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Thr basic Marxist criteria. Rlting t th frmr USSR. Nts t rstr th socialist prjct. rigins f th Intrntinl Scilists. Th stt cpitlist thry. Stt capitalism nd th fll f th burucrcy. Lcl prctic nd prspctivs.

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Th pliticl mthd f th Intrntinl Scilist rgnistin
(ssy)
Rstring th vlidity f th scilist prjct is nt mrly cdmic. Th vnts f 1989-90 hv bn sn s th dth f cmmunism nd scilism nd th finl triumph f Wstrn cpitlism.
Th stnding f Mrxism nd th whl scilist prjct hs nvr bn lwr. It is nt nly th frmr supprtrs f th strn urpn rgims tht hv dispprd (in th cs f th Cmmunist Prty f ustrli), r fdd (in th cs f th Scilist Prty f ustrli); th lft s whl hs suffrd mlis. Nithr th IS nr th SWP (bth frm nti-burucrtic trditins) prsprd, lthugh th IS hd cnstntly rgud tht th Svit rgim hd littl t d with scilism.
This inbility t gin frm th fll f ths rgims rflctd in prt thir smll siz, which nvr pprchd tht f th CP, r vn tht f th smllr SP. Bth th CP nd th SP qutd scilism with th USSR. Th IS nd th SWP wr ls victim t th viws f th ppulr prss, which cnfirmd tht wht th rdrs sw in th USSR ws scilism.
Scndly, dspit th prsnc f mny wrking-clss ppl in th chllng t th burucrcis in 1989-90, th wrking clss mrchd bhind thr bnnrs nd thr ws n mss indpndnt wrking-clss rspns t vnts, nr hs this yt vlvd in th pst-cmmunist fr-mrkt stts. This put bck furthr ny rvivl f th scilist ltrntiv in th ppulr mind.
r th IS r th SWP prtis tht w cn xpct t ply n imprtnt rl in th rvivl f th wrking clss pliticl ctivity nd th winning f th wrkrs t th scilist cus?
Cncrtly, this mns tht th wrking clss must dvlp cnfidnc in such Mrxist prty. It must hv fith tht th prty will tll thm th truth; tht th prty cn crrctly idntify th rl scil frcs invlvd; cn distinguish btwn rhtric nd th rl intrsts bing pursud; cn prciv th lng-trm intrsts f th clss nd th wy t chiv thm. Mst imprtntly, th wrking clss nds prty tht will nt scrific its pliticl indpndnc t n llinc with its ntinl cpitlist clss.
Lstly, in th r f imprilism nd th glbl cnmy, whr th wnrs f cpitl spn cntinnts, mr thn vr such prty must hv n intrntinlist prspctiv: tht is n which viws th struggl btwn th clsss s n intrntinl n.

Thr bsic Mrxist critri

W cn stt thr fundmntl guids t Mrxist prty if it is t crry ut th tsks f winning ldrship f th wrking-clss nd th mr immdit tsk f r-stblishing th vlidity f scilism s rl ltrntiv t cpitlism ftr th fll f th burucrtic stts. Fr Mrxist prty such critri r nt rbitrry, bcus thy r cntrl t Mrxism itslf.
Rmmbring Lnin's dictum: "Withut rvlutinry thry thr cn b n rvlutinry mvmnt"1, wht shuld distinguish Mrxist prty in its ffrts t undrstnd nd chng th wrld is th mtrilist cncptin f histry2, which strts with th ntur f th prductiv frcs nd th rltinships tht thy dtrmin btwn th clsss nd th struggl btwn clsss, which ws ntly summrisd by Mrx in his Prfc t Cntributin t th Critiqu f Pliticl cnmy (1857).
Scndly, frm Mrx's dictum tht th librtin f th wrking clss must b chivd by th wrking clss itslf nd frm Th Cmmunist Mnifst f 1848 t Th Civil Wr in Frnc f 1871, writtn ftr th fll f th Pris Cmmun, tht th nds f th clss struggl rquir tht th wrking clss must hv n indpndnt vic3 nd tht n thr clss r scil lyr cn substitut fr it.
