism we, in the spring of 1921, sustained a more serious defeat on the economic front than any defeat inflicted upon us by Kolchak, Denikin or Pilsudski. This defeat was much more serious, significant and dangerous. It was expressed in the isolation of the higher administrators of our economic policy from the lower and their failure to produce that development of the productive forces which the Programme of our Party regards as vital and urgent.
-Lenin, The New Economic Policy
The NEP was the correct line to fix these mistakes and work to build Socialism. Emphesis on build.
There were a few reasons for its necessity, And we will go into some:
- Large quantity of Peasants in the country, As it only recently freed itself from Feudalism.
The New Economic Policy means substituting a tax for the requisitioning of food; it means reverting to capitalism to a considerable extent—to what extent we do not know. Concessions to foreign capitalists (true, only very few have been accepted, especially when compared with the number we have offered) and leasing enterprises to private capitalists definitely mean restoring capitalism, and this is part and parcel of the New Economic Policy; for the abolition of the surplus-food appropriation system means allowing the peasants to trade freely in their surplus agricultural produce, in whatever is left over after the tax is collected—and the tax~ takes only a small share of that produce. The peasants constitute a huge section of our population and of our entire economy, and that is why capitalism must grow out of this soil of free trading.
- Abundance of small production and an absence of large scale production.
Let us enumerate these elements[E.D - Economic elements existing in 1921 Russia]: (1)patriarchal, i.e., to a considerable extent natural, peasant farming; (2)small commodity production (this includcs the majority of those peasants who sell their grain); (3)private capitalism; (4)state capitalism; (5)socialism. Russia is so vast and so varied that all these different types of socio-economic structures are intermingled. This is what constitutes the specific feature of the situation.
The question arises: What elements predominate? Clearly, in a small-peasant country, the petty-bourgeois element predominates and it must predominate, for the great majority—those working the land—are small commodity producers. The shell of state capitalism (grain monopoly, state-controlled entrepreneurs and traders, bourgeois co-operators) is pierced now in one place, now in another by profiteers, the chief object of profiteering being grain.
It is not state capitalism that is at war with socialism, but the petty bourgeoisie plus private capitalism fighting together against state capitalism and socialism.
-Lenin, The Tax in Kind Because of this, Planning the economy was extremely hard and ineffective. Through State Capitalism the economy could function and set up the "apparatus" needed for Socialism which then takes over.
At present petty-bourgeois capitalism prevails in Russia, and it is one and the same road that leads from it to both large-scale state capitalism and to socialism, through one and the same intermediary station called “national accounting and control of production and distribution”. Those who fail to understand this are committing an un pardonable mistake in economics. Either they do not know the facts of life, do not see what actually exists and are unable to look the truth in the face, or they confine themselves to abstractly comparing “socialism” with “capitalism” and fail to study the concrete forms and stages of the transition that is taking place in our country.
- Backward state of the productive forces. In other words, It is not that the Bolsheviks "chose" Capitalism but had to put up with it as the only practical course of action they had.
What is the policy the socialist proletariat can pursue in the face of this economic reality? Is it to give the small peasant all he needs of the goods produced by large-scale socialist industries in exchange for his grain and raw materials? This would be the most desirable and “correct” policy—and we have started on it. But we cannot supply all the goods, very far from it; nor shall we be able to do so very soon—at all events not until we complete the first stage of the electrification of the whole country. What is to be done? One way is to try to prohibit entirely, to put the lock on all development of private, non-state exchange, i.e., trade, i.e., capitalism, which is inevitable with millions of small producers. But such a policy would be foolish and suicidal for the party that tried to apply it. It would be foolish because it is economically impossible. It would be suicidal because the party that tried to apply it would meet with inevitable disaster. Let us admit it: some Communists have sinned “in thought, word and deed” by adopting just such a policy. We shall try to rectify these mistakes, and this must be done without fail, otherwise things will come to a very sorry state.
The alternative (and this is the only sensible and the last possible policy) is not to try to prohibit or put the lock on the development of capitalism, but to channel it into state capitalism. This is economically possible, for state capitalism exists—in varying form and degree—wherever there are elements of unrestricted trade and capitalism in general.
Notice how Lenin states the alternative of the NEP, fighting against capitalism is "suicidal" in their situation due to the above two points, Neither of which exist in China, Which can and should use the most "correct" policy due to being far beyond just the first stage of electrification. Which brings me to my next point:
- Electrification - the most underrated factor in play.
