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Russian Revolution social-media project (in Russian...)

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slothjabber
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Dec 4 2016 11:51
Russian Revolution social-media project (in Russian...)

Wondering if any comrades had seen this:

https://project1917.ru/

It's a multi-media project documenting the build-up to the revolution, as if the participants had access to the internet. Seems the idea is to publish things on 'the day', 100 years late. Looks like an interesting project, especially if you understand Russian.

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Noa Rodman
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Dec 5 2016 00:09

Looks like nothing special.

On expectation of a revolution, from 1915 onward government officials became worried, so that it is no surprise that in early 1916, Kautsky published a work predicting it:

Quote:
Russia is today no longer merely the country of despotism against which Marx and Engels in the past demanded war, but the country of revolution.

If we cannot yet know which forms the coming revolt of the Russian people will take, it cannot be doubted that it will provoke powerful repercussions in Western Europe. And that it must be far more potent than it was one decade ago [in 1905].

In that work Kautsky argued against the type of idea (advanced by Friedrich Naumann) of a European union, as a geo-political project against Russia and Britain.

Later Kautsky in August 1917 predicted the radicalisation of the revolution:

Quote:
And so, of necessity, the third stage of the revolution must come: the revival, yes the intensifying of the struggle between the classes which united in overthrowing the old government. Through this stage, too, the Russian revolution must inevitably go. No cleverness of tactics, no terroristic recklessness can prevent it. It will be the deciding stage of the Russian revolution, albeit not its most joyous one. It lacks the glad joyousness, the unfounded hopes of the first stages. But it is the most important period, that period which will determine its historic character, in which the significance that coming generations will ascribe to it, will be decided.

(This was deemed so accurate that it appeared in English in November after the event)

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Steven.
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Dec 5 2016 09:18

That's cool, we were thinking of doing something similar with the Working Class History Facebook page in 2017

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Noa Rodman
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Dec 8 2016 13:20

Found this while searching for last-known examples of government bonds in paper format (seems in most countries they were dematerialised by 1980s).

Beautifully engraved uncancelled $1,000 Gold Bond Certificate from the Imperial Russian Government issued in 1916. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette two allegorical women on the side of the Imperial Russian Government Seal. This item has been hand signed and is over 99 years old.

http://scripophily.net/imrugo1gobop.html

This bond was issued by the government of Russian Tsar Nicholas II to help fund the huge WWI debt. This is a very unusual certificate since it was issued in dollars by U.S. Banks on behalf of the Imperial Russian Government.

Overall, 29% of the WWI expenses incurred from the beginning of the war until the February Revolution of 1917 were financed by issuing paper currency and bonds. This caused hyper inflation in Russia. As inflation increased, gold, silver, and even copper coins began disappearing from circulation, becoming a way for the population to store value. It is estimated that in February of 1917, the purchasing power of one paper ruble lost 75% of its value from the period before the war began. This undoubtedly contributed to the 1917 revolution.

Dave B
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Dec 8 2016 20:18

I think Engels made a more impressive and interesting ‘value free’ prediction in 1885 in a letter to Vera ‘trigger’ Zasulich.

A key figure in the RSDLP which later ‘split’ into the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks

Marx-Engels Correspondence 1885 Engels to Vera Zasulich In Geneva

Quote:
Well now, if ever Blanquism—the phantasy of overturning an entire society through the action of a small conspiracy—had a certain justification for its existence, that is certainly in Petersburg. Once the spark has been put to the powder, once the forces have been released and national energy has been transformed from potential into kinetic energy (another favourite image of Plekhanov's and a very good one)—the people who laid the spark to the mine will be swept away by the explosion, which will be a thousand times as strong as themselves and which will seek its vent where it can, according as the economic forces and resistances determine…………. ………………

……To me the most important thing is that the impulse should be given in Russia, that the revolution should break out. Whether this fraction or that fraction gives the signal, whether it happens under this flag or that flag matters little to me……

………… there, when 1789 has once been launched, 1793 will not be long in following.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1885/letters/85_04_23.htm

Not that in 1885 Fred endorsed or was ‘uncritical’ of Blanquism; the following given the surrounding context was a critique.