Thirdly, nd flwing dirctly frm this, is th Mrxist cncptin f intrntinlism. It ws th intrntinl cntcts md during th curs f th Plish insurrctin f 1863 tht ld dirctly t th crtin f th Intrntinl Wrkrs sscitin (Th First Intrntinl) in 1864, which prclimd th nd fr "intrntinl prltrin slidrity"4 ftur rptdly mphsisd in Mrx's Civil Wr in Frnc.
Whn w turn t th Scnd Intrntinl, stblishd in 1889, it is th qustin f intrntinlism tht ws th surc f cntntin, whn in 1914 th vst mjrity f th prtis vtd fr wr crdits in th intrsts f thir wn cpitlist clss. This ws cntrry t th ntiwr rslutins pssd nly mnths bfr. Th Blshvik Prty f Lnin ws ntbl xcptin. ftr th bndnmnt f intrntinlism in 1914, th prtis f th Scnd Intrntinl, th "lbur prtis", cnfirmd thir ntinlist prspctiv nd thir rcncilitin with thir wn ruling clsss. T Lnin, nd th Third Intrntinl f 1919, th cncpt f intrntinlism ws cntrl.5 Th rvlutinry wv tht brught th Russin Rvlutin f 1917 quickly fdd, s did th tnttiv grip f th Russin wrking clss upn th nwly crtd Svit stt. It ws rplcd in th 1920s by n mrging Svit burucrcy bsd n th CPSU nd th Svit stt. Its ldr ws Stlin. Th trm Stlinism will b usd t dsignt viws tht xprss th intrsts f this scil lyr, th Svit burucrcy.
Th cnsrvtiv ntur f this nw scil lyr ws nwhr bttr dmnstrtd thn in th thry f scilism in n cuntry.6 This ws thry tht cut ff th Svit wrkrs frm th wrld's wrking clsss nd frm its dpndnc n rvlutin in th rst f th wrld.7 It ws n inwrd-lking plicy, which fcilittd th grwth f th burucrcy nd put wrkrs' lylty firstly t ntinl stt tht ws building scilism in n cuntry. Lik ll frms f ntinlism "Svit" ntinlism bund pprssd nd pprssr bhind th sm bnnr. It subrdintd th intrsts f th wrking clsss lclly nd intrntinlly t th intrst f ntinl burucrcy.8 Th criticl pint is tht bfr Stlin, Mrxists ppsd ppulr frnts, hwvr thy wr nmd, which subrdintd th intrsts f th wrking clss t ths f nthr clss r lyr.9
S th prspctiv f th Mrxists, nmly tht f th intrntinl wrking clss, is insprbl frm th nd f th clss t mintin its clss indpndnc. Th bndnmnt f n is th bndnmnt f th thr. Th plitics f scilism in n cuntry wr impsd n th wrld's Cmmunist prtis.10
Thir plitics wr nw dirctly rltd t th nds f ntinl Svit frign plicy s dtrmind by privilgd burucrtic lyr.

Rlting t th frmr USSR

In xmining th plitics f th IS nd th SWP, it is thir rltinship t th frmr USSR tht will b primrily xmind. Bth prtis tk s prt f thir rinttin, rjctin f th USSR s mdl f scilism, nd thir inspirtin frm th ids f Ln Trtsky. In th cs f th SWP it cm frm th intrntinl rgnistin f wrkrs' prtis clld th Furth Intrntinl, stblishd by Trtsky nd thrs in 1938. Bth prtis grd tht Stlin rprsntd dft f th wrkr's rvlutin, nd tht th rsultnt burucrcy ws nithr rvlutinry nr intrntinlist, but cuntr-rvlutinry lyr nxius fr sttus qu rltinship with imprilism (f which "pcful cxistnc" wuld b prim xmpl), which ws put hd f th intrntinl clss struggl.
Thr th similritis ndd. Th IS blivd tht cpitlism hd bn rstrd in th USSR nd tht it tk th frm f "stt cpitlism". similr viw hd first bn put by Jms Burnhm nd Mx Schchtmn in th dbt with Ln Trtsky in th US SWP during 1939-40.
