What if the Soviet Union didn't collapse

Comrades of leftpol what would the soviet union look like if it didn't collapse. would it do a china and liberalize or do something better?

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First post: Soviet Union wasn't communist but state capitalist

It would become just like Communist China/Yugoslavia/Hungary
Communist CEOs
Communist Billionaires
Communist Privately owned business
Communist Coca-Cola
Communist exploitation of Surplus value
Communist Commodity production

All wrapped up in a nice Andropov/Putin style KGB/FSB gov
Not to say the USSR Didnt already have Commodity production and exploitation of surplus value anyhow

I'm pretty sure that was the plot of a 2000AD spinoff.

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State socialism will always decay to state capitalism and new hierachies will form. Just give it up already.

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I agree but….
Have you guys done like Anything….Anywhere….Ever? Like asides from that one time you BTFO that tsar?

It's a really complicated question and answer, OP. In order to get that result, you'd have to rewind the clock back and change some of the USSR's history so it didn't head for collapse. I'm not a history buff but my guess is you'd have to go back as far as Stalin if you wanted to avert collapse. The purges and forced collectivization really fucked shit up as I understand things. At the least, rapid industrialization probably accelerated the countdown to the inevitable collapse of state capitalism.

This is true but not an answer to OP's question. OP wanted to know how things would be if the USSR didn't collapse.

I'm sure Zig Forums would ban anyone not supporting it.

Commodity production wasn't generalized. That's like saying Norway is socialist because it has healthcare and free education. Do elaborate, how did the USSR extract surplus value? The accounting of profitability in society enterprises didn't calculate in surplus values, labor power wasn't calculated in commodity values, which would be nonsensical anyway because labor became directly social due to the abolition of exchange within the state plan.

The commodity production 'argument' for why the USSR wasn't socialist is the best "I haven't actually read marx" litmus test

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China did a USSR and liberalized.

I think it'd be an interesting counter-factual exercise to ask: beginning at any time after 1917, what would need to happen for the Soviet Union to advance towards communism? i.e. a meaningfully egalitarian, classless society that has advanced beyond the material relations that define capitalism.

Asking if the USSR etc. was socialist is beating a dead horse, and people like ML poster will keep contorting themselves into knots to say that those states are "socialist". The real question is whether those states (or places like Cuba and the DPRK) are useful starting points from which to bring about communism, what conditions would need to be met for that to happen, and if those conditions are realistic or feasible. If they aren't, we can move on, but if they are, then maybe we can take MLs seriously again and they can stop LARPing in the past while defending collapsing welfare states and dying trade unions.


alternative history is immaterial and probably counter-revolutionary

A good sign of commodity production being generalized is the utilization of wage-labour and, as we know, USSR did indeed have it.
The accounting of profitability
Wage labour is a commodified labour power

I think the Bolsheviks needed better bottom-up organizing from the start. Making them more accountable to a base would have prevented the Stalins and the Khrushchevs from seizing power and dictating from the top down.

Not necessarily, the USSR could have gone back to a full blown war economy and that what the attempted coup of 1991 would have resulted in if the Soviet army was as stronger. With army generals taking full control of the soviet economy to ensure the USSR's ability to feed its war machine.

At present anyone attempting to overcome value while leading a single country that is at peace would almost certainly fail, as demonstrated by the XX century attempts of overcoming value "in one country". Obviously something like a 32-28 work week seems feasible in countries like Cuba, but the problem of wage work, operating on commodity production etc remains.
However, intellectual property seems like a field of property relations that could be easily undermined. Low-key encouraging the violation of patent rights(even if in the end it would be just only for the benefit of local capitalists) and piracy doesn't sound too hard to implement and if played correctly should not cause butthurt on the international scale. I don't think this is likely to happen, but the notion of communist party in Cuba funding every citizen a pirated Windows with pre-installed adblockers and qBittorrent sounds fucking funny.

The only way the USSR could avoid colapsing was doing Cybernetics, while allowing multi party elections. You could still allow multi-party elections wiht out reverting to capitalism by only allowing socialist parties to participate. However the breakaway of the Baltic States from the USSR, and Poland from the Warsaw pact was inedible. East Germany was the state least likely to break away from alliance with the USSR.

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Poland did it. It didn’t work out well. All they got were right-wing trade unions.

