It is hardly worth saying that the question of the causes of the death of the USSR is still now being discussed in the left and communist movements in Russia and the republics of the former USSR (as well as throughout the world): it is a common knowledge. The question is really important, because the answer to it directly defines the answer to another question – what should the working class and the working people do next, which way have they to go, where to move and what to strive for.
Therefore, it is clear that in the discussion of this topic, two opposing class forces should inevitably collide, one of which, that of the bourgeoisie, should invariably incline the working masses to an answer convenient and advantageous for it, in order to prolong the domination of that social class, while the other, that of the working class, is to pursue exactly the opposite goals, seeking to help the proletariat break away from capitalist captivity, finding the way to save them from the hired slavery. It turns out that the question of the causes of the death of the USSR and Soviet socialism is, as it were, the nodal point in which the irreconcilable class battle of ideas is now taking place, and the future of both the former Soviet republics and the whole of mankind directly depends on its outcome.
Here it should be mentioned that in general the question of the causes of the death of the USSR is divided into 2 questions:
1) the death of Soviet socialism and
2) the destruction of the USSR, its division into several parts (as the supporters of the bourgeois point of view in this matter like to say, “the disintegration of the USSR”).
These questions are certainly linked together, but the answers to them are unequal in terms of the degree of complexity. The first question is much more difficult to answer than the second, because the answer to the second one lies almost on the surface, if you have even a slight idea of the economic laws of capitalism.
WW MLM has given a general answer to both questions. However, while the answer to the second question can be treated as absolutely correct and determined (it is stated, for example, in the article Belavezha Accords: how and why the USSR was destroyed), and thus removed from the agenda, the answer to the first question about the reasons of the death of Soviet socialism, given by WW in L.Sokolsky’s pamphlet The Third Redistribution was definitely insufficient and containing some important theoretical errors, although WW has come here much closer to the truth than anyone else.
For the sake of justice, it should be said that we have identified these errors long ago, and so has Comrade L.Sokolsky himself. And now WW has a somewhat different answer to the question about the causes of the death of Soviet socialism: it is worked up in a different plane and much more specified, and we are 100% certain in its correctness. One should note though that the results of these new studies have not yet been published, including due to the enormous volume of factual and theoretical material that must be formalized in writing. But verbally, within the Fundamentals of Marxism course for example, our teachers do explain them to the students.
Briefly, this answer sounds as follows (the formulations are not yet carefully worded, and can be corrected to clarify something):
«Soviet socialism perished as a result of the bourgeois counter-revolution, which had been purposefully and for many years trying to destroy socialist production relations in the USSR. The counter-revolution began not in the period of the Gorbachev Perestroika (WW considers this stage its final one, when the counterrevolutionary forces threw off the communist mask and openly switched to the breakdown of socialism – the destruction of public ownership of the means of production and restoration of capitalist relations), but back in 1953, immediately after Stalin’s death. Then, as a result of a number of terrorist acts against the members of the Central Committee and the Soviet government, which were hidden from the Soviet public (Zhdanov, Beria, the whole top of the Soviet secret services, perhaps Stalin himself being killed), the confusion and inadequate organization of the Bolshevik part of the party, the insufficient consciousness of the Soviet working class whose best representatives had perished in the Great Patriotic War, a highly secret right-trotskyite counterrevolutionary group (Khrushchev Mikoyan et al.) being in touch with the army (Zhukov Batitsky etc.) managed to take over the majority in the highest organs of the party and leading offices in the highest state apparatus of the USSR, primarily responsible for the security ministries.
