‘If communism was good, why was the USSR destroyed?’

SPAIN — In a meeting with friends, we took up very important topics including communism, and the capitalist crisis of overproduction, but especially the fight against revisionism (capitalist ideas disguised as communist ideas). A comrade mentioned that, “In Peru you hear communist ideas a lot in the communities (for example, in the city of Ayacucho).” She mentioned that “in years past the group Sendero Luminoso organized university students and farm workers against the exploiters.” She had been a member of the group.

But the following question arose, “Why, if communism is good, was the USSR destroyed? Is it because people can’t have higher political understanding?” I answered, “At this time, capitalism has many weapons to divide the working class and to push the lie that communism was a disaster, but that’s not true and we communists in the PLP know it. Socialism failed in the USSR, not communism.” I explained that when a group fights for reforms (like Sendero Luminoso, the FMLN, FSLN, and other revisionist groups in Latin America that fight for national liberation and socialism) they’ll never achieve communism because they keep capitalist ideas and practices. So she responded, “but then you want to tell me that in order for there to be communism, we need an armed revolution?” “Exactly,” I said.

In the study of dialectical materialism we know that the way to solve a contradiction is to intensify it. “So that water can become steam, the temperature has to rise high enough to a certain point, at which water is converted into something else –– steam,” I explained to my friends. “It’s the same with the struggle to destroy capitalism in order to build communism.”

I explained that we have to understand the law of the unity and struggle of opposites. I showed them that if we have one pencil, we can break it easily, but that if we put 20 pencils together, it’s much harder to break them. In the same way, we have to build the Party to unite the working class with communist ideas. She said I was right and that we needed to continue the discussion.

Another youth who is influenced by capitalist ideas continued to insist that communism is in the past and was simply a failure. I talked about the many good things that happened in the Soviet Union in education, health care, housing , etc. The workers lived better than they ever did under under capitalism! And they united to defeat Hitler’s fascism.

At the end, my Peruvian friend was very emotional because the discussion cleared up many questions and she wanted to keep talking. The other youth said he didn’t understand how any society could exist without money. I limited my remarks to the fact that a capitalist economy and a communist economy were completely different, opposites, and that to be able to understand this he first had to understand dialectical materialism and put it into practice. All of this was very useful, because we were able to show that we can fight for and build a communist system even though we’re contaminated with all these capitalist ideas.

Now I need more Party material to study and to distribute among friends in this part of the world. Now I see that there are many people interested in the communist ideas of the Progressive Labor Party and, in addition to the interesting articles in CHALLENGE, I need to give them material to use to study dialectical materialism. We must massively spread these ideas to establish a real communist system in which workers hold the reins of society.

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37 thoughts on “‘If communism was good, why was the USSR destroyed?’

  1. Rytch Yunder says:

    I know you might have good intentions, but you scare me. Big governments are terrible. I don’t trust ours (the American Federal government), but nothing could be worse than living in the USSR. How many innocent people were killed by Stalin and his ilk? Jesus Christ taught his apostles a way of life wherein all had all things in common. However, this selfless sharing was the charitable choice of the individual, not forced. Communists like yourself are so sure they know whom to help and how to do it that they destroy the individual. I hope you drop these war-mongering ideas before you do yourself or others harm. You’ll really help people by increasing individual freedoms and avoiding suffering. Certainly a message that emphasizes ALL people’s right to INDIVIDUAL (not government-guaranteed) freedom, rather than one that seeks to divide people into classes that do not always exist. Of course, I imagine you fancy yourself to be a future leader in the totalitarian regime that would bring down the capitalist elite who so offend you. Did not Pol Pot, Castro, and Stalin do enough to show the evils of such plans? Oh, and it is possible to provide education and health care without destroying the press, stealing personal property, and banning free thought.


  2. Steve says:

    If the government is controlled by the people then it will get what is in the interest of the people. Stalin was more of an opportunist and Lenin talked about how screwed up opportunists were in his lil book. The only way to really get rid of an old system is not to implement a new policy or some type of change, but to build a new system from the ground up, which can only really be achieved through revolution. In war there are casualties on both sides, maybe some of these people who say that all these “communists” did all these horrible things would like to look at how much damage and suffering capitalism has caused, it’s WAY more than what these “socialists” have caused. Capitalism is a linear system being run on a fixed quantity of resources and it will eventually run out, so revolution is inevitable, and if you don’t realize this then you are lying to yourself. Under communism free thought and constructive criticism is encouraged, communism is right so why would it not encourage this behavior? it is the capitalist pigs that force their views upon people and make others believe how they believe, they are the true fascists, they are the true oppressors.