Trtsky, n th thr hnd, rgud tht th Svit burucrcy ws cst but nt nw scil clss. H dscribd th Svit Unin s "dgnrtd wrkrs' stt".11 This diffrnc f dsigntin ws imprtnt. Fr th frbrs f th IS, scil, pliticl, nd cnmic rvlutin ws ndd t vrthrw stt cpitlism in th USSR. In cntrst, Trtsky nvisgd nly pliticl rvlutin, which wuld rmv th burucrcy nd rstr wrking clss cntrl f th stt withut rquiring fundmntl chng t th prprty rltins stblishd by th ctbr rvlutin. Trtsky furthr insistd n th uncnditinl dfnc f th Svit Unin in th vnt f imprilist ttck, whrs Schchtmn nd Burnhm rgud fr wrking-clss nutrlity. This ws stnc th British IS rptd during th Krn Wr n th bsis tht bth sids wr cpitlist. Finlly, nd mst imprtntly fr us, ths diffrncs btwn th IS nd th ustrlin SWP wr criticl in thir nlysis f th vnts in th USSR, in th yrs 1985-91.
It will b rgud tht th IS psitin ws nt Mrxist rspns bsd n th histricl mtrilist mthd f Mrxism, but mrl nd imprssinist psitin12 tht ws indqut s tl f nlysis nd which lckd thm int psitin tht lft thm ill-prprd fr undrstnding th pst-cmmunist scitis f th 1990s.

Nts t Th nd t rstr th scilist prjct


1. V.I. Lnin Wht is t b Dn? Frign Lngugs Prss, Pking, 1973, p 28. S ls p 29, Lnin's lbrtin: "w nly wish t stt tht th rl f vngurd fightr cn b fulfilld nly by prty tht is guidd by th mst dvncd thry."
2. This is Mrx's dscriptin f his thry. Th trms "dilcticl mtrilism" nd "histricl mtrilism" which r mr xplntry, wr cind ltr. S Mrx by Dvid McLlln, Fntn, Lndn 1975, p 38
3. S ls Thss, Rslutins nd Mnifsts f th First Fur Cngrsss f th Cmintrn. Lndn, Plut Prss, 1980 p 396
4. Frnz Mhring, Krl Mrx, lln nd Unwin, Lndn 1936, p 327
5. V.I. Lnin, Wht is t b Dn? p cit, p 29, nd Thss, Rslutins nd Mnifsts, p cit, p 124: "th mnciptin f th wrkrs is nt lcl, nt ntinl, but n intrntinl qustin". S ls Th Cmmunist Mvmnt by Frnnd Cludin, Pnguin, 1970, p 46, nd Funding th Cmmunist Intrntinl: Prcdings nd Dcumnts f th First Cngrss, Pthfindr Prss, Nw Yrk, 1987
6. Th first sttmnt f this nw scil lyr ws in th scnd ditin f J. Stlin, Fundtins f Lninism, 1924. This ws rvisin f th first ditin f th sm yr, which hd rptd th Blshvik rthdxy tht th victry f scilism in th USSR dpndd upn rvlutin in th dvncd cuntris. Frnnd Cludin, p cit, p 71-72. Fr dzns f xmpls f Blshvik rthdxy s Rbrt Blck, Stlinism in Britin, Nw Prk, Lndn, 1970. S ls Lninism undr Lnin by Mrcl Libmn, Jnthn Cp, Lndn, 1975, pp 360-61.
7. Th histricl cntxt f th Svit Unin frm 1923 n ws n f isltin s th pst-wr rvlutinry wv hd pssd. Th tnttiv Svit rpublics f Hungry nd ustri hd bn dftd, nd 1923 cnfirmd th filur f rvlutin in Grmny. Th nd t dfnd th rmining citdl in th Svit Unin culd hrdly b dnid. Th dft f th British 1926 Gnrl Strik nd th Chins rvlutins f th lt 1920s cnfirmd th pssimism but th imminnt xtnsin f th rvlutin.
8. F. Cludin, p cit, p 387 "th thry f scilism in n cuntry cn b sttd s th subrdintin f rvlutinry ctin in ny prt f th wrld t th intrsts f th Svit stt".
9. Th ppulr frnt ws tctic pursud by Cmmunist prtis frm 1934, ftr th victry f fscism in Grmny. It ws diffrnt t th unitd frnt, which ws n llinc f wrking-clss prtis rund limitd wrking clss dmnds. Th ppulr frnt ws n ttmpt t unit with sctins f th burgisi wh ppsd fscism n purly librl pltfrm. Wrking-clss dmnds wr subrdintd t chiving this llinc. Th Cmintrn hd sn th indpndnc f th Cmmunist prtis in rltin t th burgisi nd "thir cmplt frdm f ctin" s "th mst imprtnt histricl chivmnt f th prltrit". S Thss, Rslutins nd Mnifsts p cit, p 396.
