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The restoration of the capitalist mode of production in the Soviet Union

Rapporti Sociali No. 8, November 1990

The argument that the modern revisionists in the 1950s (under the leadership of Khrushchev) restored the capitalist mode of production in the Soviet Union was supported in the 1960s and 1970s by Marxist-Leninist groups, as part of the denunciation of the line based on anti-communist reaction and restoration of capitalism, followed by the modern revisionists who ran both the USSR and most of the countries of Eastern Europe. They argued that the Soviet Union was a social-capitalist and social-imperialist country, that is, socialist in the speeches of its leaders and in the pretexts they flaunted to support their initiatives among the masses, but capitalist and imperialist "in facts".

We think that this argument is right only in the sense that the line followed by the modern revisionists, although cloaked in "communist words", actually led to the restoration of capitalism and to making the USSR an imperialist country; however, this argument is wrong if understood (as it was and is understood) in the sense that this result had already been achieved. We argue

that modern revisionism was the attempt to gradually and peacefully restore capitalism;

that this attempt, which continued in some socialist countries for almost forty years and in the context favourable to restoration constituted by the resumption of capital accumulation in imperialist countries, led to the paralysis of socialist society but not to the restoration of capitalism;

that the collapse of modern revisionism consists precisely in the failure of the attempt at a gradual and peaceful restoration of capitalism;

that this failure places on the agenda a clash between the classes, which has the resumption of the transition to communism or the violent restoration of capitalism as possible outcomes; [it deals with] outcomes which both exclude a "homogenisation of socialist countries to the consumer or well-being society of imperialist countries".

The issue of the restoration of capitalism is not nominalistic: there is no discussion about the name to give to the economic system of the Soviet Union. The issue has practical importance and, only following this, also theoretical relevance. In fact, it is an issue about the understanding of what were the contradictions that determined the movement of Soviet society starting from the 1950s, what are those that currently determine the movement, what are therefore the main currents of that movement, what are the outcomes towards where Soviet society can go, what are the real purposes of the political forces operating today in the Soviet Union,(1) what is the role that the Soviet Union has and will have in the development of the crisis due to overproduction of capital and in the world revolutionary movement.

The capitalist mode of production is a historical phenomenon that has developed continuously since the 15th century starting from Western Europe whose essential and universal (i.e. common to all countries) specific characteristics (i.e. which make it a mode of production different from others) were highlighted by Marx in his Capital. All those who want to understand the economic and political movement of current societies must reject the current tendency of bourgeois culture to prevent the understanding of capitalist society by transposing to different realities categories (and names) relating to one reality, on the basis of superficial and weak similarities and therefore to empty the categories and names of any content of practical importance.(2)


1. Organizations and individuals in their political activity aim to move society towards certain goals. In reality, every society can only move, alternatively, towards some goals well defined by its material composition and the contradictions that operate within it, which "mediate" with external reality. Society reaches one of these goals and not others. The dilemma that the political conflict resolves is which of these goals will be achieved as an alternative to the others, which will remain in the field of things that were possible and were never achieved.

To realize the goal actually achieved takes part the political activity of individuals and organizations that had not set it as a purpose or even opposed it, but whose activity directed towards other goals had the only practical effect of encouraging the movement of society towards  the goal actually achieved. Just as, given a train on a track positioned in an East/West direction, even someone who pulled it towards the South-East would actually only contribute to making it move towards the East.


2. Current bourgeois culture upholds that "capital has always been there because even the ancient Egyptian farmer used the plough to cultivate the land". With the same sharp as someone who, speaking about horses, claims that cows are horses "in fact they also have four paws".


To resolve the issue about the restoration of the capitalist mode of production in the USSR in the 1950s by the modern revisionists we must start from the nature of the economic structure of capitalism in the imperialist stage.

The imperialist stage of capitalism is characterized by the contrast between the individual ownership of the productive forces (which is an essential constitutive element of capitalism) and the collective character achieved by the productive forces themselves.(3) In imperialist societies the essential element of capitalism (individual ownership of the productive forces) finds its mediation (4) with the achieved collective character of the productive forces in the collective capital, in the associations of capitalists or joint-stock companies, in the antithetical forms of the social unity. Hence the monopolies, the financial capital, the division of the world between imperialist groups and states, multinational companies, economic policies, state capitalism, etc. This argument, important for understanding the economic movement of imperialist societies, is exposed in full in Rapporti Sociali No. 4, pages 5-25.