[In fact Trotsky as a ‘Bolsheviks are nascent Blanquist and 1793 Red Terror Jacobins’, Menshevik, in 1905 used the following quote from Engels in the missing last chapter of his Our Political Tasks called ‘Dictatorship Over The Proletariat’.]

Thus;

Quote:
The Blanquists fared no better. Brought up in the school of conspiracy, and held together by the strict discipline which went with it, they started out from the viewpoint that a relatively small number of resolute, well-organized men would be able, at a given favourable moment, not only seize the helm of state, but also by energetic and relentless action, to keep power until they succeeded in drawing the mass of the people into the revolution and ranging them round the small band of leaders. this conception involved, above all, the strictest dictatorship and centralization of all power in the hands of the new revolutionary government.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1871/civil-war-france/postscr...

It was clearly no ‘accident’ that the RSDLP paper was called Iskra or the spark.

There was then, re Russia, a twofold idea.

One was ‘morally value free’ ; and that was feudalism in Russia was inevitably going to blow up anyway to be followed by capitalism and only after that the possibility of communism so the sooner the better like teenage acne etc.

And the other ‘value laden one’ that crept into the debate was progress anything but feudalism as the ‘greater evil’.

Then in value laden terms ‘they’ had the same attitude to feudalism as we have to fascism or to Saudi Arabia maybe.

Thus from Lenin in 1905;

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution

Quote:
The new-Iskraists [ Mensheviks] thoroughly misunderstand the meaning and significance of the category: bourgeois revolution. Through their arguments there constantly runs the idea that a bourgeois revolution is a revolution which can be advantageous only to the bourgeoisie. And yet nothing is more erroneous than such an idea. A bourgeois revolution is a revolution which does not go beyond the limits of the bourgeois, i.e., capitalist, social and economic system.

A bourgeois revolution expresses the need for the development of capitalism, and far from destroying the foundations of capitalism, it does the opposite, it broadens and deepens them. This revolution therefore expresses the interests not only of the working class, but of the entire bourgeoisie as well. Since the rule of the bourgeoisie over the working class is inevitable under capitalism, it is quite correct to say that a bourgeois revolution expresses the interests not so much of the proletariat as of the bourgeoisie. But it is entirely absurd to think that a bourgeois revolution does not express the interests of the proletariat at all.

This absurd idea boils down either to the hoary Narodnik theory that a bourgeois revolution runs counter to the interests of the proletariat, and that therefore we do not need bourgeois political liberty; or to anarchism, which rejects all participation of the proletariat in bourgeois politics, in a bourgeois revolution and in bourgeois parliamentarism. From the standpoint of theory, this idea disregards the elementary propositions of Marxism concerning the inevitability of capitalist development where commodity production exists.

Marxism teaches that a society which is based on commodity production, and which has commercial intercourse with civilised capitalist nations, at a certain stage of its development, itself, inevitably takes the road of capitalism. Marxism has irrevocably broken with the ravings of the Narodniks and the anarchists to the effect that Russia, for instance, can avoid capitalist development, jump out of capitalism, or skip over it and proceed along some path other than the path of the class struggle on the basis and within the framework of this same capitalism.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/tactics/ch06.htm

Here we have then the Mensheviks, Bolsheviks, SR’s and Anarchists all rolled up into one tract.

Lenin was taking the ‘value free’ materialist approach on inevitable progress etc.

The Mensheviks, according to Lenin, were taking the value laden approach with; although capitalism is inevitable, it still sucks, and we should avoid saying it was ‘good’.

And the raving peasant orientated Narodniks [crypto ‘Maoists] were saying you could have communist Nirvana in or from a ‘peasant’ based economy.

And the ‘anarchists’ who said pretty much the same thing; from a more ‘wage labour perspective’.

The ‘Marxist’ or ‘value free’ Leninist position was up until 1917 was don’t prat about, do whatever you have to topple feudalism, including ‘participating in the provisional government’, and politically, get out once capitalism takes its place as it will.

And ‘obviously’ don’t make arseholes out of, or ‘discredit’ yourselves, by ‘attempting to bring about the socialist revolution’ like the SR’s and Narodniks would wish.

Thus;

Quote:
By participating in the provisional government, we are told [ by the Menshiviks], Social-Democracy would have the power in its hands; but as the party of the proletariat, Social-Democracy cannot hold the power without attempting to put our maximum programme into effect, i.e., without attempting to bring about the socialist revolution.

