[This text is 91 pages long, there is no way in hell I will finish translating it ever, however, a friend asked me, so I will do my best. Check every so often for updates, I guess!]
A World Without Money: Communism
by The Friends of 4 Million Young Workers (1975-6)
1. What Is Communism?
Communism is the negation of capitalism. A movement produced by the development and the success itself of the capitalist mode of production which will end up abolishing it and give birth to a new kind of society. Instead of a world based on wage-labour and commodities, there must be a world where human activity will never again be waged labour and where the product of this activity will no longer be the objects of trade. Our time is the time of this metamorphosis. It unites the elements of the crisis of capitalism as well as all the materials needed for a communist resolution to this crisis. To describe the principles of Communism, to examine how they will allow us to ensure the future existence of humanity, and to show that they are already at work around us, that is what we are going to attempt doing.
We want to illustrate what tomorrow’s world will be like, the Communist society of which we dream. It is not a case of competing against science-fiction or journalism by writing a story about life of people and animals in the future. We do not have anytime-machine.
Despite how interesting the issue is, we cannot predict who will prevail in the war that opposes them: trousers, or skirts? vegetable broth, or sparrow-nests’ soup? In the end, we cannot even ascertain whether humanity will have a future at all. Who says we will not be brushed away by a nuclear war or a cosmic cataclysm?
That said, making predictions remains useful and possible. We wish to describe Communist society on the basis of its general rules of functioning, insisting on the differences with contemporary society. We must show that tomorrow can be something else than a better, or repackaged today.
In order not to be too unsavoury, we will sometimes go into details, we will give examples. They should not be taken too seriously. Anyone can make up others, and ours can be refuted.
The future is not neutral ground. Capital tends to occupy and submit to all social space. It cannot, as science-fiction writers imagines, organize the trading of commodities between past and future. It takes its revenge in the domain of advertisement and ideology. We are invited to live now at the time of the future, to buy now the watch or the car of tomorrow. The successive, competing and sometimes “anti-capitalist” conceptions of a capitalist future confuse our present.
To debate over the Communist organization of society is, despite the risk of being wrong, starting to raise the leaden block which weighs on our lives.
The old question of reactionaries: “But what do you offer as a replacement?” must first be dealt with. We are not peddlers of ideas. We do not have to launch the new society on the market as we launch a new brand of soap. Communism is not an object of trading, nor of politics. It is the radical critique of those. It is not a programme offered, even democratically, for the choice of consumers or voters. People who place themselves as spectators, who want to judge without taking part exclude themselves from the debate.
If we can talk about the revolutionary society, it is because it is gestating within contemporary society.
Some will think our theses quite mad and quite naive. We do not hope to convince everyone. If it were possible, it would be worrying! In any case, there are some who would rather gauge their eyes out rather than recognize the truth in our positions.
The proletarian revolution will be the victory of naivety over a servile and dried-up science. People who demand proofs, take heed. They risk taking place not in labs, but violently and on their bellies.
Before we say what Communism is, we need first to clear the space. We must denounce the lies about it and say what Communism is not. Because, even though Communism is a very simple reality, so entangled with everyday experience that it is almost touchable, the hugest untruths have not failed to be developed about it. This is a paradox only to people who ignore the fact that in the “society of the spectacle”, it is precisely the meaning of what is daily and familiar which needs to be repressed.
2. Communism or Capitalism?
For the common opinion, Communism is first and foremost a doctrine elaborated in the 19th century by the two famous Siamese twins Karl Marx and F. Engels which would have been perfected a bit later by the founder of the Soviet state, Lenin. It would have been applied more or less fortunately in a certain number of countries: USSR, Eastern Europe, China, Cuba,… It is in that sense that people debate in order to know whether or not Yugoslavia or Algeria have Socialist, capitalist or dual regimes. Whether you are reassured or whether you deplore it, we will not sing the praise of this kind of Socialism or Communism. We do not take bladders for lanterns, and we do not take the dull grayness of Eastern European countries or the cult of the leader in China for the shining future of humanity.
