Russian Tensions

March 2023 Forums General discussion Russian Tensions

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    “Meaning a majority of the profits go towards the state to be spent on the Russian people”
    LOL. this plonker imagines the capitalist state operates in the interest of the population at large and then has the audacity to count himself amongst the “actually existing socialists”.

    How difficult is it to explain to him that state ownership is NOT common ownership and that it is simply a form of class ownership? In the old soviet union, this was pretty clear for all to see. A small class -the nomenklatura – by virtue of its stranglehold on the state ownership owned and controlled the means of production. Ultimate control means the same thing as de facto control. The Soviet Union was an extremely unequal society with a GINI coefficient comparable to many western capitalist countries. State capitalism (and modern Russia is not even that by TSs own admission but rather a ´”mixed economy” like most other capitalist states) is no more geared to serve the interests of workers than private capitalism. private capitalism likewise has its obscurantist mythology e.g. the concept of the “stakeholder society”


    I note that TS has wriggled out of answering a previous point I made in response to his attempt to justify the existence of profits in Russia. Of course, you cannot operate capitalism without an economic surplus or profits (signifying the exploitation of the working class) but, stupidly, TS criticized me for imagining that that is precisely what I suggested – that you could. The irony is that the video he posted in support of the actions of the Russian capitalist state actually featured some commentator asserting that entities like Gazprom don’t sell their stuff “in order to make a profit”.

    Once again, TS emerges with egg all over his face having shot himself in the foot, to mix a few metaphors. It is the person in the video he should be criticizing, not me, for suggesting you could operate capitalism without the need to secure a profit


    “My, you are a bore. No one is arguing that parts of the Russian economy are not capitalist. With the betrayal of the USSR the capitalists had a field day. But since then they’ve been put in their place. The oligarchs no longer exercise singular control over the ship of state. Imperialism is not the Russian state’s reason for being.”

    Just as the old nomenklatura of the Soviet Union represented the Red bourgeoisie or state capitalist class so Putin today represents the modern capitalist or oligarch class in Russia. Putin himself is an oligarch and an extremely wealthy individual. It’s not the case that “oligarchs no longer exercise singular control over the ship of state”, Rather it is a case of some oligarchs closely allied with Putin have gained power at the expense of others

    Talking of Gazprom I came across this:

    “The market value of Gazprom, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, peaked at $369 billion in May 2008. Now that investors have figured out that Gazprom is working for its contractors and asset-strippers rather than its shareholders, the company currently trades at $60 billion. That means Gazprom insiders have reduced its value by some $310 billion, which must qualify as either a case of epic bad management or one of the biggest heists of all time. Chief executive Alexei Miller, a former assistant to Putin, has held the job since May 2001, indicating that Putin is satisfied with his performance.

    The next most notable claim about Putin’s wealth came from Sergei Kolesnikov, a junior partner of oligarch Nikolai Shamalov. Kolesnikov fled Russia because he feared for his life. He offered a long and detailed interview to the prominent Russian journalist Yevgeniya Albats in 2012. Kolesnikov, who was involved in this project, revealed that Putin was building a grand palace near the Black Sea resort of Sochi with state funds. Kolesnikov suggested that typically half of any crony business went to Putin and half to his chief partner, while junior partners received a few percent.

    The irony is that Putin has undermined all property rights in Russia. Therefore, Putin and his cronies need to transfer their wealth to offshore havens. Otherwise, if they lose power in Russia, they will be instantly expropriated.

    The Panama Papers, which Putin condemned in the starkest terms, offered further insights. According to the documents, one of Putin’s childhood friends, the cellist Sergei Roldugin, turned out to be a multi-billionaire, seemingly without knowing it. The biggest gift identified in the Panama Papers was $259 million that Roldugin received from the private Russian businessman Suleiman Kerimov, who was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in April 2018.

    If the allegations are true, the picture is clear: Putin and his closest friends are looting the state and its assets, primarily Gazprom, on an extraordinary scale. My guesstimate is that Putin’s cronies have moved $15 billion to $25 billion a year out of the country since 2006. Over 13 years that would total $195 billion to $325 billion. Half of that amount would belong to Putin.

    And it shows. The booklet “The Life of a Galley Slave,” authored in 2012 by Nemtsov and the activist Leonid Martynyuk, concluded that Putin had at his disposal 20 palaces, four yachts, 58 aircraft and a collection of watches worth about $700,000. Like so many other critics of the regime, Martynyuk has been forced to flee Russia.

    But why does Putin need all this money? Because money is power in Russia. Only the richest can rule, so Putin needs to be the richest.

    In all probability, Putin holds most of his wealth in Western countries with rule of law and deep financial markets and that allow anonymously owned companies. Yet this also makes him vulnerable. If the United States prohibited anonymous ownership and started demanding information about all ultimate beneficiary owners, it could make life very difficult for the Russian president.”


