To the 20th anniversary of KPRF. Why COMMUNISM cannot be constructed
Many may think that conducting a systematic analysis of the communist model of state structure, one would necessary have to lean upon the fundamental works of classics of Marxism: K. Marx, F. Engels, V. Lenin. However, it’s not quite so, because neither of these works would offer a definite answer, HOW this or that theorist of socialism / communism was going to lead people to the bright tomorrow.
For this reason namely, instead of the analysis of system works devoted to this model of state structure, here we offer you an article written to 20th anniversary of KPRF (communist party of the Russian Federation).
Today, the KPRF is celebrating its 20th anniversary. By this remarkable event the Pravda newspaper has published a report on the way the party has passed for this period, about its victories and coming achievements. The report is so iridescent, that some spiteful critics have labelled it as ‘success-induced dizziness’.
Against this background, not only KPRF summarizes the party work undertaken, its supporters and opponents are busy doing a similar work. Surprisingly, even the ranks of communists are demonstrating no unity. On the 21st of February, RKRP (the Russian communistic workers' party) has held a press conference, which very name speaks for itself: ‘KPRF: 20 years of treachery’.
Hard-shell communists and KPRF pursue a common objective: constructions of a communist society. So why do the vision of work results differ so much?
Let's investigate the case.
Let's begin with recollecting, what the communism means:
- a hypothetical public and economic system based on full equality;
- Marx: ‘the economic system serves a basis for a political superstructure’;
- public ownership of the means of production;
- no division of society into social classes;
- abolition of state;
- change of functions and gradual extinction of money;
- Engels: ‘… the private property should be liquidated, and its place will be taken up by … a so-called community of goods’.
Let’s begin our analysis with the above statement of Marx.
Egor Gaidar said that a personal purse may always help in explanation of the most complicated macroeconomic models.
Suppose I have ‘me’ - a political figure, who makes of a decision how to dispose money and there is ‘my purse’ - my economy, where a certain sum of money lays. A question: who controls whom, I control the purse, or the purse controls me? Certainly, I can afford myself to buy the goods and services only within a sum that lays in the purse. However, it’s me to decide, what I’m going to buy, the way I will be doing it (at once, by instalments, etc.), whether I spend all the money (I borrow off or, on the contrary, grant a loan), etc. It’s me to define, what my economy will be like: whether I’ll make money fly, invest it into work, or keep it for a rainy day.
This is the first and one of Marx's basic errors: not the economy defines a policy, it’s right on the contrary: the policy defines economy. This thesis is proved very easily by historical examples. Leaders of the USSR, especially the first ones, were building a classical communism, and in the USSR there was a planned economy. For China is important to take a special place in the World economy, since long time already they have allowed to grow rich for some persons at the expense of others – they have a number of millionaires. And today from the highest tribunes with the purposes of country development there is openly voiced the necessity of comprehensive introduction of business competition mechanisms, i.e. the elements of westernized model of economy. The so-called Swedish socialism lives in a capitalist system of economic relations.
Suppose, you are going to construct a strong, warm, durable and convenient high-rise building. Tell us please, would you success in construction without a calculated architectural project? No! The building of the state economic model should be compared not to construction of a separate house, but to construction of a town with hospitals and kindergartens, fire prevention and a number of different houses - from private cottages to multi-storeyed living towers.
When in 1917 Bolsheviks have seized power, they were sure that function of money could be cancelled (as per Engels), i.e. it is enough to capture a gold-value stock of the country, and all would shape well by itself. However, it appeared that people needed to acquire something for the life. There came a need to evaluate somehow the results of work of every concrete person, for each one could get a quantity of goods corresponding to his work and services. Money should have been returned urgently, moreover, 95 % of employees of Treasury had to be brought back to office to allocate cash flows.