Communism was not founded by Marx, nor Engels, nor Ramses II. There might be an original inventor to the wheel, the butter-knife or gunpowder. There is none at the origin of communism, as there is none at the origin of capitalism, by the way. Social movements are not about invention.
Engels, then Marx, have joined a movement already very conscious of its own existence. They never pretended having invented neither the thing or the word for it. On the Communist society per se, they did not write much. They helped Communist theory and movement to get out of the mists of religion, rationalism, utopianism. They called for proletarians not to rely on the plans of such and such reformer or the revelations of such and such weird prophet.
Real revolutionaries do not fetishize the ideas of Marx and Engels. They know they are the produce of a certain time and that they have their limits. Both men evolved and sometimes contradicted themselves. It’s easy to say that everything is in Marx, you still have to be able to sort it!
We do not pretend to be Marxists. But we deny people who call themselves Marxists the right to appropriate and falsify the ideas of their idols.
The proof of the powerlessness of great men against the movements of history is given in the horrible way in which the works of Marx and Engels have been deformed to be used against Communism.
There are individuals more gifted and more foresighted than the mass of their contemporaries. Class society cultivates those differences. They in turn have effect on the Communist movement. We are not discussing whether it is the people or the leaders who make history. We are saying that the works of Marx, like the works of Fourier, Bordiga or any other spokesperson for Communism, goes beyond the simple point of view of the individual. Communism does not deny the differences in ability, does not reduce theorists to simple loudspeakers for the masses, but on the other hand, it is the mortal ennemy of career-building and stardom.
Communism is not an ideology nor a doctrine. Just as there are Communist acts, there are Communist words, speeches, theories, but action is not the practical application of an idea. Theory is not the pre-established plan of a fight or a society which would simply have to be put into practice as best as we can. Communism is not an ideal.
Countries which call themselves Marxist-Leninist are not zones where the principles of Communism would have been badly applied for such and such a reason. They are capitalist countries. Their regime presents particular characteristics but it is still as capitalist as any liberal regime. We can even say that a country such as Poland or East Germany is much more capitalist than many less-industrialized countries of the “free world”. In these “communist” countries, certain spontaneous tendencies of capitalism are fought. This is done for the good of the development of Capitalism in general and is in no way a particularity.
Imperative planning, collective ownership of the means of production, proletarian ideology have nothing to do with Communism. Those are aspects of capitalism which have been accentuated here. All the fundamental aspects of the system and the logic of the expansion of capital, renamed “socialist expansion”, are doing well.
The Capitalist Mode Of Production
To see some socialism or communism in Marxist-Leninist regimes is to misunderstand their reality, and shows above all an ignorance of what capitalism is. It is believed to be founded on the power of a very particular class, the bourgeoisie, on the private ownership of the means of production, on the frenzied quest for profit. None of these aspects are fundamental.
The bourgeoisie is the heir to the ancient class of merchants. After it played for a long time an important, but well-defined role in agrarian-based societies, the merchant bourgeoisie started to control during the European Middle Ages not only commodities but also the means of production. Among those, the human labour force which it made into a commodity thanks to the wage system. This is the origin of capitalism.
The bourgeoisie gained power as soon as it became the ruling class thanks to the power of the economic and industrial forces which carry it and which made older modes of production redundant. But it cannot do anything but obey the laws of its economy. As capital-owner, it must obey this force carrying it, disturbing it, and sometimes making it bankrupt.
An individual or a particular company has some leeway, but cannot swim for long against the flow.
No class in the past has ever been able to satisfy all its personal extravagant demands by using the power it seems to have. The most unchallenged of tyrants can only stay in power if they know the narrow limits of its actual sovereignty. It is a mistake to try and explain social phenomena as power relationships. This is even less true for capitalism than for the systems which came before it.