In such an undertaking it would, at the present time, inevitably come to grief, discredit itself, and play into the hands of the reactionaries.

Hence […according to the Mensheviks of 1905…], participation by Social-Democrats in a provisional revolutionary government is inadmissible.

This argument is based on a misconception; it confounds the democratic revolution with the socialist revolution, the struggle for the republic (including our entire minimum programme) with the struggle for socialism. If Social-Democracy sought to make the socialist revolution its immediate aim, it would assuredly discredit itself.

It is precisely such vague and hazy ideas of our “Socialists—Revolutionaries” that Social-Democracy has always combated.

For this reason Social-Democracy has constantly stressed the bourgeois nature of the impending revolution in Russia and insisted on a clear line of demarcation between the democratic minimum programme and the socialist maximum programme. Some Social-Democrats, who are inclined to yield to spontaneity, might forget all this in time of revolution, but not the Party as a whole.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/apr/12b.htm

I suppose it is ironic that the Mensheviks, or some of them ie not the Martov people, did what the Bolsheviks said they should do.

And then the Bolsheviks did what the 1905 Mensheviks said they would do when the Bolsheviks replaced the so called Menshevik Provisional Revolutionary Government with the Bolshevik Provisional revolutionary Government of October 1917; that lasted for 70 years as it turned out.

Fred would have been much better predicting that Blanquists would end up flying under his own flag; which wouldn’t have been much of a conceptual leap as they themselves, as they admitted, had already morphed out of the Blanquist school themselves.

Vera in her Baader-Meinhof days plugged a Tsarist official and the jury let her off.

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Noa Rodman
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Dec 9 2016 08:45

Nothing dishonourable about Blanqui, but October revolution was not a Blanquist coup. A quote from Kautsky's 1921 book on Georgia:

Quote:
Times have changed since Bolshevism forced Menshevism into the background and won to its side the mass of the workers in the large towns. This was the case in the autumn of 1917, when the craving for peace outweighed every other consideration among the masses, and the Bolshevists gave to it the most powerful and unequivocal expression.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1921/georgia/ch09.htm

Dave B
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Dec 10 2016 16:46

Well Noa if you are saying that the Bolsheviks were not Blanquist, you are not I think applying much of a form and content or content and form analysis.

If you are looking at or analysing some kind or any kind of socio-economic political ideology, or whatever, in a historical context.

Then you should move away from just the particular historical form it ‘first’ takes eg Blanquism towards its content.

Eg

………. held together by the strict discipline which went with it, they started out from the viewpoint that a relatively small number of resolute, well-organized men would be able, at a given favourable moment, not only seize the helm of state, but also by energetic and relentless action, to keep power until they succeeded in drawing the mass of the people into the revolution and ranging them round the small band of leaders. this conception involved, above all, the strictest dictatorship and centralization of all power in the hands of the new revolutionary government.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1871/civil-war-france/postscr...

Or in other words that is the content; call it what you like.

And it can take or express itself in many different forms depending on the various particular historical circumstances in which it manifests itself.

It is true enough that the first form of something, eg that, often gives it it’s ‘generic’ name.

And did not the Bolsheviks seize the helm of state in an “armed uprising” and keep power

“…until they succeeded in drawing the mass of the people into the revolution and ranging them round the small band of leaders. This conception involved, above all, the strictest dictatorship and centralization of all power in the hands of the new revolutionary government….etc

Were they not then , to use the generic term “Blanquists”.

Unless you want to use similar arguments to; the Bolsheviks were not Blanquists because they were not 19th century Frenchmen.

As to the coup thing.

If having a ‘armed uprising’ in order the guarantee the convocation of the constituent assembly scheduled in a couple of months time.

[ A constituent assembly that you had unequivocally supported over the previous 6 months, and in fact 15years.]

Then opening fire on a peaceful demonstration in support of the constituent assembly with machine guns a day before its convocation.

Killing at least 22 people according to the Bolsheviks themselves.

Then closing down the constituent assembly on the pretext that another party, the left SR’s, were under represented due to a post split with the right SR’s or whatever.

And then 6 months later again purging the left SR’s after they attempted a counter coup against the Bolsheviks.

Like most coups aren’t often spread out over several months; along with a series of spurious justifications.

Isn’t in content a coup then why not?

