About the experiences of the construction of socialism and the period of the capitalist restoration
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Paper of MLCP presented to the Seminar of the Anti-imperialist Camp (AIK)


15 August 2007 /Paper to the Seminar of AIK


The Great October Revolution was the first step of the construction of socialism which had only existed in theory until then. Marx and Engels teach us that socialism can only be constructed in those countries in which the productive forces are quite developed. However, the October Revolution put the construction of socialism in Russia on the agenda, a country in which capitalism was not yet developed. This meant a struggle against a range of difficulties. Regarding the length of the article, we won't be able to go into the details of the difficulties here. Despite these difficulties, the October Revolution paved the way for the construction of the proletarian dictatorship and for the construction of socialism in the young Soviet country. During this period, the dictatorship of the proletariat had the duty to construct socialism and deepen it on the one hand, and to fight against the class enemies within the country and abroad on the other hand.
The Soviet experience must be considered as two periods:

First period: The period of the construction of socialism. According to our understanding, until the death of Stalin or generally said, during the period until the XX. Congress of the CPSU, there was a successful struggle in the Soviet Union lead for the construction of socialism and against class enemies within the country and abroad.

Second period: The XX. Congress, the victory of the counter revolution in the SU, was the temporary defeat of socialism. The Chrustschow modern revisionism grabbed the political leadership at this congress and paved the way for the restoration of capitalism in the SU.

The main characteristics of the first period:
The period of the construction of socialism, which had begun with the October Revolution, reached a stage at the end of the 30ies in which the socialist economic system and therefor, socialist property became dominant. Some figures prove this fact:

From 1924 to 1937 the share of socialist economy in the production and plant stock (without farm animal) rose from 59,8% to 99,6%, in the national income from 35% to 99,1%, in the industrial gross production from 76,3% to 99,8%, in the rural gross production including the personal supplementary income of the Kolhoz members from 1,5% to 98,5%, in the business concerns including gastronomic business from 47,3% to 100% (see "40 years Soviet power in figures", Berlin, 1958, p. 48)

The collectivisation of the agriculture: While in 1928, only 1,7% of the agricultural enterprises and only 2,3% of the planted area were collectivized, these proportions rose to 96,9% in 1940 (including the borders of September 17) and to 99,9%. (ibid: p. 59)

When comparing the most important industrial sectors of the Soviet Union:
While in 1913, the Soviet Union took in average the 5th and 6th place among the developed countries, the country became first in Europe in 1956 and second worldwide. (ibid. s. 57).

These figures show that important steps had been undertaken for the construction of socialism in the SU; they in fact prove the construction of socialism. However, this does not mean that the Soviet society was developed enough to pass over to communism. Communism can only be achieved under the conditions of the socialisation of the means of production in reality. The Soviet Union was still at the beginning of this development. In this country, the class character of the property changed, state property took the place of private property of the means of production. State property, the property of the people, does undoubtedly not mean that the means of production were socialised in fact. State property or the people's property is the first stage of socialising the means of the production. This is what happened in the Soviet Union.

Our party does not have the understanding that there were no faults made during the construction of socialism in the Soviet Union. There could be no discussion on the faults during this period. We believe that when the faults were understood, they were then corrected. The Bolshevik Party continuously made use of its arm of criticism - self criticism.

The period of the construction of socialism in the Soviet Union is, from nowadays point of view, a history. However, every communist party that leads a struggle for socialism must have a critical approach to this period and take a lesson from these experiences. This shows whether a communist party will be worthy to carry this name.

The main characteristics of the second period:

Our party considers the power of revisionism as a bourgeois power. In this hegemony, the superstructure institutions might appear as "socialist"; the infrastructure, therefore the economy always follows the objective economical laws of capitalism. In the Soviet Union, the period between the XXth and XXII Congress, in other words between 1956 and 1961, marks the destruction of the socialist economy and the transition to capitalist economy. During this period, profit and the exploitation of work power were put in the centre of economical activities. The privatisation of the means of production in the agriculture and industry and the steps undertaken in this direction are facts generally known.

Undoubtedly, the new class, the bureaucratic capitalist class in the Soviet Union, was not immediately born after the XXth Congress. It is clear that it was the result of the previous faults.

Especially the wrong handling of the faults that were made during the socialist democracy from the second half of the 30ies; the destruction of the exploiting classes, the lack of understanding that the elements of the destruction of the exploiting classes, although their organizational relations were destroyed, would continue with their destructive activities and the consideration of the counter revolutionary forces' activities against the proletariat as "criminal" acts made bourgeois elements get into the party and in the superstructure institutions in a hidden way and let them, whenever possible, undertake degenerating steps in theory and practice, etc. As a result, a certain petty bourgeois bureaucratic stratum was created. The bureaucratic bourgeois class that seized the political power at the XXth Congress and paved the way for the reconstruction of capitalism developed from this stratum.