Is an immediate transition to socialism from the state of affairs predominating in Russia conceivable? Yes, it is, to a certain degree, but on one condition, the precise nature of which we now know thanks to a great piece of scientific work that has been completed. It is electrification. If we construct scores of district electric power stations (we now know where and how these can and should be constructed), and transmit electric power to every village, if we obtain a sufficient number of electric motors and other machinery, we shall not need, or shall hardly need, any transition stages or intermediary links between patriarchalism and socialism. But we know perfectly well that it will take at least ten years only to complete the first stage of this “one” condition; this period can be conceivably reduced only if the proletarian revolution is victorious in such countries as Britain, Germany or the U.S.A.
Stating clearly as day that the transition would be sharp and sudden if only they had electricity was the thing that originally convinced me the NEP was necessary. It showed just how backwards, Just how hard the situation was in Post revolution, Pre-USSR Russia.
Between these, The civil war, The invasions, World war 1, The famine and the SRs and Mensheviks fighting against soviet power one can understand the NEP in its historical context. If tiny Albania could move to Socialism with much less wealth or technology, Without cutting edge supercomputers and modern nuclear power plants, Why can't modern China?
Besides, How long did the NEP take(Around 7 years, 4 of war and 3 of peace) compared to the Chinese reforms? I would justify 5 years of NEP peace, 7 years, 10 years - Hell, Even 15 I could somehow understand. But even if we ignore Mao completely Dengs reforms have been in place for over fourty years.
If Capital must take control of the State, Why did the USSR survive the NEP and continued Socialist construction?
The unsatisfying answer would be "Dictatorship of the Proletariat and its short timeframe". But equally as important to this are the measures taken to prevent Capital from attaining "omnipotence".
At present, imperialism and the domination of the banks have “developed” into an exceptional art both these methods of upholding and giving effect to the omnipotence of wealth in democratic republics of all descriptions.
Another reason why the omnipotence of “wealth” is more certain in a democratic republic is that it does not depend on defects in the political machinery or on the faulty political shell of capitalism. A democratic republic is the best possible political shell for capitalism, and, therefore, once capital has gained possession of this very best shell (through the Palchinskys, Chernovs, Tseretelis and Co.), it establishes its power so securely, so firmly, that no change of persons, institutions or parties in the bourgeois-democratic republic can shake it.
-Lenin, State and Revolution, P10
A big measure taken by the Bolsheviks to that end, one which is imperative when using state-capitalism to build socialism, was the foreign trade monopoly.
In relation to a resolution that relaxed this monopoly (and luckily was never carried out. Lenin requested the matter to be postponed and the trade monopoly was affirmed) in 1922, discussed when Lenin could not attend, he remarked:
In actual fact, however, this wrecks the foreign trade monopoly. Small wonder that Comrade Sokolnikov has been trying to get this done and has succeeded. He has always been for it; he likes paradoxes and has always undertaken to prove that monopoly is not to our advantage. But it is surprising that people, who in principle favour the monopoly, have voted for this without asking for detailed information from any of the business executives. What does the decision that has been adopted signify? Purchasing offices are being opened for the import and export trade. The owner of such an office has the right to buy and sell only specially listed goods. Where is the control over this? Where are the means of control? In Russia flax costs 4 rubles 50 kopeks, in Britain it costs 14 rubles. All of us have read in Capital how capitalism changes internally and grows more daring when interest rates and profits rise quickly. All of us recall that capitalism is capable of taking deadly risks and that Marx recognised this long before the war and before capitalism began its "leaps". What is the situation now? What force is capable of holding the peasants and the traders from extremely profitable deals? Cover Russia with a network of overseers? Catch the neighbour in a purchasing office and prove that his flax has been sold to be smuggled out of the country? Comrade Sokolnikov’s paradoxes are always clever, but one must distinguish between paradoxes and the grim truth.
I propose that the decision on this question be deferred for two months, i.e., until the next Plenary Meeting; in the interim information and verified documents on the experience of our trade policy should be collected.
P.P.S. I have just been informed (1.30 hours) that some business executives have applied for a postponement. I have not yet read this application, but I whole-heartedly support it. It is only a matter of two months.
-Lenin, Letter To J. V. Stalin For Members Of The C.C., R.C.P.(B.): The Foreign Trade Monopoly And to refute a myth before the Trots create it, Stalin agreed with this point:
Fifthly. The congress re-affirmed the inviolability of our monopoly of foreign trade. I do not think there is any need to explain the importance of the foreign trade monopoly for our industry and agriculture as well as for the bond between the two. Its cardinal significance requires no fresh proof (see the resolution on the Central Committee’s report).