10. Cludin p cit, p 117-124; ls Victr Srg, Frm Lnin t Stlin, Mnd, Nw Yrk, 1937, p 52. S Tm 'Lincln Int th Minstrm, Stind Wttl Prss, NSW, 1985 p 36.
11. Rprducd s In Dfnc f Mrxism, Ln Trtsky, Nw Prk, Lndn, 1966. ndrw Milnr rgus tht th "dgnrtd wrkrs' stt" frmultin is bsd n th trnsitry, unstbl ntur f th Svit systm, which h climd prvd t b prptul. Th Rd t St Kild Pir, Wstgt, NSW, Stind Wttl Prss, 1984, p 86.
12. Th trm "imprssinism" rfrs t pliticl mthd tht mks judgmnts n th surfc pprnc f vnts rthr thn xmining th scil nd cnmic fundtins nd histry f th thing studid. nn-IS xmpl, th cnclusin tht Stlin nd Hitlr wr ssntilly th sm bcus bth thir cuntris dptd ttlitrin prctics, ignrs cmpltly th diffrnt clss rltinships nd rcnt histry f bth cuntris.

rigins f th Intrntinl Scilists

Th Intrntinl Scilists, stblishd rund 1972, hv hld th psitin f stt cpitlism n th Svit Unin sinc t lst 1974.1 lthugh th "burucrtic cllctivist" dsigntin ws still usd s lt s 1976,2 th thry dptd by th IS ws tht f Tny Cliff f th British SWP in his bk Stt Cpitlism in Russi.
Th stt cpitlist psitin f th ustrlin IS n th frmr Svit stts, nd th cnnctin with its mntr, th British SWP, hs rmind unchngd sinc tht tim. It is wht immditly idntifis th IS s sprt rgnistin n th fr lft, nd wht histriclly hs sprtd th stt cpitlist prtis frm th Furth Intrntinl3 prtis thrughut th wrld, which cntinud t rgu tht th Svit Unin rmind dgnrtd wrkrs stt.4
Th dbt btwn ths tw frmultins hs cntinud until this dy.5 Th Intrntinl Scilists, s thy bcm knwn frm 1977, hv nvr wvrd frm r chngd thir stt cpitlist viwpint nd thy bliv th vnts in strn urp hv cnfirmd thir nlysis cmpltly. Thy hv lft th thrticl dfnc f th thry t thir British cuntrprts, but it hs rmind th fundmntl thrd in thir nlysis, which is pplid qully t th USSR, Chin, th pst-wr st urpn stts nd Cub, nd by July 1989 Burm, lgri nd Irq.6

Th stt cpitlist thry

Prir t th crisis in th burucrtic rgims, th vlidity f th stt cpitlist thry ws nt tstd by vnts. It hd undnibl prpgnd dvntgs fr th IS. It llwd it t rgu fr scilism withut mbrcing Svit-styl rgims s scilist, withut th xplntry prblms th Furth Intrntinl hd in dsignting rgims s "dgnrtd wrkrs' stts" whn thy wr cnspicuus by thir bsnc f wrkrs' pwr, but which th FI still qulifid s "wrkrs" stts, hwvr dgnrt. n dditinl prpgnd dvntg llwd th IS t prtry bth th Wstrn cpitlist clss, nd th burucrcis, s unitd ginst "scilism frm blw" which, tking its cu frm Mrx's bsrvtin tht th librtin f th wrking clss must b chivd by th wrkrs thmslvs, lks slly t th slf-ctivity f th wrking-clss. This "scilism frm blw" hd t fit int stt cpitlist frmwrk whr strn urp ws cncrnd.
In ssssing th IS, w must thrfr dl with th plicis f stt cpitlism. Is stt cpitlism Mrxist rspns t th dvlpmnts in strn urp? Ds it crrctly idntify th principl cntrdictins in th burucrtic stt? But mr t th pint, wht r th pliticl rsults f this nlysis nd wht ds it tll us but th pliticl mthdlgy f th IS?