Because they were Bolsheviks?

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Noa Rodman
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Dec 10 2016 20:18

A Blanquist coup means that at the start there is only a minority that grabs power and it envisions to "keep power until they succeeded in drawing the mass of the people into the revolution". I'm quoting Kautsky to the effect that Bolsheviks started with popular majority support, and only afterwards lost "the mass of the people" (which they initially had).

Quote:
opening fire on a peaceful demonstration in support of the constituent assembly with machine guns a day before its convocation.

Killing at least 22 people according to the Bolsheviks themselves.

According to what Bolsheviks please? I found a note in Izvestiia of 20 January by the EC of the Petrograd Soviet saying not to believe that report spread by "counter-revolutionists and saboteurs" (see page 370 of The Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1918: Documents and Materials). Maybe it's true, but then why assume that the demonstrators respresented the majority, and were not themselves Blanquists.

--
As to the need to see both the form and content of things, I assume you're being a bit facetious, but do apply that to the Constituent Assembly as well.

Dave B
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Dec 10 2016 21:05

It was officially 21 dead.

It was reported or stated by Sverdlov at a meeting of the congress of soviets on January 11 (or 24) 1918; and quoted in Novaya Zhien [Menshevik paper I think] on January 13 (26).

It is a footnote in chapter 5 in Abramovitch’s book.

The same Sverdlov only source was quoted in at least one other separate, I think two, books.

And the event itself in at least half a dozen other sources.

We did to death in quite a long thread on revleft a few years ago; it was accepted in the end.

The standard line as reported by for example by the historian Rabinowich, I think, was some shots were fired over the heads of middleclass and professional demonstrators to disperse them and no one was hurt etc etc.

Eg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Constituent_Assembly

There was a Rabinowich disciple on the revleft thread; although I suspect it was the guy himself.

There was also a detailed an appalled ‘description’ of what happened by another Bolshevik sympathiser ; Gorky.

With machine guns being fired through a railing fence or something into the crowd.

There was another non Bolshevik SR report from somewhere that put number of people on the march at 60,000 or something like that and about 70 dead and hundreds wounded.

Dave B
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Dec 10 2016 22:06

There was an abridged version of the Gorky article in his biography.

There are others with slightly different extracts from seemingly the same article.

Gorky was an eye witness at the 9th January 1905 bloody Sunday massacre I think.

MAXIM GORKY: A POLITICAL BIOGRAPHY TOVAH YEDLIN

Quote:
The greatest blow to Gorky, as to all who dreamt of the establishment of a constitutional government in Russia, was Lenin’s dispersal of the Constituent Assembly in January 1918. The Bolsheviks had ruthlessly interrupted its work and then fired upon the crowd protesting the closure of the Assembly*. Gorky wrote a bitter indictment of Lenin’s action, comparing the events of January 5, 1918, with those of January 9, 1905:

On the 9th of January 1905, when downtrodden, tired soldiers were firing into the peaceful and unarmed crowds of workers,...people ran up to them and shouted . . . ‘‘What are you doing? . . . whom are you killing? They are your brothers, they are unarmed . . . they are trying to bring their grievances to the tsar! . . .’’

On the 5th of January [1918], the unarmed Revolutionary democracy of Petersburg— workers, officials—were peacefully demonstrating in favour of the Constituent Assembly. For a hundred years the best people of Russia lived with the hope of a Constituent Assembly. . . . In the struggle for this idea thousands of the intelligentsia perished, . . . and tens of thousands of workers and peasants. . . . Many of the ‘‘People’s Commissars’’ have, during their political activity, impressed the working masses with the necessity of struggle for . . . a Constituent Assembly.

Pravda lies when it writes that the demonstration of the 5th of January was organized by the bourgeoisie and by the bankers....Pravda lies; it knows that the bourgeoisie has nothing to rejoice in the opening of the Constituent Assembly, for they are of no consequence among the 246 socialists . . . and 140 Bolsheviks. Pravda knows that the workers of the Obukhovo, Patronnyi and other factories were taking part in the demonstration. . . . And these workers were being fired upon. And Pravda may lie as much as it wants, but it cannot hide the shameful facts. . . . I am asking the ‘‘People’s Commissars,’’ among whom there must be honest people, if they understand that they will lose all that was won by the Revolution? 93

*there seems to be some ‘confusion’ as to when exactly happened. It seems the demonstration occurred in morning or afternoon of the 5th just before It convened and not after its closure on the morning of the 6th ?

