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On "Stalinism" [part 3]

Due to some of the confusion my previous two posts on "Stalinism" caused for some, I think it is worthwhile to begin this concluding post by providing some conceptual clarity.  Moreover, I want to note that this small series is not intended to be a thorough examination of the phenomenon but, rather, was initially meant to be a general summary of how I believe Maoists in particular should think about approaching that thing which people call "Stalinism", as well as the question of Stalin, and how our approach will not necessarily be the same as other marxist (or anarchist, for that matter) tendencies.

That being said, what needs to be made clear is that this phenomenon that we can short-hand as "Stalinism" is indeed a phenomenon that is discussed and defined by other traditions; it is this existing definition, this spectre of party monolithism, authoritarianism, over-bureaucratization, or what-have-you, that motivated this small series.  Thus, I began by choosing the most general definition of the phenomenon called Stalinism that those tendencies that use this term would most probably accept as a basis for their own conceptualizations.  After all, since it is generally Trotskyists and anarchists who have created and perpetuated "Stalinism" as a concept, I was adopting the popular name of a more significant phenomenon and locating a root definition that, beyond further conceptualization, Maoists should also accept as a problem.

Where the Maoist analysis of Stalinism should defer from other analyses, though sharing a root definition, is in the conceptual meaning given to this definition: a) it is not a significant body of theory that really counts as an ism but rather a phenomenon; b) it is not reducible to either the figure of Stalin or some vague theory of bureaucratization; c) it is a phenomenon that logically emerges from the first historical attempt to build socialism and that, due to the historical circumstances, is in some sense the completion of Marxism-Leninism.

The last point is important, and one that could possibly make Maoists resemble anarchists and/or autonomists if it is taken out of context.  For in some sense the anarchists/autonomists, who argue that Stalinism was just the logical result of the Leninist theory of organization, are saying something that is quite correct: Stalinism is an orthodox application of Marxism-Leninism to the problem of building and sustaining socialism.  Thus, viewed at a certain angle, Stalinism is just the logical accomplishment of Leninism and haunts the limits of that theoretical terrain.  Countless anarchist screeds have established that Stalin was a consummate Leninist; those marxists who equate Stalin with evil (and thus produce a critique of Stalin/Stalinism from the right), but wish to hang on to Leninism, do not do themselves any favours by denying all of these arguments––there is a point, as with arguments about "true communism", where such denials become sophistry.

Viewed from another angle, however, it is senseless to treat Leninism as a failure due to the supposed shibboleth of Stalin/Stalinism.  First of all, the theoretical concepts of Leninism are still universally applicable based on what they were meant to accomplish (class revolution, seizing the state, establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat, internationalism and anti-imperialist struggles, etc.) but, as I've noted in too many past posts to properly link, the success of Leninism was limited since new problems are always encountered in the course of struggle––problems that cannot always be answered.  Secondly, as I indicated in the first post of this series, I don't think it is very useful, historically or theoretically, to reduce the phenomenon of Stalinism to some unqualified evil that can be called "authoritarianism", "vanguardism", or some other such abstract nonsense; this phenomenon is not an "evil" but, rather, one possible condition of socialist failure.

And yet, and here is the reason why I embarked on this series in the first place, there is a history within the Maoist tradition, operational before the theoretical definition of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism emerged in the late 1980s, of ignoring this phenomenon.  At best, the anti-revisionist "maoist" tradition treated Stalin/Stalinism according to the formulaic equation of "30 % bad and 70% good" (which tells us nothing about something that could have indeed been a significant problem of Leninism-qua-Leninism) and, due to its over-determining concern of rejecting CPSU's revisionism that was often premised on a rejection of Stalin/Stalinism, often uncritically upholding the legacy of the Soviet Union under Stalin.  While such a tactic might have been necessary at a conjuncture when the New Communist movement was rejecting the petty-bourgeois aspects of the general "New Left" while, at the same time, attacking the revisionism of the Soviet Union under Khrushchev, we are now long past that point.  Moreover, as indicated in the previous post, in its unrelenting pursuit of anti-revisionism and the eradication of all ideologies that resembled the Khrushchevite betrayal, the anti-revisionist ML movement often unconsciously and uncritically adopted aspects of the problem that led to the CPSU's revisionism––the party monolithism that we can call the Stalinist phenomenon.  Hence the reason why I quoted, in the last part of this series, the WCP's assessment of its collapse.  We can cite other analyses, such as Tom Clark's State and Counter-Revolution that were pointing out similar problems that, though reducible to a "Stalinism" because they were aspects that emerged during Stalin's tenure as chairperson of the Soviet Union, were possibly due to broader problems with the simply Leninist concept of the revolutionary party.