-Stalin, The Results of the Thirteen Congress of the R.C.P.(B.) China has consistently liberalised their foreign trade laws. In 2004:
Fully liberalizing access to foreign trade operations. According to the Foreign Trade Law of the People's Republic of China that was revised in 2004, starting from July 2004, foreign trade dealers only need to register with the authority responsible, and no longer have to ask for approval from the Chinese government. This change has facilitated the diversification of China's foreign trade entities, consisting of state-owned, foreign-invested and private enterprises. The imports and exports of state-owned and foreign-invested enterprises have maintained sustained growth, while private enterprises have seen their foreign trade develop rapidly and their share of China's import and export market keeps expanding, becoming key players in China's foreign trade. In 2010 the import and export volume of state-owned enterprises, foreign-invested enterprises and private enterprises in the country's total was 20.9 percent, 53.8 percent and 25.3 percent, respectively.
Not only allowing private foreign trade, but having 25% of it be private - more then that of the SOEs cannot but create this omnipotence of capital, leading to it taking control of the republic.
When discussing productive forces, We cannot forget the relations of production
The most adamant of the defenders of the "C"PC speak about "productive forces" so much it became a meme. In truth, However, Everyone using the productive forces argument to defend the exploitative Chinese state reveal a schism which eclipses the distance between pluto and the sun, A schism between themselves and anything Marxist.
Instead of "Marxists" and "Leninists" honest proponents of such idea ought to use the term "Yaroshenkoists":
To describe Comrade Yaroshenko’s opinion in a couple of words, it should be said that it is un-Marxist — and, hence, profoundly erroneous. Comrade Yaroshenko’s chief error is that he forsakes the Marxist position on the question of the role of the productive forces and of the relations of production in the development of society, that he inordinately overrates the role of the productive forces, and just as inordinately underrates the role of the relations of production, and ends up by declaring that under socialism the relations of production are a component part of the productive forces.
-Stalin, Economic problems in the USSR, P60 And this issue of paying too much attention to the productive forces(Material capacity to produce, Like better factories) while giving too little attention to the relations of production(Who owns these factories - A lord, A capitalist, The factory workers, The state? If its the latter, Who owns the state?) leads to the ridiculous idea that:
here, according to Comrade Yaroshenko, the relations of production lose every vestige of an independent role, they cease to be a serious factor of development, and are absorbed by the productive forces, becoming a component part of them. Under socialism, Comrade Yaroshenko says, “men’s production relations become part of the organization of the productive forces, as a means, an element of their organization.”
If that is so, what is the chief task of the “Political Economy of Socialism”? Comrade Yaroshenko replies: “The chief problem of the Political Economy of Socialism, therefore, is not to investigate the relations of production of the members of socialist society; it is to elaborate and develop a scientific theory of the organization of the productive forces in social production, a theory of the planning of economic development
He plainly declares that in his Political Economy of Socialism “disputes as to the role of any particular category of socialist political economy — value, commodity, money, credit, etc., — which very often with us are of a scholastic character, are replaced by a healthy discussion of the rational organization of the productive forces in social production, by a scientific demonstration of the validity of such organization.”
-Ibid, P60 - 61 And all of this leads to a complete disregard of the relations of production.
Comrade Yaroshenko thinks that it is enough to arrange a “rational organization of the productive forces,” and the transition from socialism to communism will take place without any particular difficulty. He considers that this is quite sufficient for the transition to communism. He plainly declares that “under socialism, the basic struggle for the building of a communist society reduces itself to a struggle for the proper organization of the productive forces and their rational utilization in social production.” Comrade Yaroshenko solemnly proclaims that “Communism is the highest scientific organization of the productive forces in social production.”
And with such "un-Marxist" and "profoundly erroneous" theories we can finally declare that no contradiction exists between a market economy and a socialist economy. Suddenly, Communism is not attained by gradually doing away with the birthmarks of Capitalism, By drawing the workers themselves to the process of running the economy through education, By doing away with commodities and value, And many more; Now the process is simple. Make the factory bigger and faster using any means until you reach Communism. Socialism is no longer a mode of production but any economy that grows fast.
If this sounds like a Paradox to you, Congratulations. You understand Dialectics better then all "Yaroshenkoists" put together. If we declare that under Socialism the relations of production lose their importance(For example by having a market economy when planning is possible) and pretend advancing productive forces not only manages to preserve Socialism but advance it to Communism, "Socialism" lost all meaning. To prove my point:
The Ukranian SSR was Socialist.