For what it matters?

Dave B
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Dec 10 2016 22:08

that was perhaps not clear.

what gorky wrote

Quote:
On the 9th of January 1905, when downtrodden, tired soldiers were firing into the peaceful and unarmed crowds of workers,...people ran up to them and shouted . . . ‘‘What are you doing? . . . whom are you killing? They are your brothers, they are unarmed . . . they are trying to bring their grievances to the tsar! . . .’’

On the 5th of January [1918], the unarmed Revolutionary democracy of Petersburg— workers, officials—were peacefully demonstrating in favour of the Constituent Assembly. For a hundred years the best people of Russia lived with the hope of a Constituent Assembly. . . . In the struggle for this idea thousands of the intelligentsia perished, . . . and tens of thousands of workers and peasants. . . . Many of the ‘‘People’s Commissars’’ have, during their political activity, impressed the working masses with the necessity of struggle for . . . a Constituent Assembly.

Pravda lies when it writes that the demonstration of the 5th of January was organized by the bourgeoisie and by the bankers....Pravda lies; it knows that the bourgeoisie has nothing to rejoice in the opening of the Constituent Assembly, for they are of no consequence among the 246 socialists . . . and 140 Bolsheviks. Pravda knows that the workers of the Obukhovo, Patronnyi and other factories were taking part in the demonstration. . . . And these workers were being fired upon. And Pravda may lie as much as it wants, but it cannot hide the shameful facts. . . . I am asking the ‘‘People’s Commissars,’’ among whom there must be honest people, if they understand that they will lose all that was won by the Revolution?

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Dec 10 2016 22:49

Must be true then, also deaths in Moscow. A footnote 130 in Kotkin (Stalin, Vol. I, not the nicest work to cite) says in Moscow 9 January, 2000 demonstrators and 30 deaths; but says that they were also the result of trampling by the crowd.

Dave B
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Dec 11 2016 01:43

Apparently some more people were killed in a second demonstration on the 9th.

There is a youtube of film archive surrounding mainly the 5th of January event.

Opening and Liquidation of the Constituent Assembly (1917)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGyxb7N5l94

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Dec 12 2016 08:23

In October 1918 Kautsky wrote on pp. 53–4 in Habsburgs Glück und Ende:

Whatever one may think of the prospects of industrial socialism of the Russian Soviet Republic, one thing is certain: the real great act of the Russian revolution, the abolition of the great landed property, can not only not be reversed, it must have a contagious effect on the whole of Eastern Europe, because there it lies everywhere in the line of development, is determined by the material interests of the great majority of the population.

Quote:
Wie immer man über die Aussichten des industriellen Sozialismus der russischen Sowjet republik denken mag, eines steht fest: die eigentliche große Tat der russischen Revolution, die Aufhebung des großen Grundbesitzes läßt sich nicht nur nicht rückgängig machen, sie muß ansteckend wirken auf ganz Osteuropa, denn sie liegt dort überall in der Linie der Entwicklung, wird durch die Lebensinteressen der großen Mehrheit der Bevölkerung bedingt.

In the preface p. 6 (November 1918):

Alongside Russian tsarism and German military-autocracy, the on the misery-of-nationalities-founded-rule of the Habsburgs was one of the great obstacles for the rise of Eastern Europe. Now a single war all at once smashed all three with a brass fist. An English children's rhyme sang the tragic fate of a frail raw egg, called Humpty Dumpty:
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty made a great fall
And all the Kings horses
And all the Kings men
Cannot put Humpty Dumpty together again.

Dave B
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Dec 12 2016 20:08
Quote:
In October 1918 Kautsky wrote on pp. 53–4 in Habsburgs Glück und Ende:

Whatever one may think of the prospects of industrial socialism of the Russian Soviet Republic, one thing is certain: the real great act of the Russian revolution, the abolition of the great landed property, can not only not be reversed, it must have a contagious effect on the whole of Eastern Europe, because there it lies everywhere in the line of development, is determined by the material interests of the great majority of the population.

That was the thinking before 1917.

Although it goes a bit deeper than that when it comes to the theoretically anticipated and actual political conciousness and aspirations of the majority of the Russian population ie the peasants.