Using the colossal authority of the Communist Party in the working masses, the counter-revolutionary right-trotskyites pursued their agenda:
— in politics: to strengthen the power concentration in the Union bodies simultaneously cutting down local governance; to limit proletarian democracy by pushing the working class and the working masses away from state administration, emasculating the class content of the proletariat dictatorship and formalizing the electoral system, etc.;
— in economy: to gradually loosen socialist production relations simultaneously creating conditions for the growth and strengthening of petty-bourgeois tendencies in the country by accentuating the commodity aspect of the economy, by forcing the introduction of “market methods,” destroying cooperative collective-farm property, with the utmost encouragement of the private property interests of collective farmers and workers, etc.;
— in the party: to suppress inner-party democracy – to prohibit criticism and completely reject self-criticism, to strengthen centralism at the expense of democracy, to dilute the ranks of the party by petty-bourgeois, philistine elements, to select middle management cadres obedient to the Central Committee, etc.;
— in ideology: to substitute Marxism-Leninism with revisionism in the form of Menshevism, to gradually replace materialism by idealism, dialectics by metaphysics. The bourgeois methods of manipulating the mass consciousness of the Soviet population began to be actively used, and manifested in full scale during Perestroika;
— in the world communist movement: to completely defeat the communist and workers’ parties by propagating in them the ideas of revisionism and reformism in order to subordinate the world working-class movement to the interests of the world bourgeoisie.
At the same time, the political power in the USSR remained in the hands of the working class, the social sphere and the economy continued to develop by the socialist model, although the pace of their development seriously slowed down, as there was no private ownership of the means of production. The volume and quality of products manufactured by industry and agriculture were constantly increasing, their range expanding. The state-provided social benefits for the Soviet workers kept increasing, as well as their material life standards, which only aggravated their disorientation. The absence of proper political knowledge did not allow the Soviet working class to realize that the party’s leading line was no longer Bolshevik.
At the same time, non-antagonistic contradictions were aggravated in the economy, and the growth of the productive forces of the Soviet state was prevented, with the artificially preserved obsolete production relations, primarily alien market-oriented principles, deepening the contradiction between the two forms of socialist property – the national one and the cooperative-collective-farm one.
The next world economic crisis and a new redistribution of the world between the imperialist powers demanded that the counterrevolutionary forces within the USSR move on to an open breakdown of the socialist mode of production in the Soviet Union, because Soviet socialism could not be killed by gradual concealed reforms: the right-Trotskyites only managed to slow down its development. Perestroika began, which culminated in the restoration of capitalism in the country. In the course of it, the political power in the country was wrested from the hands of the Soviet working class by the new bourgeoisie that had formed in the country at the initial stage of the Gorbachev reforms. A direct consequence of the victory of the bourgeois counter-revolution in the USSR was the division of the country into several national bourgeois states – the former Soviet republics.
Thus, the process of preparing Soviet socialism for destruction took almost 30 years. This period was required by the counter-revolution in order to completely disorient and thereby disarm the Soviet working class, make it incapable of resisting its class enemy – the world bourgeoisie.»
Evidence and all the arguments supporting this conclusion will be given by WW in full in a separate publication, some parts of which, as they are written, we will publish on the WW website.
In connection with the above, it is of some interest, in our opinion, to give a few comments on the conclusions of comrades who claim other reasons for the death of Soviet socialism.
In particular, the following position (italicized) is quite common; we are giving it with our comments:
«1) Khrushchev and his entourage began the transfer of socialist management to petty-bourgeois rails, striking a blow to the Stalin policy of gradually overcoming goods-money relationships.»
It is true, with the first serious blow being the September 1952 Plenum of the CPSU, where N.S. Khrushchev was elected First Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee. Khrushchev’s report at this Plenum clearly shows the turn to the right in the economy of the country, completely opposite to the entire previous course of the party and the decisions of the recent 19th Congress of the CPSU. And the measures proposed by Khrushchev as if to raise agriculture, actually hampered its development, and in fact were the same ones which the right-wing opposition, the Zinovievites and Trotskyites, had been obsessed with. WW plans to give an article on that Plenum.
«2) The 22-nd Congress of the CPSU was a congress of theoretical ignoramuses and traitors of communism.»
