The Western Socialist
Vol. 26 - No. 207
No. 3, 1959
page 7

A Matter of Definitions

Anastas I. Mikoyan was obviously annoyed by Secretary of State Dulles' reference to the Soviet Union as a country of "state capitalism" when the latter sent a farewell telegram to the departing Soviet leader. Mr. Mikoyan thought this to be "a strange definition of the Soviet system" and instead called his country "a Socialist country building communism."

In terms of the facts, it is difficult to see why Mr. Mikoyan objects. The Soviet state is obviously the world's largest capitalist, owning and controlling a far larger volume of capital than even the richest individual or corporation in the free world. Like an individual capitalist, the Soviet state normally tries to make a profit, and, acting as the monopoly seller it is, it often sets prices for the goods sold Soviet people so as to make rather fantastic rates of profit.

For the Soviet state to be Socialist, as Marx or Engels understood the term, it would have to be under the control of the Soviet working class. But it is a handful of men, including Premier Khrushchev and Mr. Mikoyan, who control the Soviet state and through it give commands to the Soviet working class. That is a dictatorship over the proletariat, not of the proletariat. Marx, we may recall, looked for the state to wither away, something the Soviet state shows precious few signs of doing.

N.Y. Times 1/25/59