This month marks the 30th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The most powerful deformed workers’ state was collapsing into chaos as supposed communists were looting the state and its assets, cheered on by the imperialists of the west.
Although not the whole story it is significant as here and essential for the (Marxist) left to disown the whole Bolshevik fiasco.
The account focuses on the bureaucracy but the dynamics of Bolshevism remain unclear and the issue can’t really be judged by left if the public has voted with its feet.
I have tried to produce a critique of Marxism as such as the core problem at the failure of Bolshevism and the waste of a priceless opportunity, Postcapitalist Futures: The Last Revolution. Although it is seemingly unfair to critique Marxism/Marx on the basis of the Russian Revolution, the left must reexamine the whole question, and move on to a reformulation of the nature of and path to socialism, reclaimed in a different terminology as ‘neo-communism’. And the model of ‘democratic market neo-communism’. The left has one last chance as the planet converges on disaster and that can have no illusions about the legacy of Bolshevism, and the core theories of Marx.
From The Last Revolution, link above:
Dictatorship of the ….Marxist Bourgeoisie?
One of the misfortunes of the early International and the Bolshevik revolution was the slogan of the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’, a term to be renounced, and whose shift in meaning and misinterpretation proved a curse and subjected the Marxist legacy to a betrayal of both meaning and outcome in the de facto swindle of the proletariat in the emergence of the revolutionary class as a new and dominant elite claiming to transcend class yet recreating its reality inside a communism so-called that was, in reality, a tyranny of a new class of the Marxist bourgeoisie claiming control of capital as a new master class. A neo-communism must create a new kind of structure that failsafes its realization as constitutional in socialist democracy in a Commons guaranteeing fair shares, labor organization, economic equality, and economic rights, with all the hopes of social democracy realized in a bountiful distribution of social goods given guarantees.
Marx’s theories have blunted his real insights into class as it emerges in the spectrum of civilizations since Sumer and the rise of the State. The key insight of the early socialists into the limits of the French Revolution inspired Marx’s prime focus on the proletariat and its exclusion from the bourgeois revolution. In fact, the question as Engels noted was itself the keynote of the modern transition in the birth of the class struggle and proto-communism of Thomas Munzer and the Peasant’s Revolt.