3. The unyielding constitutive cell of imperialist society remains the same as that of old-fashioned capitalist society: the fraction of capital personified in an individual (the capitalist). The rest (capitalist associations, joint-stock companies, public economic bodies, etc.) are derived superstructures of those elementary cells, they are more or less stable, more or less large and more or less complex combinations of these. Therefore, just as the constitutive cell of mercantile society is the commodity, so the constitutive cell of capitalist society (even in the imperialist stage of capitalism) is individual capital. In turn, individual capital is a "more complex" cell than the commodity, in fact it implies the commodity itself.


4. In the movement of society, the mode of production in force in it – which man comes to know by abstracting from the casual and particular, concrete aspects of its expressions or ways of being – takes on its concrete and specific expressions "by taking into account" with the external (climatic, geological, geographical, deriving from other societies, etc.) and historical (cultural and biological heritage and inherited experience) conditions of the society. It is said that it reveals itself by mediating with external and historical conditions or that its concrete expressions is a mediation of it with external and historical conditions. Therefore every concrete expression can in turn be understood by men only if they rebuild in their mind the process through which the mode of production of that society was combined with external conditions and historical conditions to give its concrete expressions, which are the object of direct experience.

In this case, the substance of the capitalist mode of production "coping" with the collective character of the productive forces presents itself as collective capital.



To understand what is stated in this writing, our readers need to keep very clear the difference between the following categories that we use in this article.

1. Individual ownership of the productive forces: the self-employed worker produces goods with his direct work and purchases the means and work materials as commodities.

2. Capitalist individual ownership of the productive forces: the capitalist produces goods through the work of workers whose workforce exists in society as a commodity and purchases as commodities, in addition to the workforce, the means and material of work.

3. Capitalist collective ownership of the productive forces: an association of capitalists produces goods through the work of workers whose workforce exists in society as a commodity and purchases as commodities, in addition to the workforce, the means and material of work. This association of capitalists therefore positions itself with respect to the rest of society as producer, seller and buyer of goods, including workforce. The association of capitalists can be private (each capitalist belonging to the association owns, as alienable individual property, debt securities to a defined share of the profit obtained) or public (the profit obtained is collective and indivisible property of the association, which is a public authority).

4. Cooperative private ownership of productive forces: an association of workers produces commodities through the direct work of its members and purchases the means and work materials as commodities. This association presents itself with respect to the rest of society as a producer, seller and buyer of various commodities, excluding workforce.

5. Socialist collective ownership of productive forces: associated workers produce consumer goods and means of production that are distributed for consumption or productive use within the same association, completely satisfying the needs of both consumption and reproduction; therefore the associated workers neither produce, sell nor buy commodities.

These various forms of ownership of the productive forces do not generally exist “purely”. Various combinations of them have arisen in the concrete socio-economic formations of the various socialist countries. The transition to communism aims to limit and then gradually eliminate the first four forms in favour of the fifth, with times and means of limitation and elimination differentiated for the various forms.



In the same paper it is also shown that collective capitalist ownership of the productive forces, far from eliminating individual capitalist ownership, opens up a large new field of action for individual capitalist ownership. It is true that the main production structures (5) in the imperialist countries have become the direct property of capitalist associations (joint-stock companies, public economic bodies, insurance funds or other similar bodies). But it is equally true that the individual capitalist expelled from the direct ownership of the productive structures, given their social character, returns as the individual owner of a share of their value and asserts as such the rights that he can no longer assert fully and directly regarding the production structures, given the social character that they have reached. If, for example, we consider the recent events of the Société Générale de Belgique or Montedison (large associations of capitalists, collective capitalists), the field of action that they constitute for individual capitalists like De Benedetti and Gardini immediately appears. The events of the large multinational companies (General Motors, Standard Oil of NJ, Ford Motor, Royal Dutch Shell, General Electric, IBM, etc.) cannot be understood if we ignore the links between them and their large shareholders, the climbers in control, the adventurers of finance, the crowd of small shareholders and savers, the individual capitalists, their customers and suppliers, all the way down to the colourful world of small individual mercantile production in which millions of individuals are agitated, each aiming for his own "fortune". Nothing can be understood about the movement of the structures and institutions typical of "collective capital", of "associated capitalists", if we ignore individual capital and commodity production. Imperialism, monopoly, finance capital, state capitalism, bureaucratic capitalism rely on the broad basis of old-style capitalism, individual ownership of productive forces, small and medium-sized capitalist enterprises, mercantile relations, money relations, value relations.

