Thursday, July 16, 2015

THE THEORY OF STATE CAPITALISM (1992)

From the March 1992 issue of the Socialist Standard 
"The fact of the matter is that the credit for this particular form of state capitalism should go back to the Socialist Party of Great Britain, who taught Jock Haston his Marxism in the first place (cf Against the Stream, p. 251) and had promulgated the theory as far back as 1918. For it was Haston who first raised the question of state capitalism within the Revolutionary Communist Party, not only as a purely Russian phenomenon but in global terms, both in the group's internal bulletin (War and the International, pp. 182-5) and in a series of articles in Socialist Appeal (mid-August to mid-September 1947). In fact Cliff's remit from Mandel when he first came to Britain was specifically to argue against these 'state capitalist' heresies, and what happened was that in the course of the dispute the contestants changed sides. Anyone who wishes to make a serious investigation of the whole topic should consult the above sources, as well as the SPGB's position, which was reissued as a pamphlet in the same year as Cliff first published his own, though we have to admit that Cliff's logic is inferior to theirs, since they dated Russia's capitalist revolution back to 1917."
—from a review of Alex Callinicos's book Trotskyism in Revolutionary History, Autumn 1991.

1 comment:

Imposs1904 said...

From the June 2004 issue of the Socialist Standard:

“When I first began to question the CP line I still sold the Daily Worker, but at Marble Arch I came into contact with the Socialist Party of Great Britain, and a guy who was then the Secretary of the SPGB called [K]ohn. He gave me a terrible hammering one night on my ‘Leninism’, and I spent the whole night reading, and when I went back the following night he gave me a bigger hammering. For some months after that I used to attend SPGB meetings, and learned a great deal from the SPGB over the course of the next eight or nine months. But then I came across Trotsky’s pamphlet What Next for Germany? . . . ”

Jock Haston, future leader of the Trotskyist Revolutionary Communist Party, talking about 1934 in Against the Stream: A History of the Trotskyist Movement in Britain 1924-38 by Sam Bornstein and Al Richardson, 1986