Quit prt frm th bvius bsnc f wrking-clss cntrl f industry, grwing inqulitis, nd th xclusin f th wrding clss frm pliticl pwr, th IS hd slid grunds in Mrxism fr dnying th lbl scilist t th Svit-styl stts.7
Rthr thn rpt th dtild dbt btwn th British SWP thrticins nd rnst Mndl f th Furth Intrntinl, w cn ps quris but th stt cpitlist psitin bsd n Mrx's brif summry f histricl mtrilism in his Prfc t th Critiqu f Pliticl cnmy.8
Th IS hs rgud cnsistntly tht th burucrcy bsd n th Svit prty nd th stt cm t pwr with th victry f Stlin ftr Lnin's dth in 1924, nd ginst which Lnin himslf hd bgun t fight in cllbrtin with Trtsky.9 This burucrcy bgn s brkr btwn th rivl clsss in Russi nd th utsid imprilist pwrs nd thn grdully bgn t rul in its wn intrsts with its wn thry, Stlin's thry f scilism in n cuntry. Th burucrcy bcm, by th lt 1920s, nw stt cpitlist ruling clss living ff th surplus vlu prducd by th Svit wrking clss.10
ccrding t th Prfc, it is ncssry if nw clss is t stblish nw prductiv rltinships tht dmint scity, fr thr t b, in Mrx's wrds, "n pch f scil rvlutin". Whr nd whn in Russi did such rvlutin ccur tht put "nw" clss in pwr? W r lft t supps tht it hppnd grdully. It ws strng cpitlist clss indd tht, in its first fiv-yr pln, ttckd privt prprty in lnd, nd cllctivisd gricultur. Wht did ccur ws th sprtin f th Svit stt nd th Cmmunist Prty frm th wrking clss tht hd md th rvlutin in 1917.11 W cn trc th burucrtistin f th Svit rgim t th stt lvl, but nt tht this did nt rquir th dstructin f th cllctiv ntinlistins, mst f which tk plc s rly s 1918 nd 1919.12 It ws thrfr pliticl, but nt scil r cnmic cuntr-rvlutin.
Mr surprisingly th IS sms nvr t hv bn bl t tll us xctly whn this cuntr-rvlutin tk plc. W r lft with rfrncs t th lt 1920s, lthugh mstly it is qutd with th triumph f th Stlinist fctin f th Cmmunist Prty withut spcifying ny prticulr tim. This lck f prcisin, in wht is criticl t thir cs histriclly, lvs pn th suggstin tht th nw stt cpitlist clss chivd pwr, nt in rvlutinry wy, but grdully vr prid f yrs. This pns up th pssibility f th pcful, r grdul, trnsitin frm n clss scity t nthr, which ntirly cntrdicts Mrxist ids nd wuld n dubt b rjctd by th IS.13
t first sight ll th usul lmnts f cpitlism pprd t b missing in th Svit Unin, nmly cpitl,14 cpitlists15 nd cmmditis.16
Instd f th mrkt llcting cpitl n th bsis f prfitbility, th burucrtic pln impss cmmnd cnmy, with its quts nd nrms, in which th wrking clss hs n sy. This is nt scilism, but it is ls nt cpitlism; nr wr th lck f prfits, nd th ftn grssly vr-mnnd fctris nd ntrpriss, tmprry r rcnt, which wr ndmic t burucrtic mismngmnt vr dcds.17
n wuld ls xpct tht if th Svit burucrcy wr cpitlist clss, thn, in lin with vry thr pwrful cpitlist clss, it wuld ct n th intrntinl rn t xtrct prfit frm vrss invstmnts, xpliting Third Wrld lbur, tc. But, n th cntrry, th Svit cnmic links with its "clnis" cnsistd f Svit subsidis fr flgging strn urpn cnmis. Th pliticl cnsqunc f th withdrwl f Svit id t Cub (nd Vitnm nd Mngli), shws clrly in which dirctin th funds wr flwing, s Cub's cnmy hs bn in cut crisis vr sinc.18
Th stt mnply f frign trd, plus th smll prt frign trd hs plyd in th Svit cnmy in th pst, hs mnt tht mrkt frcs hv bn dnid n bvius pint f ntry int th Russin cnmy.