Monopoly in bourgeois society (6) is a mediation between the individual ownership of the productive forces and their collective character. It was born as a development and reversal of the commodity production on which it lives: all the advantage that a capitalist derives from the monopoly price and from the monopoly conditions has its indispensable origin in the non-monopolistic context in which the monopoly operates. Where there is no free competition there can be no capitalist monopoly just as there can be no island where there is no sea.


5. With the term production structure we point out a technically defined combination of productive forces capable of producing (the production unit, the factory, etc.).


6. Regarding the bourgeois monopoly, Marx writes in The Poverty of Philosophy (1847):

"M. Proudhon talks of nothing but modern monopoly engendered by competition. But we all know that competition was engendered by feudal monopoly. Thus competition was originally the opposite of monopoly and not monopoly the opposite of competition. So that modern monopoly is not a simple antithesis, it is on the contrary the true synthesis.

Thesis: feudal monopoly, before competition.

Antithesis: competition.

Synthesis: modern monopoly, which is the negation of feudal monopoly, in so far as it implies the system of competition, and the negation of competition in so far as it is monopoly."


Financial capital in bourgeois society was born and developed as an association of individual capitalists and money takes on the guise of credit securities as a development of its guise of gold which, even in imperialist society, however keeps the safest anchor of the personal power of every capitalist to which, in fact, he returns every time the conditions that led money to change its guise cease to exist.

Colonialism, subjugation and exploitation of the most backward countries in bourgeois society arose and developed as a consequence and tool of the struggle to keep the rate of profit of individual fractions of capital as high as possible.

State capitalism was born and developed as the intervention of the State and the use of its political resources to keep the rate of profit of private capital and individual capital high and to deal with the contradictions between them.

Bureaucratic capitalism (or state bureaucratic capitalism) is the type of capitalism that imperialism causes to arise in backward, semi-feudal and semi-colonial countries, combining imperialist groups, large landowners and big bankers with state power.(7)


7. The category bureaucratic capitalism was developed extensively by Mao Zedong as a key category for understanding the economic and political movement of backward countries in the imperialist stage. The Communist Party of Peru (CPP) has made and makes a wide application of this category, consequently enriching its content (see Guerra Popular en el Perù – El Pensamiento Gonzalo, ed. L. Arce Borja, Brussels 1989, in particular page 326 and following pages, the 1988 congressional document Bases de Discusión de la línea política general; Revolución Democratica; Carácter de la sociedad peruana contemporanea).


Therefore it makes no sense to talk about imperialism, monopoly, financial capital, state capitalism, bureaucratic capitalism when referring to a society in which individual capital, private capital and commodity production do not constitute the basic fabric of economic activity of society. These are all arguments that Lenin already illustrated at the 8th Congress of the RCP(b) in the Report on the Party Programme of March 19, 1919 (Works vol. 29), attacking Bukharin's arguments. The latter argued that imperialism was a new mode of production that succeeded capitalism. Lenin concluded his criticism by claiming: "Pure imperialism without the foundation of capitalism has never existed, does not exist anywhere and can never exist. Everything that has been said about consortia, cartels, trusts and financial capitalism has been generalized incorrectly, when the latter has been presented as if it were entirely based on the foundations of the old capitalism. (...) If Marx says of manufacturing that it is a superstructure of small mass mercantile production (Capital, book I, chapter 12), imperialism and finance capital are a superstructure of old capitalism. If the top is demolished, the old capitalism will appear. To argue that there is integral imperialism without the old capitalism is to take one's own desires as reality."