The managing class of capital has continuously been mutated by the action of capital. What is common between the merchant of the Middle Ages and the modern manager? Their motivations and tastes are different. This is necessary so that they can fulfil the same function at two different moments of capital development. The class of feudal lords was defined by tradition and heredity. This is no longer true of a bourgeoisie which decomposes and recomposes itself through success, marriage and bankruptcy.
The relationship between the slave and the master, the serf and the lord is a personnal one. On the other hand, more than to a boss, the modern proletarian is linked to a system. What chains him is not a personal allegiance or a particular constraint, it is directly the necessity of survival, the dictatorship of their own needs. The proletarian, detached from their earth and separated from the means of production, has no other choice but to go prostitute themselves. They are free, wonderfully free. They can even if they feel like it refuse to sell themselves and starve.
A bourgeois or a politician can be bankrupt on a personal level. In russia or China it is a whole fraction of the international bourgeois class which was overthrown. It was replaced by bureaucracy. Let’s not see that as a totally different class! A “Communist” banker or industry leader looks more like their capitalist adversary that they both look like their “ancestor”, not even from the 15th or 16th centuries, but from 50 years ago.
If it is true that capitalism, East or West, cannot simply be explained by the power of the bourgeoisie, Communism can even less be explained as the power of the proletariat. The realisation of communism means the self-destruction of the proletariat.
Private ownership of the means of production is not a constitutive aspect of the capitalist mode of production. It belongs to the legal sphere. It survives in the East with some small land-owning peasants. In the West it is gnawed by public property.
The state is often the owner of large industrial complexes. By being nationalized, mail services or railway services have not lost their nature as capital. F. Engels sawin this tendency of the state to become owner of productive forces a general tendency that would relegate private capitalism to the antique shops.
The development of modern capitalism tends to dissociate more and more ownership and management of the means of production. Not only the managers of the nationalized companies, but even those of the large private companies are not owners, or only own a tiny amount of the capital they control. These complexes work on the money given to them by a mass of small shareholders and pension-fund clients who have almost no power.
The situation in Eastern countries must be understood in regards to this general evolution of capital.
The capitalist is said to be moved by the quest for the highest profit. The phrase “highest profit” does not mean much. A boss can try for one day, one week, one month, to make people and machines turn at their highest capacity if they are sure to find an outlet. They will likely soon regret having spent their capital. The failure of such a tentavie happened in China with the “great leap forward”. The importance of the profit earned and therefore the determination of the revenue of shareholders and managers, the economic growth rate, are not decided freely by all-powerful capitalists.
To make money, that is what drives the capitalist, either to invest or to become richer. If they do not, by mistake or by kindness or because it is objectively no longer possible, their company will be eliminated. Same for the bureaucrat, tinted with the fear of administrative sanctions. No-one says in USSR or in China by the way that profit has disappeared. On the contrary, profit is sought for the good of the people, to build Communism. It would have become an economic measuring instrument at the service of planing!
In the East as in the West, and as shown by Marx, the development of capitalism cannot be explained by a quest for profit. It is the other way round. The notions of profit or land rent do not explain how the system goes. These are categories through which the managing classes gain consciousness of the economic necessities and are pushed to act.
Unlike the lefty humanists who see or pretend to see profit as their arch-enemy, revolutionaries do not fall for this illusion. We do not attack the system for its immorality. We do not defend archaic sectors which are no longer profitable.
Profit will disappear after the revolution. And without delay! Until then, it plays to some extent a protective role for workers. It imposes limits on the tyranny of bosses. It forces them to care for human material. If it were possible to abolish profit while preserving capital, the average company would turn into a concentration camp and society would slide into the most complete barbarism. Nazism is no accident of history. It is the release of forces which are still lurking in the depths of the civilization of capital. Profit fixes limits to authoritarianism, to the will to dominate and to crush which an inhuman system generates.
Let’s attack profit! But then let’s also attack the whole society in which the lives of humans themselves have become a commodity.