With ll ths fctrs rguing ginst th stt cpitlist psitin, th IS hs nly n cnsistnt xplntin fr why Russi is cpitlist cuntry, which hs pprd in mny issus f th IS ppr, frmrly Th Bttlr, nw Th Scilist. ftr using vry rgubl intrprttin f Frdrick ngls, cncrning Bismrck, Rbrt Bllrd in 1992 rgud: "Wht is imprtnt is wh cntrls prductin nd t wht nds. In Russi vst burucrtic lyr hs cntrlld ths mns sinc it dcisivly ntrnchd itslf in pwr during Stlin's first Fiv Yr Pln. It usd tht cntrl t build up th Svit cnmy t th xpns f th mss f th ppultin--th wrkrs nd psnts--nd gind wlth nd privilg t itslf. It cmptd n th wrld stg, ttmpting t mtch th US militry-- cmptitin which indirctly brught th prssur f th wrld mrkt int th utrchic Russin cnmy. This surly is cpitlism."19
This rprsnts nw dfinitin f clss. It cnfuss th pliticl rgim f scity with cnmiclly dminting clss in tht scity. Cpitlism s n cnmic systm hs hd vrity f pliticl rgims, frm prlimntry dmcrcy t fscism, in which th cpitlist clss hld littl r n pliticl pwr in th stt, yt th cuntry rmind cpitlist. Culd it b rgud tht such stt, in which th wrking clss sizd stt pwr nd dstryd th cpitlist clss, might cd stt pwr t burucrcy in cnditins f bckwrdnss nd isltin, but still rtin th cllctivist ntur f th prductiv frcs?
Ultimtly th tst must b fr Mrxists: ds th cnmy "gnrlis cmmdity prductin" r ds it, s did th Svit Unin, rstrin it? This will idntify th clss ntur f th scity nd th cntxt in which th ntur f th stt will b dcidd. It is clr tht th wrking-clss ws nt in cntrl f stt pwr frm Stlin's tim n, but did this mk th USSR cpitlist cuntry?
prt frm suprficil similritis with th Unitd Stts, th cr IS rgumnt lis in th prssur f militry cmptitin. Th stps t Bllrd's cnclusin wr mr clrly st ut in th IS ppr. It rgus tht th surplus prducd by Russin wrkrs ws ndd t prduc rmmnts t mtch th mricns. "This driv t ccumult cpitl in rdr t cmpt with its rivls is nthing lss thn th lgic f cpitlism" rgus th IS. Th whl f Russi is liknd t gint businss, "Russi Inc".20
prt frm n pprnt cnfusin btwn cmptitin nd xchng vlu, th Svit militry nd t cmpt militrily with th US, which tk but 13 pr cnt f GNP in 198821, clrly hs nt bn rflctd in ny cmptitin btwn Svit nd US wshing mchins nd crs, nr hs it nsurd tht th Svit Unin ddrss th grss vrstffing nd infficincy f its fctris.22
Th IS us f supr-histricl ctgris, which hv n ncssry cnnctin with th rltins f prductin prviling in prticulr cuntry, is mthd tht must b qurid.
Th lgic pprs t b:
? Wrkrs hv n pwr undr cpitlism.
? Wrkrs hv n pwr undr th burucrts.
? Thrfr th burucrts must b cpitlist.
n suspcts tht th dmnds f prpgnd wrk r th driving frc bhind this pic f rgumnt.23
Thr is n nlyticl dynmic in th thry tht prvnts IS prpgnd xtnding th nlgis ndlssly. Th Svit stt cntrl f th cnmy, in rdr t fcus rsurcs n rmmnts, is cmprd withut rsrvtin t Jpn nd Grmny in bth wrld wrs.24
Rbrt Bllrd rvls th inhrnt wknss in his Scilist Rviw rticl whn h cncluds: "rvlutinris must rjct ny id tht th Stlinist rgims wr in ny wy prfrbl t wstrn cpitlism" (my mphsis). This is th substitutin f mrl judgmnt fr n bjctiv clss nlysis. n cn rgu whthr such rgims r prfrbl r nt; th pint is, r thy th sm? judgmnt bsd n mrl prfrncs is pr nlyticl tl.
Whn th IS cnfrnts ppnnts f its viws, it is strngst whn th ppnnt tks thir stnd n th dfnc f th Svit rgims s scilist, nd in th cs f th SWP/DSP, which sw th Grbchv rfrms s scilist rnwl f Svit scity. Th IS critrin f wrkrs' pwr, "scilism frm blw", llws it t mbrrss th SWP/DSP, which ws ffctivly idntifying th scilist cus with Grbchv's ttmptd rfrms. Grbchv's incrsingly uthritrin stnc nd th filur f prstrik md it sy fr th IS t rgu tht this ws nt th rd bck t wrkrs' pwr in th USSR.
