1940s >> 1941 >> no-437-january-1941

So Much Alike!

Russia, according to the Stalin Government and its unthinking groups of devotees, is a Socialist country. We have the strange spectacle of a prominent clerical dignitary declaring one-sixth of the earth to be Socialist. Now, surely, it is a sound guide to know your fundamentals first. Thus, if an object is declared to be triangular, we can only agree that it is so, if we first know a triangle. On the same principle, if Russia is declared a Socialist country, is it not the surest and safest thing for us to understand Socialism first, otherwise how are we to be sure we are not being sold a pup ? Therefore the knowledge of Socialism is vital. What then is Socialism? Socialism is a system of human society of a special kind. Its fundamental is the common ownership of all that is necessary to the common good. This implies the end of buying and selling and the end of the wages system. From this fundamental we must look at Russia. When we do look we find that buying and selling and wages obtain there as elsewhere—wages varying in rate, etc. Then, as Russia does not conform to our fundamental she cannot be Socialist. The Communist party, Left Book Club and similar people, however, have a ready answer. This is it! The fundamental (no wages) is a fundamental of Communism, and Socialism is a half-way house in which wages, money, buying and selling must exist until, by a slow process, they are eliminated and Communism is then reached. Russia, we are told, is going that way. Let us take them at their own word. If Russia is Socialist and moving towards Communism, according to the Stalinites each move should be away from payment for goods or services. The recent decree of the Russian rulers, however, is away from free education in schools to payment for it, ranging from one hundred to four hundred roubles. Let us face the facts and declare openly—Russia is not a Socialist but a Capitalist country, approximating to, though not identical with, totalitarian Germany. The German capitalist class have bluffed millions by styling their system “National  Socialism,” the bulk of their population being German. Russia could not do this as easily, large chunks of her people being non-Russian. In order to gain support for her capitalism Russia has to delude millions of people that she too is Socialist (though not national). In order to slip this across the world she has made a “Socialism” of her own (like Germany), and subsidises numerous organisations to boom this for her (again like Germany). Those in her own borders who do not agree because they perhaps understand Socialism she shoots or imprisons (how like Germany). Prominent people (not understanding Socialism) write about a Socialist sixth of the world. Socialists, however, see through the game.
Lew Jones