Given all the circumstances, including the above, which are set out in the position of WW about the causes of the death of Soviet socialism, it is hardly possible to speak of “theoretical ignorance”. This is some kind of powerless emotional statement, and what we need is a strict scientific conclusion. In fact, the 22nd Congress was a fully conscious action of counter-revolutionaries. As for the rank-and-file members of the party, the bulk of the delegates to the congress, on the one hand, they did lack political education, and on the other hand, it should also be taken into account that they were not so much elected by the party masses as selected by the local party leaders loyal to the counter-revolutionary higher party leadership. The opposition in the party has always been afraid of the masses. After all, it could not defeat Bolshevism in the open; as numerous discussions in the party have irrefutably proved, with genuine party democracy, freedom of opinion, freedom of criticism, the overwhelming majority of Communists has always followed the Bolsheviks. Neither the Bukharinites, nor the “workers’ opposition,” nor the Zinovievites, nor the Trotskyites have ever received even a weighty minority on voting on any issue, let alone the majority. That is why the counter-revolution in the early 30’s switched over to other methods of fighting the Bolsheviks, the Lenin-Stalin line: to subterfuge, fraud, falsification, administrative pressure, muzzling voices, prohibition of criticism and other forms of limiting democracy, both in the party and in the country. And they began to practice the same methods, but in an even larger volume, when they managed to reach the highest party power (as a result of the coup of 1953), artificially providing their “support” at congresses, plenums, conferences.
«3) Khrushchev did not need the knowledge of the science of socialism, his household practical mind, the peasant petty-bourgeois instinct was enough for him. While for his environment knowledge was replaced by veneration.»
Also not exactly true. These are all trifles. Khrushchev was a convinced Trotskyite. The old oppositionist, but most likely, deeply conspiratorial. The latter is our assumption, based on the results of an analysis of his real deeds. There is no direct proof of this, only indirect one. Perhaps such documents are present in Russian or foreign archives, but they will not be available to us until the working class again takes political power into its hands. It is a common knowledge that in Russia archives of the early 50’s are still closed.
«4) The ideas of Stalin’s work “The Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR” have been forgotten by high rank party leaders.»
It is true. That, in fact, was what all the fuss was due to: the decisions of the 19th Party Congress, which were adopted in accordance with this work. The USSR approached communism too closely, which was extremely dangerous for the world bourgeoisie.
«5) The ignorant leadership of the CPSU destroyed socialism with its policy. Brezhnev, Kosygin, and the Central Committee of the CPSU did not fully understand Lenin’s statements that cost accounting meant a transition to commercial and capitalist principles.»
We have already written about ignorance – it undoubtedly took place if we understand under it the absence of a dialectical-materialistic worldview and the inability to apply materialistic dialectics in practice. But in itself this is not a cause, but an effect. A consequence of the petty-bourgeois class position, with the intrinsic philistinism and narrow-mindedness. Of course, not all in the Central Committee were convinced counter-revolutionaries, the fact is, there were not so many of them (just the few who were closely connected with world capital and acted on its orders). Far more were there of those who condoned it, could not firmly resist, who yielded, agreed, guided by their own self-interest. This adaptationism is what we call true opportunism, conciliation to bourgeois influence and pressure. As a result, the counter-revolution held the majority in the Central Committee.
As for cost accounting, one should not overemphasize it that way, making cost accounting equal to capitalism. In no case! It all depends on where, when and how it is applied. In Stalin’s time, cost accounting was also used, and Lenin recommended it, because it is impossible to establish accounting and control in the country without cost accounting. Plannigs also cost accounting. The question is how this method is used and for what purposes. Under Stalin, cost accounting developed socialism, raising it to communism. After the victory of the counter-revolution, it naturally became a means of destroying the socialist economy and even in the form of “complete economic independence of enterprises” it became the form through which the private ownership of the means of production was actually legalized in the USSR.
«6) Gorbachev and Ryzhkov realized in political decisions the economic programs of “Soviet” (for which read, bourgeois) scholars Shatalin, Popov, Abalkin, Aganbegyan, Petrakov, Gaidar, Yasin, Bunich.»
It is not Shatalin or Abalkin what really matters. It is just the surface. The root lies much deeper. Those guys have embodied the goals and ideas of the party opposition of the late 1920s and early 1930s. – Zinovievites, Trotskyites, the Rights. That is why the Bolsheviks were fighting against them for life and death, because they knew what their rotten ideas led to. As for our generation, because of our own stupidity, we had to see the point of the Bolsheviks the hard way.
«7) Industrial workers and miners were happy with the corporatization of enterprises. They thought, it would help to do away with totalitarianism, they were fed up with the power of the center, and believed they would now dispose of their own property.»