The wage-system and industrialization
The capitalist mode of production is built on two interdependent pillars which makes it distinct from the modes of production which preceded it.
The first of these pillars is the wage-system. Humans had already rented to other humans their charms, their political affiliation, their military capacity and even their labour-force. But all this had remained on the margins of social structures made from small groups between which money and commodities did not circulate much. The development of capitalism means the real introduction of the wage-system into the sphere of production. It will make it the general form of exploitation.
The second pillar is industrialization, or more generally a mutation in the relations between humans, nature, and human activity. Humans are no longer content with digging the ground to find their sustenance. From now on, they will endeavour to transform nature systematically and on an ever larger scale. Capitalism is an unbroken revolution of production methods. It is scientific progress and reason against fatalism and obscurantism. It is movement, after the immutability of agrarian societies.
Communism will not go back. The end of the wage-system does not mean going back to slavery or servitude. To go beyond the process of the “conquest of nature” and of the industrial organization of labour does not mean going back to the immutability of the past. Communism will abandon the aggressive and disorderly nature of the action of capital. Its aim is not to destroy, divide and submit, but to act globally on the world to make it more human, more inhabitable. Beyond industry, it will reconcile usefulness with pleasure. It will renew, on a higher level, the lost familiarity between human beings and their environment.
Capitalism did not start flourishing one fine day because people suddenly realized the efficiency it allowed. It is not a victory of human understanding. It won the struggle through often cruel and irrational social changes. It elicited reactions of revolt. It had to retreat to advance even further. It found its waged workers in a mass of peasants whom it had driven away from home and made into beggars.
The movement of capital has a dual aspect. On the one hand, it is the development of the human and material forces of production, that is, of use-value, of usefulness. On the other hand, it is the development of commodity value. Commodities already presented this dual aspect. Capital remains a commodity, but it is on top of this a value, intent on increasing itself endlessly.
Capital has long appeared through commodities. A merchant can, through creativity or cunning, own and turn-over a growing mass of products. So can the loan-shark, who only gives out money. But these primitive forms of capital cannot extend indefinitely. Value remains a parasite and does not create the necessary means to its accumulation. It is only through seizing and fixing an ever increasing value in the means of production that capital was really able to flourish. A vampire feeding on value, that is, human labour, it must, to reach its goal, develop mechanization and productivity. They are only means to an end to it. To us, it is in the end what matters. This technical evolution often takes unpleasant forms: unemployment, deadly weapons, destruction of nature, but it will allow us to revolutionize human activity and get out of the barbarous time of class societies.
Communism does not abolish capitalism to find the original commodity. Commodity-exchange is a relation and a progress. But it is a relation between enemy parties. It will disappear without having to go back to bartering, that primitive form of exchange. Humankind will no longer be divided in competing groups and companies. It will organize to manage and use its common heritage, to share out tasks and pleasures. The logic of sharing will replace that of exchange:
Money will disappear. It is not a neutral measuring instrument. It is the commodity in which all other commodities are reflected.
Gold, silver, diamonds will have no other value than that which comes from their own usefulness. Following Lenin’s wishes, we will be able to reserve gold to the building of toilet-bowls.
State and capitalism
In the “communist” block, money goes on circulating quietly. The division by borders, and, within these borders, the division of the economy into companies, is doing fine.
The role that the state plays in the economy, which is legally founded on the public ownership of companies, can be explained by the nature of capitalism.
State and commodities are old friends. Merchants want society to be unified, thieves to be prosecuted and money to be guaranteed. State and bureaucracy find in the circulation of goods and people, a means to break away from the agrarian world.