If we assume that once Socialism is attained the Relations of Production become subordinated to the productive forces, Hence a change to the relations of production(Like permitting private ownership) will not change its Socialist nature, Rejoice for modern Ukraine is still Socialist!
If we assume Ukraine is no longer Socialist, Then why? Is it because of the productive forces? Is it because ""Hurr Durr factory grow fast under Stalin, Factory grow slow under Brezhnev, Factory goes kaput under Gorbachev and Yeltsin""? Nonsense! It is no longer Socialist because the relations of production changed despite the productive forces still growing. It is also why the growth slowed under Khrushchev and Brezhnev slowed and why (in part) industry collapsed after the USSR was destroyed. This means the relations of production never ceased to matter, That they are still highly important under Socialism(Which China never reached), And that excusing capitalism with "productive forces" cannot exist alongside scientific Socialism.
According to Deng Xiaoping:
There is no such thing as socialism and communism with poverty. The ideal of Marxists is to realize communism. According to Marx, communist society is a society in which the principle of from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs is applied. What is the principle of to each according to his needs? How can we apply this principle without highly developed productive forces and vast material wealth? According to Marxism, communist society is a society in which there is overwhelming material abundance. Socialism is the first stage of communism; it means expanding the productive forces, and it represents a long historical period. Only if we constantly expand the productive forces can we finally achieve communism. The Gang of Four’s absurd theory of socialism and communism led only to poverty and stagnation.
-Deng Xiaoping, "We Shall Draw On Historical Experience and Guard Against Wrong Tendencies" So, Does Socialism mean "expanding the productive forces" or is it a definite mode of production?
principles of Socialism, whose main pillars are things that have already been achieved and realized : the Socialist ownership of the land, forests, factories, works and other instruments and means of production; the abolition of exploitation and of exploiting classes; the abolition[E.D: ABOLITION. Not "reduction."] of poverty for the majority and of luxury for the minority; the abolition of unemployment; work as an obligation and an honourable duty for every able-bodied citizen, in accordance with the formula : "He who does not work, neither shall he eat"; the right to work, i.e., the right of every citizen to receive guaranteed employment; the right to rest and leisure; the right to education, etc., etc. The draft of the new Constitution rests on these, and similar pillars of Socialism.
-Stalin, On the Draft Constitution of the U.S.S.R Deng repeats his mistake in understanding Socialism multiple times.
These can be summed up as the decision to build socialism suited to conditions in China. And if we are to build socialism, our fundamental task must be to develop the productive forces, shake off poverty, build a strong, prosperous country and improve the living conditions of the people.
-Deng Xiaoping, "We Must Continue To Emancipate Our Minds and Accelerate the Reform"
In conclusion, Socialism is not poverty reduction or advancing productive forces. Socialism is a higher mode of production then Capitalism. Socialism is a mode of production that abolishes poverty and pushes the productive forces to grow. Socialism is a MODE OF PRODUCTION.
"But wait!", I can already see someone asking and doing their very best to avoid any of my arguments, "Why must the two contradict? Give China more time to develop its productive forces and then they will fix their relations of production!"
It speaks volumes about how low the Communist movement fell, How much we suffered due to the Khrushchevite betrayal, That I have not only to remark but anticipate such a "question". Despite already showing this utopian idea sufficed for comrade Stalin to call out Yaroshenko by name, And despite this same argument being universal, And could fit for defending any regime in history - The USA, Russia, Iran, Even the bloody Roman empire - "Just give them time and eventually our Peoples party / Liberal democracy / Benevolent god / Any other idealist rubbish, Will willingly liberate us! We do not have to fight!"
But providing a worthwhile answer to this point may at least be of some use to those who want to learn. Let us get to it.
When do we know the Relations of Production ought to change?
We need to first understand how the Relations of Production interact with the Productive Forces and vice versa.
There will be a summary below the quote.
the relations of production in their turn react upon the development of the productive forces, accelerating or retarding it. In this connection it should be noted that the relations of production cannot for too long a time lag behind and be in a state of contradiction to the growth of the productive forces, inasmuch as the productive forces can develop in full measure only when the relations of production correspond to the character, the state of the productive forces and allow full scope for their development. Therefore, however much the relations of production may lag behind the development of the productive forces, they must, sooner or later, come into correspondence with— and actually do come into correspondence with—the level of development of the productive forces, the character of the productive forces. Otherwise we would have a fundamental violation of the unity of the productive forces and the relations of production within the system of production, a disruption of production as a whole, a crisis of production, a destruction of productive forces. An instance in which the relations of production do not correspond to the character of the productive forces, conflict with them, is the economic crises in capitalist countries, where private capitalist ownership of the means of production is in glaring incongruity with the social character of the process of production, with the character of the productive forces. This results in economic crises, which lead to the destruction of productive forces. Furthermore, this incongruity itself constitutes the economic basis of social revolution, the purpose of which is to destroy the existing relations of production and to create new relations of production corresponding to the character of the productive forces.
