[lbo-talk] Entitlements and Rights

c b cb31450 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 14 12:05:39 PDT 2011

Yeah, I know THE CRITIQUE OF THE GOTHA PROGRAMME pretty well, Charles. My point is that the whole conceptual orientation of Marx, especially concerning the interchangeable use of the 'socialism' and 'communism' was changed in the left public mind by the weight of the Soviet propaganda machine, along with Marx's notion that socialism meant the abolition of wage-labour and its replacement with a system which would have the transparency of socially necessary labour time vouchers in the first phase of socialism.

^^^^^ CB: Oh sorry.  Lenin is saying that the use of socialism predated the Soviet Union and was not just in Russia.  He is also arguing that Marx's whole conceptual orientation was as the Soviet Union propaganda or political education system characterized it.  What is your counter argument to Lenin's ?

Are you saying that Marx's conceptual framework was not one of two phases ?  Isn't the substance of the socialism/communism distinction the same as Marx's conceptual framework of two phases or what's in a name ?



"But democracy means only formal equality. And as soon as equality is achieved for all members of society in relation to ownership of the means of production, that is, equality of labor and wages, humanity will inevitably be confronted with the question of advancing farther, from formal equality to actual equality, i.e., to the operation of the rule “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”." Lenin THE STATE AND REVOLUTION.

Equality of wages is something Marx ridiculed e.g. "What are the mistakes committed by the piecemeal reformers, who either want to raise wages and in this way to improve the situation of the working class, or regard equality of wages (as Proudhon does) as the goal of social revolution?" WAGE LABOUR AND CAPITAL

^^^^ CB: What u just quoted is what Lenin is saying above says in the section I quoted. For example , Lenin says the same thing you quote here:

Lenin: “Equality” apparently reigns supreme.

But when Lassalle, having in view such a social order (usually called socialism, but termed by Marx the first phase of communism), says that this is "equitable distribution", that this is "the equal right of all to an equal product of labor", Lassalle is mistaken and Marx exposes the mistake.

"Hence, the equal right," says Marx, in this case still certainly conforms to "bourgeois law", which,like all law, implies inequality. All law is an application of an equal measure to different people who in fact are not alike, are not equal to one another. That is why the "equal right" is violation of equality and an injustice. In fact, everyone, having performed as much social labor as another, receives an equal share of the social product (after the above-mentioned deductions).


"Indeed, even the equality of wages demanded by Proudhon only transforms the relationship of the present-day worker to his labour into the relationship of all men to labour. Society is then conceived as an abstract capitalist.

"Wages are a direct consequence of estranged labour, and estranged labour is the direct cause of private property. The downfall of the one aspect must therefore mean the downfall of the other." Marx ECONOMIC AND PHILOSOPHIC MANUSCRIPTS

As you may know, equality of wages was more or less the rule in the 1920s in the USSR and inequality of wages was introduced in the 1930s.

Wage systems? Who needs em?

Mike B)

^^^^^ CB: Marx is not God ( Louis Proyect), but here we are debating what Marx said. Marx said that the first phase of Communism would involve "equality" of wages with the caveat, duly noted repeatedly by Lenin in the essay I sent, that this is a false equality. Marx says the first phase of communism still has some of the flaws of capitalism, including "equality" of wages by pay based on labor time.

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