RES: RES: North Korea

Alexandre Fenelon afenelon at
Sat Apr 29 05:28:57 PDT 2000

-----Mensagem original----- De: owner-lbo-talk at [mailto:owner-lbo-talk at]Em nome de Charles Brown Enviada em: quarta-feira, 26 de abril de 2000 15:58 Para: lbo-talk at Assunto: Re: RES: North Korea

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


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)

-But the results of this acumulation were lost during WWI and Civil war. Economic regression in URSS from 1917-22 was catastrofic, as Trotsky mentioned (Revolution betrayed). So the Bolsheviks had to restart from the ground after 1922 (essentially after 1929, with the collectivization).


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 ?

-A certain degree because perfect democracy isn´t possible and because the socialist state have the right to defend itself from this enemies, just like the capitalist "democracies" do when they are threatened.

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

-Yes, but then the people must have the right to choose between diferent political and economic options. Better democracy than in capitalist countries means to keep the basic "burgueoise" liberties in addition to working with real "popular sovereignty" as you said. Also the property o communications means is a crucial point. There can´t be real democracy if those menas remain in hands of the burgueoisie (or in state hands). They should be redistributed to political parties and civil society organizations.


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



-This is no more than a slogan, since we (marxists) were never able to deal properly with the peasantry last century. I don´t agree with Brad´s anti Stalinism, but we can´t deny that the process of collectivization was designedd not to improve peasant´s standards of life, but to exploit them. It also was executed with extraordinary and unecessary brutality, and caused unmeasurable suffering. In China the peasants accepted well the collectivization, but instead of taking profit from this to develop the agriculture, the government launched the crazy "Great Leap forward" that costed 15-30 million lives and damaged for many years the relations with peasants. Btw: Do you have agricultural statistics from China after the decollectivization? It seems it din´t increased the harvests, since I´ve read that the best Chinese harvest was in 1984, when the agriculture was partially decollectivized. The only socialist country able to build a good collectivized agriculture was Hungary, that kept collectivization and market togheter. ____________

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.

-But Cuba is a one party system with the same person remaining in power for 40 years. Hardly a model or democracy, despite those valuable institutions.


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.

-Nothing to add

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