    “Don’t bother. You use Marx to undermine Marxism and birth liberals. Marx would have nothing but contempt for you. You’ve no interest in
    changing the world otherwise you’d be furiously organising the working class in this time of capitalist crisis. Face it, you like things just the way they are.”

    This shows how pathetically little our Putin bootlicker understands about Marxism. Marx held that the emancipation of the working class must be the act of the working class itself. It is not up to a socialist political party to “organise” the working class . That is Leninist BS.

    This comment is revealing for demonstrating yet again TS’s utter contempt for the working class (some of whom he would happily turn into “fertiliser” in true Nazi fashion) in support of the interest of the Russian capital warlord Putin against the equally repugnant Ukrainian capitalist warlord, Zelensky

    Bijou Drains

    BD “As to the Leninist concept of imperialism, which Johnny Mercer correctly analyses as follows “It almost requires a kind of conspiracy theory to suppose that capitalists give their workers more than their labour power in order to bribe them.”

    TN And I’m sure that when a parent gives their child food, a warm bed and protects them from harm that is merely a bribe to get them to do their homework.

    BD “When asked about how this bribe occurs and what the mechanism is by which the surplus value of third world workers is exploited by one capitalist enterprise (capitalist A) and a portion of it is consciously identified to be redistributed by western workers and then consciously distributed by other capitalist enterprises (capitalist B), Leninist supporters of this theory tend to fall silent.”

    TN My, you are a bore. No one is arguing that parts of the Russian economy are not capitalist. With the betrayal of the USSR the capitalists had a field day. But since then they’ve been put in their place. The oligarchs no longer exercise singular control over the ship of state. Imperialism is not the Russian state’s reason for being.

    BD “Similarly when asked why on earth Capitalist A would give up part of their profits to support capitalist B, they either remain silent or try to explain that the invisible cabal that run the system want to ensure that western workers are getting a more wealth than they produce in order to keep them from turning revolutionary!”

    TN The issue is imperialism not the existence of capitalist enterprises in Russia.”

    Dear TN, you really are as thick as a monk’s foreskin, aren’t you.

    Let’s just try and pull this apart for you in simple terms so you can understand.

    1st Point (which the guy you cited actually explains in his video) is that he is talking about Lenin’s theory of Imperialism. This is not the same thing as imperialism in its normal everyday usage (i.e. the process and expansion of creating empires). Therefore (as I have tried to explain to you before), in the way that Lenin described imperialism it does not references classical empires, medieval empires, or even Darth Vader and his intergalactic empire.

    You have quoted and sourced information from writers and commentators who specifically discuss the Leninist concept of imperialism, therefore when you talk about imperialism (which you do frequently) we must assume that you are talking about Imperialism in the Leninist sense.

    Moving on to your comments, you begin by making an analogy between capitalists allegedly bribing workers to remain acquiescent and parents giving warm food, a bed, etc. What the fuck are you talking about???

    Are you attempting to say that capitalists are involved in some kind of nurturing relationship which the workers?? Apart from the clear nonsense of that analogy, what has that got to do with Lenin’s view which was that super exploitation of workers in the developing world creates super profits part of which are used to “overpay” western workers in order to keep them passive. This view is completely contrary to Marx’s view which states that exploitation and production of surplus value takes place “at the point of production”

    Moving on to your view that “the oligarchs exercise singular control over the ship of state”, even if that was the case, so what. The crucial issue is the issue of property relationships. The capitalists (including oligarchs, capitalists and the state) own and control the means of production, the workers do not own anything other than the ability to labour and to produce wealth through their labour. Going back to what Engels stated “The workers remain wage-earners, proletarians. The capitalist relationship isn’t abolished; it is rather pushed to the extreme.”

    State ownership does not mean that exploitation has been abolished it means, generally, it has been merely streamlined.

    Your final comment about a “Marxist State” shows just how little you know of Marx’s work and his view of the state. Engels stated that “The society which organizes production anew on the basis of free and equal association of the producers will put the whole state machinery where it will then belong—into the museum of antiquities, next to the spinning wheel and the bronze axe.”

    Hence the rest of the quote from Engels, which by your own comment have demonstrated you don’t understand.

    “But at this extreme it is transformed into its opposite. State ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but it contains within itself the formal means, the key to the solution.”

    What he was saying is that state ownership (i.e. nationalisation, etc.) does not resolve the situation, but is rather part of the process of consolidation of large scale capitalist enterprises, in the same way that multinational and huge corporations increase the concentration of capital, reducing the ownership of the means of production into the hands of smaller and smaller numbers of property owners and thus increases not only the tension between labour and capital but creates the large scale enterprises and productive forces necessary to transform from a society of ownership of the means of production by the few (Capitalists, state capitalists, oligarchs or whatever way you describe them) working in the interests of the few, to a society based on Common Ownership (not state ownership) which works on the basis of from each according to their ability to each according to their need.

    You say that “the issue is not imperialism not the existence of capitalist enterprises in Russia.”