It is a superficial judgment. Its proponents are indulging in wishful thinking. By the way, pay attention to the fact that the bourgeoisie also talks about the years of Perestroika in the same way, wishing to convince the workers that they were just dying to live in capitalism.
But they were not! It’s a lie! Yes, there were some fooled miners of Kuzbass. But that does not make tens and hundreds of millions of Soviet workers! The condition of people then was quite another pair of shoes – when everyone was being forced into corporatizing, the workers simply did not understand what was going on, they were completely mislead, did not know where the truth was and where, in fact, the country was going. This is a direct result of a most powerful ideological processing – after all, almost until the very last days of Perestroika people were told about “improving socialism”, while the fact they were led straight to wage slavery was concealed.
«8) A significant number of anti-communists – activists and initiators of the Perestroika are of Jewish origin (Chubais, Novodvorskaya, Nemtsov, Khakamada, Deripaska, Fridman).»
The Jewish question, when speaking of Perestroika, is raised quite often. Some even consider this factor almost the main cause of the death of Soviet socialism. But we will not comment on this opinion – it’s not serious. Much more important is the other part of comrades, those who refuse to admit that the Jewish question had any meaning in Perestroika at all, believing that any mention of Jews “smells very, very badly».
But it’s not about the smell we should worry, it’s about the realities of that time. And the realities are such that this point was actually present in Perestroika. The phenomenon did exist, and it should be explained.
There were indeed a lot of dissidents among the Jews. It is remembered by everyone who lived in the USSR at a conscious age or was seriously interested in this topic. And this is not accidental. This is a direct result of the counter-revolutionary work of the “Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee” back in the late 1940s, closely related to American imperialism (“the case of the Jewish Antifascist Committee”, “the Mikhoels case”, “the doctors’ case”, etc.).
Why Jews? The element of nationalism was extremely strong among the Jews, as a very oppressed nation in tsarist Russia, which later came handy for the counter-revolution on the tip from the world bourgeoisie. First, it was the Bund as a special social-democratic party of the Jewish proletariat, which was standing the grounds of national isolation for a long time. After the October Revolution, the Bund entered the Russian Communist Party of the Bolsheviks, but petty-bourgeois habits could remain in its members for a long time. Since nationalism is a bourgeois ideology, it was not difficult for counter-revolutionary forces to get across to nationalism-oriented Jews. Of course, not all Jews were like that, but there was a certain part. It became the most convenient environment for the work of the counter-revolution, especially since a considerable part of the Jews held key positions in the party and the state. The latter is not the result of the unique characteristics of this nation, as one can often hear from people who do not know the history of Russia too well, but a direct consequence of the oppressed status of Jews in the Russian Empire. The fact is that only those representatives of this nationality who were of some value for the higher strata of the autocratic society could get out of the “Pale of Settlement” in tsarist Russia. So, boys and girls from poor Jewish families were studying sciences as best they could, because knowledge was the only chance for them to survive.
The propensity for nationalism was the main reason why there were so many Jews first in the ranks of the party opposition, then in counter-revolutionary groups, later among dissidents, and then among activists of Perestroika.
As you can see, all the reasons for the death of the USSR explained in 1) to 8) do not explain anything, and as some of their critics correctly note, they “only generate an even greater mass of other questions”. Here are some of them, to which we will give our answer, now from our own standpoint, summarized above.
«-How come Khrushchev, whom Stalin had brought up from his earliest days taking care and leading him by the hand step by step from one seat to a higher one, how come he took to and never lost that “peasant petty-bourgeois scent”?»
The same way did he take to it, as did many others: small-scale peasantry in the Soviet country for many years numerically dominated and could not but make its imprint on the consciousness of the whole society. On the other hand, the USSR had just emerged from capitalism. Many citizens of the country grew up under the tsarist system, bourgeois ideology could not but influence them. Of course, the being forms consciousness, the being changing – so does the consciousness after it. However, this does not happen immediately, not automatically. There is a so-called “delay effect”, when the being is already different, and the mind still largely remains the same. And we all saw this during Perestroika, when there was already capitalism, with private property reigning supreme in the country, and people behaved as if they were still living in a socialist society. Let alone Perestroika, with the same phenomena still occurring! After all, many of our citizens do not understand that they are now living not in the Soviet country, but in a class society, and this state – the bourgeois RFia-is not at all obliged to take care of them. They are surprised that no one thinks about them or tries to make their lives better.