The economic and political movement of imperialist societies cannot be understood if we ignore the existence of the broad base of old capitalism, which cannot disappear, from which large corporations continually emerge and in which large capitals are continually broken down, generating crowds of contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, sellers, profiteers, adventurers, speculators, black marketeers, etc. Financial capital, monopoly, the imperialist bourgeoisie are the ruling part of imperialist society: but taking away the rest of society from this part is equivalent to taking away the rest of the armed forces and the country from the front line troops. Put differently, imperialism is not a new mode of production, different from the capitalist mode of production. It is the final stage of capitalism, the prelude of socialism. It is a superstructure of capitalism, it is the degenerative stage of the capitalist mode of production which, having been historically overcome given the collective character now reached by the main productive forces, survives itself. On the other hand, it continually generates new capitalism and relies on it. In conclusion: collective capital is born, exists and can exist only as a superstructure of individual capital, as a mediation of the individual ownership of productive forces with their collective character; modern monopoly is born, exists and can only exist as a partial limitation of competition; concentrated and centralized capital is born, exists and can exist only in the context of many opposing capitals such as sellers and buyers and continuously generates opposing capitals, with a centrifugal movement that contrasts with its centripetal movement; in bourgeois society the conscious leadership of the overall economic movement of society (by the state or by "private associations" of capitalists) arises, exists and can exist only as an antithetical form of social unity.

The modern revisionists of the imperialist countries accustomed us to consider the difference between private property (individual and private associations of capitalists) and public property (i.e. public associations of capitalists, their state, etc.) as fundamental. From here it is then "spontaneous" to confuse the production units of a socialist country with the public enterprises of an imperialist country.

In imperialist societies, joint-stock companies and public economic bodies (state enterprises, national companies, economic bodies of the state, regions, municipalities, etc.) are a mediation of individual capitalist ownership of the productive forces which survives as a main constituent element of society with the collective character of the productive forces. Those who confuse the antithetical forms of social unity (which are necessarily formed when capitalism – with its individual ownership of the productive forces – survives despite the collective character reached by the productive forces) with capitalism tout court, reducing to them the entire structure of the economic system of imperialist society (thus erasing with one blow the entire fabric of the old capitalism which constitutes the basis of current society), cannot understand either capitalism or socialism.

A Soviet enterprise of the 1960s is apparently no different from the Société Générale de Belgique or the Italian AGIP. But the difference is instead substantial while the equality is superficial and secondary. The substantial difference lies in the fact that the Soviet enterprise

1. it is not the mediating term of the individual ownership of the productive forces (which does not exist) and the collective character of the productive forces,

2. neither arises nor relies nor can it dissolve in an underlying and surrounding sea of ​​individual capitalist enterprises, mercantile and money relations.

The apparent similarity and real difference between imperialism and socialism is extensively exposed in Rapporti Sociali No. 4, pages. 11 and 12 and in I fatti e la testa, page 40 and following.

At this point it is clear that the argument according to which the restoration of the capitalist mode of production in the USSR had already been completed in the 1950s is unsubstantial.

In fact, the modern revisionists didn’t restore the individual ownership of the main productive forces and didn’t substantially extended the individual ownership of productive forces more than what was left at the time of their advent to the leadership of the party and the state (despite the greater extension of autonomous individual production called "parallel economy" or "underground economy"). Even during the period of their leadership, money relations had remained confined to the circulation of personal consumption goods (the money accumulated by the nouveau riche reached fabulous figures precisely because it could not be used except in the purchase of consumer goods and personal services). Value relations did not resume regulating the economic movement of society: prices continued to have the main functions of regulating consumption, redistributing income and as a yardstick for evaluating the variation over time in the efficiency of the production unit; they never assumed the function of general regulators of reproduction (and in fact the Soviet price scale of various items remained completely incomparable with that of the world capitalist market). Khrushchev, Kosygin and Brezhnev never succeeded (despite repeated attempts and experiments) in introducing the governance of the economy on a general scale through, as they said, the "economic calculation" or the "financial autonomy" of individual production units, i.e. through the monetary performance of the activity of the individual production units. They never managed to make the market (they said: "direct contacts between production units") become the general regulator of economic activity. Foreign trade remained a state monopoly. Workforce was only marginally reduced to a commodity again (free buying and selling is an essential characteristic of its nature as a commodity). The economic planning of the socialist countries, even to the extent that it was effective, had only the appearance in common with the monopoly that exists in various economic sectors in the imperialist countries, in fact what is specific to the monopoly in bourgeois society is the achievement of an excess profit compared to other fractions of capital that continue to operate in competitive conditions.