So, above all, this series has been about drawing a distinction between the way in which Stalinism is fully conceptualized in other traditions while, at the same time, arguing that Maoism needs to make sense of this phenomenon, as it sometimes does but not always thoroughly, rather than just dismiss it altogether because of potential problems with its naming.  After all, there tends to be a knee-jerk reaction amongst those who come from an anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist tradition, even if it now bears a third theoretical designation, to adopting any critique that resembles the revisionist complaints of Stalin/Stalinism that were a hallmark of the CPSU under Khrushchev.  For some, simply hearing the word "Stalinism" is a reminder of every collaboration with cold war propaganda, every rejection of revolution, and every dismissal of armed movements on the periphery that chose to uphold Stalin's legacy in the face of anti-communist ideology and a collaboration with the capitalist status quo.

Still, there is a reason why the Maoist movement has chosen as its facialized signifier the three-headed Marx-Lenin-Mao rather than the five-headed Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin-Mao.  The latter symbol was indeed the symbol of the anti-revisionist movement that declined in the early 1980s that went by the rubric of Mao Zedong Thought; you can find it in the first pages of nearly every party programme that aligned itself with the Chinese Revolution.  And the distinction between these two symbols does signify something important: an adoption of one theory over another; the belief that the science of revolution is crystallized by the theory that happened to be produced primarily by Marx, Lenin, and Mao; Stalin's deletion from this symbolic order is not because Maoists as a whole think that Stalin was a demonic figure, or that Stalin was ruining the Russian Revolution with his "excesses", but that there is nothing universally applicable for making revolution that can be called "Stalinism".  And yet, despite the lack of a universally applicable theory called "Stalinism" there might in fact be some universal aspects of organizing and making revolution that can be learned in the subtraction of this phenomenon.

Since I have written on what makes Maoism a moment of continuity-rupture following Leninism before (and too many times to figure out how to back-link coherently), as well as the general theory that may indeed lead to the theory of a party of a new type, the point of this series was not to explain how Maoism correctly apprehends and oversteps "Stalinism" but simply to provide a some highlights as to why Maoists should be critical of the Stalinist phenomenon but in a way that is different from other tendencies that use this term, though sharing something similar in the definition.

The important question thus becomes: is it possible to reject the phenomenon we can historically call Stalinism without endorsing a rightist rejection of the CPSU under Stalin or even settling for a formulaic "30% bad and 70% good" judgment?  Such a rejection should lead us to an understanding of the limits of the Leninist terrain and teach us something about the meaning of historical rupture that is still a moment of continuity.  For there are those tendencies that reject Stalinism while also rejecting Leninism, there are those tendencies that reject Stalinism by treating it as a perversion of Leninism, and there are those tendencies who would judge the completion of Marxism-Leninism in the phenomenon of Stalinism as a perfection of theory; Maoism is capable, perhaps, of something more significant.


  1. Of your three-part series on Stalinism, this is the entry that I feel the least disagreement towards (though the series as a whole has been quite stellar).

    In the course of my research into Stalinism and Maoism, I've found much to recommend in the latter. Indeed, I've become quite fond of quoting Mao. Perhaps this is because Mao essentially forged his own revolutionary path - Stalin's support for the CCP during Chiang Kai-Shek's rule, the struggle against Japanese imperialism and the postwar period always seemed highly qualified and tentative.

    To summarize the differences between their roles as I currently see it, Mao effectively led the Chinese communist struggle while Stalin played an opportunist role as the representative of the Soviet bureaucracy - which itself evolved from the presence of reactionary elements after some of the best elements in the Bolsheviks were killed during the Russian Civil War.

    The October Revolution itself was indisputably led by Lenin and Trotsky, while Stalin initially supported the Provisional Government and only belatedly came to support the Bolshevik seizure of power. Later, of course, Stalin's supporters had to falsify history in order to bolster his role while diminishing Trotsky's.