The modern state, kingdom or republic, is the product of the dissolution of feudal structures by capital. It is opposed to particular interests, as it represents the general interest. It is needed by capital because it helps going beyond the contradictions and oppositions that capitalism cannot help but create. Monarchy and bourgeoisie, despite some hard times, held together against feudalism. Political unification was necessary to the development of trading and industrial companies. Wealth allowed the reinforcement and autonomy of state power. In many cases it was even the state that directly intervened to give or find the capitals needed by this or that industrial branch. It devised an arsenal of laws needed to develop a free workforce. It liquidated old customs and former obstacles. When the bourgeoisie appears directly on the political scene, it has already been a major force for a long time, and the monarchic state has long been at its service.
In Russia and Japan, countries which were thrown onto the international scene in a state of under-industrialization, it is the state itself which provoked and organized the development of capitalism. It did so in order to preserve its own power, to gain access to modern weaponry. By putting capital to its service, it simply bowed to its superiority. Monarchy started a process which was about to destroy it. The necessary conditions to this graft were not met everywhere. If it succeeded in Japan, it was because the state there was already autonomous and trading was developed. China momentarily failed, and so did most pre-capitalist countries.
States often have to intervene to correct a capital who enjoys being capricious and prefers setting itself here rather than there. Bureaucratic regime only accentuate this tendency to an extent that had never been reached before.
Does eastern capitalism allow a more harmonious, or more rational, growth than western capitalism? This question does not mean much. It it happened, it is because of the defects of traditional capitalism. If this traditional capitalism is brought back nowadays to Moscow or Leningrad, it is because of the defects of eastern capitalism.
Where the bourgeoisie had slowly developed through the economy, bureaucracy gained political power with the support of social forces such as the proletariat or the peasantry. It is no less the result of the destruction of traditional society by international capital. The bureaucracy had no choice. It could not, as it pretended, install socialism or communism. It could not either restore and fertilize traditional capitalism. This, because of its social support and its needs of capitals. Empirically, it found itself on a road in conformity with its nature, which allowed it to accumulate industrial capital to the detriment of the peasantry.
Bureaucracy is a unifying force which allowed the authoritarian transfer of wealth from one sector to another sector of society. It modifies the spontaneous development of capital to benefit its goals of power and endurance. But capital is not a neutral force that can be used in any old way. The bureaucracy plans, dominates. But what does it plan, what does it dominate? The accumulation of capital. It reduces the free market, it fights an ever renewed black market. This is not a sign of its anti-capitalism, but a sign that the natural basis of capital is very much alive. What would we say of the gardener who, since he has to uproot wild shoots, would pretend what he is growing is no longer vegetables?
Western states themselves have had to intervened more and more directly in the game of economic forces. They must have a social policy and worry about planning. Bureaucratization is not a phenomenon limited to eastern countries. It concerns democratic and fascist states, as well as the large private companies. It is the product and the sad remedy to the growing atomization of society.
In a sense, it is wrong to speak of bureaucratic capitalism or state capitalism. All modern capitalisms are bureaucratic, state capitalisms.
States, the owners of the whole of the industry, does not however control it absolutely. Actual power and legal power are two different things.
With liberal capitalism, the state can, with the support of the people, the military or even the bourgeoisie, launch this or that plan: it is power. This does not allow it to dispense with the laws of the economy, however. We wish to fight the power of monopolies, but we cannot go back to the small companies of the past.
With eastern capitalism, the bureaucratic state, whatever its thirst for control be, cannot abolish the categories of the commodity and competition between companies. As long as there will be distinct companies, they will be competing, even if prices are not freely determined.
This lack of unity is not limited to the sphere of the economy. Bureaucracy itself is continuously divided by fights between fractions and individual conflicts. Instead of unity, the appearance of unity must be maintained. The enemy is not the competitor within the party, but the anti-party.
What bureaucracy makes the economy win in efficiency, it makes it lose it again. Lies, the loss of reality permeates the social body. The hidden struggle replaces open competition.
Able to organize an economic impetus in unfavourable conditions, bureaucracy is trailing behind the technological advances of liberal societies.
What interest do capitalists find to call themselves communists? It is a general rule that capitalists do not like to be called capitalists!