Neglecting all this and talking about the restoration of capitalism inevitably led to an idealist criticism of the modern revisionists, that is, to a criticism that placed the superstructure (politics and culture) in the foreground and the economic structure in the background.

The supporters of this argument were in fact forced to invent a "collective capitalist" without individual capitalists, a bourgeois monopoly without competition, a concentrated and centralized capital without centrifugal movement, a capitalist production without commodity production, a state direction (of the overall economic movement of bourgeois society) established and existing on its own foundations. In short a "pure imperialism", which was not based on the old capitalism, which was not a superstructure of capitalism, but was a new mode of production, "different from classical capitalism", but equally "bad and exploitative of the workers" as the old capitalism, if no worse, and "therefore" it was capitalism too! (8)


8. The influence of the prevailing bourgeois left-wing culture in this is evident. The Frankfurters and their followers (the workerists, etc.) also conceived and conceive imperialist societies as "pure imperialism", as "organized capitalism" (see Rapporti Sociali No. 5-6, page 34 and following) and had not no difficulty in homogenizing even Soviet society into their imaginative categories of "pure imperialism", "organized capitalism", "total real subsumption", etc.


In reality that argument took as resolved the main contradiction that was operating in the socialist countries, it took as concluded the main ongoing conflict which instead determined the entire economic and political movement of those countries. In socialist countries, the political action of those communists who adopted this argument was greatly weakened: in fact it separated them from the masses because it prevented them from synthesizing the conflict between the path to capitalism and the path to communism in which the masses were daily and widespread involved. It left the field free for the revisionists to take, in front of every hardships, other steps which every day weakened the seeds of communism more, strengthened bourgeois tendencies and led the masses to impotence and desperation.

Since the 1950s, when they took over the leadership of the communist party and society in the Soviet Union, the modern revisionists have not restored capitalism, but have arrested the transition towards communism and have in many fields taken steps backwards even with respect to the results already achieved.

They gradually (but only to a certain extent) replaced the monetary performance of individual businesses with the performance in goods produced at the level of the entire society, as a criterion for evaluating and leading economic movement; they broadened the sphere of action of the mercantile and money economy (see for example the transfer of ownership of agricultural machinery to kolkhozes which contributed to delaying the technological development of agricultural work, because it made the adoption of more advanced production methods dependent on the result commercial of each kolkhoz); they abolished the general obligation to work and opened various channels (legal and otherwise) to parasitism and individual enrichment (which, precisely because it could not become individual ownership of productive forces, only became a tool of corruption, luxury and waste); they pushed millions of men back into the brutalization of fatigue, poverty, ignorance and superstition; they neglected the reduction of workers' fatigue, a reduction that derives from the mechanization and automation of productive work and domestic activities (hence the backwardness of the productive apparatus and domestic equipment); they paid very little attention in practice to safety and hygiene at work and to safeguarding the healthiness of the environment (although the relative standards adopted in socialist countries were superior to those adopted in imperialist countries); they gradually created a mass of officials, employees, professionals, technicians, artists, writers, journalists, etc. increasingly separated from the working class; they protected and fostered the formation of a large scum of idlers and profiteers.

At the stage of tendencies and proposals, all this existed in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union even before Khrushchev. In his 1952 writing (Economic problems of socialism in the USSR – see the translation published in Rapporti Sociali No. 3) Stalin clearly and in detail denounces some of these proposals, although he does not identify them as elements of an organic whole constituting an anti-communist line of restoration. In reality they were this and, having become the leading line of the party and the state, they constituted a path that led to the restoration of individual ownership of the productive forces, that is, which did not positively resolve the problems that the development of socialist society placed on the agenda, but on the contrary it inevitably and continuously generated hardships and bottlenecks in the economic and political life of socialist society; to these hardships and bottlenecks the modern revisionists gave solutions which, one after the other and step-by-step, led to economic stagnation and paralysis and therefore irremediably and imperiously posed the choice: either the reversal of the trend and the recovery of the transition to communism or the restoration of individual ownership of the productive forces and the full commercial character of production (i.e. the restoration of capitalism). This is the knot to which the modern revisionists led Soviet society and which has only now been reached, almost forty years after their arrival in power! Restoring capitalism has proven to be anything but an easy undertaking. One of the leaders of the Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Yao Wen-yuan, in an article published at the beginning of 1975 (On the social bases of the Lin Biao anti-Party clique) illustrated in detail the path that the modern revisionists followed.

