Thread: Was Stalinism, Leninism, the same economically speaking?

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  1. #1
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    Question Was Stalinism, Leninism, the same economically speaking?

    And the USSRs system of economics? Like was that system the same or different under Stalin vs every other leader in the USSR?

    I got into an argument with my friend, basically over if Stalin and Lenin were real socialists, then over if the system they managed was socialist, then about if that system "changed" or was "different" of a system compared to after Stalin died. (it was mostly centered around how stalin ran the country vs how other soviet leaders ran it)

    And of course center this mostly around economics. Like... "slave" labor in the gulags contributed to the economy, so it was included in with how the economy ran, same for really any policy that affected the economy.

    Like did Stalin run things as Khrushchev, or Gorbachev, did? I mean I know obviously things changed but my friend doesn't seem to think that.

    How much was changed? Would you consider it to be the same "system"? And what in specific, like specific laws... section code whatever. I was asked to explain all that but didn't remember or know specific names or code numbers of laws so I could just describe it in a very vague way which isn't convincing to some people I guess.

    Also, say you run a stop sign in the USSR under Stalin, vs you run a stop sign or idk break some law under Khrushchev, was the law the same? If not what was the difference? Like... is there a website that lists every single law ever written down to the finest detail of legal jargon that existed in the USSR? I googled it but didn't find much about just .... common laws and stuff. Like I need to spell some things out with cites and sources.


    Also we went on about how Hitler and the West probably impacted the Soviet system. Like you can bet your ass that if the USSR was being invaded, and the people were facing extermination by an enemy that really wanted to kill them all, any other soviet leader (really anyone) would do whatever it took to win the war, some of those things possibly would be considered (bad) so to speak. It's not like Stalin or anyone in the USSR (or China/list of other socialist nations) just woke up one day and decided to kill people for literally no good reason or for lulz.
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    And the USSRs system of economics? Like was that system the same or different under Stalin vs every other leader in the USSR?
    From the late 1920s till the dissolution in 1991, the Soviet Union was generally run as a centralized command economy, although various leaders did impose certain reforms to improve efficiency (Khrushchev) or combat revisionism (Breznev, Andropov, et al). So for the most part, the centralized style set up by Stalin stayed intact throughout the history of the Soviet Union.

    I got into an argument with my friend, basically over if Stalin and Lenin were real socialists, then over if the system they managed was socialist, then about if that system "changed" or was "different" of a system compared to after Stalin died. (it was mostly centered around how stalin ran the country vs how other soviet leaders ran it)
    Technically, both Stalin and Lenin considered themselves socialists. In my personal opinion, Lenin (for all his faults) was more "authentically socialist" than Stalin. Under Lenin, the guiding economic system was the NEP, which was essentially state capitalism that permitted private ownership and market transactions. Stalin changed that, opting for crash-collectivization of agriculture (resulting in millions of deaths due to famine) and rapid industrialization (also referred to as the "socialist primitive accumulation of capital").
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    Mr. Allende again wrote nonsense.

    As a matter of fact the Soviet society at different times was different. We can distinguish three stages of it's development.

    The first stage was up to the middle of 1930s.An attack at capitalism undertaken after the October revolution has bogged down, as the productive forces in Russia have not yet grown to the socialist relations.It was impossible to organize planned non-marketable economy in a country where the main producers were millions of peasant households (got it ,Mr.Allende? "centralized command economy" under the NEP - what a bullshit!). As a result, in 1921 they had to introduce the NEP, which was, in the words of Lenin, "the restoration of capitalism to a large extent."

    During this period even state-owned industrial enterprises operated on a commercial basis. In April 1923 a decree of the Central Executive Committee "On the state-owned industrial enterprises operating on the principles of commercial accounting (trusts)."was published. It was pointed out that the trusts are organized in order to obtain maximum profit and the state treasury does not respond for their debts. Enterprises received a wide economic autonomy: they had the right to set the price on their products themselves and to act freely in the market as independent exchange economy.

    The retreat ended in 1929.In the same 1929 was adopted a decision of the CPSU (b) Central Committee "On the reorganization of industrial management", whereby the main indicator of the enterprise now became a distinction between the desired and actual cost, with a subject to the requirements for product quality. As a result of these changes the estimated income lost it's catalytic function and retained only an account function. This situation persisted until the reforms of 1965.

    The second stage : from the middle of 1930s to 1965. As a result of the "socialist offensive along the whole front" in 1939 in the Soviet economy was formed a fundamentally different situation in comparison with 1921, when they had to introduce the NEP. Сollectivization and industrialization finished. Kulaks no longer existed as a class, the small-scale peasant farms were replaced by the collective farms, a large-scale industry appeared. Private production had totally disappeared. State-owned enterprises, as well as collective farms operated on a single state plan. A deliberate policy to replace the commodity-money relations by planning relations was carried out.

