THE PRESENT SOCIO-ECONOMIC ORDER IN THE SOVIET UNION – A CAPITALIST ORDER

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THE PRESENT SOCIO-ECONOMIC ORDER IN THE SOVIET UNION – A CAPITALIST ORDER

Omer Hashorva
Candidate of Sciences

THE PRESENT SOCIO-ECONOMIC ORDER IN THE SOVIET UNION – A CAPITALIST ORDER

(From the book: Soviet Revisionism and the Struggle of the PLA to Unmask It)

On the basis of a penetrating all-sided analysis, which they made from the beginning of the betrayal by the Khrushchevite revisionists, the PLA and Comrade Enver Hoxha, among other things, predicted that if revisionism were not prevented from coming to the head of the Soviet party and state, this would have fatal consequences for the Bolshevik Party and for the destiny of revolution and socialism in the Soviet Union. Time has proved that the Khrushchevite betrayal caused the socialist order in the Soviet Union to degenerate into a capitalist order. At the 7th Congress of the PLA Comrade Enver Hoxha pointed out: “The Soviet society has become bourgeois down to its tiniest cells, and capitalism has been re-established in all fields.”*

* Enver Hoxha, Report to the 7th Congress of the PLA, p. 215, Alb. ed.

The counter-revolutionary process of the degeneration of socialism and the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union began with the usurpation of the leadership of the party and the state of the Soviet Union by the Khrushchevite revisionists, who gradually brought about their degeneration into a bourgeois party and state. The alteration of the character of the party and the state, the counter-revolutionary transformation in the field of the political and ideological superstructure, could not fail to lead to the alteration of the character of the structure also, because the new Soviet bourgeoisie could not exist and rule politically and ideologically, without also creating its economic base.

While preserving the external forms of the former socialist property, the Khrushchevite revisionists changed its essence, turned it into capitalist property, both in town and countryside. The economic reforms which they applied in conformity with their capitalist anti-Marxist ideological concepts, for “the perfection of the management and planning of the economy”, for “the primary role of material stimuli”, as well as other later measures, in fact, made profit the main objective of production, and this, as Karl Marx pointed out, constitutes the absolute law of capitalist relations of production.

With the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union, the state socialist property was not fragmented, but degenerated into state monopoly property. This kind of property is the dominant form of property in that country today. State monopoly capitalism extends to all the branches of the economy and services, to industry, agriculture, construction, transport, trade, communications, the financial and credit system, the banks, etc.

Hiding behind Marxist terminology, the Soviet revisionists continue to speak about the planned and centralized management of the economy. However, in the economy of the Soviet Union today, there is only a bureaucratized centralism which is made possible by the specific conditions of the Soviet capitalist order in which state monopoly property is dominant. This gives the Soviet bourgeois state the possibility to centralize the production and distribution of a portion of the commodities and to set their prices, especially of those commodities which have importance for the militarization of the economy. While preserving some of the forms of organization and management of the former socialist economy, the Soviet bourgeoisie, whose aim is to secure maximum profits, has at the same time implemented new forms of organization and management, which are suitable to state monopoly capitalism. The “industrial complexes”, “agrarian-industrial complexes”, various “multi-national companies”, etc come within this heading. The Soviet bourgeoisie uses these “new” forms to increase the oppression and exploitation of the Soviet working masses and other peoples of the world, to overcome the difficulties of the crisis which has gripped the Soviet economy, and also because they are more adaptable to the integration of the Soviet economy into the world capitalist economy and the integration of the economies of other revisionist countries into the Soviet economy.

In order to secure maximum profits, the Soviet bourgeoisie, within the framework of bureaucratic centralism has granted the managers of economic enterprises and combines extensive freedoms and competences covering the volume of production, the range of products, prices, the structure of the organization and management, the establishment of links with the market and trade enterprises, engagement and dismissal of workers, etc. These managers, by misusing the competences they have been given, alter even the aim of production, change the range of commodities, direct production towards those goods which are most profitable, and raise the prices of commodities under various pretexts and masked ways, with the main aim of securing the greatest profits possible for themselves and for the entire Soviet bourgeoisie.