    • While the Soviet Union was a great achievement human- where for the first time a society was built with the intention of providing the needs of all of the working class- it had many weaknesses. The most important of which was the belief that the mass population couldn’t be won over to communism and instead could slowly be won to it through a stage period. The Soviet Union was never communism by a state capitalist society or socialist. It kept many of the instituitions of capitalism like money, wages and class division which made it inevitable that it would return to full capitalism. This is just the short answer for a more indepth answer check out Road to Revolution 3 and Road to Revolution 4 by us, Progressive Labor Party.


  3. KillerKat74 says:

    I just stumbled upon this website while writing my paper about inefficiencies of unions. I read one article (pertaining to the Chicago Transit Authority- and for clarification purposes the CTA has a solid union and a sole contract on Chicago- which is the reason why it’s falling apart. Not because it’s ran by capitalists. What moron wrote this???) on this site which is full of incorrect and misleading information. I hope that other readers don’t take this site seriously. Honestly, this has got to be a joke. And people who spend their time constructing this site and supporting it are either mentally impaired or bored with their lives. My word of advice is go play some video games!


  4. ben says:

    it wasnt really communist. It was ruled by one party based around one person. Communism in real life always works. It hasnt been tryed yet though.


    • Realist says:

      Communism in real life always works. It hasnt been tryed yet though.

      What? If true communism hasn’t been tried yet, how do you know it always works?

      Communism may try to make everyone equal, but some animals are more equal than others. Classes will evolve because not everyone can do the same job. Even in your mythical “true” communist society, some people will need to farm, others will build roads, and others will teach children. What if one group thinks that their job is more important than the others? What if they want more compensation for their work? It’s basic human nature to want more than you have (and usually more than anybody else has) and that is exactly why communism will never work. Any system that tries to impose equality is fighting human nature and will lose. Read Animal Farm.


      • Greg says:

        Hi Realist,
        Of course people will be able and/or want to do different jobs. I realize that. But the guiding principle of communism is “from each according to committment, to each according to need.” Think, for example, of how a family is run. The parents and children contribute what they are willing, but as parents you do your best to give your family what they need within the means you have. You don’t say, “kids, I do most of the housework and/or earn the $, so my work is more valuable and I’ll get more food and clothes than you unproductive children.” I know this is an oversimplification, but there is no evidence I know of that greed, priviledge, exploitation, etc. is “human nature”. Human nature is, in fact, wide open. There was and still are societies around the world that are matriarchal, war-like, peaceful, collective, etc. Communists just want to do what will work best, and I think a society where everyone is encouraged to contribute, participate, lead, think, and work, while not having to worry about paying the bills or buying more electronic gadgets than the next person, is best. Even some of the capitalists’ own research has shown, for example, that money is not a major motivator in most people’s work–recognition, achievement, and having a voice are rated as more important by workers. These are things that would be nourished under communism.


  5. ian says:

    i admit it that as of now in my present life i have been benefited with the mode of CAPITALISM and yet socialism. But as philippines itself is not even our name before as everybody knows. Some of my friends have benefited the democratic theories and the application of our beloved heroes that sacrificed and forfeited themselves for us to achieve Democracy for our country. The present mentality of the people had already stick to their daily manners, or should i say as wat Karl Marx said before on his main point. “Do not left being alienated by the present capitalsm”. For short DEMOCRATIC word was left only for verbal talks and yet only reactions. Still one has to react for the said admin, and vote for another admin and then react again. This type of concept will never end. In our own ways with my co-protagonists, believe me, we will achieve the real essence of COMMUNISM trust me. Here in philippines, (we don’t even like this name) as a criminology student and a member of an underground music scene. Our first aim is to produce FOOD for our fellowmen, and everything will follow. we will achieve victory to leave the “unprincipled SYSTEM” by leaving philippines mentaly but not physically.


