Marxism

Class Theory and History: Capitalism and Communism in the by Stephen A. Resnick, Richard D. Wolff

By Stephen A. Resnick, Richard D. Wolff

“A very bold and engaging publication on a vital topic.” —Howard Sherman, writer of Reinventing Marxism

“Using a model of Marx’s conception of sophistication to provide an explanation for the increase and fall of the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union as proof for the validity of this thought, Resnick and Wolff reach delivering us with an unique and engaging account of either. no matter if one consents or disagrees with their effects, no destiny paintings on both of those vital matters could be capable of forget about the sheer artistic verve and highbrow rigor with which they lay out their arguments. Very hugely recommended.” —Bertell Ollman, editor of Market Socialism: the talk between Socialists

“A gorgeous fulfillment! Resnick and Wolff have prolonged their direction breaking paintings in Knowledge and Class to a full-fledged classification research of the increase and fall of the Soviet Union. construction at the clearest research of sophistication within the Marxian culture, Resnick and Wolff offer a entire research of the center contradictions in pre-Soviet Russia and the Soviet Union. it is a paintings that each one these concerned about the Soviet event, the character of sophistication, and the chances of primary social swap must contend with.” —Victor D. Lippit, editor of Radical Political financial system: Explorations in replacement financial Analysis

Class idea and History either follows within the most sensible Marxian tradition’s footsteps and develops new vital insights. development upon a idea of sophistication whose pivot is the construction and distribution of surplus, the authors supply a stimulating and unique interpretation of the USSR’s delivery, improvement, and fall. this can be classification research at its most sensible, a piece which merits the widest circulation.” —Guglielmo Carchedi writer of For one other Europe: a category research of ecu financial Integration

“Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff, either economics professors, method Soviet historical past on a hugely theoretical point, studying the effective family members in Soviet society with occasionally mathematical (or, possibly, pseudomathematical) precision…[A] strikingly unique argument.” —Humanities and Social Sciences Online

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Extra resources for Class Theory and History: Capitalism and Communism in the USSR

Example text

Absent the issue of exploitation, the concept of communism has all the more easily been dismissed as not only no solution, but as an unrealizable utopian fan­ tasy that, if actually attempted, yields an altogether inferior economic, political, and cultural arrangement exemplified by the USSR. In this context, we can understand what an advocacy of communism in house­ holds and enterprises evokes in the United States. It is virtually equivalent to argu­ ing for the introduction of a social cancer that would destroy the fabric of American life.

Cultures always contain incompatible, contradictory meanings and impulses; they interact with multiple, often contesting class structures within a society. We seek only to estab­ lish the point that for communist (or indeed any other) class structures to exist and survive, their cultural contexts must provide some of the requisite conditions, how­ ever complicated by cultural crosscurrents. Yet even this point needs to be quali­ fied, for beside the cultural, there are also the political and economic conditions of the existence of class structures.

Such information might include forecasts of expected surpluses and expected consequences forthcoming from differing possible surplus distributions. This kind of surplus-labor decision making, undertaken by workers in commu­ nism, is different from but no more or less problematic or contradictory than that of decision-making groups in societies with noncommunist class structures: for example, capitalist corporate boards ofdirectors. Against losses in production from long, difficult meetings, communist class-structured enterprises would see gains in effort and motivation from workers' participation in such hitherto unthinkable ways.

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