So was it in those days. Khrushchev had grown up under tsarism, in bourgeois society, so he could not avoid the influence of bourgeois ideology. Others could, but there were also those who were sticking to the petty-bourgeois outlooks.
And Stalin did not bring Khrushchev up “from his earliest days,” but met him when the latter was a student of the Promakademia (Industrial Academy), a well-known hotbed of Trotskyism. Moreover, Khrushchev was sent there in 1929 by the Central Committee of the Ukraine, which was then headed by Kosior, a Trotskyite. (Incidentally, the activities of the Trotskyites, the minions of the bourgeoisie, was the real reason for the famine of the early 1930s, which is the subject of so much fuss for modern bourgeoisie in Ukraine. Kosior and his cronies had to answer for it some later with their own lives, which the bourgeoisie modestly keeps mum about.) Khrushchev in the Promakademia was a party activist, and so was the second wife of Stalin, Alliluyeva, an active member of the party committee of the Academy, where she also studied. It was via her that Stalin got acquainted with Khrushchev. Khrushchev was then something like 35 years old – a man of quite long-held beliefs.
«-How could Stalin have overlooked this sort of thing? Why was not Khrushchev executed then together with N.A. Voznesensky, for example?»
It’s also a common question. Well, do you mean to say Stalin was a god? Before reproaching Stalin, it would be worthwhile first to have a closer look at the methods of the Trotskyites. For example, to find out what “entrism” is, to see what it looks like in practice. A good illustration of this is the film “The Great Citizen.” I sincerely advise to see it to everybody who wants to really understand the essence and causes of the so-called “Stalinist repressions”.
The term “double-dealing” was not accidental, it completely reflected the reality then existing in the country and the great battle of the working class with all the forces of the old world for a classless society.
As for why he was not executed, well, actually one should know that people were not shot for their convictions, but only for counter-revolutionary actions. While there were no actions, each would be let alone to think to himself, whatever he wanted. But once you harm the country, you harm the people, you do not allow them to build a happy life, sorry, get it in full. Apparently, Khrushchev did not take any special counter-revolutionary actions for the time being, or he hid them very well.
«-How come there was so much servility around Khrushchev? But was there nothing like this before Khrushchev, and didn’t Stalin have a lot of those groveling before him?»
Servility and groveling are elements of flattery, careerism, reflecting the desire of a person to take an office he cannot objectively claim for according to his abilities. Or the desire of an enemy to evade the suspicion.
Anyway, these are all direct consequences of petty-bourgeois psychology, partially preserved in Soviet society, especially among employees and intellectuals. The counter-revolutionaries had no one to rely on except for the dregs of society – such careerists, bribe-takers, bureaucrats, ideologically unstable elements, criminals, drinkers, etc., because, as we said above, the working masses did not support either Trotskyites or the rights. This was irrefutably proved by the party discussions back in the 1920s. Under democratic elections, the opposition in the party has always suffered a crushing defeat, the party masses supporting only the Bolshevik line of the Central Committee. That is why the counter-revolutionaries were forced to turn to deeply conspiratorial forms of struggle, for they could not win in the open. (Pease see the film “The Great Citizen”, it is worth your while. It is just on this matter.)
«-How could it happen that, just some three years after the death of the leader, the CPSU degenerated to such an extent that delegates to the Twentieth Congress (including commanders of companies and battalions, commanders of partisan detachments, commanders of armies and fronts, who in the years of the war looked death in the eyes) made it possible for Khrushchev to finish reading the report to the end, did not drown it in the trampling of their feet and the roar of discontent?»
3 years is very, very much for those who have at their disposal the obedient Central Committee of the greatest party in the world, enjoying total trust of millions and hundreds of millions of workers. It is a colossal power. Who could have figured that a counter-revolutionary coup had taken place in the country, and that the Party Central Committee had been captured by the right-wing Trotskyites? Soviet working class could not have imagined it, not in the wildest dream! After all, we had just won the war – the most terrible war in the history of mankind. We had just restored industry and agriculture. Why should there be any class struggle, while the life had just returned to the normal mode?