The economy is an instrument of resources redistribution in the state, including resources allocation among the residents of state. And here we come to the main thing: till now no one has managed to describe the basis of economy:
- No one has defined, what ‘From each according to his ability’ means. The person may work 8 hours a day, and he is capable to work 9 and 10 hours. One works fairly, another one is lazy. A question: would there be equal the one working fairly 10 hours a day and the lazy one working only 8 hours? If ‘YES’, than why, and if "NO", what amount of requirements should be deducted from the lazy one, and what technique to use in calculation of defect?
- No one has defined, what ‘To each according to his need’ means. Someone would be glad to have Ford from all the cars, while someone will require Bentley. A question, would there everyone be allowed to have Bentley, or not? If not everyone, than why?
- What is it like the absence of a private property, and to what limit might it extend generally? Underpants and socks are a public property too??? It is noteworthy, the well-known Clara Zetkin believed that in communism there should be no marriages as a survival of times past. From her point of view, relations should be free so that each man and each woman any day, any minute had the right to choose a partner for satisfaction of separate requirements, i.e. sex.
- Besides, other things have not been described: what the abolition of state means, after all only the state can exercise the law and order protection, supervise the educational process and make educational standards uniform all over the country, only the state has enough resources for development of space and social programs. Moreover, management of society and redistribution of resources is one of the basic functions of the state. Once all this is cancelled - we would return to a primitive communal system. If some functions of the state should remain, which one and to what extent.
The first conclusion:
Before starting construction of something, the author shall clearly define the objective. The objective should not bear a cloudy character, on the contrary it shall be, first, concrete, and secondly, there should be a construction model. Today, every party from democrats to communists struggle for ‘a decent health care’, Putin is reiterating it in every second address. But there is no one, who would suggest HOW to make it - has described a model of the system work, in order to make the health services actually decent.
The communism envisages no money in circulation, no equality of men and a great number of other things. However, there’s no one to specify anywhere the basis of communist economy and the more so to wrap the purpose in a competent economic model, which would describe, who and how many rights has for the goods and services, for what work and how particularly a concrete citizen would be paid. Moreover, basically the MOST IMPORTANT THING is not defined: namely an ideal political model that people would aspire to: how many power branches should there be in the state, their authorities, the way they interact, who exactly and how can come to the power, and, the main thing, how they leave the power.
Let's pass to the next question – the question of movement to the purpose.
Suppose, an 18-years old girl would wish to drive an expensive car. Would there be only one way to obtain such a car? No. The girl can go to study, to be earning enough for the car. She may kill somebody and through a plunder to get an expensive foreign car. Or she may become a party-goer and sleep with every rich cat until somebody purchases this car for her. The result will be the same, however the ways differ by much!!!
Not so long ago I had a very long conversation with one of central ideologists of the KPRF on the subject of civil society development and the future of Russia. I have asked him a question: ‘suppose, you’ve got power, and you start building a communism. HOW are you going to do this’? I wanted to hear about the way, the communists would lead us. To tell the truth, it would be undesirable to pass again through political sanctions. Although from the communist point of view such measures are necessary, it would be desirable to understand, how much terrible they would be, and in general, would they end sometime or never. The answer to my question was the word ‘dialectics’, i.e. a choice of the most correct way from a number of possible ways, with allowance for a political and economic situation and other parameters.
The only matter is that the classical dialectics never leads to positive results. Suppose, among a group of persons taking part in a dispute there is one who knows, how to act the right way. Would he be probably heard in a noisy crowd, would his idea be accepted and realized in full in its clean genuine sense and with no later perversion? It seems there would a zero probability for that. Things go even worse, when there’s no clear purpose. In this case, typically, having shouted enough, the persons in dispute would choose a medium variant ‘all things to all people’. Which basement do we choose for construction: deep and strong, or superficial – medium size. How many floors are we going to construct: 3 or 17 - 10, how many entrances to make: 1 or 5 - 3, and so on. Eventually we may see ‘neither fish nor flesh’ - a variant, which suits nobody!!! And each disputant starts casting the blame on the opponents.