Having profit as their loftiest aim, the directors of these economic enterprises and combines organize production in such a manner as to increase the degree of intensification of work, to bring about the reduction of labour force, while a considerable part of the fund of wages “saved” from these “reductions” and dismissals of workers is appropriated by these managers in the form of supplementary bonuses. Thus, the economic enterprises and combines which constitute the main form of state monopoly capitalism in the Soviet economy, are the source of all those laws which operate with all their impact in the Soviet economy today, such as the law of profit, value, anarchy and competition, etc which are specific laws on which the economy of every capitalist country is based and developed.

The present-day Soviet economy is characterized by such problems of the capitalist economy as the inharmonious development of its branches, non-utilization of productive capacities, decline in the rates of production, rising prices and cost of living increases, growing inflation, shortages of mass consumer goods on the market, etc. Such phenomena are neither accidental nor temporary, or the difficulties allegedly of the growth of “socialism”, as the Soviet revisionists try to present them. They are phenomena which have their roots in the very capitalist nature of the economic order which prevails in the Soviet Union and which, like the whole world capitalist economy, is wallowing in a profound all-round crisis.

In order to disguise the exploiting character of their socio-economic order, the Soviet revisionists in recent years have been making a great demagogic clamour about the rights and competences of the so-called “workers’ collectives”. According to them the “workers’ collectives” have state and economic rights to discuss and solve problems of production and the management of enterprises and institutions, problems of the distribution of cadres, material rewards for the working people, etc.

However, the fact that on such vital problems of the workers as pay, engagement and dismissal from work, etc it is the managers of enterprises who decide, shows that the rights of the “workers’ collectives” are completely formal and they serve as a demagogic cover to hide from the eyes of the workers their oppression by the revisionist bourgeoisie. The so-called rights and competences of the “workers’ councils” have been propagated simply to create illusions among the Soviet working people that they are allegedly masters of their own fate, at a time when the Soviet revisionist bourgeoisie decides everything in conformity with its own interests and against the interests of the working people.

In the countryside, as a result of the degeneration of the former collective farm socialist property, he capitalist property of the group has been created, and this represents the second most widespread form of capitalist property in the Soviet Union. The breaking up of the machine and tractor stations, and the selling of their means to the individual agricultural economies, the creation in place of them of so-called regional centres for the repair of agricultural machinery, brought as a consequence that all the means of production in the Soviet agriculture became subject to sale and purchase. The establishment of profit and the material stimulus as the basis of all the activity of the collective farms, the organization in them of piecework, the extension of the collective farmer’s private plot and its transformation into pure private property in the countryside, as well as other measures of this kind, have led to the total all-round degeneration of collective farm socialist property into capitalist group property and the re-establishment of capitalist relations in the whole of Soviet agriculture. On this basis, such phenomena as the absorption and exploitation by the more powerful collective farms of the labour power of the weaker collective farms, economic differentiation among their members, the mass departure of collective farm members for the cities, etc have become rampant.

It is a known fact that the Soviet agriculture of the revisionist Soviet Union has for years been immersed in a grave and deep crisis. It has become the most backward branch of the Soviet capitalist economy. This has forced the Soviet Union to import, among other things, large quantities of grain every year from 1963 onward. And this is explained by the fact that the Soviet revisionist bourgeoisie, guided by the law of maximum profit, is interested in investing most of its capital in those branches of the economy inside or outside the Soviet Union which bring greater profits, rather than in agriculture, to extract it from its backwardness.

As Lenin has stressed, in the conditions of capitalism, small-scale private property exists as a fellow-traveller with large-scale property. This property exists and is now widespread in the Soviet Union, both in town and in countryside. It constitutes one of the forms of capitalist property in that country, which the Soviet bourgeoisie has permitted and encouraged to develop. To this end, the right to carry out private activity in the skilled trades, agriculture and services, as well as the right of Soviet citizens to have land, livestock and poultry for their personal use, has been legalized in the Soviet revisionist constitution. As a result, a special sector of small-scale private property has been created in the Soviet Union.

