“The Lesson of the Soviet Union Is that the Bureaucracy Chooses Capitalist Restoration”

5 June 2019 — Global Research

By Eric Toussaint and Wilder Pérez Varona

Wilder Pérez Varona (WPV): My first question to you is about the issue of bureaucracy.

Before 1917 the issue of the socialist transition is one thing. The 1848 Revolution, the Paris Commune (which is a crucial episode, but of a momentary nature) were always limited to matters of theory, principles, projections (we know that Marx and Engels were reluctant to be very detailed about these projections). The Revolution of 1917 placed this problem of transition in another way, on to a different level; a level that involved essentially practical elements. One of them involved the issue of bureaucracy, which gradually appeared throughout the 1920s. On the issue of bureaucracy as it was being developed in those circumstances, how do you define the function of bureaucracy by according it an autonomous role of such a relevant actor at the level of the class triad: the working class / peasantry and the bourgeoisie? Why this important place? I would also like you to say something on the distinctness of “class”. You are cautious to talk about the bureaucracy as a class; however, other authors do.

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Contested Reproduction and the Contradictions of Socialism By Michael A. Lebowitz

13 September 2013 — The Bullet • Socialist Project E-Bulletin No. 877

Some Explanations About the Fall of ‘Real Socialism’

Why did ‘real socialism’ and, in particular the Soviet Union, fall? Let me note a few explanations that have been offered. With respect to the Soviet Union, one very interesting explanation that has been suggested is that it’s all the fault of Mikhail Gorbachev. And not simply the errors of Gorbachev but the treachery. Those who offer this explanation rely in particular upon a document which is sometimes described as his confession. This document begins as follows:

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Understanding the Venezuelan Presidential Election Outcome

15 April 2013 — Venezuela Analysis

Things are chaotic here, as we recover from the surprise, disappointment, and a bit of hurt from the election results, but also go out in the street to express our support for those results, and to defend the national electoral system, one of the best and most secure voting systems in the world in a country which just loves to vote. We move quickly from sad last night to concerned and determined today, as the caceroles sound around the neighbourhoods and the opposition hangs outside the National Electoral Council (CNE) here in Merida, hundreds of them walking around with rocks and glass bottles in their hands, itching to have something to react to.

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The actuality of a successful capitalist offensive By Richard Seymour

29 March 29, 2013 — Lenin’s Tomb

We’ve been waiting five years for a coherent left-wing response to the recession. We’ve been waiting three years for a coherent left-wing response to the cuts. Two years ago, I was asked at a talk how we could communicate the socialist solution to the crisis; I said it would be nice if we had one. It would still be a step forward today. If the extant strategies, groups or alliances were sufficient to deliver this, we would have it by now.

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What went wrong with ‘real socialism’?

22 November <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>2012 — Climate and Capitalism

<strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Michael Lebowitz.The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”: The Conductor and the Conducted   012

reviewed by Roy Wilkes

If you don’t know where you want to go, suggests <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Michael Lebowitz, then no road will take you there. Our class cannot overthrow the rule of <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>capital unless we have some idea of what we want to replace it with. But therein lies a problem.

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INTEL WARS: The Lessons for U.S. Intelligence From Today’s Battlefields

13 February 2012National Security Archive

For more information contact: Tom Blanton – 202/994-7000 | nsarchiv@gwu.edu

Washington, D.C., February 13, 2012 – Spendthrift, schizophrenic policies and a massive, multi-tiered bureaucracy more focused on preserving secrets than on mission accomplishment leave our intelligence operatives drowning in raw data, resource-starved, and choked on paperwork, according to a new book, Intel Wars: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror (Bloomsbury Press, 2012), by intelligence historian Matthew Aid. Excerpts from the book and declassified documents cited in it were posted today by the National Security Archive, where Aid is a Visiting Fellow.

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Israel has 101 different types of permits governing Palestinian movement By Chaim Levinson

23 December 2011 — Haaretz

Over the decades permit regimen grows into vast, triple-digit bureaucracy.
Israel’s Civil Administration issues 101 different types of permits to govern the movement of Palestinians, whether within the West Bank, between the West Bank and Israel or beyond the borders of the state, according to an agency document of which Haaretz obtained a copy.

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Criticizing Venezuela from the outside By William Bowles

14 May, 2010

Now ‘real’ lefties are probably going to call me a wuss, you know the kind of thing, ‘defend the revolution no matter what’, or label me a counter-revolutionary, but hey, it’s not for me to tell Venezuela how to do things whilst I’m sitting semi-comfortably here in London.

It’s real dilemma, after all we lefties want to see the Bolivarian revolution succeed just as much as the Venezuelan people do. So let’s hear what a Venezuelan comrade has to say on the subject of Chavez, PSUV and the state:

“Comrade Juan Contreras, an activist in the popular movement in the January 23 neighborhood and elected alternate deputy candidate by Circuit 1, was the next speaker. Contreras said that candidates of the apparatus had a tremendous advantage against the candidates of the popular movement and the fact that there were so many candidates had been a source of strength for the bureaucracy.

“He expressed deep concern over the fact that there had been an attempt to make the popular movement fit within the framework of the state. He reminded all those present that it was the actual movement of the masses that had saved the Revolution on April 11, 12 and 13, 2002 and again during the oil lockout. Nobody had called them out, but it was the spontaneous movement from below that overthrew the coup and rescued the government of the Revolution. According to Juan Contreras, this showed the great wisdom of the people.” — ‘Venezuela: The PSUV rank and file criticize the internal elections’, Vheadlines, 13 May, 2010

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Venezuela: Class Struggle Heats up over Battle for Workers’ Control By Federico Fuentes

26 July, 2009Green Left Weekly

Caracas – On July 22, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez again declared his complete support for the proposal by industrial workers for a new model of production based on workers’ control.

This push from Chavez, part of the socialist revolution, aims at transforming Venezuela’s basic industry. However, it faces resistance from within the state bureaucracy and the revolutionary movement.

Presenting his government’s “Plan Socialist Guayana 2009-2019”, Chavez said the state-owned companies in basic industry have to be transformed into “socialist companies”.

The plan was the result of several weeks of intense discussion among revolutionary workers from the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana (CVG). The CVG includes 15 state-owned companies in the industrial Guayana region involved in steel, iron ore, mineral and aluminium production.

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