Which is why simple commodity production theory is important.

The eastern European peasants for example just wanted to own and run their own farms and trade on the open market like any happy little Proudhonist for that matter.

There were obviously loads of them in the USA around the time where they fulfilled their aspirations by migrating there eg;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_House_on_the_Prairie

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homestead_Acts

I am not saying the Ingalls were Proudhonists.

It’s quite iconic in US culture eg The Waltons or Shane.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shane_(novel)

And the film.

What I am saying is you don’t have to be an intellectual to ‘understand’ it.

It wasn’t just East Europeans, so I seem to remember about a million Swedes emigrated to the Northern states to farm, mostly at around the 1900’s.

Allegedly because the land was cheap there then or whatever.

I knew an old revolutionary leftist whose grandfather, who was also communist as it happens or Socialist Labor Party (SLP), emigrated to Minnesota.

Allegedly according to the history books because the land was cheap there then or whatever.

He said he was told it was because they liked the weather with the snow in winter etc and more familiar in farming in that kind of climate etc.

We have still got quite a lot of ‘them’, as regards superstructual politico economic consciousness in the UK with the second generation Asian or ‘Indian’ community in the UK.

Although they don’t come over here for the weather or to grow mangoes.

They are still fixated with the old family 10 acre farm ‘back home’ sending remittances back from wage labour to keep the economic black holes going.

One of the ones I know her father, an Indian peasant farmer before he came over here in the 1960’s was a member of the communist party of India which was a bit of a Bolshevik organisation.

She is a well paid Trot as it happens.

What I am trying to get across is a trans- historical and trans cultural idea of a fusion of self described ‘socialists’ operating within a economic milieu of ‘petty bourgeois’ simple commodity production.

And the much maligned Russian SR’s.

What most of them wanted in general in their sphere of production, as much as they thought it through as in Russia, was self-employment, commodity production, trade, money and private property in the means of production.

That was all incidentally conducive for the general development of capitalism'; simple commodity production or C-M-C, being the ‘starting point’ of capitalism; industrial capitalism and wage labour wasn’t really their game.

They were certainly not into the collectivisation of their means of production, or their farms.

[Although they are also, not then or even now, completely against the ideas of forming co-ops and sharing resources for economic reasons ; so I think there is often a rudimentary or fundamental communist or perhaps more accurately ‘anarcho syndicalist’ type ideology within the over arching ideologies of not so simple or petty, simple commodity production.]

This kind of stuff was the constituency and popular base of the Russian SR’s who formed the majority in the constituent assembly.

Which the reason why people like Kautsky and Gorky were prepared to accept the term of ‘socialists’ to describe them.

When the Bolsheviks turned on them properly in 1922 with the trial of the twelve with the threat of the death penalty Kautsky wrote the preface to the SR book ‘The Twelve Who Are To Die’; in which the January 6th massacre was also mentioned as minor item in a list of Bolshevik atrocities, and I seem to remember that the Bolshevik sympathiser Gorky was involved in their defense at the trial.

The SR’s were even more implacably opposed to the Whites than they were against the Bolsheviks.

[Although it is too big a subject to deal with manifold tissue of lies told about the SR’s by our ‘historians’.]

Like I have actually less in common with them than many on this forum as elsewhere; as with the ‘Workers Self-Directed Enterprises or WSDE’ movement etc.

I will ignore for the moment the so called Bolshevik anti continuation of the ‘patriotic’ war thing versus the what is supposed to be the only other possible position pro ‘patriotic’ war thing; as bollocks.

There was another pro constituent assembly demonstration in Moscow at the beginning of January, I think also the 5th .

In which 50 people were ‘officially’ killed.

Actually Rabinowich wasn’t so bad as he was unusual in mentioning that there were pro constituent assembly demonstrations.

The standard line was that there weren’t any at all that proved that general lack of support for it.

That biography of Gorky is a fairly good read as regards another perspective as a lot of non Leninist histories are.

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Dec 12 2016 22:48
Dave B wrote:
There was another pro constituent assembly demonstration in Moscow at the beginning of January, I think also the 5th .

In which 50 people were ‘officially’ killed.

Yeah, that's probably the same event I gave a reference to (footnote in Kotkin).
--
In a debate with Artesian (here) on simple commodity production I did argue that it is a concept (if not exact word) used by Marx.