To bring out the class nature of the economic order of the Soviet Union it is important to analyze the relations of distribution, the capitalist character of which is more obvious and tangible, so the Soviet revisionists have great difficulty in disguising this.

It is known that these relations depend on and are determined by the property relations. But, as Engels says, “The economic relations of a given society present themselves in first place as interests.”* Analysis of the property -relations from this point of view, i.e. in whose interest is property used in the Soviet Union, whom does it serve, reveals its capitalist essence.

* K. Marx – F. Engels, Selected Works, vol. 1, 1958, p. 590, Alb. ed.

The Soviet bourgeoisie uses various ways for the appropriation of surplus value. The biggest part of it is achieved in the form of charges on the funds which the Soviet state receives from the various economic enterprises and combines. It achieves another part of it from the taxes which the Soviet capitalist state extracts from the working masses of town and countryside and which are also sanctioned in the new constitution of the Soviet revisionists. Various kinds of funds have been created in the economic enterprises and combines, such as the “fund of profit”, the “fund of material stimuli”, etc the overwhelming bulk of which is appropriated by that part of the bourgeoisie which is at the head of these economic enterprises and combines. The Soviet bourgeoisie transforms part of this surplus value into functioning capital in order to ensure even greater surplus value in the future, while using a part of it to maintain and finance the large military and bureaucratic apparatus and distributing the remainder amongst its members in the form of high salaries, various bonuses and honoraria.

The ratio of the pay of workers to that of various members of Soviet bourgeoisie varies from 1:10 to 1:30. This means that, regardless of the fact that “the whole people is formally proclaimed to be the owner of the property, its real, de facto, owner is only a handful of people, who just like the capitalist owners in the other bourgeois countries, appropriate the unpaid labour of workers through high salaries, bonuses and other material privileges.

In order to open the way to the degeneration of the socialist relations in production and to conceal the bourgeois class character of the large differences in pay and rewards, the Soviet revisionists proclaimed the priority of material stimuli in socialism, presenting this as allegedly a Leninist idea. However, everyone knows about the struggle Lenin waged against high salaries and other material privileges in socialist society, which carry the danger of the corruption of cadres and the birth of new bourgeois elements. Speaking about the tasks of the proletarian state in 1918, Lenin forcibly stressed the problem of “creating conditions in which it will be impossible for the bourgeoisie to exist, or for a new bourgeoisie to arise.”* Lenin considered that one of the main factors to achieve this was precisely the struggle against high salaries and the elimination of any material privilege in socialist society. Lenin called high salaries “a bourgeois way” of the treatment of specialists and functionaries, “… a departure from the principles of the Paris Commune and every proletarian state”.** However, in the Soviet Union, as a result of the restoration of capitalism, high salaries, material stimuli, bonuses, favours, privileges, etc have been raised to a whole institution in order to appropriate the surplus value extracted from the sweat of working people.

* V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 27, pp. 269-270, Alb. ed.
* * Ibidem, p. 274.

The present-day Soviet economy has been integrated into the world capitalist system. “While American, German, Japanese and other capital has penetrated deeply into the Soviet Union, Soviet capital is being exported to other countries and. in various forms, is merging with local capital.”* This integration has assumed extensive proportions and is being carried out in the most varied forms.

* Enver Hoxha, “Imperialism and the Revolution”, p. 107, Alb. ed.

The Soviet Union has become one of the countries to which more and more of the capital of Western countries is being exported. Its debts to these countries are calculated at 19 billion dollars. About 500 of the biggest trusts of the Western countries have invested their capital in the form of credit for the construction of industrial projects in the Soviet Union or for the financing of the trade which it carries on with these countries. More than 75 American, West-German, British, Japanese, etc multinational companies have offices in the Soviet Union. (It is precisely this inflow of monopoly capital from other capitalist countries which has brought them into partnership with the Soviet bourgeoisie for the exploitation of Soviet working people.)

