1960s >> 1969 >> no-777-may-1969

Russian Capitalists

Members of the discussion group on the Wellington waterfront have been debating the question of the Russian ruling class with members of the ‘Socialist Unity Party’ (Moscow devotees) who claim that the exploitation of man by man has ceased to exist in Russia. The fact that man can exploit man through the state is not acceptable to them.

While they agree that an individual in New Zealand investing 600,000 dollars (about a million Russian roubles) in government loans is a capitalist and a member of the ruling class, according to the SUP someone in Russia investing a million roubles in state loans and bonds is a patriot and not a surplus-value-eater. At 2 per cent per annum his million roubles would return him 20,000 in interest. But, according to a visiting Russian trade unionist, when asked at a work-stop meeting of the Wellington Waterside Workers Union, “How much could a Russian watersider earn?” a good waterside worker could earn 300 roubles a month At 3,600 a year he gets less than a fifth of what the ‘patriot’ gets in interest on his investment. The SUP had no explanation for this position. How gullible can they get? It certainly puts the owner of a million roubles in state bonds in a different category to a waterside worker earning 300 a month. How else is a privileged class constituted?

However, the SUP is undaunted. They claim these things are the birthmarks of Socialism. According to our book they are the obvious marks of capitalism. Wellington SUP are circulating a pamphlet by Vasili Garbuzov, USSR Minister of Finance, entitled USSR: National Income and Budget. It also is crammed full of of ‘birthmarks of Socialism’!

Ron Everson
(Socialist Party of New Zealand)