    I would probably be in agreement with you that Stalinism (if taken to mean a more rigid, authoritarian form of democratic centralism) was the inevitable result of the revolution in Russia given the historical circumstances. Thus, while I believe Trotsky had the superior Marxist analysis and appraisal of the situation, the concrete conditions in Russia made the rise to power of Stalin (or whichever figure represented the rising Soviet bureaucracy) inevitable.

    Despite my siding with Trotsky, from the vantage point of 2013, it's easy to see the merits in both sides of the argument. There's one user on RevLeft who describes himself as a "Trotskyo-Stalinist." Absurd on its surface, such a designation seems to make more sense when you consider that the primary point of disagreement between Trotskyists and Stalinists - the true nature of the USSR - has been rendered moot since 1991.

    The way I see it, at this point we're all just a bunch of communists who have much more similarities than differences in terms of our opposition to capitalism. It's awfully sad, then, that so many Marxists continue to be at each other's throats in regards to what are now purely intellectual arguments rooted in disagreements over Soviet history.

    1. Thanks for the compliments, Mulciber, and I'm glad you enjoyed this piece. While I agree that our similarities as communists are important to note, and that being at each others' throats about Soviet history is often a problem, I also think (as I've maintained elsewhere) the theoretical differences, which do emerge from historical differences, are also important.

      Also, while I agree that Lenin and Trotsky played significant roles in the October Revolution, I think it is quite wrong to argue that Stalin did not. Indeed, every historiographer of Stalin, regardless of their political strikes or interpretation of the October Road, does agree that Stalin had a principle role in the revolution but one that was in charge of the clandestine networks––from 1905 until 1917 he was overseeing a lot of armed activities that funded the Bolsheviks. (In fact, Trotsky complained about some of these activities and was reprimanded by Lenin.) If he hadn't been in a position of leadership, after all, there was no possible way he could have: i) succeeded Lenin; ii) outmaneuvered Trotsky in the CC. Peoples' reputations in that period in the Bolshevik Party were quite connected to the role(s) they played in the revolution.

      Also: while I agree that Stalin's line on China was wrong, I don't think that he saw the struggle against Japanese imperialism as "highly qualified" or "tentative"––I just think the CPSU had a wrong line at that period… BUT, and this is important to note, so did Trotsky and, as much as ortho-Trotskyists try to deny this fact, it was pretty similar to Stalin's although Trotsky did complain about the massacre of Chinese Communists and blame it on CPSU strategy, even though his own thoughts on the matter weren't very much different. Isaac Deutscher, the renowned Trotskyist historian, talks about Trotsky's position on China (I cannot recall which "Prophet" volume it's in at the moment) in an honest manner in this regard. In any case, one can see no difference in the political lines of Li Lisan (faithful to Moscow) and Chen Duxhiu (faithful to Trotskyism) when it came to how the communist party should work in China––Mao broke from both. The erroneous line is due to an attempt to apply certain aspects of the October Revolution on the situation in China.

      I still do not see how or why you think Trotsky had a superior analysis to Stalin. Indeed, I think neither of their analyses is very "superior", although Stalin has some things going for him in his work on the national question (though also, not perfect). But then again, I've explained this before elsewhere so there is no point in getting into it here.

    2. "The October Revolution itself was indisputably led by Lenin and Trotsky, while Stalin initially supported the Provisional Government and only belatedly came to support the Bolshevik seizure of power. Later, of course, Stalin's supporters had to falsify history in order to bolster his role while diminishing Trotsky's"

      This is actually the Trotskyite interpretation of history and it is as limited as the Stalinist one. Trotsky certainly played more significant role in revolution and civil war (he led the Red Army after all) than Stalin, but he wasn't the main figure or even on par with Lenin. Note that Leon had never been a Bolshevik, he joined the Bolshevik party only in 1917, and thus he wasn't very popular among the hardcore Bolsheviks who always were with Lenin (like Stalin for example). For them, Trotsky and later Stalin were just upstarts.

    3. When I say Trotsky had a superior analysis, I mean that he took into account the problems of bureaucratism and lack of workers' democracy in the USSR in a way that Stalin and his supporters - in maintaining and defending the largely top-down centralized system that evolved from civil war conditions - did not. And while Trotsky made his own mistakes in terms of foreign policy, I believe he generally followed a more correct line in cases like the Spanish Civil War and the rise of the Nazis in Germany (though we've discussed that before).