This name has a precise origin related to the Russian revolution. To claim to be communist is to pretend to have devoted oneself to the working-class rather than recognize that one is exploiting it. It is a way to give a human face to the inhuman development of the system: the building of communism. In other places, they brandish in front of the masses projects for a “new frontier” or a “new society”!
When capital claims to be communist, when it co-opts Marx’s ideas to drop-feed intellectuals in its universities or to stupefy workers in its factories, it only mimics a movement that it accomplished in reality in another way. Capital does not create, it co-opts. It feeds on the passion and the initiative of proletarians, that is, it feeds on communism.
We cannot understand much about communism if we have not first understood the capitalist nature of eastern countries. The revolutionary struggle cannot manage Stalinism, which is a fundamentally anti-communist ideology and system. The fact that it has groups of supporters within the working-class itself must not make us softer, but on the contrary make us refuse any compromise.
People did Stalinism a great service by not criticizing it as a capitalist system. Revolutionaries, anarchists among others, recognized it as communist, as long as they could qualify it as authoritarian. Authority, that is the monster! By way of explanation, they look into Marx’s personality.
Trotskyists developed, after Trotsky, the unfortunate opponent of Stalin, interpretations as complicated as they are nonsensical. A socialist basis and a capitalist superstructure would coexist, at least in the USSR. As for other countries, they are still under discussion. Anyway, they never understood anything about communism. Not any more than Trotsky, who saw in compulsory work a communist principle. They are not revolutionaries, but Trotsky was. But he never was more than a bourgeois revolutionary and an unfortunate bureaucrat. Let’s leave all this small world to their intellectualism, its byzantine quarrels and its ridiculous fetishism of the organization.
Maoists, these “mystical Stalinists”, make it all about politics and morals. The USSR became social-imperialist, and maybe even capitalist. Fortunately, China and Albania, under the wise proletarian guidance of Mao, of H. Hodja and Dennis the Menace, were not contaminated. Communism is profits and politics at the service of the people!
With the ongoing propagation of communist ideas, including in the USSR and in China, to meet the needs of a proletariat becoming revolutionary once again, these sects will appear more and more absurd! They try to play on the political scene the role of the revolution. They are a vanguard, but a vanguard of capital. Because in a time of revolution, it is all the political puppets who will try to appear revolutionary in order not to be overthrown.
It has become a tradition to fight against the revolution in the name of revolution. Stalinist and Leftist militants who made a mistake will join the true party of the revolution.
Others, less blinded, recognized in eastern capitalism the division into social classes. Unfortunately, they also believe to recognize in it a new and superior mode of production. This was granting a large honour to Stalin and his colleagues.
We do not see anything communist in the regime which claim to be such. On the other hand we see it where we least expect it. Primitive societies which, fought back by “civilization” subsist in arid or hardly accessible parts of the world, are communist, whether their members live on hunting and gathering or on small-scale agriculture. In that sense, the USSR are not communist, but the US were a couple of centuries ago!
We do not mean we want to bring humankind back to this stage. This would hardly be possible anyway since this sate of affairs requires a very low population density. We must however rehabilitate primitive and prehistorical humankind.
The Indian was happier, and in a sense more civilized, than the modern-day American citizen. Cave-men did not starve. It is nowadays that millions of humans go un-nourished. The primitive, as Mr. Salhins showed it, lives in a state of abundance. He is wealthy, not because he accumulated wealth, but because he lives as he sees fit. His apparent poverty earned him the pity of the western traveller, who sometimes paradoxically wonder at his good health before giving him his smallpox. Primitives own next to nothing. But for those who live on hunting and gathering that is not a problem. Their lack of possessions allows them to move freely and enjoy nature’s bounty. Their safety does not rely on savings but on their knowledge and ability to use what their environment offers them. They spend les time than a civilized man to earn their sustenance. Their “productive” activity has nothing to do with the ennui generated by offices and factories. Happy are the Yir-Yiron of Australia who have a single word for work and play!