It is difficult to overestimate the role and significance of the party as the most important part of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Lenin wrote a lot about it. And now we can see that our working class without the party is like a rag doll, unable to do anything. Therefore, it was the main goal of the counter-revolutionary opposition to knock the party out of the hands of the Soviet working class, because it meant victory over the USSR, over the Soviet people. (The fact that this is so has been proved by Perestroika.)
The Central Committee is the headquarters of the party, its head. The most conscious and competent Communists who show where and how to go. How could one doubt to believe them, once they had proved a thousand times that they had always led to victory?
Now, it was just that idealistic, still half-peasant belief in someone up there, not in oneself, that played a cruel joke on Soviet working class and Soviet communists in this case. The masses were not earnest enough in learning Marxism, being sure to be told from up there what to do, with no necessity of thinking for themselves.
The comrade asks how all those heroes of the Great Patriotic War could endure Khrushchev’s report. But to be a hero in war, with heroes all around you – all your people being heroes, is immeasurably simpler than to force yourself daily and hourly to work on your consciousness and your world outlook. This is much more difficult, although it does not look heroic on the outside.
During the Great Patriotic War, the party lost twice its membership staff. It is a well-known fact, but what does it mean in this case?
What it means is that the layer of highly conscious and politically competent communist workers, that was always meant to be the main support for the party, had become negligibly thin — there remained just a few of them. For those well-trained cadres invaluable for the construction of socialism, who could distinguish a Trotskyite from a Bolshevik, who had experience of ideological battles with a class enemy hiding under the guise of party opposition, had in the main died in the battle with fascism. And the new Communists who had joined the party during the war did not consider Marxism-Leninism to be necessary for them to study. And not even so much Marxism-Leninism, as the history of the Party. After all, the history of the Party is, in fact, the history of the class struggle in the USSR.
Let’s consider, for what purpose and why Stalin was forced in 1938 to give up everything and write Short Course of the History of the ARCPb. It was just for this sake! Because he understood how sly and cunning the enemy was and that only a well-trained and experienced working class could cope with it.
But, alas … They did not hear his appeals, did not understand, did not find time … And now here we are up the booay, having lost everything we had – and even our freedom.
Let alone the postwar Communists, even now, after a most severe defeat from the bourgeoisie, the overwhelming majority of communists also do not consider it important for them to learn the political and historical experience of the Bolshevik Party! They have fallen into the same trap that the Bolsheviks have warned them about, they are left with ruins and keep philosophizing, picking out of nose the causes of their woeful situation, instead of trying to understand how come they have got there at all!
To think it’s not just ordinary workers who are engaged in this, but people claiming themselves to be convinced communists, fighters for socialism, former CPSU members having academic degrees in social studies!
The CPSU had not “degenerated” – one should not, like the bourgeoisie, use terms that do not reflect real processes, only confusing the whole matter, giving the events and phenomena an idealistic coloring (“degenerated” – as if changed by itself, for no reason): the enemies of the working class had taken positions at the head of the Party’s general staff. That’s what had really happened. And these enemies in 3 years had managed to replace a significant part of the party leadership on the local level (regional, territorial, republican, municipal). And this leadership did provide the 20th Congress with such delegates who were ready to take anything for dew from the sky.
How it was done by the Trotskyites, was shown only too well in the film The Great Citizen recommended above. In short, by the limitation of party and workers’ democracy. By the way, this phenomenon with the advent of Khrushchev became the main in the inner-party life of the CPSU. It was prohibited to criticize the superiors. Self-criticism was completely abolished. Here we have the basis for the growth of the party bureaucracy, because it is impossible to resolve contradictions in a different way, but on a personal will of the superior authorities (see the well-known provisions of the dialectical materialism on criticism and self-criticism).