Evidence of the capitalist nature of the economy in the whole Soviet social order can be seen also in the practice of economic relations which the Soviet Union carries on with the other countries of the world, both with the countries of the “socialist community” and with the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. In this practice we see that the Soviet Union makes extensive use of enslaving credits, unequal exchanges, the creation of “multi-national companies” and banks in the other countries of the world, for the exploitation of peoples. This is a typical neo-colonialist practice which stems from and has its base in the capitalist nature of the economic order of the Soviet Union.

Marxism-Leninism teaches us that politics is the concentrated expression of the economy. The policy of each country is an inevitable consequence and direct product of its economic order, while the character of this policy cannot fail to express the class nature of this order, its physiognomy. Looked at with a Marxist-Leninist eye, the aggressive, war-mongering, hegemonic and expansionist policy which the Soviet Union pursues for the redivision of the world, for the extension of its spheres of influence, to gain possession of sources of raw materials, for the oppression and enslavement of peoples, shows that the economic order on which this imperialist policy is based, cannot be other than the capitalist order, because, as Lenin argues, an aggressive war-mongering external policy is an inevitable product only of the capitalist order.

The radical transformations in the economic structure of the Soviet Union were bound to lead, as they did, to radical changes in the class structure of present-day Soviet society.

On this question, too, in order to conceal the existence in the Soviet Union of a new bourgeois class, the Soviet revisionists, in general, still preserve the external appearance of the erstwhile class structure of socialist society. To bring to light the real nature of this structure one must start from the Leninist teachings, according to which the nature of classes and, consequently, that of the class structure of any society, can be determined correctly only by analysing the real relations of classes to the means of production, their place and role in the management and organization of production and the economy, as well as the size of the share they receive from the social wealth.

The fact that the former state and cooperativist socialist property has been turned into capitalist property, the fact that the working masses of town and countryside have been stripped of the right to take any real part in. the organization and management of production, the fact that a small section of the population such as the bureaucrats, technocrats, the top-level of the military caste and the upper part of the creative intelligentsia, appropriate the greater part of the income of society m various ways, leading a parasitic life, all these things taken together show that in present-day Soviet society there are classes with fundamental opposite economic interests, proletarians and bourgeois. The strata of bureaucrats and apparatchiki, who usurped the leadership of the party and the state, who carried out the “peaceful” counter-revolution, and who seized real possession of the means of production, have now changed into a new bourgeois class. Whereas the working class, which lost its party and political power and which was stripped of the means of production, has been transformed into a simple producing class, an oppressed and exploited class, which lives by selling the commodity labour power.

In order to conceal the capitalist reality of the class structure of present-day Soviet society, the Soviet revisionists spread all kinds of allegedly new “theoretical” theses. This is the aim of their theorizing about the transition of “developed socialist society” towards “social homogeneity” by means of which they claim that in the Soviet Union the distinctions between the working class, the collective farm peasantry and the intelligentsia are allegedly disappearing and being replaced only with working people with common features, thus creating a classless society.

As the classics of Marxism-Leninism have argued, during the revolutionary transformation of socialism into communism, the process of the gradual dying out of class distinctions and classes themselves will certainly occur and, as a consequence, communist society will be created in which, as Marx says, all will be working people. But this can be achieved only by means of the dictatorship of the proletariat, under the leadership of the proletarian party, through consistently waging the class struggle and applying the teachings of Marxism-Leninism, through the development of the productive forces in a centralized and planned way and the transformation of socialist property into communist property. However, after the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union there can be no more talk of these revolutionary processes.

The Khrushchevites claim that the so-called collective farm peasantry “is being integrated into the working class,” “becoming identical” with this class. This process has nothing in common with socialism and communism, because it is a result of the operation of capitalist laws in Soviet society. The purpose of these claims is to justify the fact of the class disintegration of the Soviet peasantry, which as a result of the capitalist laws, is filling the ranks of the proletariat in town and countryside. It is precisely the process of the polarization of the present-day Soviet capitalist society that the Soviet revisionists try to present as the alleged transition of this society to “social homogeneity”.