This is what is being observed in the camp of communists today: hard-shell communists believe that the communism can be reached through a class struggle only, as Lenin instructed, so it is necessary to prepare a revolution. The KPRF says that it is possible to come to the power through elections. While the social democrats feel good today basically. Hard-shell communists consider the dictatorship of proletariat as necessary, it means, the working class should rule the state. The KPRF and Zyuganov personally say that at the power there should be people competent and well-educated, instead of drunkards with dirty hands, therefore it is necessary to involve only intellectuals to the work in the Duma and the state bodies. While the social democrats in general would find it normal, if millionaires and exploiters take the power. Hard-shell communists believe that it is necessary to start building an economy without money ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’. The KPRF says that banking system needs reorganization, so that the state banks were a basis, and private financial structures operated, as well. While for the social democrats it’s all the same, how many private banking services will be there.
The second conclusion:
To construct something one should have both: an accurately formulated purpose, and a method of this purpose achievement. Otherwise, there comes a situation, where all talk and no action, and the best undertaking can be disorganized.
A little lyrical digression.
My father, Rysenkov Vladimir Ivanovich, in the end of eighties had one of the highest offices in the USSR Ministry of Trade. He supervised over all footwear the state organizations purchased in the international market for currency. I am sure many still remember the long lines in shops to buy imported shoes, and the high quality those shoes always had. That was the work of my daddy. So, the bribes were offered often. From each pair of shoes one could easily have from 0.5 to one dollar. Please, do not forget that purchase orders were placed monthly, and the consignments of goods shipped to the country not as now: 1.5 million pairs to Siberia and the Far East, 5 million pairs to Moscow and the local region. Not once in my younger years I railed at the daddy blaming him for he had not ever taken a cent, imagine if he had taken at least a minimum bribes, our family would be multimillionaires. Once and again he said in response to me: ‘You do not understand, what a pleasant feeling is to be an honest man’. I have understood him later, when I was 25, and since that time I feel very proud of my father!!!
For the recent 20 years, we have almost absolutely got used to the fact that everything can be sold: mind, honour, conscience. The person who has a chance to steal with impunity, but does not do it, today is regarded nearly as a black sheep and an idiot. My father had never acted against his conscience anywhere, he has put the whole his life for the benefit of state, worked fairly and decently, was ready to share the last shirt with any one, when needed for a common cause. Well, actually, he was a genuine communist. The society, which was socialist at the time, has brought him up that way.
Many countries tried and some are still trying to build a communism: the USSR, China, Cuba, North Korea. Every one of them demonstrate us absolutely different political and economic way of life.
It makes no sense in blaming Zyuganov in destruction or betrayal of the communist movement. With the same result one may abuse Lenin, Kim Il-sung, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, who have started building the communism, and have failed in doing that. Authors and ideologists of communism, Marx and Engels, have not finished the work to the condition, when it could become a manual for construction of a new political system. Until the purpose of communist society construction is accurately and particularly specified and the method of movement to this purpose is described, the communist society will represent a classical Utopia. The matter is that if for 150 years all the scientific institutes of all socialist countries with all Doctors of Science and Academicians, could not make it, most likely, no one will ever be able to do it. Which means the outcome should be sought in other systems of the civil society structure.
With all that, the very idea contains a lot of good and kind. To take at least that the communist society regarded as necessary the formation of responsible, well-educated, decent and intelligent people. All that good that the communist idea conveys, needs to be studied, analyzed, and, which is most important, taken with us to the future for construction of a decent civil society.
Certainly, the anniversary – a holy cause, we should have congratulated the KPRF and personally Gennady Andreevich with the holiday. Still, it is not clear, what to compliment actually, as for the whole period of CPSU existence its leaders stood with legs spread out, not knowing where precisely to lead the country - every new leader started to pursue his own policy. And now Zyuganov stays in the same crawfish position: the people should be told something, should be led somewhere and something should be done … but the only one who knows what to tell, where to lead and what to do is God that Gennady Andreevich, by definition, should not believe.