I think it’s necessary to clarify my recent debate with Xexizy (Muke) that took place yesterday. The first thing I want to do is apologize for the awful display. I should have known that Xexizy would have acted in such a dishonest manner when confronted with real-world Marxist theory. At several points, Xexizy demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge on Marxism in general, regardless of how he attempts to justify the false information.
Note: I will be using the words “socialism/communism” for clarity as Xexizy claims they are the same thing, despite them not being so.
1. Communism and Socialism are not the same things. His assertion that they are, is totally false. While Marx did not specifically theorize both of these stages of development, it is clear he was referring to two different things.
Communism is a stateless classless society, while he specifically he says, “Between capitalist and communist society there lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.” (Marx, Critique of the Gotha Program (1875))
This is clearly differentiating between two things. One cannot have a state and not have a state at the same time. This is referring to two different periods of development. The state is part of the development towards communism.
2. Xexizy claims that there does not need to be a market in order for there to be capitalism: this is an utter lie. A market is a necessary aspect of capitalism. The whole criticism of Marx towards capitalism is largely due to the effect of market forces, and the relations and ownership of the means of production. The market is the very mechanism which gives capital “a logic of its own”, which the capitalist must abide by. This is best described as the “hidden hand of the market”. Capital flows to what is most profitable, not what is most socially rational. This is the very basis for the “anarchy of production”. It is clear Xexizy does not know what he’s talking about.
3. Xexizy claims that Marxism is utopian. This is not only false, it is an accusation made by rightists against Marxism. Using this “argument” is wholly reactionary. Marxism is the science of revolution and understanding the development of human society from it’s earliest days. It is historical materialism that has given the best explanation for why societies have evolved the way they have. For Xexizy to claim it is utopian is baffling, and outright reactionary.
4. Xexizy insists that labour vouchers are socialism/communism. Thus if they are not present, communism/socialism does not exist. They can be a part of socialism but are not socialism itself. Since he wanted to rely solely on what Marx wrote, he should remember that Marx was dismissive of labour vouchers as being now real solution, and would end up acting like money in the end. This is confirmed by the experience of the anarchists in Spain.
To this, he claims that value does not exist under socialism/communism. This is false. Marx says “It is the utility of a thing for human life that turns it into a use-value.” (Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, 1867) Are we to assume that everything produced under socialism/communism is no utility or use-value? Are we to believe that socialism/communism has surpassed capitalism in the production of useless things? Nonsense. Xexizy is just plain wrong.
5. Now I will deal with the claim by Xexizy that the Soviet Union was capitalist. This is false, and can be clearly demonstrated by how Marx defines the capitalist mode of production:
– Both the inputs and outputs of production are mainly privately owned, priced goods and services purchased in the market.
– Production is carried out for exchange and circulation in the market, aiming to obtain a net profit income from it.
– The owners of the means of production (capitalists) are the dominant class (bourgeoisie) who derive their income from the surplus product produced by the workers and appropriated freely by the capitalists.
– A defining feature of capitalism is the dependency on wage-labour for a large segment of the population; specifically, the working class (proletariat) do not own capital and must live by selling their labour power in exchange for a wage.
This does not describe the Soviet Union in the least. Inputs and outputs of production were collectively owned by the state until the final good was delivered to the customer at which point it becomes personal property.
Production is not carried out for an exchange that is intended solely for exchange, exchange-value. Production is carried out according to a state plan which is the conscious direction of the economy along a socialist transformation. Commodities are intended to fill a need, even if that need is not profitable. They’re also produced along a plan to industrialize production as well. None of this was done for the market during the revolutionary era. During the reactionary era, this did occur, and could no longer be called socialism.
Finally, the proletariat did own capital as it was held in common via the government and implement via a state plan.
6. Finally, I will deal with the very core of Xexizy’s argument, which relies on one hugely incorrect idea: communism and socialism are the same things. This claim essentially erases the transitory period between capitalism and communism even if Xexizy claims he doesn’t. He has done so by refusing to acknowledge them as two different things. Essentially, if the society doesn’t conform to the end result of communism, then, therefore, it is capitalism. Such a transformation cannot be carried out instantaneously, this is utopian anarchist garbage. A transitory period in which perfection does not exist is necessary. A building under construction is still a building even if you want to nitpick that it is not the final product. This almost a Nirvana fallacy. If we take him at his word that they are the same, then a higher and lower stage doesn’t exist according to him. He would do well to study quantity into quality as well.
This should serve to clarify the horrible disorganized and dishonest debate with Xexizy.