  6. SDH says:

    Ben said

    August 2, 2009 at 9:07 pm
    it wasnt really communist. It was ruled by one party based around one person. Communism in real life always works. It hasnt been tryed yet though.


    You have to be kidding. The fault with communism is that it is Darwinistic at its core. It is built on violence. Hold hands and laugh while we all get paid the same and be in power. This is religious wish. Makes me laugh every time I come across these type of sites – they espouse the removal of “opiates for the masses” i.e. religion – and replace it with… Well, a new religion for the masses.

    Only difference is – the priests of the communism religion just love blood sacrifice. Literally.


    • Communism is not “Darwinistic” at its core nor is everyone paid the same amount. Communism is egalitarian at its core. We recognize that violence is needed because the capitalists will not surrender power peacefully. Communism will remove the opiates of religion and idealism by replacing it with a scientifically materialist worldview based on an understanding of the constant change, dialectics, of our reality. By understanding the way that things change, we can change the world.


  7. Sharee Weldy says:

    Thank you for the sound critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. I am very happy to see such great information being shared freely out there.


    • Shah Alam says:

      Dear Sharee,

      I am so happy to know that you and your neighbor are trying to research the whole events. We also did it. Our observation is –
      USSR was not socialist but state capitalist country. Though, Lenin said that there is no difference between socialism and state capitalism. But its totally false statement not only socialism but also about capitalism. Thus, socialism was not born, therefore collapse of USSR is not defeat of communism. Note-able: Capitalist society itself not local or national, but International. Thus, socialism foundation of communism will replace capitalism is not national but universal. And that is not state, but society. Moreover, Communist party is the party working class of the world, therefore, no party is communist who is International. That’s-why, Bolshevik party was not a communist party, and takeover of power by Bolshevik party was not a working class revolution.
      Our observation is that oldest capitalist society has reached on dead bed in 1900 due to its repeated & inevitable recession,and that was the proper time to fight against world capitalist class under the guidance & coordination of world party and that was the world war for socialism. But to save & protect the capitalist class & capitalism renegade leadership of 2nd International took the betrayal decision that nation’s right of self determination in their London Congress in 1896. Therefore, ww1 was happened within capitalist class and so called communist party that is member 2nd International which was not a communist party but a confederation of various & different National party and trade unions.
      In that position there was no way for capitalism without taking state capitalism that is state-ization was must and a historical fate of capitalism.And Lenin and other Leninist had done the same job.But, to cheat the workers of the world all the capitalist and Leninist were saying & declaring that USSR was a Socialist county, which is totally lie & false.

      Our observation is – now all the Leninist State that is State capitalist state has became as pure Capitalist including China. No doubt, abolish of private property with all kinds of inheritance that is socialism inevitable due to inability of capitalism to maintain the private relationship, though they established a world syndicate that I.M.F, W.B. and disown their so called sovereignty & state independence. In spite of that they failed to control the instruments of production that’s why recession is ongoing. Yes, Communism is not only good but its a classless, stateless, army-police less, poverty-less, and everlasting peaceful society, and each-everyone is equal that there is no difference between mam with man that every one is free and inhabitant of a single glove which have boundary and every one is busy for scientific investigation as scientist will trying to con quire the Nature. Finally, its not a idea but inevitability of history .


  8. douglas.f says:

    The Dulles’ plan or the Dulles Doctrine is the central document of a conspiracy theory, according to which the CIA chief Allen Dulles had developed a plan for United States to destroy the Soviet Union during the Cold war by secretly corrupting the cultural heritage and moral values of the Soviet nation


  9. Princewill says:

    thank i appreciate


  10. EccentricNinja says:

    USSR wasn’t communist. It was a facist government with a command economy. Vietnam is communist, and they have one of the strongest economies in the region. But since you opened yourself, the USSR only fell because of the US forcing them to militarize.


    • The USSR did not have a Communist economy, but it did have Communist leadership. They put the best theory of how to build Communism into practice. The revolution was successful, but Socialism is a choice between capitalism and capitalism. Vietnam never had Communist leadership nor does it now. Though Communists did participate in the struggle for national liberation, it was led by then revisionist Soviet leadership. Now, Vietnam is transforming into a factory for US goods and is moving into the US sphere of influence in the inter-imperialist rivalry against China.

