RES: North Korea

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Wed Apr 26 11:58:06 PDT 2000

>>> "Alexandre Fenelon" <afenelon at> 04/25/00 10:39PM >>>


CB: Well, I am glad you are depressed. Hope it gets worse.

I am a Leninist. I'm not a follower of Stalin, but anti-communists tend to exaggerate his crimes (a la Brad D.) and attribute everything wrong with every Communist state to him. Also, everything he did was not a crime or an error.

I just read a post by you where you say you are a Liberal. The crimes of liberals in history far outway the crimes of Stalin.


Here I disagree with you. It s difficult to compare capitalist crimes with Stalinist crimes, but I think they are part of the same process: primitive acumulation.


CB: Maybe , but capitalist crimes continued long after capitalist primitive accumulation. WWI, one of the biggest crimes in human history, was in imperialist accumulation, not primitive accumulation. Liberals played a big role in that crime. And that is just one example. U.S. slavery system persisted long after primitive capitalist accumulation, even though it was one of the chief momenta of it.


Remember Preobazhensky created this word (socialist primitive acumulation) to describe a program that was later adopted by Stalin. Massive expropriation and exploitation o peasants and working class to get the resources to industrialization. The process in the USSR was unusually brutal and murderous because it was much faster than in England, for instance, but the total number of victims is not very different.


CB: Also, Russia had already had a lot of _primitive_ accumulation before the 1917 Revolution. Russia was capitalist for a long time before Stalin's terror ( See _The Development of Capitalism in Russia_ by V.I.Lenin)


Another diference is that the burden of primitive acumulation in capitalist countries was taken by colonial peoples(millions of people in Ireland and India died in XIX century, not to mention King Leopold crimes in Congo, which are truly much worse than Stalin ones). Althought I agree that Stalin s industrialization may had saved URSS (and all capitalist democracies) from a certain defeat in WWII, but the murder of millions is not a good way to build a better society. Sooner or later the elite created to execute the "socialist primitive acumulation" turns itself against it s creator (eventually, it was exactly what happened with USSR). What we can learn from socialist experiences during the 20th century are. 1-A certain degree of democracy (meaning pluralism, free press, and elections) is desirable in a socialist countries. We can denounce capitalist democracy as hypocritical, but this is no excuse to create even less democratic systems in socialist countries.


CB: Why only a "certain degree" ? Why not the best for the working class ?

Why not _better_ democracy than capitalist countries have ? What is democracy ? One must start from popular sovereignty, "We, the People".


2-The interests of peasantry must be taken on account, or the famine is unavoidable




3-We still don t know how to deal with the bureaucracy in a socialist state


CB: This is one of the most important lessons from first actual socialist countries experience is emphasis on popular sovereignty consciousness and education , enthusiasm even, in government workers. Cuba has good examples to learn about this. Cuba is a good "model" on this.


4-There must be an alternative to central planning as the only regulation instrument in a socialist system (by socialism I understand that production means are collective property-some "liberal leftists" seems have forgotten it)


CB: Centralized and _scientific_ control of the basic and vital means of production. Leninism always held that small producers, marketeers would persist for a fairly long time into socialism, world socialism. Yet even this market should be a regulated market, not necessarily from a national center

Plan better this time.


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