-Stalin, Dialectical and Historical Materialism, P26-27)
In other words, The Productive forces "go first" and advance faster. The Relations of Production can either correspond to the productive forces or lag behind them. If they correspond, The relations of production "push" the productive forces to advance faster.
If the Relations lag too far behind, They slow down the productive forces, Meaning they grow slower. If the Relations lag very far behind, Crisis of production occurs and the productive forces diminish. When the Relations and Forces do not correspond we have something comparable to a rubber band. Imagine grabbing an indestructible rubber band from both sides and pulling it apart. The further you are, The harder it is to advance. You need to expend more effort for the same distance. You suddenly need to expend effort just to stay where you are. Eventually one of your hands "gives up".
With this same principle, When the productive forces advance and the relations of production do not, There starts to exist a sort of "rubber band" pulling them together. The further away they are, The slower the productive forces advance. Eventually crises start to occur and these become (on average) worse and worse (like when the rubber band hits your hand). Eventually either a crisis occurs and the productive forces are "pulled backwards" by the rubberband (worth noting they usually advance more until the next crisis hits), Or the relations of production are "pulled forward" (Revolution) and the problem is solved.
There is much more depth to go into here but this unfortunately is leagues more compared to the average "Twitter Marxist" and will more then suffice for our purpose.
I will begin by stating the best time to do so, Then move on to the later date where arguing against this change is inexcusable.
When is the ideal time to advance the relations of production?
The moment you can. Once you have the conditions needed to do so, Do it. Anyone who read "Foundations of Leninism" will be able to tell you the line we take on building a "Chinese Wall" between the first stage of the revolution(bourgeoisie-democratic) and the second one(Socialist and led by the Proletariat).
The heroes of the Second International asserted (and continue to assert) that between the bourgeois-democratic revolution and the proletarian revolution there is a chasm, or at any rate a Chinese Wall, separating one from the other by a more or less protracted interval of time, during which the bourgeoisie having come into power, develops capitalism, while the proletariat accumulates strength and prepares for the “decisive struggle” against capitalism. This interval is usually calculated to extend over many decades, if not longer. It scarcely needs proof that this Chinese Wall “theory” is totally devoid of scientific meaning under the conditions of imperialism, that it is and can be only a means of concealing and camouflaging the counter-revolutionary aspirations of the bourgeoisie.
-Stalin, Foundations of Leninism, P27 What is often misunderstood, Howeever, Is that even Communist parties which have secured state power can still make this mistake(turning themselves from Communists to opportunists in the process). in 1921, Lenin wrote:
Both the anarchists and the petty-bourgeois democrats (i.e., the Mensheviks and the Socialist-Revolutionaries, who are the Russian counterparts of that international social type) have talked and are still talking an incredible lot of nonsense about the relation between the bourgeois-democratic revolution and the socialist (that is, proletarian) revolution. The last four years have proved to the hilt that our interpretation of Marxism on this point, and our estimate of the experience of former revolutions were correct. We have consummated the bourgeois-democratic revolution as nobody had done before. We are advancing towards the socialist revolution consciously, firmly and unswervingly, knowing that it is not separated from the bourgeois-democratic revolution by a Chinese Wall, and knowing too that (in the last analysis) struggle alone will determine how far we shall advance, what part of this immense and lofty task we shall accomplish, and to what extent we shall succeed in consolidating our victories. Time will show. But we see even now that a tremendous amount—tremendous for this ruined, exhausted and backward country—has already been done towards the socialist transformation of society.
But in order to consolidate the achievements of the bourgeois-democratic revolution for the peoples of Russia, we were obliged to go farther; and we did go farther. We solved the problems of the bourgeois-democratic revolution in passing, as a “by-product” of our main and genuinely proletarian-revolutionary, socialist activities. We have always said that reforms are a by-product of the revolutionary class struggle. We said—and proved it by deeds—that bourgeois-democratic reforms are a by-product of the proletarian, i.e., of the socialist revolution. Incidentally, the Kautskys, Hilferdings, Martovs, Chernovs, Hillquits, Longuets, MacDonalds, Turatis and other heroes of “Two and-a-Half” Marxism were incapable of understanding this relation between the bourgeois-democratic and the proletarian-socialist revolutions. The first develops into the second. The second, in passing, solves the problems of the first. The second consolidates the work of the first. Struggle, and struggle alone, decides how far the second succeeds in outgrowing the first.
