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The Class Nature of the Soviet Union

Book Review: 'Nomenklatura - Anatomy of the Soviet Ruling Class'

Russia's Capitalists

'Nomenklatura: Anatomy of the Soviet Ruling Class', by Michael Voslensky, (The Bodley Head, £12.95)

Letter: Russia, Women, Transition...

Letter to the Editors

The SPGB’s characterisation of modern Russia as ‘state-capitalist" is, I would argue, somewhat mistaken. At present the most relevant interpretation of the country has been made by Corrigan, Ramsey and Sayer, in an article published in the New Left Review, on which I draw heavily.

Capitalism has three specific and necessary features: 1) production units operate independently so that goods are produced as commodities and resources through a market system; 2) capital accumulation through the extraction of surplus value, is in Marx’s words “the direct aim and determining motive of production"; and 3) the foundation of this exploitation is the wage relation.

Socialism Means... Russia Was Never Socialist

It is our contention that Socialism has not been established at any time in any part of the world and that there is no basis for supporting the various regimes which claim to be socialist or advancing towards Socialism.

The oldest and most well-known of such regimes is that which governs Russia and, indirectly, a host of East European countries. This regime came to power with the so-called October Revolution at 1917, an event which was little more than a straightforward takeover by a well-organized minority group, the Bolsheviks, who have held political power to the present day. They have consistently claimed that the working class rules in Russia, in contrast to the capitalist west, a claim which we have treated with the contempt it deserves.

Book Review: 'The God That Failed'

The Illusion of Disillusionment

'The God That Failed', edited by Richard H. Crossman (Hamish Hamilton)

Because of its inner contradictions Capitalism is a dying and decadent social order. This decadence is reflected not only in its institutions but in its literature. That is why some of its most effective literature is that of despair, cynicism and protest.

The first World War did much to shatter the complacency of 19th century Capitalism. The slumps, massive unemployment and wide “Labour unrest” which followed it, seemed for many to threaten social disintegration.

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