Here we must understand that it’s not Khrushchev as such that matters. Khrushchev is only the visible top of the counter-revolutionary iceberg. A well-conspiratorial and ramified counter-revolutionary group was operating, which was obviously preparing for Stalin’s death (the same was during Lenin’s illness and after his death). The main events unfolded not in 1956, but in the summer of 1953, especially in June. Khrushchev’s election as the first secretary of the Central Committee was already a consequence of those summer events, where counter-revolution had won. We mean the destruction of the entire Bolshevik leadership of the Soviet security services (Beria, Abakumov, Goglidze, etc.), after which those security ministries actually fell under the full control of the counter-revolution. And this destruction was carried out with the participation of the Soviet Army representatives (Zhukov being the most important person playing into the hands of the counter-revolution at the moment). Under such conditions, with the precariousness and uncertainty of the position of the majority of the Central Committee members, of whom no one was able to take firm and decisive action, as Stalin once did, with the security ministries in the hands of the foe, there could be no other option but the subordination of the whole Central Committee to the right-wing Trotskyites. And after the September Plenum of the Central Committee in 1953, where the right-wing Trotskyites clearly stated the right turn of the country, it was already extremely difficult to do anything. One should not underestimate the strength of state security, enjoying all Soviet people’s trust and help. Lenin and Dzerzhinsky had long since warned as to what had to happen in case the Cheka fell into the hands of class enemies. The enemy understood this perfectly and was strenuously striving for this goal. It did not work with Yagoda and Yezhov – the party proved to be stronger. But when the counter-revolution managed to grab the Central Committee in its hands, then the goal was achieved.
Is it clear now why Khrushchev easily managed to deliver all of his report, and why it did not cause a big row in the party? For that matter, there are suspicions that certain protests did take place, quickly quenched by the Soviet security officials by order of the counter-revolutionaries. Most likely, there should have been an increase in political repression, but now not against counter-revolutionaries, but against real Bolsheviks-Communists who remained faithful to the Lenin and Stalin testacy. But it is not yet possible to check this assumption. Most likely, this can be done only after the working class has won political power.
«-Did the working class feel like a master in the country, the owner of the means of production?»
It depends. Until 1953 – no doubt, yes, it did, and therefore fought for this country taking great pains both during foreign intervention, and in the civil and the Great Patriotic War. But then more and more counter-revolutionaries, who got to power, began to move workers away from the administration of the party and state. And in parallel, instead of Marxism, the workers were fed with a revisionist gruel, so that they would not get too involved in politics. But until the middle of Perestroika, until the procedure for elections to the Soviets was changed, and these proletarian organs of power did not turn into bourgeois parliaments, the dictatorship of the proletariat worked, although it became increasingly weaker.
«- if it did not feel like a master, then what was the social system in the USSR?»
The social system is not determined by sensations. It is determined by objective conditions – production relations. Since in the USSR political power was in the hands of the working class and the working masses, there existed only socialist property in its two forms – the national and collective-farm cooperative, there was no hired labor, and the goal of social production was to satisfy the needs of the working population of the country, the country’s social and economic structure was unequivocally socialist.
«-What metamorphoses did the working class of the Soviet country undergo, what made the workers treat this system as something foreign and bureaucratic?»
This is obviously a subjective illusion of the questioner. As to the “foreign and bureaucratic”, workers reacted to the society condition that was in Gorbachev’s Perestroika – when that guy with his cronies was eagerly stripping down the country, with the whole party helping him in it.
The comrade equates different phenomena, has no dialectical perspective, lumping everything together – the Stalin USSR (proper socialism or communism-bound socialism), the Khrushchev-Chernenko USSR (late socialism, destroyed by the revisionists) and Gorbachev USSR (ruined socialism with the revival of capitalist relations). This latter one is actually not socialism, but the genesis of capitalism – the workers really rejected it. Bourgeois propagandists convinced the workers that this rejection was the rejection of socialism. Many workers believed them. Which is pardonable for them – they were not too politically literate, to be honest. But why do Communists asking such questions so easily fall for the bait of the bourgeoisie?
Well, if then there were such communists who would clearly understand where to move, rejecting something in order to improve the matter, perhaps we would not have come to the point where we have destroyed our own country with our own hands.
Hence the conclusion about what to start with: with a clear understanding of who we are, where we are, how we have ended up here and what we really want.