[OPE-L:4783] Re: Re: state ownership

From: Paul Cockshott (paul@cockshott.com)
Date: Thu Jan 18 2001 - 11:05:35 EST

In [OPE-L:4780] I wrote:

> > I am infavour of
> > state ownership of the means of production.
> On Thu, 18 Jan 2001, you wrote:
> 1) Is this position, which you identify as the "orthodox" communist position,
> the same as that held by Marx? 

It was pretty certainly the view of Engels, and if Marx disagreed with
him on this he kept pretty quiet about it. Neither of them
advocated ownership by the existing state, but for the socialist 
state yes.
See the Demands of the Communist Party in Germany, of which M and E were
joint authors.
The estates of princes and other feudal lords, and all mines and pits, etc., shall become state property. 
On these estates, large-scale agriculture is to be introduced for the benefit
of all and using the most modern scientific aids. 

All means of transport: railways, canals, steamships, roads, stations, etc. 
shall be taken over by the state. They are to be transformed into state
property and put at the free service of the needy. 

The establishment of national workshops. 
The state is to guarantee all workers their existence and care for those
unable to work. 

> 2) Does the distinction between state ownership and control vs.
> workers' ownership and control have any special significance from 
> your perspective? 


> 3) When you assert state ownership, who controls the state? The 
> "Party"? The working class? The "people"? 

Either the working class collectively in the case where members of other
classes are deprived of their civil liberties, or the people collectively.
Not the party.

> 4) Has the failure of "socialism" (NB: quotation marks)in various countries
> (e,g, the former USSR) been at all connected to the issues suggested in #2 and
> #3?

Yes. A major cause of socialisms collapse was the weakening of state ownership
under Gorbachov.
Paul Cockshott, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland
0141 330 3125  mobile:07946 476966

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