      The USSR did not fall because it was forced to militarize. It fell because it was a capitalist economy that could not sustain the gains that the proletariat won during the revolution, so it collapsed of its own economic contradictions. The external forces of US imperialism and encirclement during the cold war were a factor in the collapse, but the internal is primary.


  11. amit thakur says:

    can any one tell me how many contries are crossing through comminism


    • There are no countries in the world now that are passing into Communism. None. Each nation state in the world today is dealing with capitalism in one form or another, some are fully industrialized, most are neo-colonized, and a tiny parasitical few are imperialist. China, Cuba, Vietnam, et al in the pseudo-communist/socialist camp are NOT transitioning into Communism, are not socialist, and are not working class dictatorships or proletarian states at all. They are fully capitalist.

      As the PLP grows internationally, we will be able to take state power and transform society by negating the economic relationships, production process, and ideologies of capitalism through the armed struggle.


    • Shah Alam says:

      Dear Amit, thanks. Certainly not, there was no socialism. Because, (a) socialism, replacement of capitalism is not local or national, but a world wide system. Thus, its not possible to disappear or over through the capitalism in one country alone; (b) For a communist revolution , unity of working class of the world is first and primary principle & formula, and to execute this a communist party is essentially essential, which a party of only working class, therefore its a global party, But there was no such a party to do this for a communist revolution; (c) “United action of the leading civilized countries at least is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat,” – Communist manifesto, but it was not happen; (d) Socialism will win only by wage slaves and its work of working class. But it was committed; (e) Reproduction is cause of over production, and over production is cause of recession, and consequence of repeated recession is socialism, and that is solution of capitalist crisis. Thus, in socialism, there is no private or state property, therefore, no selling & buying, no class and therefore no state and state related organisations for class interest, that’swhy its a class less society, where there is no political boundary, no family tradition, and individual is primary unit of society, and all production and social activities are conducting and coordinating by a peoples association, in which each & every body is illegible to elect & participate but under recall. Look, Leninism is corruption of science of socialism , discovered & explained by Marx & Engels. And Leninists has been claiming that they are ” Marxist- Leninist” and thus the are communist though their respective party is working for grabbing state power, and they are state capitalist, and finally they are protector of decayed capitalism in the name of socialism. Therefore, they are claiming that USSR or China, or Vietnam, or DPK, or Cuba etc are socialist, exactly its are & were state capitalist states. In this regard we have 7 books including ” Leninists [ CPSU-CPI(M)] done fraud in translation of the Manifesto of the Communist Party Too,” are in http://www.icwfreedom.org.


      • Shah,

        Thanks for taking the time to come to our site, read, and respond. Though there is much to agree with in your post, there are also parts where PLP and you disagree.

        1.) You are using the term “Socialism” in a very awkward way. Socialism DOES preserve wages and currency. Therefore, it is not based on need and preserves the fundamental elements of the capitalist relationships of production — wages, surplus value in order to pay the wages, and a hierarchy relative to the production that creates the surplus value that pays the wages.

        2.) Your use of politically ambiguous language like a “people’s association”. What class makes up these “people”? If it is the working class, then why use the all-class unity term of “people” as it is a term continuously used to mislead the working class into the bosses’ camp by obscuring class. The economic relationship of capitalism maintained under socialism is in a direct antagonism to the needs of the working class. A people’s association is not going to resolve the contradiction in the interests of the proletariat. Besides, why would a people’s association determine the distribution and NOT the working class’ Communist Party? So, while in one breath you’re attacking Leninism, you seem to be retreating to his position within State and Revolution where it is possible to have state relations and Party relations. This position is in contradiction with your earlier position that there is no state under socialism.

        There are other positions that we do not agree on. May I suggest reading our literature on http://www.plp.org and getting a Communist analysis of the world that we have to win!


