Literally what is the alternative? I've never understood what trotskyists mean when they talk about permanent revolution. Could someone explain what that would have meant, in concrete terms, for the USSR to adopt permanent revolution as some sort of policy?
As I see it, capitalism develops unevenly and revolution will only happen in one or a few countries initally (this has been the case historically and I don't see a reason it wouldn't be the case in the future). When the revolution succeeds in these countries it's incredibly important to defend the country from outside threats, as well as making sure the people have food on their tables and that the country isn't just falling apart. And then if revolution doesn't immediately take off in the rest of the world, what the fuck do you do? Obviously "the final victory of socialism" isn't possible in only one country, but I see no other option than building the best pseudo-socialism you can in the meantime. It will be imperfect and have all kinds of problems but what the fuck is the alternative?
And what's this bullshit about SioC being some Stalinist deviation that completely contradicts Lenin? "Socialism in one country" as we know it was developed by Stalin but it doesn't seem to really contradict much of what Lenin said.
>“A United States of the World (not of Europe alone) is the state form of the unification and freedom of nations which we associate with socialism—about the total disappearance of the state, including the democratic. As a separate slogan, however, the slogan of a United States of the World would hardly be a correct one, first, because it merges with socialism; second, because it may be wrongly interpreted to mean that the victory of socialism in a single country is impossible, and it may also create misconceptions as to the relations of such a country to the others.”
>“Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country, taken singly. The victorious proletariat of that country, having expropriated the capitalists and organised its own socialist production, would stand up against the rest of the world, the capitalist world, attracting to its cause the oppressed classes of other countries … A free union of nations in socialism is impossible without a more or less prolonged and stubborn struggle by the socialist republics against the backward states.”
>‘The development of capitalism proceeds extremely unevenly in the various countries. It cannot be otherwise under the commodity production system. From this, it follows irrefutably that Socialism cannot achieve victory simultaneously in all countries. It will achieve victory first in one or several countries, while the others will remain bourgeois or pre-bourgeois for some time.'”
The same thing Marx meant by it: >Napoleon presented the last battle of revolutionary terror against the bourgeois society which had been proclaimed by this same Revolution, and against its policy. Napoleon, of course, already discerned the essence of the modern state; he understood that it is based on the unhampered development of bourgeois society, on the free movement of private interest, etc. He decided to recognise and protect this basis. He was no terrorist with his head in the clouds. Yet at the same time he still regarded the state as an end in itself and civil life only as a treasurer and his subordinate which must have no will of its own. He perfected the terror by substituting permanent war for permanent revolution. He fed the egoism of the French nation to complete satiety but demanded also the sacrifice of bourgeois business, enjoyments, wealth, etc., whenever this was required by the political aim of conquest. If he despotically suppressed the liberalism of bourgeois society — the political idealism of its daily practice — he showed no more consideration for its essential material interests, trade and industry, whenever they conflicted with his political interests. His scorn of industrial hommes d'affaires was the complement to his scorn of ideologists. In his home policy, too, he combated bourgeois society as the opponent of the state which in his own person he still held to be an absolute aim in itself. Thus he declared in the State Council that he would not suffer the owner of extensive estates to cultivate them or not as he pleased. Thus, too, he conceived the plan of subordinating trade to the state by appropriation of roulage [road haulage]. French businessmen took steps to anticipate the event that first shook Napoleon's power. Paris exchange-brokers forced him by means of an artificially created famine to delay the opening of the Russian campaign by nearly two months and thus to launch it too late in the year. (marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/holy-family/ch06_3_c.htm)
What does that mean tho. Could you explain what permanent revolution would mean in the context of the USSR and not in the context of Napoleon?
I'm not a big fan of Trotsky but he was kinda right that an isolated, threatened USSR would eventually revert to capitalism.
Obviously, it happened. But what was the alternative? What would they have done differently to not be isolated and threatened by the outside world while not reverting to capitalism?