    In that is exactly where you are wrong, even if it was possible to have capitalism without imperialism (which is completely impossible because of the nature of capitalism) the fundamental issue at the basis of the class struggle the struggle between labour and capital, would continue, regardless of whether capital was help in the form of state ownership, private ownership or some hybrid of each.


    TS has already shown that he has no interest in what Marx says so I will not be surprised if he dismisses what Engels says about enterprises owned by the government.

    “…The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine — the state of the capitalists, the ideal personification of the total national capital. The more it proceeds to the taking over of productive forces, the more does it actually become the national capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage-workers — proletarians. The capitalist relation is not done away with…”


    “TS has already shown that he has no interest in what Marx says”

    Erm, no. I have no interest in what you say All-in with the Nazis.

    Bijou Drains

    True Narcissist, I’m truly sorry for you. Considering the way in which you have been exposed as:
    A Socialist – who has no idea what socialism is
    A Leninist- whose never read a word of Lenin’s work
    An anti Nazi – who has not the slightest idea of what the ideological basis of nazism or fascism is
    A anti imperialist- who demonstrably has the slightest clue of Lenin’s theories of imperialism
    A historian- who thought that the overthrow of the Russian Consituent Assembly had something to do with the Kornilov Affair
    A promoter of Stalin’s ideas who relies on the ludicrous ramblings of Grover Furr.

    You are embarrassing, son.


    “You are embarrassing, son.”

    And what of you? A professed socialist who despises socialism. Member of an ineffectual and irrelevant “party” with a membership of loons, snowflakes, do nothings and intellectual guttersnipes.

    At least the ideas I hold are reality based and allow me to make accurate predictions about the world while yours remain in the realm of fantasy. Your confused interpretation of socialism is as nonsensical as the claim that you have a “party”. You’re but a bunch of jokers contemplating the fluff in your bellybuttons. Indolent posers with nothing to offer but lies and derision. Lol


    A few questions for you

    TS – Your confused interpretation of socialism is as nonsensical as the claim that you have a “party”.

    Can you define what YOU mean by socialism?

    TS -…an ineffectual and irrelevant “party”

    What political party are you a member of?
    If not a member of any, what political party (past or present) do you judge to be the closest to your own political beliefs?

    TS – At least the ideas I hold are reality based and allow me to make accurate predictions about the world

    What were those accurate predictions and when were they made and what political-economic ideas were they based upon?


    “And what of you? A professed socialist who despises socialism. Member of an ineffectual and irrelevant “party” with a membership of loons, snowflakes, do nothings and intellectual guttersnipes.”

    LOL This from a declared nationalist supporter of a capitalist regime who understands next to nothing about socialism which he has repeatedly dismissed with contempt. If anyone is a loon, snowflake, and guttersnipe TS qualifies eminently for the job


    FYI, Once again, this thread is straying into a breach of forum etiquette

    7. You are free to express your views candidly and forcefully provided you remain civil. Do not use the forums to send abuse, threats, personal insults or attacks, or purposely inflammatory remarks (trolling). Do not respond to such messages.

    Bijou Drains

    TN has now exposed all that he has to offer:

    An uninformed hero worship at the rotting edifice of State Capitalism. An inability to articulate any purposeful, evidenced based or coherent arguments to support his fetid nationalist rhetoric. A lack of scruple to even check his historical references for accuracy. The complete absence of any reply to the challenges and questions asked of him and all he’s got in the tank is a few unoriginal, unfunny attempts to insult. Basically he’s been on an ego trip that he hasn’t got the intellectual currency to pay the fare.

    Close the door on the way out, there’s a good boy.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Bijou Drains.

    We have spent almost one year in this Ping Pong table and we have abandoned other world issues.


    It’s not just nationalist supporters of the Russian regime that socialists criticise but equally nationalist supporters of the Ukrainian regime. It is surprising – or perhaps not that surprising – the extent to which swathes of the Left, seemingly the more Trotskyist-oriented, have chosen to identify with the cause of Ukraine while the Stalinists have tended to side with Russia. Both have succumbed to the toxic anti-working-class mental disease called nationalism

    Here´s a piece by one such leftist supporter of Ukraine that glosses over the repugnant nature of the Ukrainian regime. It does, however, contain some interesting snippets of information. Like this for example:

    “For instance, they could have spoken with renowned historian, sociologist, and author Boris Kagarlitsky, whom I interviewed in September 2022 about the political, economic, and social factors behind the invasion. Benjamin and Davies might have been surprised to hear Kagarlitsky explain that, while it’s self-evident that NATO expansion was imperialist, it’s also true that much of the U.S. motivation was rooted not in targeting Russia but in absorbing the post-Soviet militaries of Eastern Europe into NATO (along with their hardware) in order to use them in far-flung operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. Poland and Ukraine rank fourth and fifth in combat deaths in Iraq, for example.”

    Making sense of the Ukraine war

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