Monday, January 28, 2019

Letter: Not the Way to Socialism (2017)

Letter to the Editors from the April 2017 issue of the Socialist Standard

Not the Way to Socialism

Dear Editors

Nationalization of the means of production is nothing but state capitalism. This was what was established in the former USSR and now exists in China, Cuba and so on. It shows that the establishment of socialism through state capitalism is a fallacy; the theory already has failed. We have learned from the experience of the nationalization of the means of production there that it was bureaucratic collectivism and gulags in the name of socialism. Every moment there was a political fear in the mind of people in these so-called people’s republics. Freedom of speech was unknown under the political dictatorship. All the social product was accumulated by the political state and privileged consumption given to a tiny minority of bureaucrats. This state capitalism was wrongly called socialism.

Centralization of the means of production is nothing but a capitalist appropriation. Capitalist appropriation has been going on since the invention of the steam engine. To argue that socialism will be established through this appropriation process automatically is nothing but a simplistic misunderstanding of revolution and wrong advice to the working class. When wholesale appropriation is emerging in the world there will be frequent mass demonstrations. Maybe then some violence will occur. But we have a task, to elaborate the real socialist theory in general before the violence. Never try to seize the means of instruments, but seize the instruments of the political state.

Co-operative factories and stores, which were first advocated by Robert Owen as a way to socialism, are also a fantasy. Some people want to establish a borderless, moneyless, stateless society through the co-operative mode of production instead of the socialist mode of production. They want to achieve socialism through co-operatives and then the common ownership of the means of production. Co-operatives are nothing but another form of capitalist enterprise and production. Actually socialism means the socialization of world resources and the means of production. This is the object of socialism and the social revolution, but we cannot make a blueprint.
Gorachard Paramanik

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