Likewise, the claims about “the integration of various detachments of the intelligentsia into the ranks of the working class”, about the creation of the “worker intellectual”, “worker-collective farmer”, “worker-collective farmer-intellectual” social groups, are intended to deny the hegemonic role of the working class and to justify the creation of privileged bourgeois strata in the ranks of the working class, the collective farm peasantry and the intelligentsia.

Analysis of the class structure of present-day Soviet society brings out that, fundamentally, it is identical with the class structure of bourgeois capitalist society. Two main classes exist in it –-the new bourgeoisie which is the ruling class and the working class which is an oppressed and exploited class. Besides them, there is the peasantry. also an oppressed class, which is subject to the process of disintegration, a new stratum of intellectuals as well as a new petty-bourgeois stratum comprised of private owners, such as skilled tradesmen, blackmarketeers and other dealers.

With the degeneration of the proletarian party, the dictatorship of the proletariat and the socialist economic order in the Soviet Union, those factors which, for the first time in history, made it-possible to achieve a radical solution on a new basis of the national question, were wiped out. Now this question has again become one of the most acute problems of Soviet society, because in the Soviet Union “Great-Russian chauvinism has been set up as the dominant ideology, national oppression has become part and parcel of the bourgeois class policy pursued by the ruling clique.”*

* Enver Hoxha, “Report to the 7th Congress of the PLA”, p. 215, Alb. ed.

To conceal this policy from the eyes of the working people within the country and from public opinion abroad, the Soviet revisionists have also worked out their “theory” and practice about “the new historical community of men,” or “the unified Soviet people”. While unfurling the banner of such a “theory”, they claim that the national problem has allegedly been completely solved in the Soviet Union and such a problem no longer exists. In essence, this “theory “, which the Soviet revisionists present as a Leninist idea, is a nationalist and chauvinist view intended to justify the Russification of non-Russian nations and nationalities and to deny their sovereignty and national identity. If those negative phenomena and processes which are occurring, in fact, in the relations between nations and nationalities in the present-day Soviet Union are analyzed from the positions of Marxism-Leninism, these chauvinist aims emerge clearly.

For the denationalization of various nations, the imperialist bourgeoisie has always striven to eliminate their mother tongue and their culture. This is what the Soviet social-imperialists are doing with the non-Russian nations and nationalities. Through the slogan of the creation of “a unified Soviet culture”, and “the international culture”, the Soviet revisionists are making similar efforts also for the Russification of the culture of other nations and nationalities of the Soviet Union.

The alteration of the national structures of the nations and nationalities is another of the main directions in the great-Russian chauvinist policy which the Soviet revisionists pursue and are applying under the slogan of the internationalization of their whole life. In the Republic of Kazakhstan for example, there are 5.5 million Russians, while the 4.5 million Kazakhs are left as a minority and represent only 34 per cent of the population of Kazakhstan. This is a clear example of the great-Russian chauvinist policy pursued by the Soviet revisionists.

The process of the Russification of the population in the other Soviet republics is being carried out ever more extensively. Other factors such as “internal emigration” also assist this process. By means of mechanical movement, the Soviet revisionists displace the populations of other nations en masse from their birthplaces, turning the populations of various nations into what they call a “multi-national collective”.

Analysis of these phenomena from the Marxist-Leninist standpoint also reveals the demagogic character of the Soviet revisionists’ claims about their so-called enrichment of Lenin’s idea about the creation of a “new historical community of people of a higher level than the nation”. Although they formally enjoy the right of state sovereignty and equality, the Soviet Federal Republics are being transformed simply into administrative territories without real state rights, with completely formal sovereignty. In this bourgeois federation, the Russian Republic occupies a hegemonic position. Irrespective of the demagogic slogans about “equality” of nations, between it and the other republics there is a marked dislevel of the whole economic and social development which is growing wider. In the conditions of the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union, the Khrushchevite revisionists utilize Russia’s great human and material potential in order to realize their great Russian chauvinist policy.

