III. Marx, Engels and Lenin's teachings are not the substance of Marxism-Leninism
Both Keeran and Azad base their precepts on Marxism-Leninism, which is the context of Stalin's interpretation of the struggle for and building of socialism. Just compare the essential character of the economic operations without a law of value in the USSR model and it becomes obvious that contradictions within that system were bound to emerge and test its validity
True, Andropov (forget Chernyenko) and Gorbachev began a process of restructuring socialism. The initial approach by Andropov was that management was the problem, but by the time Gorbachev succeeded Chernyenko by a series of maneuvers, the issue was major reorganization, major surgery. The system was incapable of competing with the capitalist world because of its failure to develop the means of production and productivity in its forces of production and relations in production were completely distorted.
Gorbachev's approach had a basic validity -- restructuring the planning systems, the management, the further socialization of production and the introduction of market mechanisms to facilitate the economic development. Perestroika -- restructuring -- was the only way to make further progress in the latter part of the 20th century. Glasnost -- open criticism and discussion of the system -- was another matter. The major error in Gorbachev's leadership was to put Glasnost first as a public enterprise instead of generating internal discussions based upon their system of command controls, anyway to establish some approach to the release of public sentiment. Glasnost, first, blew the lid off Perestroika and challenged the contradictory attitudes even of the government ministers in their loyalty to socialist property or private property since they had already been corrupted.
Coupling this inner condition with external interference, in particular, CIA contact with high level elements in the party and ministries, particularly Yeltsin, created a schism in the leadership of a command society which made it possible to demand the resignation of Gorbachev under penalty of death and achieve the most silk-gloved transition of major proportions in government revolution or counter revolution in the history of the world.
The tendency of many, and this includes both Keeran and Azad, as well as the docket of writers criticized by Keeran (some of whom had legitimate insights of these changes, rejected by Keeran) tend to accept Marxism-Leninism as their basis of investigation without questioning the concepts that reflected Stalin's model of socialism.
This is only the beginning of dealing with the dialectical negation of the negation of Soviet socialism. Additional discussion of many of the points raised by these two writers as well as others is a necessary exercise to deepen an understanding of the failure we all suffer. It also would not hurt if we could collectively get together and ascertain the degree to which socialism with Chinese characteristics reflects basic precepts of the architects of socialism, Marx, Engels, and Lenin.
December 3, 2004
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Professor Sidney J Gluck is former chairman, New York Chapter,
US-China Peoples Friendship Association; emeritus professor with the
Social Science Faculty, New School For Social Research; and is
currently chairman, US-China Society of Friends.
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