In what way was the socialism in the soviet union different than in say a co-op? Workers in a co-op don't directly sell their labor power to a capitalist yet they are still paid the value of their labor power and still produce surplus value, just like in the soviet union. Workers in a co-op because they exist in a capitalistic world have to compete with capitalism by exploiting themselves in order to buy labor saving equipment and even firing themselves and lowering wages to save money, just like in the soviet union. It seems like because of the lack of world revolution the soviet union was pulled into the capitalist world until it basically became a huge co-op of workings being forced by the market to exploit themselves.
Socialism in the soviet union
The Soviet Union and all M-L countries were just like a corporation that achieved the ultimate monopoly.
Except they were democratic like a co-op and sometimes "broke" the law of value.
Keep telling yourself that.
And like all co-ops, that in turn broke them. You can stop an exchange-based economy from being capitalist about as well as you can stop water from dissociating into its component parts under an electric current.
That doesn't mean they weren't capitalist just because they were democratic and sometimes acted against the law of value.
Corporations produce for profit, not for use. Lay down the memes and read a book.
You mean during their entire industrialization and industrial development.
They were doing that to compete with capitalist nations and in order to do that they had to exploit themselves.
They were doing that to develop an industrial society. You can't have socialism in a peasent state. And no, they didn't just "compete", they got invaded by a genocidal fascist empire.
You are not using the Marxist definition of exploitation, just a vulgar one.
Another example, the Four Year plan of Nazi Germany was also a form of command economy to get ready for war - however, this was completely in accordance with the law of value, as German firms made massive profits during that time. This type of command economy is clearly state capitalist. Whereas in the USSR, profitability didn't matter.
Having to lower your wages to generate more surplus value so you can invest in machinery in order to compete with capitalistic nations is exploiting yourself.
There was no wage labor in the USSR as there was no labor market, there was no surplus value just surplus, there was no incentive to drive down wages at any point - seriously, inform yourself, I'm not going to spoonfeed you basic Marxist-Leninist notions. We had this discussion a hundred times.
There is a difference between deciding "we need to industrialize" and exploiting yourself to keep up with the rest of the world.
Is their wage labor in a co-op society? Their is no bourgeois their either and technically you don't "sell" you labor you join a co-op. There was a clear incentive to lower wages just like in a co-op society, because you need to compete with the rest of the world you need to invest in labor saving technology and lowering wages will get you more surplus to do this with.
Okay, again, I don't know what definition of exploitation you are using because it is not the Marxist one, so please enlighten me so we are on the same page.
Dude, they knew that they need to industrialize quickly or that they would be destroyed.
Of course. In market socialism, surplus is still allocated by individual producers according to exchange value. Thank god the USSR was not market socialist then. Socialism is collective worker ownership of means of production where surplus is allocated by society as a whole and not by individual producers in accordance of use. Can we agree on that?
My definition is the same as the Marxist one. I'm just saying you can exploit yourself by being compelled to lower your own wages to make get more surplus in order to invest more in constant capital.
Who were you selling your labor to? And in what way were you not selling your labor in the soviet union. You were paid a wage according to the value needed to sustain you. Yes we can agree on that last point (I'm not a market socialist just using it as an example.) How was the USSR different from a co-op? They may have been socialist on the inside like a co-op but they still had to engage in a capitalistic world and act capitalistically.
Exploitation is impossible when there is no surplus value extraction. There will always a surplus that goes into the common funds for welfare and expanding the productive forces. It doesn't matter how long you work or whatever - people in the Third World work significantly harder and longer than Westerners, yet, technically, they are exploited less because they produce less value.
You don't sell your labor under socialism. Labor is not a commodity anymore. You were guaranteed a job, there was no unemployment in the USSR. I have yet to see a socal democracy which achieves full unemployment. Without a labor market, how can you sell your labor? How can you sell anything with no market?
You were paid a wage in accordance with your quantity and quality of labor.
Because a co-op produces for profit to compete with other co-ops.
Even in revisionist times foreign trade made uo 4% of the entire Soviet economy. You must be nitpicking if you think this somehow makes them not socialist,
I should add to this: The USSR had a different currency for foreign trade. Everything they traded didn't influence their national economy in terms of inflation or deflation.
In that case does exploitation exist in a co-op? I would say yes because they have to exploit themselves in order to buy machinery to stay competitive.
The USSR also produced for profit in the same way a co-op does. They produce for profit in order to satisfy the needs of its members. As for foreign trade its not just trade but just existence in a capitalist world that entangles you in value and forces you to act capitalistically. For instance in the five year plans the USSR has to compete with other nations and eventually adopted the same policy of fordism adopted in capitalist nations. Another thing that made them less socialist was their agriculture which was essentially co-operatives selling their products to the state.
A coop under capitalism, yes.
They didn't. If they did, how come they prefered heavy industry over light industry? Why didn't they move laborers from an unprofitable plant to a profitable plant? Read Stalin's "Economic Problems", it presents some pretty clear arguments that should make you think.
I know this argument, it's essentially the same in a scenario where there is global communism and capitalist aliens visit earth and calculate the GDP despite value being abolished in the heads of the people.
To a fixed price and a guaranteed contract. Also, not every agricultural enterprise was a Kolkhoz.
So self exploitation exists?
No its basically that in order to exist in a capitalistic world you produce for use. Like workers in a co-op are forced to exploit themselves even though they control production within that co-op.
Like placing display in factories that monitored how much the workers produced and if they fell behind the average punishing them.
because that makes it not exchange.
They produce for profit though. Right? So they are obeying the law of value, because you can't make a profit without trading in exchange value. In the USSR you produce for use - there was no market! I'm sorry I can't follow your logic there.
Where have you heard this? The workers were never punished, the manager was, and more than often the workers themselves complained to functionaries about mismanagement, which led to the removal of the one responsible.
It's not a significant part of the economy. Mostly they used the surplus of grain to sell it to other countries to acquire the tools they needed for industrialization. Do you see any other way of doing it?
Here is my point. Even if the USSR really was a workers democracy where the proletariat ruled society it still existed in a world full of capitalist nations. In order to compete with the other nations and stay strong so they wouldn't get invaded/overcome by the other capitalist nations they had to produce faster and produce more value and just like a co-op driven by market forced they had to exploit themselves and over time became entangled in the law of value. During Stalin they were less entangled and in some aspects did not produce for profit (all though they were still driven to exploit themselves and maintain capitalist exchange) after Stalin however they became just another component part of global capitalism.
But how is that capitalism? Just because you produce faster doesn't mean you are producting in a capitalistic way. Besides, I don't recognoze Soviet workers having long work days. At some point, they seriously considered a five hour work day. Not everything the USSR did was in competition with capitalism. In a market socialist society, things are a little different, as you don't care about the utility of what you produce - you are fully entangled in commodity fetishism and just seek to maximize output of exchange value. While the USSR, despte competing with the west, clearly did have to increase productive output, their output was based on utility. In such a system, you don't care about the value, you care about the quality of usefulness of products.
4% of the economy was foreign trade. Really.
I sort of handicapped myself in this argument by assuming that the state is not a separate entity from society which means I had to sort of argue in terms of self exploitation. If we do assume that you are correct. Some of the arguments I would normally make would be stuff like the fact that capitalists existed both as private peasants and the state, Prices shifting due to speculation in the countryside markets, workers payments being similar to subsistence wages payed in capitalism and all that stuff about the law of value.