In the conditions of imperialism, the existence and extraordinary strengthening of a bureaucratic-military apparatus and other organs of oppression and aggression is characteristic of the states in which a savage dictatorial regime exists and which pursue a hegemonic foreign policy. Such an apparatus exists in the revisionist Soviet Union. The bureaucratic apparatus of the present-day Soviet state is comprised of a whole many-millions strong army of officials and bureaucrats, of the armed forces which amount to more than 3.5 million men and of the other extremely inflated organs of oppression such as the KGB, the courts, the prisons, the concentration camps, the psychiatric hospitals, etc. The militarization of the Soviet state has assumed unprecedented proportions. The annual military budget of the Soviet Union amounts to about 160 billion dollars. This reality shows that the Soviet state is by no means a “socialist”, “humanitarian” state of “the entire people”, as the Soviet revisionists present it, but is, as Comrade Enver Hoxha described it at the 7th Congress of the PLA “a capitalist fascist dictatorship”.*

* Enver Hoxha, Report to the 7th Congress of the PLA, p. 231, Alb. ed.

The Soviet revisionists try to disguise the real nature and functions of their bourgeois-fascist state. After they proclaimed the replacement of the dictatorship of the proletariat with “the state of the entire people”, at the beginning of the 1960’s, now, to justify the policy of fascist terror and violence which they exert over the working masses, they claim that “the state of the entire people”, in essence, is allegedly a direct continuation of the dictatorship of the proletariat. For these same demagogic purposes, the Soviet revisionists spread illusions that the Soviet state “of the entire people”, “is not a machine for the oppression of one class by the other class”, “is not an organ of the rule of one class over the other class”, because the violence which it employs is allegedly directed only against individual persons, against vagabonds, murderers, thieves and all those who breach the norms of society. The Soviet state may take and does take measures against people of this category, of course not to defend the working masses, but to protect the class interests of the revisionist bourgeoisie. However, the existence of an extremely large bureaucratic-military machine in the Soviet Union shows that it was not set up, and that there was no need for it to ‘be set up, to suppress individual persons, but it is maintained precisely to oppress and exploit the working class and the working masses as well as to undertake aggressions against the peoples of other countries.

Although for demagogic purposes the Khrushchevite revisionists have not changed the name of the party of the Soviet Union, it has been turned into a bourgeois, fascist party, a carrier of the ideology and policy of oppression and exploitation. It has elaborated the most complete theory and practice of the revisionist counterrevolution for the degeneration of socialism and the restoration of capitalism, tries to find theoretical justification for the policy of social and national oppression within the country and the hegemonic, chauvinistic, aggressive and expansionist policy which the Soviet bourgeoisie pursues towards other countries and peoples of the world. With demagogic slogans about the alleged strengthening of national pride and internationalist aid, the Soviet bourgeois party is trying to implant in the hearts and minds of the Soviet people and nations an aggressive nationalism, the chauvinist spirit of megalomania and omnipotence in order to realize the hegemonic aims of Soviet social-imperialism.

In conformity with their aims and policy of oppression, the Soviet revisionists radically changed the political essence of their party, too, turning it into an organization of oppression just like the army, the KGB, the militia and the other organs of oppression of the present-day Soviet fascist bourgeois state. By enlarging and inflating the basic organizations of the party, by filling their ranks with bureaucrats and technocrats, they have turned them into inactive and completely formal organizations. At the same time the Soviet revisionists use the leading organs of the party, which, not only at the centre but also at the base, are made up mostly of bureaucrats and technocrats, as repressive organs against all those who oppose and do not obey the revisionist chiefs by organizing big campaigns of purges and condemnation against them, such as that of the years 1973-1974. On the international level, this organization, which bears the name of the communist party, corrupts the chiefs of other revisionist parties as well as chiefs of the bourgeoisie in various countries, employs them in the service of the Soviet bourgeoisie, using them as cat’s paws for interference in those countries. This is what was done in Czechoslovakia and the other former countries of people’s democracy; this is what was done in Angola and recently in Afghanistan, too. Analysis of the activity of the CPSU leads to the unavoidable conclusion that this party has become a bearer of the ideology and policy of oppression and exploitation and has become a regressive organization.

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