    4. @Red Rat: Agreed… and I should have been more pointed about replying to the ahistorical claim that Stalin only "belatedly came to support the Bolshevik seizure of power." This claim relies on a lot of conspiracy theory about falsifying history and the like, which of course falls back on the "Stalin is an evil puppet master" narrative.

      @Mulciber: but the problems that the CPSU encountered were *not* reducible to bureaucratism, nor were Trotsky's thoughts about workers' democracy anything more than vague––indeed, the latter is an easy charge to make from the outside and pretty much the same charge made by bourgeois critics who bandied about the term "totalitarianism". As for the former, once necessarily encounters bureaucracy in the course of centralizing state power and building the dictatorship of the proletariat and simply to whine about it in exile (when you didn't really, and indeed participated in it while you were not in exile) isn't anything that resembles a historical materialist theory, nor proposes anything other than idealist solutions. I think it is debatable that Trotsky followed a correct line in the Spanish Civil War (POUM has been critiqued just as much as the "Stalinist" organizations involved by every non-partisan historian of the Spanish Civil War), and what sort of correct line did he have about Nazi Germany that the CPSU under Stalin did not? It is not as if Trotsky fought the fascists––actually that was the Soviet Union under Stalin, which was the main reason for the defeat of Nazi Germany––and some historians even speak of Trotsky's collaboration with fascists over destroying the Soviet Union (but this claim, I'll admit, holds as much water as the claim that Stalin was actually an ally of Hitler during the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact).

      In any case, a superior analysis is one that is proved in its concrete implementation––that is the primary historical materialist qualification for revolutionary theory. To otherwise name it "superior" is not to make a scientific claim but to make a claim based on taste.

    5. Just to take the most obvious example, a United Front between the KPD and the SPD as advocated by Trotsky could have been crucial in stopping the Nazi rise to power, rather than the "third period" nonsense of the Stalinists that basically did the fascists' work of divide-and-conquer for them. You can argue that the SPD were the ones who refused to co-operate with the KPD, but the fact remains that the KPD didn't even try to work with the Social Democrats. Indeed, there were even some instances where they collaborated with the Nazis against the SPD both in and out of the Reichstag (!).

      Trotsky's thoughts on workers' democracy were not vague, but directly echoed Lenin's arguments in "State and Revolution". It's a pretty basic part of socialism, actually - the idea of workers running society for themselves. To reduce Trotsky's principled critique of the bureaucracy (whether as the leader of the Left Opposition or in exile) to him being a "whiner" is a pretty myopic and, dare I say it, anti-intellectual view that glosses completely over the substance of his argument. These are important questions: Why did a system develop in which one man - Stalin - had so much power? Why did most workers in the country follow plans drafted by centralized bureaucracies, rather than participating democratically in the development of those plans? It gets to the very heart of what socialism is about.

      I appreciate your willingness to explain the very real problems the CPSU encountered, but you seem to be glossing over some of the anti-democratic tendencies of the Soviet system you identified in the original post. The tendency of many "Marxist-Leninists" is to reduce a complex situation to a black-and-white view of "you're either with the states representing 'actually existing socialism' or you're against them!" In this way of thinking, any nuanced critique of the USSR is deemed equivalent to "objectively" being on the side of fascism. Even if well-intentioned, it's hard to see this as anything other than wilful distortion of the Trotskyist perspective.

    6. Woah woah woah, let's not say things without examination. Looking into the history of the KPD, one sees them attempting, at least 3 or four separate times, a united front with the SPD. It was the SPD that pushed them away each time. This was a very crucial reason why the third period reaction came into being.

    7. You obviously don't know anything about Weimar politics given your complete lack of nuance in changes in relationships between the KPD and SPD in the entire period from 1919-1933, instead boiling it down to Trotsky Right, KPD Third Period Nonsense Bad

    8. @Mulciber: You've made this ahistorical assertion years ago and one of my colleagues (who is not a Trotskyist, Maoist, or even a Leninist) who studies this kind of thing corrected you and pointed out, with sources, that the third period position of the KPD was actually not the position of Moscow at the time––and in fact, the CPSU under Stalin also urged the KPD to find an alliance with the SPD. Aside from that, as I pointed out back then and the other two commenters have noted, there was far more to the history between the KPD and the SPD than you make it seem. It is somewhat problematic to maintain the same claims about history that are utterly erroneous and no serious scholar of that period would agree with what you said. Moreover, to argue that the KPD collaborated with the Nazis is utter nonsense, especially in light of the fact that the SPD actually *did* collaborate with the freikorps previously and aided the rise of the Nazis to power.

