----- Original Message -----
From: Hep Ingham
To: lbo-talk at lists.panix.com
Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2000 4:24 PM
Subject: Re: Cambodia Part 1
I think that Stalin and Mao were different from Pol Pot.
Where the Khmer Rouge set up killing factories, the PRC and USSR killed
mostly from incompetence and disregard. For the victims, of course, that
matters little, but historically I think it does make a difference.
As for Kampuchea being a manifestation of Marxism-Leninism, that's questionable.
It was, after all, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam which overthrew
that murderous regime.
-I would still make a diference between China and Stalinist
USSR. There was some logic in Stalin's policies. They
were a brutal and accelerated primitive acumulation.
The forced collectivization wasn't planned to increase
the agricultural output but to exploit peassant's. By doing
it the government had to resources to industrialize the
country (this may have saved USSR from Hitler's Germany
and probably saved the beloved De Long's liberal democracies
too, since a victory over Germany would be impossible
withouth USSR). Very brutal, but efficient. You can prove it
by looking at USSR GNP statistics from 1929-50. On the
other hand the Great Terror was not useful, but it was a
logical reaction against the internal oposition in the PCUS,
horrified with the results of those policies (there was many
votes against Stalin in 1934 PCUS Congress and more than
90% of the delegates were killed or arrested in the following
years). I don't know if there was a real alternative to Stalin's
policies. Probably it would have be possible to achieve
GNP growth rates a little worse with a much lesser human
cost, but I can't say this. On the other hand, I see no rationale
for The Great Leap Forward, mainly if you consider that
1956's collectivization was well accepted by peasants and
had a good effect in increasing agricultural output. Furthermore
China could rely on USSR technical support to develop its
own industry. So this policy was simply crazy.
There is one more thing. If you read Hobsbawn's Age of
Revolutions (1789-40) you will find a remarkable similarity
between suffering inflicted by England on India and Ireland
and Stalin's policies towards peasants. It doesn't excuses
Stalin for his crimes, but what I'm saying is that those disasters
were also caused by capitalist democratic countries in early
Alexandre Fenelon -------------- next part -------------- An HTML attachment was scrubbed... URL: <../attachments/20000105/56258b13/attachment.htm>