Whn cnfrnting viws tht s th USSR s nithr scilist nr cpitlist, but rthr highly unstbl nd cntrdictry frmtin tht ws trnsitinl in its chrctr, cpbl f llwing th rstrtin f cpitlism, but ls vulnrbl t pliticl rvlutin by th wrking clss ginst th burucrcy, th IS is incpbl f brking ut f its mrlistic dichtmy. It is surprising tht th IS s rrly ddrsss th dgnrtd wrkrs stt scnri, givn tht it is th principl rivl viw tht ds nt dfnd th USSR s bing scilist. It is nt until Sptmbr 198925 tht Th Scilist ddrsss th prblm. Th IS rgus tht Trtsky ws "frcd" t rgu tht th wrking clss hd t mk th rvlutin ginst "thir" stt t rstr wrkrs' cntrl. This, ccrding t Mick rmstrng, ws bsd n Trtsky's miscncptin tht wrkrs' pwr ws dtrmind by th ntinlistin f th cnmy. In ny vnt, n vidnc is ffrd. Th IS rturns t th subjct26 in plmic ginst th SWP/DSP nd its supprt fr th Grbchv ldrship s th gnt f dmcrtic scilist rnwl in th USSR.
Hwvr, th IS lumps th SWP/DSP psitin tgthr with th dgnrtd wrkrs' stt thry f Trtsky nd th Furth Intrntinl, which xplicitly rjctd th rl f Grbchv s hving nything t d with th rstrtin f wrking-clss pwr in th USSR.27
Th sympthy f th IS fr th wrking clss is nvr in dubt, but thy rmv th dilcticl nd scintific hrt frm Mrxism, which ss chng s prcding frm cntrdictin, nd rplc it with mrl stnc tht viws th wrld in fixd, stbl ctgris. T th IS, ithr it is full scilism frm blw, th slf-mnciptin f th wrking clss, r it fils t mt th critri fr scilism nywhr. Furthrmr, it is mrlly bd nd thrfr thr is n diffrnc btwn th cpitlist scitis f th Wst nd th llgdly stt cpitlist scitis f th st.

Stt cpitlism nd th fll f th burucrcy

Th fll f th Cmmunist prty rgims in strn urp in 1989-90 ws tst f th vrius thris f th ntur f ths rgims, nd th pliticl mthd bhind ths thris. Dspit th dmnstrtins nd th striks, prticulrly th Svit minrs'28 striks f Jun nd July 1989, nd th lrg numbr f wrkrs n th strt (xcpt in Plnd nd Hungry) during 1989,29 th wrkrs prsntd n chrnt prgrm f wrking-clss ppsitin t th dvcts f th mrkt, nd crtinly nthing lik "rvlutin frm blw" r th pliticl wrking-clss rvlutin nvisgd by Ln Trtsky.
Th IS, fr its prt, ludd ch xprssin f wrking clss rvlt nd th thry nd mthd f stt cpitlism ws sid t hv bn cmpltly cnfirmd.30
T th IS th crisis in th st ws just prt f th spcil crisis f th cpitlist systm. Lik th Wst, th st ws ffctd by th flling rt f prfit, but gin, rguing by nlgy, w r tld tht this ws xprssd by flling grwth rts.31 Stt cpitlism nd th fr mrkt r sn s tw sids f th sm cin.32
Th IS sw n ssntil diffrnc btwn th pr-1989 rgims in strn urp nd th fr-mrkt rgims tht fllwd thm. It ws nly "stp sidwys", ccrding t ln Rintul.33 Th IS my cknwldg tht nithr ptin is rlistin f wrking-clss intrsts, but it limints ny undrstnding tht th wrking clss, lthugh it hs n intrst in dfnding th Cmmunist prtis nd thir rul, ds hv stk in dfnding crtin prtctins, r vn gins, by th wrking clss undr tht systm. Jb scurity, subsidisd fd nd husing nd stbl currncy r fw f th bvius ns.