From past communism to the communism to come, there is a profound difference. On the one side, there is a society which uses its environment and knows how to adapt to it, on the other, a society founded on the continuous in-depth transformation of this environment. Between these two communisms, the time of class societies will appear in retrospect like a painful, but relatively short period of human history. A meagre consolation for those who are still immersed in them!
Marx and Engels
Marx and Engels tried to understand the development of capitalist society. They have rarely cared to describe the future society. This was monopolized by the works of utopian socialists. But we cannot completely dissociate the critique of capitalism from the affirmation of communism. To really understand the historical role of currency or of the state can only be done from the point of view of their disappearance.
If Marx and Engels have so rarely spoken about the communist society, it is probably that paradoxically this society was harder to grasp since further away but also because it was more present to the revolutionary minds. When they spoke of abolishing the wage-system in the “Communist Manifesto”, they were understood by those whose concerns they voiced. Nowadays it is harder to imagine a world without state and commodities because they have become omnipresent. But as they become omnipresent, they also lost their historical necessity. The theoretical effort must take over from spontaneous consciousness before it becomes irrelevant as what it affirms will have become common knowledge.
Marx and Engels might had a fuzzier idea than someone like Fourier of communism as a liberation and harmonization of passions. The latter however fails to free himself from the wage system, by wishing among other things that doctors no longer be paid according to the illnesses of their clients, but according to the state of health of the community.
Marx and Engels were however clear enough not to be blamed for the bureaucracies and the economies of the “communist” countries. According to Marx, money disappears without delay with the advent of communism and the producers stop exchanging their products.
Engels speaks of the disappearance of commodity production with the advent of socialism. Do not speak of a youthful mistake, as is the habit now of Marxological scum. We refer to the “Critique of the Gotha Program” and the “Anti-Dürhing”.
Stalinists of all kinds will talk about discordant notes in the masters’ works. They will sing a verse to tell us they are Marxists and not dogmatic. To them, money, capital, the state, have lost their bourgeois character and are now proletarian. The bravest among them will even say that once communism is built, we might be able to do away with all that mic-mac. To the others, communism will simply be a society in which our purchasing power will be very, very high. In any cases, communism is lost in the clouds and the ladder which leads there is made of many rungs which are each a transitional stage.
It is true that communism is being built in the eastern countries. It is being built no better nor more consciously than anywhere else. A revolution will be needed in order to give birth to it.
This conception of the building of communism with economic and social instruments is typically bourgeois. It represents it as the production of manufactured goods. It sees society like a large factory. It believes that the whole functions like any part. It is about will, project, political line…
The mistake which these Stalinists make on the way to take is echoed on the result. It is not about abolishing company-based economy but to turn the economy into a single company. The waste represented by the existence of a police force will disappear. The reinforcement of moral senses through “communist” education will be enough to eradicate theft and subversion!
The best solution is assuredly the one proposed by Joseph Staline himself. Instead of changing things, let’s change names. How do you want, the little father of the peoples explains, for people earning a wage to be waged workers as they are, through the state, the owners of the companies who employ them? You cannot be your own employee! The wage-system is therefore abolished in the Soviet Union. If you feel like you are earning a wage, if you are afraid of being fired, it is that you are delusional. Fortunately, our socialist fatherland has reeducation centres and psychiatric hospitals!
Stalin concedes that commodity production and the division into companies subsist, but it cannot be capitalism, since what makes capitalism, is that the means of production are owned by private individuals. All is brought back to issues of legal definitions. The state only has to claim to be communist in order to be so.
Since Stalin explained all this in “The economic problems of socialism in the USSR”, those who studied the question have not brought anything new.
Mao Zedong or Fidel Castro can be seen as brave partisans, apt politicians. We can see that Chinese people eat better than Indians and have less political freedoms than the Japanese. The only thing is that is all about capitalism.