To make the developments in the economy and politics after the XXth Congress in the Soviet Union fit into such an article, we must summarize them in some points.
At least by saying "the state of the whole people" and "the party of the whole people", with the expression "the dictatorship of the proletariat is not essential anymore", the dictatorship of the proletariat was destructed. As the term "people" defines it, the representation of different classes within the communist party was accepted. In the economy, however, nothing was left that reminded any part of the socialist economy. The means of the production were bought and sold, and the minimum profit and the productivity of work were made dependent on the material furthering, the exploitation of work power was taken as the basis. .
As we can not talk about the dictatorship of the proletariat and of socialism in such a situation; what was the Soviet economy like? In the Soviet Union, capitalism was not developed on the basis of petty production or commodity production. In this country, there was no reconstruction of capitalism developing on the basis of private property as it happened in the classic capitalist countries.
What happened in the Soviet Union, was the conversion of the socialist construction, socialist economy, of the highly accumulated economy into capitalist economy. This was not directly capitalism of private competition. Because of the high level of accumulation, capitalism which was reconstructed in the Soviet Union was monopoly state capitalism organised on a high level; it was imperialism. Is such a conversion possible? Was there any example for that in history? No, there was not and the developments in the Soviet Union showed that such a conversion is possible. Several times Lenin and Stalin made theoretical explanations for this possibility. However, the reconstruction of capitalism in the Soviet Union was not realised in the way they had shown as a danger.
In the history of mankind, revisionism, intensified opportunism, came to power and showed how socialism could be destructed in economy and politics. If we use Lenin's words for this; after the XXth Congress the Soviet Union was a period for the evidence that "socialism in words, imperialism in practice, the development of opportunism as imperialism" existed.
"Fabier-Imperialism' and ‘social imperialism'. These are the same; socialism in words, imperialism in practice, the development of opportunism as imperialism" (Lenin; "About the Tasks of the 3rd International").
Revisionism has the characteristic of being an intermediate regime during the period of the restoration from socialism to classic capitalism. In this system, the objective laws of the capitalist economy work under the pressure resulting from the superstructure not corresponding to it. The superstructure institutions, which appear to be "socialist", rise on the base of the capitalist economy. This situation shows that revisionism is an intermediate regime during the transition from socialism to classic capitalism. The existence of some "socialist" aspects served for the comprehension of revisionism as socialism. Nevertheless, during this period, it was always talked about the deepening construction of "real socialism".
Just like the fact that the construction of socialism is a period, the restoration is the product of a period, too.

The revisionist Soviet system, which became imperialist in the 60ies, was destructed in 1991 due to its own inner contradictions.
The imperialist bourgeoisie, that proclaimed the eternal victory of capitalism after the destruction of this system, started to attack the socialist theory using anti-communist propaganda in an intensive way. Petty bourgeois intellectuals also joined this choir. Those who had developed the socialist theory in words were revealed. Those who had talked about the disappearance of the working class were revealed. Statements were made that imperialism is no longer seen as imperialism, that we live in a new era called the era of globalisation and say that "another world is possible", whatever this means, as an alternative to the socialist revolution. And now everyone, whether this fashion term is known or unknown, talks about it. Everyone has an own understanding of the expression "another world is possible". However, if we compare this with these deviant understandings, we can see that the objective reality is totally different. The capitalist economy, living in the imperialist era, has not changed anything for the validation of the objective laws of capitalist economy: The changes that occur in economy and social developments are not qualitative but quantitative. The extent of globalisation, that means the internationalisation of capital and production, shows at most the validation of the objective laws of capitalist economy.

Doubtlessly, we pay attention to new developments in our practical struggle, theoretical efforts and programmatic understanding.

The objective reality shows us that the revolution and the period of the construction of socialism in a single country are still valid with a current socialist strategy. In the capitalist economy the law of unequal development is still influential and forms the principle. Everywhere, where the law on unequal development is ruling, is the period of the revolutions becoming ripe unequal. This situation does not depend on the will of communist parties.

We have the understanding that the fact of the working class playing a historical role in the socialist revolution has not changed at all. Therefore, only the dictatorship of the proletariat that means the dictatorship of the working class can be constructed through the socialist revolution. Because of that, we can't talk of the state of the whole people in socialism.

According to us, socialism is the next social system that comes after capitalism and in the socialist society, all means of the production must be socialised. Doubtlessly, the socialisation of the means of production begins first with the transformation into state property, this means socialist state property. This is the first step of the socialisation of the means of production. About the duration of this step, it can be said that this depends on the level of development of the productive forces in the particular country; the more the productive forces are developed, the faster will the transformation process of the state property into social property, which is the first step of socialising the means of production, take place.

The problem of state and economy is as well the problem of the revolution. This problem of the revolution is not to be considered as a question dependent on the world revolution, as some groups say. Doubtlessly, we support the world revolution. Supporting the world revolution does not mean rejecting the objective reality. The unequal development in capitalism shows that the revolution will not take place at the same time in every country, that in some countries the revolution can be realised early and in other countries later. For this reason, we do not consider the strategy and tactics in every country as the preparation for the revolution in future and especially not for the international revolution. Our party has the understanding that the world revolution will be realised through the revolutions in single countries and regional revolutions.

It is obvious that the international communist movement is experiencing an ideological and organisational crisis. In order to have the perspective of the world revolution, it is obligatory to found a world party. This would be a new communist international. Only such an international or world party could prepare the strategy of a world revolution, and this is valid for all communist parties. However, as we can see, every movement has already founded or struggles to found its own international. Under these conditions, there are a couple of strategies of the world revolution. We think that this situation is temporary.

In ideology and theory, there is no space left for muddiness and drabness. In this respect, we will continue to learn from the experience of socialism that Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin theorized and applied and we will go on developing the theory of socialism in the light of social and economical developments.