Napoleon succeeded because he never ceased to spread the mercantile productive relationship everywhere outside, erasing the feudal one, and most importantly ensured that it was foundational in the insular French kingdom from top to bottom.
Doing the above but with the communist mode of production. Ultimately though Trotsky refused to acknowledge factors of Russia's isolation and relative primitive level of production, meaning that permanent revolution wasn't even the most pressing thing to be done.
Nothing, and thats why trots are retarded. The only way it could have worked if we accept that premise is if Rosa won. Unless the whole world revolts at once, socialism in one+ countries is literally the only choice.
So invading countries and imposing socialism on them? I don't see how this would be possible when the (early) USSR was way weaker than the most powerful capitalist nations.
Less "imposing" socialism than coalescing under class lines with international tenant communist workers' organizations, including them in the centrality of the revolution and having them transform society there.
I address the futility of this reproach by Trotsky in the same post. Lenin recognized the same thing; n.b. him, Bukharin and the Party decided to do NEP to improve conditions as necessary with a maximally stage-managed capitalist mode of production and see if later something could be done.
Trotsky and Bukharin were one of the few bolsheviks who didn't want to sign the Brest-Litovsk treaty, they wanted to continue the revolution towards Germany. Zinoviev, Kamenev, Stalin and Lenin wanted peace. Continuing the war would probably have meant the end of the Soviet Union (they just had a civil war and the country was still in chaos). Trostky wasn't very smart and he was an idealist.
I know. The chances ended with the failed revolutions in Hungary, Italy, Finland, socdems betraying the German revolution, Poland being in the way, etc.
"Socialism in one country" isn't an ideology for god's sake. It is reality forcing itself upon us, you utopians.
How did they not do that? You realize that meddling in the internal affairs of another country can be seen as an act of war? Britain for example severed all diplomatic ties to the USSR after it was found out that the local ambassador engaged with union organizations. In 1926, if I'm not mistaken.
Is selective reading your forte or something?
Well I'm not a Trot, but it seems undeniable that USSR leadership abandoned a clear internationalist conception sometime after WW2. Why was the Comintern dissolved, for instance?
A lot of them clung to the idea that the Communist world was going to economically outperform the West without military conflict. This is understandable and we can sympathize with it, but in retrospect it was never going to happen in those conditions.
I'm not going to pretend to know what they should have done, though. Without some kind of active cooperation of all remaining socialist states things were probably fucked.
Are you retarded? Napoleon substituted permanent war for permanent revolution. Instead of permanent revolution he waged permanent war. Even just a quick read on wikipedia could have told you that Trotksy's permanent revolution isn't about spreading socialism in the way Napoleon did capitalism. If anything, that is more of what socialism in one country boiled down to.
what is it then
I'm going off of permanent revolution as Marx talked about it in context of Napoleon.
Again, Marx's, in Holy Family Re: Napoleon.
There was no choice, the peasant element was too strong, so muh value-form was bound to reassert itself as the dominant force sooner or later. USSR could, however, get less retarded capitalism
The main idea is that the proletariat of underdeveloped countries can (and must) effect the bourgeois and proletarian revolution back-to-back without going through a stage of capitalism, like the Mensheviks claimed. However, this would only be possible with the help of proletarian revolutions in already developed countries. It builds on this text of Engels' marxistsfr.org/archive/marx/works/1874/refugee-literature/ch05.htm
And I'm saying you're severely misreading Marx. Do you know what substitute means?
Socialism in one country is retarded, and it builds out of the idea that everything good = socialism. DotP in one country is perfectly possible, but calling it socialism just to satisfy your inner wish of "being socialist" is not at all productive.
Both are bullshit
ah, and by the way Trotsky wasn't a complete permanent revolution nut, despite all attempts of post-Lenin bolshies to make him appear so, but in reality he (along with Lenin) was infinitely more politically agile
unfortunately a totalitarian bolshevik state was bullshit
bump>>1972249 very nice contribution
I am sure this political agility is what made him so absurdly stupid at politics that he got outmaneuvered by based grain man in absolutely every way