[OPE-L:2800] Re: socialism and planning

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Tue, 6 Aug 1996 15:04:59 -0700 (PDT)

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>The theory of socialism in a single country was used as a basis for
>developing specific planning policies, goals, and institutions (and for
>re-defining the relation between revolutionaries in the USSR and
>Since you say that you do not think that the policies and institutions of
>the 30s and 40s in the USSR are appropriate today, would you also say
>that the theory of socialism in a single country is not appropriate today?
Paul C:
The theory that socialism could be established in one country would be
relevant in any situation where there was a socialist revolution in
a single isolated country. How secure that revolution would be would
depend upon the size of the country, its wealth and military strength etc,
but adoption of such a policy would be an absolute necessity for the
left forces in any such revolution.

It does not, however, fully constrain the entire political and economic
path adopted by the country, since these are also constrained by its
specific circumstances. The circumstances of an isolated Cuba are different
from those of an isolated USSR, both because of geography, historical
tradition, size, and moment in time. But even in the much weaker position
that Cuba finds itself in, I would side with those within Cuba that sought
to advance towards socialism rather than regress to capitalism.

The theory of socialism in one country ceased to be historically relevant
after 1948, but became relevant again after 1989.

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)