Wasn't Trotsky's dad a simple-commodity farmer?

Anyway, this might interest you: Kautsky's marginalia on the first chapters of Lenin's Left-wing Communism, where Kautsky wrote:

Quote:
Dictatorship necessary because small-scale production still strong and therefore always recreates capitalism. (So dictatorship necessary in order to overcome economic laws. Fine Marxism! ) (p. 6)

https://libcom.org/library/bolshevik-matters-karl-kautsky

Also Kautsky reports that Mensheviks valiantly fought against the Whites.

Dave B
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Dec 14 2016 19:31

Unfortunately we will still have a load of dissembling bollocks on the wikipedia entry on ‘simple commodity production’.

Pratting on about over the name we give it gets us nowhere it is the content or meaning that matters.

Thus;

In this imaginary model, there is a direct correspondence between prices and the values of commodities. The model is imaginary, because no such society has ever existed in history; simple commodity production has always combined with some tendentious, and as soon as a market economy reaches any size, it begins to utilise wage labor in

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_commodity_production

“Imaginary model”?

All models are imaginary, it’s a tautology to start off with.

Capitalist commodity production has always combined with some other modes of production; therefore with sauce for the gander, are we going to imply that capitalist ‘society’ never existed?

Does Monsanto not combine capitalism with simple commodity production in India?

Who and what are all those drowned people they are fishing out of the irrigation canals in India?

Even given the obviously tendentious criteria and origin for that kind of analysis; eg Prof Hienrich.

I would say OK then to that.

Although capitalism has the potential to drive out all other modes of production.

The population of Sweden was about 5 million in the 1900’s when an ‘imaginary’ one million of them emigrated to the US to ‘own and operate their own farms’?

So then?

Northerners who wanted individual farmers to own and operate their own farms, as opposed to Southern slave-owners who wanted to buy up large tracts of land and use slave labor, thereby shutting out free white men.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homestead_Acts

I guess the ‘society’ of one million Swedes was just part of an imaginary model.

[I am not saying all of them became simple commodity producers.]

It is vital as part of a ‘Marxist’ economic and historical analysis.

On Southern slave-owners etc.

The northerners were not all saints and many of them, as simple commodity producing farmers eg Abe Lincoln, didn’t give a shit about African slaves really.

What they were really were concerned about was there income or economic position or their pockets.

Whilst they weren’t into growing cotton themselves etc the southern slave owners with their ‘capitalist outlook’, and their slaves, could go to hell in a hand-basket for all they cared.

Economic tensions were heightened when the slave owning mode of production, with its ‘capitalistic outlook’, started to, or threatened or did encroach into the sphere of commodity production of the simple commodity producers.

Our simple commodity producers special privilege was being economically undercut by ‘cheaper’ labour; or in other words being threatened with being ‘outsourced’, and ending up having to work as hard as slaves themselves, or ‘Mexican’ wage labourers, to sell their commodity?

The actual crisis point was reached with the prospect of the more North-western states being opened up for capitalistic slave commodity production.

With the emphasis on the North; and the potential for the kind of non cotton agricultural commodity production which had been a simple commodity production sphere or mode of production economic ‘monopoly’.

The film Shane is also interesting in that respect as it is a socio economic and political analysis of capitalistic agricultural production [cattle] in conflict with simple commodity production.

If these intellectuals didn’t have their heads shoved up their own arses they might have a better understanding of the real world.

I do remember your brave input to the simple commodity production debate.

Noa Rodman's picture
Noa Rodman
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Dec 17 2016 19:30

Cliff on the constituent assembly: https://www.marxists.org/archive/cliff/works/1978/lenin3/ch03.html

I don't know exactly if its mandate was to write a constitution and then just dissolve for new elections, or stay together and morph into a parliamentary chamber.

Why is it necessary in the first place to adopt a (new) constitution? Will there be a supreme court to prosecute any violations (eg by the government itself) of it? And could a future parliament not change or delete the constitution again?

If the constituent assembly is allowed to morph into a parliament, then surely it has an interest to limit, if not entirely dissolve the power of the soviets in any future constitution.

Once a constitution is composed, will it be presented in a referendum? And what if by then (several months after the CA was elected) the proposal gets rejected?