      Secondly, your assumption that Stalin had as much power as you attribute to him has been disputed and shown to be false by scholars such as J. Arch Getty (probably the most important scholar of the Soviet Union at the moment) who is not a Leninist of any type. Does this mean there were not anti-democratic tendencies in the CPSU when Stalin was chair? Definitely, and I have not glossed over these. What I reject, however, is that this is reducible to the figure of Stalin the great puppet-master and not a broader mechanics of party formation that, in point of fact, was the common understanding of Leninism––even later by Trotskyists.

      As to how I am distorting Trotskyism when you haven just provided the key Trotskyist analyses that are themselves distortions of history, and that I didn't distort but represented as theoretically bankrupt as they are, begs the question. Your claims about complexity and nuance are precisely what is missing from any and every Trotskyist critique––not only of the Soviet Union, but also (but to be fair not completely) of pretty much every other historical phenomenon.

    9. Hey.

      I think you should write a post about the "Maoist cult kidnappers!" in London.

      My opinion has been expressed.

      -- vanguard of the prololtariat

    10. Weird… I didn't hear about this until now. Seems like a topic worth writing about, though. Where was your opinion on this expressed?

  2. i have a question: according to Stalin, Mao and Hoxha (but not Khrushchev, his successors, and other pro-Soviet statesmen) class struggle continues under socialism. Where can one find this in the works of Marx, Engels or Lenin? They do speak of class struggle under the dictatorship of the proletariat, but not socialism.

    1. A number of thoughts here, but they won't be thorough since this is a comment string. Moreover, this connects to a debate that happened on another post where someone who asked a similar question ended up just fighting over the odd quote from Lenin and so I am a little hesitant to go through the same problematic discussion again.

      1) The idea that class struggle continues under socialism is more of a Maoist theoretical concern. Stalin (and Hoxha following Stalin) did believe that there were bourgeois elements that wanted to restore capitalism, but did not articulate this in the same class struggle manner. That is, according to Foundations of Leninism and most of Stalin's approach, the problem was primarily due to remaining elements of the bourgeoisie that thrived because of external pressure, not that socialism produced its own class struggle in the realm of ideology that was broader, as a class struggle model would assume, than simply remnants of a bourgeois order operationalized by the capitalist states.

      2) What does it matter if we cannot find this insight specifically in Marx/Engels/Lenin? This was not a problem that they had to deal with specifically, though Lenin would have probably had to theorize it if he lived longer, because they did not have to deal (especially Marx and Engels) with the problematic of building socialism. There is a problem in trying to find justification for a theory that evolved because of historical facts encountered later in the originary moments of historical materialism: marxism is not a theory that emerges from religious writings where we can adopt or dispense with a theory because we cannot find it in Marx––this would be contrary to historical materialism. One cannot find many of the full theories that developed under Lenin in Marx and Engels, though you can find the germ of these theories, which is why we speak of the concept of continuity-rupture. I've written on this before.

      3) The theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat is where we can locate this problem. Although you will find massive debates where some people will say that the dictatorship of the proletariat is not socialism, as Balibar pointed out (and quite masterfully), we can only understand socialism as a stage within the dictatorship of the proletariat––the DoP thus encapsulates socialism. Of course we cannot find this clearly in Marx and Engels (just as we cannot find a truly clear theory of the DoP in Marx and Engels) because the terms "socialism" and "communism" were generally used as interchangeable. Later, with Lenin and the historical Marxist movement that developed through Lenin, a reconceptualization of the names "socialism" and "communism" where socialism exists prior to communism. There are ways to read Lenin where socialism becomes some stage that is post DoP and pre-communism; there are other ways to read Lenin where socialism is the accomplishment of the DoP and thus still a state society––these are the most productive ways, and again Balibar's work in this area (as well as Bettelheim's and countless others) are useful in this regard.

  3. Greatly appreciated your writings.It is a remarkable contrast from groups like Kasama which vilify the great comrade or even the Leading Light group.Overall I am more critical of the Stalin era than most people in the revolutionary camp and feel that greater dissent and debate should have been allowed in Stalin's era.However I still feel his achievement shave to be defended tooth and nail in light of defending Leninsm.