In socialist, society, there still exist two kinds of socialist ownership, namely, ownership by the whole social people and collective ownership. This determines that China at present practises a commodity system. The analyses made by Lenin and Chairman Mao tell us that bourgeois right which inevitably exists as regards distribution and exchange under the socialist system should be restricted under the dictatorship of the proletariat, so that in the long course of the socialist revolution the three major differences between workers and peasants, between town and country and between manual and mental labour will gradually be narrowed and the discrepancies between the various grades will be reduced and the material and ideological conditions for closing such gaps will gradually be created. If we do not follow this course, but call instead for the consolidation, extension and strengthening of bourgeois right and that part of inequality it entails, the inevitable result will be polarization, i.e., a small number of people will in the course of distribution acquire increasing amounts of commodities and money through certain legal channels and numerous illegal ones; capitalist ideas of amassing fortunes and craving for personal fame and gain, stimulated by such “material incentives," will spread unchecked; such phenomena as turning public property into private property, speculation, graft and corruption, theft and bribery will rise; the capitalist principle of the exchange of commodities will make its way into political life send even into Party life, undermine the socialist planned economy and give rise to such acts of capitalist exploitation as the conversion of commodities and money into capital and workforce into a commodity; and there will be a change in the nature of the system of ownership in certain departments and units which follow the revisionist line; and instances of oppression and exploitation of the labouring people will once again occur. As a result, a small number of new bourgeois elements and upstarts who have totally betrayed the proletariat and the labouring people will emerge from among Party members, workers, well-to-do peasants and personnel in state organs. Our worker-comrades have put it well: "If bourgeois right is not restricted, it will check the development of socialism and aid the growth of capitalism." When the economic strength of the bourgeoisie grows to a certain extent, its agents will ask for political rule, try to overthrow the dictatorship of the proletariat and the socialist system, completely change the socialist ownership, and openly restore and develop the capitalist system. Once in power, the new bourgeoisie will first of all carry out a bloody suppression of the people and restore capitalism in the superstructure, including all spheres of ideology and culture; then they will conduct distribution in proportion to the amount of capital and power each has, and the principle "to each according to his work" will be nothing but an empty shell, and a handful of new bourgeois elements monopolizing the means of production will at the same time monopolize the power of distributing consumer goods and other products. Such is the process of restoration that has already taken place in the Soviet Union."

Arguing that modern revisionists in the 1950s had already restored capitalism in the USSR

- confuses ideas on the nature of capitalism and imperialism, spreads an idealist conception of society; in fact, it replaces the concept of socialist countries as countries in which individual ownership of the main productive forces has been abolished and cooperative private ownership limited and therefore commercial production is limited, with the concept of socialist countries as countries ruled according to a political line that effectively guides society to move from capitalism to communism;

- gives as finished a contradiction which instead is the one that moves everything and, only in the light of which, the history of the socialist countries from the 1950s to today, the collapse of the modern revisionists, the hardships encountered by the current rulers of the socialist countries, the clash that began in 1989 become understandable.

Indeed, if capitalism had been restored in the 1950s, where would the hardships of the transition that makes Gorbachev, Mazowiecki and the rest of the gang tremble come from?

In reality, not only the restoration has not been implemented, but it is not even a given that the conflict will end with the restoration of capitalism: this is indeed very difficult, especially in the USSR, and it will certainly not be peaceful. There are already a thousand signals arriving from the socialist countries, and in particular from the Soviet Union, regarding the acuteness and violence of the ongoing clashes, conducted under the most various banners, which certainly denote that the proletariat is not deployed as an autonomous political force and capable of expressing and coagulating forces around their objectives, but which equally clearly denote that neither of the two fundamental classes has yet won. It is probable that in 1989 a period of upheavals began in the Eastern countries which will flow into a new revolutionary period (of the type that occurred in the first half of the 20th century) which will involve the imperialist countries, at least the European ones.

