[OPE-L:2733] RE: Lenin and state capitalism

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@msn.com)
Sat, 27 Jul 1996 14:21:18 -0700 (PDT)

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A brief reply to Jerry's ope-l 2732:

I'm glad Jerry fleshed out Lenin's judgment that Russia was state capitalist.
Even if he didn't *call* it a mode of production, the accepted Marxist
conception of capitalism is that it is a mode of production, so I don't see
how this matters.

Jerry is right: Dunayevskaya uses the term state-capitalism in a different
sense than Lenin did, when referring to Russia. She was careful to note the
distinction. The main difference is that Dunayevskaya used the term to refer
to a *world stage of permanent state interference* in the economy that arose
in the 1930s. Lenin obviously could not have done so. So her term does not
refer to the same state capitalism as Lenin emphasized.

I brought up Lenin's view that Russia's mode of production was still
capitalist as a way of indicating that Marxists did not traditionally view
state-capitalism as a contradiction in terms (which I thought perhaps Murray
was implying), and therefore that the state property form was not sufficient
to consider Russia "transitional." However, I did not make the point clear
and explicit, so I'm glad Jerry called attention to this passage and impelled
me now to do so.

I do not, however, agree that Lenin and Trotsky had the same position in the
trade union debate, as Jerry seems to imply. But I agree with Jerry: the
particularities of this period and this place are not something a wish to
dwell on at this time.

Andrew Kliman