The Soviet system is one of the most vivid proofs, or manifestations, of how the one revolution develops into the other. The Soviet system provides the maximum of democracy for the workers and peasants; at the same time, it marks a break with bourgeois democracy and the rise of a new, epoch-making type of democracy, namely, proletarian democracy, or the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Our last, but most important and most difficult task, the one we have done least about, is economic development, the laying of economic foundations for the new, socialist edifice on the site of the demolished feudal edifice and the semi-demolished capitalist edifice. It is in this most important and most difficult task that we have sustained the greatest number of reverses and have made most mistakes. How could anyone expect that a task so new to the world could be begun without reverses and without mistakes! But we have begun it. We shall continue it. At this very moment we are, by our New Economic Policy, correcting a number of our mistakes. We are learning how to continue erecting the socialist edifice in a small-peasant country without committing such mistakes.
-Lenin, Fourth Anniversary of the October Revolution
In other words - The Soviet people must build up the basis to adopt Socialism as soon as possible.
Lenin explained the reason for this very, Very clearly.
Capitalism is a bane compared with socialism. Capitalism is a boon compared with medievalism, small production, and the evils of bureaucracy which spring from the dispersal of the small producers.
-Lenin, The tax in Kind
When can the absence of such transition can be used to detect a reactionary state?
When a crisis of production occurs. We ought to advance the relations of production beforehand, Not only to avoid the crisis but to enjoy faster growth. But if a certain state and its rulers prefer to experience such a crisis over advancing the relations of production, It can only be a dictatorship of an exploiting minority. They resist because doing away with the old relations of production will be doing away with them. A Dictatorship of the Workers will not arrive into such a situation, Because the change to the relations of production will either crush a remenant of exploitation and move us a step closer to Socialism - Or, If we already arrived there, Because exploitation was already done away with and the state belongs to the people, And the people have no interest in resisting this advance. The few elements which still resist this step do not control the state, Hence they cannot stop it.
How, then, are the words “full conformity” to be understood? They are to be understood as meaning that under socialism things do not usually go to the length of a conflict between the relations of production and the productive forces, that society is in a position to take timely steps to bring the lagging relations of production into conformity with the character of the productive forces. Socialist society is in a position to do so because it does not include the obsolescent classes that might organize resistance. Of course, even under socialism there will be backward, inert forces that do not realize the necessity for changing the relations of production; but they, of course, will not be difficult to overcome without bringing matters to a conflict.
-Stalin, Economic Problems of the USSR, P52
(For reference, The below paragraph is written in early 2022, Less then two weeks since 2021) In China, 2009 there was a massive economic crisis that affected the weakest the most. The 0%-10% Went into the negative and still head down. Consider that this crisis never had to happen, And these people never had to suffer because of it. This was not a "natural", "unavoidable" tragedy. It was a crime. The Chinese bourgeoisie enriched themselves on the backs of the Chinese workers. Worse still, The Gross Domestic Product per adult & National Income per adult continued to grow!
Where did all this wealth go, Then, If it was not sucked out of China? here. To the 99.99%. Those who never needed to "recover", But instead grew and continue to grow. It is obvious to all that even a mockery of the NEP, Executed by amaetures, Would not have yielded such results.
Comrades, This is not Socialism, socialist construction, an NEP, or any other excuse to be found. This is late stage capitalism. This is Imperialism. This is the face of reaction. We will be nothing short of class traitors, Should we backstab our Chinese comrades by supporting their exploiters! We must unite with the Chinese workers against Imperialism everywhere and reaction everywhere - An injury to one is an injury to all. Without an uncompromising war for the truth, A war to expose deception meant to disarm us, to set us against one another only Utopians will believe in a course to Socialism. Our theory is a guide for action - A guide to achieve the liberation of workers everywhere. Liberty from exploitation and poverty, war and deceit. The murderous propagandists of NATO may try to set us against ourselves while the revisionist social-democrats wish for us to "make peace" and bend the knee to our class enemies. Only with the teachings of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin-Hoxha, only by the uncompromising struggle for liberty, may we bring to life our call for unity:
Workers of the world, unite!