The struggle of the bourgeoisie of the socialist countries for the restoration of capitalism intersects, in fact, with the desperate struggle of the imperialist groups to overcome the crisis due to overproduction of capital which is what upsets the imperialist countries and the countries dependent on them and grips the imperialist bourgeoisie, although the latter has no awareness of it and is grappling with problems (not surprisingly "solvable" only by plugging a hole here to open another there) of profits, of the market, of prices, of public spending, of exchange rates, of balances of payments, etc.

It is certain that the argument is completely unfounded that within a few years, albeit at the cost of a "period of sacrifices", the socialist countries will be absorbed into the world capitalist market and made similar to the current imperialist countries in the name of social democracy, the welfare state, the well-being state, etc. The period of social democracy, of the welfare state, of the well-being state (in short of the "project of building a capitalism with a human face") inexorably ended even in imperialist countries. Every day a piece of what still remains of the welfare state is sacrificed: everyone who is not blinded by the words that sweeten every pill can see it. Other than complaining because "the people" of socialist countries will become "consumerist", "materialist", "selfish", "integrated", etc. like that of the imperialist countries, a complaint that some "leftists" have already sung together with Wojtyla and his priests!

The period we are facing is a period of clashes between imperialist groups, of clashes of imperialist groups with the bourgeoisie of the socialist countries and with the bureaucratic bourgeoisie of the Third World countries, of clashes of these gentlemen with the proletarian movement of the imperialist countries and of the socialist countries and with the anti-imperialist movement of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries.

The argument that "capitalism was restored in the Soviet Union in the 1950s" in the European revolutionary movement has ceased to be the (erroneous) banner of the struggle against modern revisionism, as it was in the 1960s, and has become for some time the banner of anti-communism disguised as leftism and defeatism, the banner of those who want to deny the historical experience of the workers' and communist movement. This helped us free ourselves from the erroneous and paralysing analysis that supported that banner. At best, those who still argue today that the restoration of capitalism in the USSR was already accomplished in the 1950s have a pessimistic and idealistic vision of society.

As if capitalism were the "natural" and spontaneous state of things and communism a "good but unnatural" state and people were only waiting for a mistake or a deviation from the leaders to return to capitalism. The reality is that in order to preserve itself and survive, bourgeois society had to resort to two world wars in the space of less than half a century and to an infinite number of "peaceful" measures such as fascist and Nazi regimes, Pinochet-style coups, mass killings in Indonesia-style of 1966, colonial wars, range of resources and tools of preventive counter-revolution, low intensity wars, etc. The building of communism is neither a spontaneous nor an easy undertaking; but the preservation of capitalism is a difficult undertaking to the point of being desperate! Childbirth is a painful and troubled event, but that doesn't make it any easier to prevent a pregnant woman from giving birth! The reality is that, despite their efforts, the modern revisionists have indeed managed to throw entire populations into chaos and despair, but they have still left as a legacy to their successors the task of imposing the restoration of capitalism on a few hundred million people: will they succeed? This is what is at stake in the current political conflict, it is the object of contention in the struggle between the classes of the coming years. One condition for having a vanguard role in the proletariat's struggle to make its way triumph is to be aware of the subject of the confrontation!

The socialist countries run by modern revisionists have until recently played an important and specific role for the revolutionary movement. They have now become an important and specific factor in the global economic and political crisis, on which the revolutionary movement relies (whether we like it or not). The course that the class struggle will take in those countries in the coming months and years will be full of precious lessons for our future, but will also have direct objective consequences on the class struggle, on the stability of political regimes, on the speed and methods of development of all other societies, on the course that the current crisis due to overproduction of capital will follow.

On the other hand, the course that the class struggle will take in our countries will have a direct influence on the outcome of the conflict in the socialist countries. The communist revolution is global. The collapse of modern revisionism confirms the relevance of our old slogans: Proletarians and oppressed peoples of all countries, let’s unite! Communism is the movement of transformation of the present state of affairs!