      • Shah Alam says:

        Thanks, challengenewspaper, for a reaction on my comments. (1) there is no china wall between socialism and communism, and if there is commodity and thus there is selling & buying that capitalism not socilisation or communalisation of means of production; So, what so ever the term ” socialism” or ” Communism” its does not matter , fact is is there wage slave or not, or is there seller & buyer of labour power, what ever buyer of labour power is individual one capitalist of state who hold the ownership of means of production, or is there class and class interested organisation, may be its party of state, and state’s guide or protector of state are existing that is arm forces is undoubtedly capitalism and capitalism and finally capitalism on the basis and standard of science of socialism , discover & explained by Marx & Engels; (2) Where there is no seller & buyer of labour power there is no class , though all are worker but no one is wage slave that is socialist or communist society, Thus, in socialism all are member of human being. So, if there is any confusion in use of ” Peoples Association” , you can say it only association, (3) So many thanks for requesting to read your documents, (4) Sure and certain, Leninism is corruption of science of socialism. In this regard we have 7 books including ” Leninists [ CPSU-CPI(M)] done fraud in translation of the Manifesto of the Communist Party Too,” are available at Market and http://www.icwfreedom.org. But sorry to say all are in Bengali . So, its require all revolutionaries who are claiming that s/he is working for a working class they must be think & rethink and investigate and review the whole past on the basis of science of socialism. Sure, we are ready to discuss with PLP because, they are for world revolution, but wrongly Leninist .


      • There are several problems with your post. First off, you are creating abstraction within words that already have an objective meaning. By removing the concrete meanings within one term and using another as a glittering generality, you are making terms which are generally considered to be objective within the social sciences in general and Marxism in particular, to become subjective. You cannot make up your own definition to words that already have a widely accepted meaning in order to suit your needs.

        The first term that you absolutely butcher is Socialism. There is a universe between Socialism and Communism, as they are far from the same thing. Socialism is the transition stage between capitalism and communism that has the proletariat control the apparatus of the state through its communist party in order to control production in the interests of the working class. This erroneous theory advances a principle that since private ownership ended, then classes will disappear. This is supposed to be the last class society before the classless society of communism. It maintains the wage system and the capitalist economic social identities and relationship to production. Though socialism can preach whatever drivel it wants to about having the workers’ interests, history has clearly shown that socialism is nothing more than a choice between capitalism and capitalism. It is a dead end for us wage slaves to maintain wage slavery to emancipate ourselves from wage slavery. Socialism is full to the brim with illogical and absurd resolutions to its inherent contradictions.

        The second term that you completely misuse is “Leninism”. It is one half of the revolutionary dialectic of Marxism-Leninism (M-L) and is one of the great foundations of wisdom that our Party and Communism rests upon. Leninism, whose essence can be found in Empiro-Criticism, is the Marxian dialectic applied to the necessity of carrying out an armed revolution for state power. It was, and is, the essence of Bolshevism, the organizational and philosophical basis of how a Communist Party can defeat the bosses and negate the state. By applying the science of M-L to itself, PLP was able to ascertain what went right and what went wrong with the old Communist movement and broke with the two-stage theory of revolution, nationalism, and other retreats from revolution.

        There were mistakes within Leninism, but dialectical materialism illustrates that as things negate, parts remain, and parts pass away. We have kept the science of M-L and have discarded the idealism. We refuse to surrender either Lenin or Stalin to the bosses’ camp. They are working class heroes who have advanced the revolution.


      • Shah Alam says:

        Thanks. Working class have no need any hero or teacher or leader because, their living standard from wage slavery that is mood of production has been compelling to become self-conscious. All of these are repeatedly say of some thing which is called Marxism-Leninism, but i do disagree it.


        Shah Alam


      • Working class have no need any hero or teacher or leader because,
        incorrect. The working class has to develop itself and in so doing develop millions of Communist leaders that will help liberate our class from the chains of capitalism. Now, if you’re referring to a personality cult vis a vis Lenin, Mao, etc. then we are agreed. PLP actively encourages collectivity by not signing articles or promoting individual leaders. We develop our line that every worker can be a Communist leader.

        their living standard from wage slavery that is mood of production has been compelling to become self-conscious.

        This is economic determinism. The working class will not become spontaneously Communist any more than a group of illiterates can become literate by being locked in a library. Communist ideas must be brought to the working class or the working class will rise and insurrect only to be co-opted by various opportunists, charlatans, and bosses. Communism is a science that must be taught, nurtured, and developed through practice. Practice is primary to develop a politic of revolution. We in PLP stand on the shoulders of giants. To disagree with our original theorists, you can take two approaches — idealism or materialism. Materialism dictates investigation, analysis, and evaluation. This is the scientific method. This is the dialectical method. This is the way that Communists approach our great past. The idealist abandons and blames. You must avoid idealism and struggle to understand the process of change so that we can change the world in order to meet the needs of the working class. Our class making our world.