Th IS rspns ls undrstimtd th significnc f glsnst, which it sw nly s prpgnd djunct t prstrik, but glsnst hd mr imprtnt ffcts. It llwd pliticl criticism f th pliticl mnply f th CPSU nd its privilgs. It sw th mrgnc f indpndnt wrking-clss ctivity (th minrs' striks fr xmpl) nd strngthnd dmnds fr indpndnc by th pprssd ntinlitis. Th rpid dcy f burucrtic rul prcdd t th pint whr th ruling "clss" in Hungry culd, in ctbr 1989, vt t disslv itslf withut witing fr n nslught f ppulr rvlt.34
This pprntly uniqu bhviur by suppsd ruling clss, in bdicting pwr, shwd tht unlik th cpitlist clss in th Wst, th burucrcy rstd nly upn brittl frm f rul thrugh th pliticl mnply f th Cmmunist Prty. nc this wnt, s it did in rly 1990, th dys f th burucrcy wr numbrd. It hd n thr lng-trm ptins. Cmpr this with uphvls in th Wst, which cn bring nrmus chng in th frm f pliticl rul withut th cnmic nd scil dminnc f cpitl bing disturbd.35 This is th pint: tht th dminnc f th burucrcy flwd lmst xclusivly frm its pliticl cntrl, nd nt frm its cnmic nd scil dminnc f scity. Such rsning ws nt cnsidrd by th IS.36
Th indqucy f th stt cpitlist psitin t giv ny undrstnding f th vnts f 1989-91 flws frm its dtrmintin thrughut its histry t s n diffrnc btwn cpitlism nd "stt cpitlism". Th vnts f 1989-90 nd sinc, prticulrly in trms f th living stndrds f th wrking clss, wuld ppr t cntrdict this viw.
vn s lt s pril 1989 th IS ws stting tht th crisis in strn urp ws just prt f th spcil crisis f th cpitlist systm, nd n diffrnt t th criss in Chin nd Chil (sic),37 lthugh it nts sm diffrncs, such s th mss f unprfitbl ntrpriss tht wuld nt hv survivd in th Wst, but which, until th fll f Grbchv, wr fct f Svit lif.38 It lswhr cknwldgd tht prfitbility ws nt fctr in prductin in th USSR.39 Th IS clrly ss such diffrncs, with thir bvius ffct n th wrking clss, s f littl significnc bcus t d s wuld b t rcgnis th incrsingly bvius diffrncs btwn stt cpitlism nd cpitlism. This ds nt imply, s th IS suggsts, prfrnc fr ithr ltrntiv.
In Rintul, in n rticl titld Is Cpitlism Bing Rstrd in th Svit Unin?40 shws th dilmm th IS is fcing. ccrding t Rintul, th intrductin f th mrkt int th Svit Unin ds nt mn rstrtin f cpitlism bcus cpitlism run by th stt ws intrducd in th lt 1920s. T Rintul, wht mttrs "is nt th prprty frms but th rltins f prductin--wht prtin th wrkr hs in th prcss f prductin".
Givn tht th IS is rguing tht th psitin f th wrkr rmins th sm, its stnc f ppsing privtistin f th strn urpn cnmis is nvr xplind. "But scilist ppsitin t privtistin is nt bsd n ppsing cpitlist rstrtin," h cncluds.
"Th cmmnd cnmy f th st nd th mrkt cnmy f th Wst r nt fundmntlly cuntrpisd cnmic systms, but rthr diffrnt spcts f dvlpmnt f th sm systm. Bth prduc rsistnc frm wrkrs nd thrin lis th hp fr th futur."
Th thry mks it difficult t s n wht bsis th wrkrs wuld pps th sckings, th rmvl f subsidis n dily gds, r th clsur f unprfitbl ntrpriss, with rsultnt unmplymnt. Th IS quts Hrvrd study tht nvisgs 38 millin wrkrs unmplyd s rsult f th succssful intrductin f th mrkt.41 "Diffrnt spcts f dvlpmnt f th sm systm diffrnt sids f th sm rttn cin" xplind nthing. "Hp fr th futur" is mrl stnc nd is n substitut fr Mrxist nlysis tht cn supply prgrm t fight fr th pliticl ldrship f th wrking clss tdy in strn urp.42
Dspit th plitics f th IS, th ctul diffrncs btwn th cmmnd cnmis ..................





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