Best way to prevent the USSR from collapsing is for Bogdanov to win the Power struggle with Lenin in the RSDLP. Borgdanov was anti-hirearchal, anti-authoritarian, but would’ve industrialized the USSR faster than IOTL because he was a technocrat and would’ve promoted the Soviet Sciences much more than IOTL. With the USSR having access to more advanced technology industrialization could’ve been even faster and less authoritarian. The famine in the Ukraine could’ve been avoided for sure. A Red Army with batter weapons would’ve stopped Operation Barberosa from doing anything, and would’ve conquered all of Europe, Korea, and Japan creating a Warsaw Pact much larger. Borgdanov’s successor would with a less damaged an more industrialized USSR could’ve done a socialist version of the Martial Plan, spreading Socialism even farther.

No we don't. You didn't sell your labor in the USSR. Read up on the subject.

Do you even know what profitability means in a socialist economy? Again, read up on the subject before mixing up incorrect dilutions of political economy.

So what did sovkhoz workers live from then?

I think you are confusing Sovkhoz and Kolkhoz here. There was no commodity production in Sovkhoz farms, only in cooperative property you actually do have commodity production, and therefore, self-employed wage labor.

You still didn't say what did the sovkhozniks do for living.

it doesn't matter man, what happened happened because it had to. The soviet union wasn't doing well at the end it had frankly bad administration.

This is just a great opportunity for new socialist ideas to be born, Marxism is scientific isn't it? It learns from the past, it adapts, the method changes, it carries on, it analyses, comes out with conclusions & new methods, etc. Lets work on that instead of worrying about what "it could have been". Lets just get this over with, push everything into post-scarcity communism one step at a time.

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read blessed is the flame it's a good book

Of course you have to work to have access to means of consumption. That isn't wage labor.

So how exactly did the sovkhozniks receive an "access to means of consumption" after having done some work?


By receiving a wage they can spend on whatever they like. Since production here is social from the beginning, this is not exchange but a means of distribution.

Bureaucrats didn't have a different relation to the means of production than the workers. They couldn't decide what was produced or how much. They couldn't appropriate surplus for themselves.

Then how did they manage to live in such exuberant luxury?

What luxery? It's true that administrative and skilled jobs were rewarded better than unskilled jobs. This increased in the 80s (under Breznhev wages were actually more egalitarian) which led to some problems regarding the social relations of Soviet society. The reason for wage differentials was to reduce stagnation and create incentives.

It's a bit dishonest to talk about "exuberant luxery" when in the capitalist world, being in the 1% means owning several yachts, penthouses and Lamborghinis and assets of billions of dollars. In the USSR, the higher bureaucrats had maybe a nice Dacha with four rooms in the countryside and a bottle of whiskey once in a month. That's not even remotely comparable.

t. henry ford

uh, yes they could, it was a planned economy, who the fuck else would be making decisions, and please don't say the soviet people

You know very well that under capitalism the worker sells their labor and then receives a wage he exchanges for goods. This is a system if exchange, whereas a socialist planned economy is a system of distribution. The Soviet currency had more to do with labor vouchers than with the capitalist money form as it was accumulated or invested. If you have a general problem with people having to work for a reward, you might as well call Marx another Henry Ford.

If the bureaucrats and managers truly were like capitalists they would have been able to switch production to higher profitability, but that never happened. You'd never see a steel plant switching to mass producing pots and pans because the manager decided that this is more profitable.

Gosplan was a huge organization that was in reciprocal contact with the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, the Council of Ministers and the All-Union Council, representing all the workers of the respective industries. The dominant planning indicator was also always calculated "in kind" (material output) instead of using value indicators.

*as it was neither accumulated or invested

What if you didn't penetrate your mom's egg?

Has Stirner done anything… anywhere…ever? I think he wrote a book. Yes. And later no notable movement formed around it. And the De-Spook Gang only trolls or rants online so… You don't really have the high ground here my man. I suggest you read up on Russian Nihilism a bit more in detail. Catechism of a Revolutionary also is an interesting read written by /ourguy/ Sergey Nechayev. I think you Stirnerposters are close to us in some ways so we could try to understand each other maybe?

State capitalism, duh. That's what always happens. The answer kinda was in there already mate.

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(not the one you replied to) While I agree that a egoist/nihilist split is ridiculously counter-productive, it's also useful for you to know that Stirner's influence does stretch into the real movements. He should be considered the driving theoretical force behind the majority of the insurrectionary anarchist movements since after Kropotkin's endorsement of syndicalism as a strategy.

Isn't anarcho-nihilism a rather new thing? Maybe make a thread about it.

even if they were receiving the full value of their labour, the fact that soviet workers had no control over the workplace is anathema to socialism

anyway, I don't think that the soviet union was "state capitalist", more like feudalism with leninist characteristics

Stirner heavily influened Jünger & other authors like Nietzsche, etc.