    Overall do you think Mao's assesment of 70/30 in favour of Stalin was correct?What do you think of Charles Bettleheim's analysis and the question of crimes during the great purges?How do you feel about Grover Furr's work and finally do you feel that Maoism is divorced from Stalinism?

    Complement your great work again but do clarify my questions.

    1. I think some of these questions are clarified in the three pieces I wrote on this issue, but if they were messy I apologize and will provide some answers:

      1) I think Mao's assessment of 70-30 was mainly rhetorical and needs to be understood in light of a polemical exchange; there is no possible way to quantify the qualities of someone leading a revolutionary nation with numbers. Thus it is important to figure out what is possibly meant by this rhetorical formula rather than cite it without any qualitative clarification.

      2) I agree with much of Bettleheim's analysis but also have problems with some of it… I am really not qualified to speak authoritatively when it comes to the specifics of Soviet History. The same goes for Furr whose work on the history of the Soviet Union is something everyone should read, even if they disagree with it, because I think it is an important part of the debate.

      3) To speak of Maoism being divorced from Stalinism is a category mistake. My point is that "Stalinism" is not a theoretical body that is universally applicable and, if anything, it is a phenomenon that emerged due to the theoretical limits of Leninism. Maoism is a theoretical development; Stalinism is not.

    2. hello, can you recommend some books on soviet history? i just ordered the bettelheim books but they only cover up to 1930!

  4. marx engels lenin and trotzky wrote that there are no classes under socialism (lower stage of communism)
    stalin and mao wrote the contrary, that there were classes under socialism

    1. It's a bit more complex than that since Marx and Engels, though delineating between socialism and communism didn't really say much about what socialism was except it was the dictatorship of the proletariat. Also, and here you are quite wrong, Stalin was in agreement with Lenin and Trotsky that there was no internal class struggle under socialism, that it was a society of one class, the proletariat, and that all struggles once socialism was established would be with agents from outside of the state. Mao was the first to fully conceptualize the fact that class struggle continues under socialism because it is still a class society (i.e. dictatorship of the proletariat) and will not magically produce communism all by itself… So either your comment is meant to be semantic, and thus produce a trollish debate about whether socialism is the dictatorship of the proletariat or another lower stage of communism after the dictatorship of the proletariat (which ends up resulting in cherry picking quotes from all the authorities, hence religious arguments from authority), an idealist kind of argument since you might as well just say it's communism if there are no classes and not be bloody stagist about it, or you're trying to make some other vague point that isn't clear and that has little to do with this post in the first place.

    2. "Stalin was in agreement with Lenin and Trotsky that there was no internal class struggle under socialism, that it was a society of one class, the proletariat, and that all struggles once socialism was established would be with agents from outside of the state."

      stalin: "Unlike bourgeois constitutions, the Draft of the new Constitution of the U.S.S.R. proceeds from the fact that there are no longer any antagonistic classes in society; that society consists of two friendly classes, of workers and peasants"

      marx, engels, lenin and trotzky wrote that there were no classes under socialism period, bourgeois or proletarian, peasant or burgher, kulak or petty-bourgeois.

      this is not something based on vagueness, it is based on going against something marx, engels and lenin made explicit: no classes under socialism

      it is not semantic, what grounds exist for saying that the ussr or china were socialist?

    3. Yep you're trolling. The argument was about antagonistic class contradictions and Mao's difference was that class struggle continues. You're trying to make a semantic distinction between some Trotskyist line about there just being a proletariat class (and thus no class, and thus what makes this any different from socialism) and whether or not there were still peasants in the USSR.

      You ask about grounds but your definition of socialism is about the same as saying communism, i.e. classless. That is why it is semantic. As for what Marx/Engels/Lenin said (not *Trotsky*), there is a debate about the slippery use that socialism had between them, and this debate has happened on this blog before with both sides falling into semantics. Balibar wrote a great book about this a long time ago arguing through the slipperiness of these definitions to demonstrate that the DoP is pretty much what socialism is, as a transitionary stage between capitalism and communism. I suggest you read that before replying.

      Again, this is such an off topic comment to the series in general that it clearly is an attempt to troll, and since it is one that was had in the past (and has been discussed before in comment strings) in such a way that demonstrates those who have your vague position about socialism (which demands a definition from me but doesn't have one for yourself except that it is a "lower stage of communism" that is, well, still the same as communism so how can it be a lower stage) have to rely on a helluva lot of intellectual contortions to say anything meaningful, and yet still come across as dogmatic.


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