  12. allanrharris says:

    The Soviet Union collapsed for the very reason that Marx predicted: there was no class left to suppress. Stalin had killed off or driven underground the capitalists, small businesses and wealthy farmers.

    At the end the state was nothing more than a bureaucracy managing the economy. When the state collapsed it created a vacuum into which world capitalism rushed.

    The Soviet Union was the first major state in history to suddenly collapse, but it won’t be the last. When the majority of governments are controlled by the working class then the collapse of the state will be permanent.


    • No. The Soviet Union did not collapse for “the very reason that Marx predicted:”. There were classes in the Soviet Union. Stalin made an opportunist error when he declared that there was no more class struggle in the USSR due the fact that there were non-antagonistic contradictions (sic) between the class relations extant in the USSR. There were Capitalist owners and a newly developed Red Bourgeoisie who betrayed Stalin during the “Secret Speech”. The Soviet Union collapsed because it was a capitalist economy that could not support itself at the limits that it had reached. It’s internal contradictions resolved with its negation. It was capitalism that caused the collapse of the USSR, not some bizarre “Rasputinesque” prophecy by Marx.


      • allanrharris says:

        The “internal contradictions” of capitalism caused the collapse of the Soviet Union. So why haven’t the internal contradictions of capitalism caused the collapse of the U.S., England, Germany, Canada, France? Or China?

        “Rasputinesque?” Marx predicted that the state would wither away and die after the dictatorship of the proletariat eliminated classes. That’s what happened to the Soviet Union. It withered away and died.


      • The “internal contradictions” of capitalism caused the collapse of the Soviet Union.

        Yes. The internal contradictions were primary. The secondary element of the internal contradictions of the USSR were its Imperialist ambitions and empire. It could not sustain itself, negated itself, re-organized itself, and is now directly challenging US imperialism in the Levant by backing Syria. Russia has renewed itself and is in the process of repatriating many of its former satellites. It changed form, but it did not disappear. It went from being a capitalist base maintaing an illusory sociaist superstructure, to a capitalist base and superstructure. A fully reactionary superstructure.

        So why haven’t the internal contradictions of capitalism caused the collapse of the U.S., England, Germany, Canada, France? Or China?

        This is happening. Capitalism can survive any crisis or calamity except Communist revolution. The economic crisis is engulfing the West. China is dealing with the contradictions of state capitalism and moving from an export production economy to a market economy, just without the wages necessary for a home market. They also are expanding into Africa, with Zimbabwe being their current beau.

        “Rasputinesque?” Yes.
        Marx predicted that the state would wither away and die after the dictatorship of the proletariat eliminated classes. He did and classes didn’t disappear because the proletariat did NOT eliminate classes. Class relations were alive and well in the USSR just like the wage system, currency, and markets. Classes existed. For Marx to have predicted the collapse of the USSR when Socialism did not lead to the withering away of the state, he would have had to be the scion of Rasputin.


      • Greg says:

        I’m pretty sure you’re misinterpreting what Marx meant by the state withering away. From what I understand, he meant that after a long period of socialist economic relations (I think he may have even said 300 years), communism would be reached and a state (army, police, jails, etc) would no longer be needed. People would all volunarily adhere to commumist relations and there would no longer be efforts to return to capitlism. PLP disagrees with this part of Marx’s analysis–we think, based on history, that there will long be efforts to return to capitalist relations (for personal gain), and that it may be necessary to keep the state.
        As for the question of why other countries w/internal contradictions didn’t collapse–not all contradictions lead to and end of a process. It depends on which side is stronger. For example, the US today is full of contradictions, but is able to maintain itself due to it’s huge military, police forces, propoganda machine, economic strength due largely to imperialist exploitation of labor, and other factors.


  13. allanrharris says:

    Thank you for your response, as well as the other posters. The main point for me is that Marx and Engels both predicted that the state would collapse once there were no longer any classes being suppressed. Thus, the entire basis for the existence of the state was the suppression of a class or classes.

    I would say Marx demanded that the capitalists and petit-bourgeois be suppressed and destroyed by the new dominating, revolutionary, suppressing class, the workers. That is exactly what Stalin did, in his particularly brutal way. He also managed to defeat Hitler.

