I think that the Soviet Union operated under a socialist mode of production. This seems like the only objective conclusion without idelistically ascribing "things that I like" to the definition of socialism itself. Cockshott is essentially right when he says that insufficient democracy does not change the fact that it was a form of socialism, meaning it instituted a radically different way of extracting surplus value according to a social plan, and eliminated the selling of labour-power as a market commodity. There were plenty of problems and undesirable qualities in the SU, but it doesn't change its economic system.
Furthermore, I think that LeftCom, anarchist etc. critiques of the Soviet Union mystify the idea of socialism to an extreme degree, and are ultimately harmful towards constructing it under real conditions.
The Soviet Union didn't abolish the law of value, commodity production or capital accumulation. It wasn't socialist.
where is the proof
Please tell us which steps the SU should have taken to abolish the law of value.
Also, how can you abolish commodity production under lower-stage communism, meaning a system where your labour is exchanged for an equivalent stock of consumption taken from society? Commodities still exist in a society just emerging from a revolution, and without excess abundance of goods, this should be fucking obvious.
Lenin didn't do it, but Stalin did.
commodity production does not exist under lower-stage communism. "Here, obviously, the same principle prevails as that which regulates the exchange of commodities, as far as this is exchange of equal values. Content and form are changed, because under the altered circumstances no one can give anything except his labor, and because, on the other hand, nothing can pass to the ownership of individuals, except individual means of consumption. But as far as the distribution of the latter among the individual producers is concerned, the same principle prevails as in the exchange of commodity equivalents: a given amount of labor in one form is exchanged for an equal amount of labor in another form. " Critique of the gotha programme.
well for a good first step they could have nationalized all private farms.
Insufficient democracy is absolutely a reason to discount the USSR as being socialist, as without democracy there is no working class rule. That would make the USSR a kind of benevolent dictatorship, and its economic system could only then be called socialist if you consider nationalization to be equivalent to socialism.
Socialism can only be characterized by the abolition of markets/commodity production combined with working class rule through proletarian democracy.
Labour vouchers. Without the circulation of money there is no commodity production, rather it’s simply a system of distribution based on contribution.
Labour exists because the worker was fed. Energy-backed money is best.
Suck my dick
Who wrote this?
Paul Cockshott, the book is Toward a New Socialism
Its about commodity production not le bueracratic socialism so I would consider it leftcom.
Oh? And how did you come to this conclusion? The leftcom (at least the councilist tradition) theory for the ascension of socialism seems pretty straight-forward to me. Destroy commodity production by eliminating the value system. This can be done through labour vouchers as a transition to a gift economy or something similar, and the workers have complete control of the means of production without the interference of the centralized state authority. This has already been done several times. I'm not one to scoff at the USSR, but how can you make the claim that this mode of socialism is any more "mysterious" than yours?
you all suck, the only true communism is fully automated gay space telepathic luxury communism, where i think of a sandwhich and a chip in my brain tells the drones to fetch me one.
How exactly would this eliminate commodity production?
He really didn't even understand his argument, he was just sort of flailing around about what exactly wage labor meant. And even then FinBols responce was to quote stalin.
read marx m8: "What we have to deal with here is a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges. Accordingly, the individual producer receives back from society – after the deductions have been made – exactly what he gives to it. What he has given to it is his individual quantum of labor. For example, the social working day consists of the sum of the individual hours of work; the individual labor time of the individual producer is the part of the social working day contributed by him, his share in it. He receives a certificate from society that he has furnished such-and-such an amount of labor (after deducting his labor for the common funds); and with this certificate, he draws from the social stock of means of consumption as much as the same amount of labor cost. The same amount of labor which he has given to society in one form, he receives back in another.
Here, obviously, the same principle prevails as that which regulates the exchange of commodities, as far as this is exchange of equal values. Content and form are changed, because under the altered circumstances no one can give anything except his labor, and because, on the other hand, nothing can pass to the ownership of individuals, except individual means of consumption. "
It is functionally the same as commodity production but content and form are changed.
This argument makes no sense. We can't judge a society as socialist or not merely because it was the result of a workers revolution. Thats even more mystifying than the leftcom argument. Workers revolutions can fail or produce basically capitalist societys. Is China still socialist? After all it was the result of a workers revolution.