    "There are two types of production: the capitalist, including the state-capitalist, type, where there are two classes, where production is carried on for the profit of the capitalist; and there is the other type, the socialist type of production, where there is no exploitation, where the means of production belong to the working class, and where the enterprises are run not for the profit of an alien class, but for the expansion of industry in the interests of the workers as a whole" (Stalin.)

    The work "not for profit", but "for the expansion of industry in the interests of the workers as a whole"" became a reality of this time.

    Just at this stage the most consistent movement toward communism was carried out.

    The third stage from 1965 to 1989..The economic reform of 1965 gave priority over of value indicators over natural and strengthened the role of profit.The reform added to the accounting function of the profit also an estimating and a stimulating functions.As a result, enterprises now had their own interest, not always consistent with the public interest.Quite often a situation arised when from the standpoint of the state plan it was nessecary to do one thing, but from the standpoint of self-supporting enterprise's interests the other.Economic instruments worked against the plan.

    The law of value began insistently to carve the way.We can not say that the reform of 1965 has restored capitalism, but the movement gone in this direction.There was still the plan expressed in natural indicators, the monopoly of foreign trade, there was no free pricing, but all this were slowly blurred.Thus, in the 1970's State Committee rejected as unfounded 30% of claims of the enterprises to raise prices for their products.The pursuit of profits started.Finally market forces were liberated by Perestroyka.

    In 1989 the law "On concerns" was adopted which transformed enterprises into a separate manufacturer. This was followed by price liberalization and privatization. The private property appeared, and with it appeared the owners and the employees. The restoration of capitalism was over.
    Last edited by General Winter; 10th March 2017 at 13:10.
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    Question General Winter; During the first stage you refer to do we have any information regarding the management of the 'state-owned industrial enterprises' that had 'wide economic autonomy' to "set the price on their products themselves" and such?

    Where the Managers Bolsheviki party members or was the management of state owned enterprise left to the Unions?
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    Question General Winter; During the first stage you refer to do we have any information regarding the management of the 'state-owned industrial enterprises' that had 'wide economic autonomy' to "set the price on their products themselves" and such?

    Where the Managers Bolsheviki party members or was the management of state owned enterprise left to the Unions?
    What special information do you mean? I know what is well known: " the state enterprises are being put on what is called a profit basis, i.e., they are in effect being largely reorganised on commercial and capitalist lines" - Lenin. and so on.
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    How where they being run. We have local utility's that are "State owned" but run like a private corporations.

    How were state owned enterprises managed? By their workers or by the members of government/managers?
    "It is only by the abolition of the state, by the conquest of perfect liberty by the individual, by free agreement, association, and absolute free federation that we can reach Communism - the possession in common of our social inheritance, and the production in common of all riches." ~Peter Kropotkin
    "Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!" ~Charles Chaplin
    "Communism is Anarchy. You can't regulate or reform your way to communism; it can only be achieved by direct action against state, class and capital."
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    Both ComradeAllende and General Winter made valid points. Regardless of their claim to being socialists or not, they were both monetary, going back to Kautsky's Social Revolution.

    I would say that there were four distinct periods after the Russian Civil War:

    1) NEP;
    2) Socialist primitive accumulation (which depressed real wages and proliferated the GULAG system);
    3) The "Khrushchev era" should be better known as the Kaganovich era, as it was the latter who was more crucial in ending socialist primitive accumulation, but even the "Anti-Revisionists" should realize that this post-Stalin era did not introduce "socialist profits"; and
    4) Kosygin's "socialist profit" from 1965 onwards.

    - - - Updated - - -

    How where they being run. We have local utility's that are "State owned" but run like a private corporations.

    How were state owned enterprises managed? By their workers or by the members of government/managers?
    They were managed by the latter. How they were managed by the latter is equally crucial, because the local factory director / manager is not the same as either the economic ministry bigwig above him nominally or a GOSPLAN/GOSSNAB person. There were tugs of war between these three types of state coordinators.
    "A new centrist project does not have to repeat these mistakes. Nobody in this topic is advocating a carbon copy of the Second International (which again was only partly centrist)." (Tjis, class-struggle anarchist)

    "A centrist strategy is based on patience, and building a movement or party or party-movement through deploying various instruments, which I think should include: workplace organising, housing struggles [...] and social services [...] and a range of other activities such as sports and culture. These are recruitment and retention tools that allow for a platform for political education." (Tim Cornelis, left-communist)
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    4) Kosygin's "socialist profit" from 1965 onwards.
    The Kosygin reforms were rescinded by the early 70s in favor of other reforms.

    There were no fundamental differences between the Soviet economy circa 1934 and the Soviet economy circa 1984. Obviously there were many changes, but at heart it remained characterized by the absence of exploiting classes, while production was socially planned for use rather than for profit.

    Collectivization and industrialization were both foreseen by Lenin as necessary for the construction of socialism. One can criticize Stalin concerning his personal involvement in either process, but he was otherwise acting on behalf of the Central Committee of the CPSU(B), which through resolutions and through Party Congresses carry Lenin's intentions into action.
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