    It is easy to see how Stalin and Khruschev, et al., were suppressing the remaining vestiges of the bourgeois class. But, at the end, who was Gorbechev suppressing?

    It would be necessary to do a study of the class structure of the Soviet Union in the 10 yrs before the collapse, and I would like to begin such a study if I could find the time. The conventional wisdom seems to be that there was still an elaborate economic class structure even when the Soviet Union collapsed. I doubt it. There may have been a bureaucratic, technocratic class managing the economy, but this is not the same as a suppressing class.

    In the history of the world there has never been a world super power which simply collapsed. All other economic and military powers have been destroyed by invasion or revolution (Mayans, Greeks, Romans, French and British aristocracy, Nazi Germany, etc. The idea of a state withering away and dying is entirely new in history.)

    At least that’s my theory, and I am sticking with it.


    • Greg says:

      I don’t think you can say the USSR entirely collapsed–it had a change in government (form state-run capitalism to free market capitalism). PLP’s argument is that it trasitioned into class suppression from w/in their party, because of the aspects of capitalism preserved after the revolution and during the development of socialism: wages (and different pay scales), capitalist style management, ranks in the military, and the use of money (instead of distribution). I hope you’ll consider PLP’s goal of building for a revolution that wipes out money and wages in order to make ‘workers power’ last!


  14. I am having trouble with replys now thanks to that gravatar thing and wordpress.com I wish I could get out of those altogether so I could just reply like I used to.


  15. What I have been trying to say despite all the interference from gravatar and wordpress.com is that there is a book which may be of assistance to you Allan and is called Socialism Betrayed from International Publishers and it deals with precisely the ten years prior to Soviet collapse. I relied upon it heavily when writing section A of Chapter 18 of the ABC’s of Communism, Bolshevism 2012 on the Collapse of Revisionism which is available from the Marxist Internet at http://leninist.biz/en/2011/ABCC999/index.html and also now in e-book form from Kindle Books at http://www.amazon.com .


  16. drjasonwsmith says:

    I relied heavily on the work Socialism Betrayed (International Publishers) now available I believe on-line for precisely those details about the last 10 years in the Soviet Union, and you can get that Chapter (18) in The ABC’s of Communism, Bolshevism 2012 at http://www.amazon.com Kindle Books or at the Marxist Internet Archive at http://leninist.biz/en/2011/ABCC999/index.html. In both cases I go back to the beginning of the formation of the Soviet New Class and conclude with this latter data.


  17. drjasonwsmith says:

    On the question of the state one must understand that in scientific (anthropological) terms the state is armed force in the hands of a ruling class. Before our transitional state can fade away which is the proper way to refer to Marx and Marxists idea of abolition of the state, the class enemies and their state apparatuses must be destroyed and they must be suppressed. When classless society exists and the economic formation to support a society is sufficiently advanced to provide plentifully for all so that one can implement from each according to her ability and to each according to her needs then and only then will there be no continuing need for armed force in the hands of a ruling class because of course there will be no ruling classes. As I point out in Chapter 13 of the ABC’s of Communism (www.amazon.com kindle books)Neither Marx nor Lenin tried to answer the question of how long the transitional period to society without the state would last. In chapter 9I deal specifically with the origin of the state in archaeological proofs.


  18. allanrharris says:

    “then will there be no continuing need for armed force in the hands of a ruling class because of course there will be no ruling classes…”

    I think one problem is that this idea assumes that the ruling class worldwide will be eliminated, more or less, at the same time. In the Soviet Union, in my opinion, the capitalist/tsarist/landowning classes were eliminated, or driven underground, by Stalin, who was certainly a dictator, a dictator who ruled for the working class; which is not to say he did not kill members of the working class whom he distrusted.

    Finally, the only class left was the working class organized in a managing bureaucracy. Kruschev, Brezhnev, and Gorbachev were excellent examples of the working class bureaucrats.

    In 1989, this state collapsed; however, the “ruling class” of world capitalism was not eliminated, only the part in the Soviet Union. One analogy I try to use is that the world ruling class is like a gigantic cancer; part of the cancer was cut out of the Soviet Union, but the remaining cancer then grew back, although in a different form.


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