It would go reactionary, like China, possibly even full liberal, like Mongolia, where the Marxist-Leninist Party sold out to the capitalists and went succdem. The Glasnost and the Peretroiska were mistakes. Khruschev and Gorbachev are reactionary revisionist traitors, like Deng Xioping. We need a new revolutionary wave. We're sitting ducks. We're making no progress. We're only having set back after set backs.

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Nietzsche heavily influened other authors like Hitler etc.

You two are living parodies of your ideologies.

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Marx influenced authors like Stalin. That means Marx is pure evol now. it's HIS FAULT how dare him be busy being DEAD when a dictatorship was happening in Russia. How dare him. smh Marx get it together!

Hello Lassalle

How do you assess "control over their workplace"? Socialism isn't when you vote on who cleans the pipes tomorrow and the more you vote the socialister it is.

So there were landowner with tenure relations to peasants? Please go away

this but unironically

lords didn't own the land, at least in theory, they had it assigned to them by the king, and they managed it on behalf of him as well as the feudal ideal of society, much like how soviet bureaucrats were appointed by the party hierarchy, with your relationship to them determining your place in society

who's lassalle now bitch?

fuck, meant for

I'll pass, thanks.

Well if you want to go down that road, they technically didn't get the land assigned but rather the rights of usufruct steming from it, which then trickled down to the lowest vassals. The feudal state is a state of privileges and prerogatives in a legalistic relation to one another.

The party was mostly composed by workers. Functional hierarchies are not the same as reactionary hierarchies. Your place in society was determined by your skills, and the party also didn't appoint the bureaucrats.

Peasantry is a mode of production, serfdom is a social relation. Peasants in feudalism weren't always serfs.

We'd more than likely be living in a majority Socialist Europe and America would be made irrelevant.

The thing is the Soviet Union was due to collapse, due to the retarded way they organised their economy.

Yet it's wasn't their economy but their politics that caused it to be dismantled.

sounds soviet to me

like lysenko?

then who did?

peasant is kind of a bullshit term, can mean anything from a feudal serf to a capitalist smallholder

almost like politics and the economy are intertwined

You could say it's politics, but why did they divide their manufacturers across different countries?
So the Poles made the turbines, the Hungarians made the aerofoil and so on so to get one plane, every East Block country got involved.
And it was not just planes, but basically everything from cars to military grade tanks.
So what happens when one country breaks away? JOHN FUCKING MADDEN happens.
Same happened in the USSR itself. A lot of factories for Russian tanks and helicopters were in the Donbass region, which went with the Ukraine. Unlike the East Block states, the Russians still could keep access to it, until the coup happened. Another case is Kazakhstan where due to Baikonur Space Station some factories for rocket parts exist.
This is the reason why Cuba as the only East Block state is still alive. Because it would simply be stupid and costly to ship goods back and forth around the world.

In the end it was an attempt to bind these states closer to the USSR in fields, where autarky would've been a better choice.

what did he mean by this?

How in Satan's name would you come to that conclusion? Marxism-Leninism guarantees universal social welfare, indiscriminate rights for men, women and ethnic minorities and full active and passive suffrage.

Lysenko wasn't dumb or anything, he's just on the wrong track in a field that was widely unknown at the time. I mean, I could raise you a Igor Tamm who won the Nobel Price in physics and discovered the Cherenkov radiation and developed the tokamak device to harvest fusion power.

Managers of staff units didn't get elected and were usually deployed by the Soviet Academy of Science in accordance with the unions, and the other managers were elected by their subordinates. This is how the Harward Business Review in the late 80s described the Soviet system of management:

This also all depended on the type of Soviet state enterprise we are talking about: There were union state enterprises, republican state enterprises and communal state enterprises - each type differently constituted.

It's not a bullshit term, read Marx, Engels and Lenin. A peasant is just somebody who engaged in a specific mode of production, which is subsistence economy. He may sell a potential surplus but that's primitive commodity production, doesn't change the mode of production, only somebody who sells the vast majority of his produce is a capitalist farmer.

Of course it is but to say the USSR dissolved because their economic system wasn't working is simply wrong.

It would be Yugoslavia 2.0

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and in theory, lords owed various services and to their vassals, doesn't mean this was applied in practice, just like in the soviet union

the point is that his nonsense became the official party line, largely because of political reasons divorced from scientific merit

the "peasant" can be found in various modes of production

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Nah. There literally were two nihilist revolutions and the ideology has been around since the 1800s. Read this article for starters and then Catechism of a Revolutionary which was written by the most notable anarcho nihilist revolutionary we know.

And I made a thread on this before. 90% of replies were shitposts and the other 10% were troll replies making fun of the annihil maymay. So yeah. I think it's dumb how ignorant many in the left are about this. But whatever. Maybe I will make another thread some time if I see that there is real interest. Heh.

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