Article from La Voce del (nuovo) Partito comunista italiano, n. 22, March 2006, pages 25-35
The lessons we draw from first socialist countries’ decay
In the Communist Party’s Manifesto (1848), the conscious and organized communist movement’s creators gave a theoretical answer to all those who objected that every creativity, activism, initiative will end without on one side, the incentive of personal enrichment, and on the other the spur of misery. Therefore, according to them a communist society could not stand on because equality in distribution would extinguish production(1). The Communists answered that this objection was a sophism. Examined on detail, it could be better formulated in this way: "Apart from few exceptions, men feel and act as capitalists do: every individual does something only for enriching himself. Without this incentive nobody will do anything." But the premise is false. Surely a capitalist act as a capitalist: he’s got money and use it only in order to get more money; bourgeois society hold on to some people’s avidity of money (of capital) and misery compelling others to sell themselves to the first ones(2). But modern proletarian workers are not capitalists. They undergo capitalism as in the past pre-capitalist workers underwent serfdom and slavery. They feel badly under capitalism, struggle against it and free themselves of it when there are the right conditions to do it. The communist movement has the task to create those conditions.
The first socialist countries’ experience, particularly Soviet Union’s and China’s in the first phase of their existence, completely and practically confirmed what Communists told(3). In USSR and even more in China, socialism inherited economically and culturally backward countries, moreover destroyed by long years of war imposed by the imperialist system. After the establishment of socialism, both countries faced the fierce and unceasing hostility of the greatest world powers. These were trying to destroy what socialism was constructing and were trying to prevent every construction and development. They wanted to force the socialist countries to yield by starvation and chaos. Despite of it, in the first phase of their existence both the countries get extraordinary outcomes in the economical field as well: not only a more egalitarian distribution of what was produced, but also a great increase of the production and a great development of material and intellectual productive forces. When the modern revisionists took the place of the Communists with the turning of 1956 in USSR and of 1976 in China (headed respectively by Khrushchev and Teng Hsiao-ping), they inherited countries quite more advanced than those the Communists took over the direction some decades before.
In the first phase of their existence, the first socialist countries practically demonstrated that if the great majority of the people sees prospects of success, it is able to unite under communist party’s direction and within its mass organizations, and to do miracles of initiative and energy to free themselves from bourgeoisie and to build a communist society(4).
If the conviction of being able to build a prosperous life and a just society is sustained by right political and cultural conditions and is confirmed by outcomes, the popular masses become a material force in every field (economic, military, spiritual) by far stronger than that one the bourgeoisie (and all the previous dominant classes) ever succeeded to field with its will of personal enrichment and under the compulsion of misery. The dominant classes, as bourgeoisie and clergy, are far from having forgotten this historical experience: it’s a nightmare still troubling them and conditioning their activity.
Obviously, for years, until we’ll be able to answer practically, we Communists shall have to answer theoretically to our enemies who, in their own interest, try to withdraw popular masses from Communism and, despite the experience of the first socialist countries in the first phase of their existence, repropose the old objection by now largely confuted by practice(5). We shall also continue to explain and proclaim to the workers and the popular masses, by reasonings and examples, that, without the private ownership of productive forces, without the free individual initiative of capitalists, without the "natural laws" of their economy and of the market, men and women are able to work better, with more efficiency and productivity, to satisfy all their needs and to create a well-being that the majority of the popular masses today isn’t either able to imagine. But every Communist must be convinced of it. He who’s not convinced, must go more deeply into the problem. In fact, it’s not possible to carry out the role of Communists with good results without being convinced that Communism is possible, advantageous and right; that it is a order within which humanity will be able to satisfy all material, intellectual and moral aspirations until now matured and to start towards a new era of further development; that for popular masses Communism is a social order superior to capitalisms in every respect. The true fighter believes what is doing, the loser does without believing. So, the first socialist countries’ experience demonstrated that economic activity could work better and product very positive results without capitalists, without private ownership and economic initiative, without market. But it also demonstrated that this happens only within a right political, cultural, and organizational context. It’s not enough that enterprises should be no more private ownership. It’s not enough to nationalize capitalists’ enterprises. The ones who try to understand a socialist country’s economy observing how the public enterprises in a capitalist country work, or trying "to make socialism" nationalizing some or all the capitalist enterprises (as it was proclaimed by Togliatti and Mitterrand in their time, and by several social democratic leaders in the fifties, sixties and seventies of the last century), are completely way out. It isn’t yet enough to add a production and distribution national plan to the public enterprises and to nationalize the external trade. In the USSR the private ownership of enterprises was restored only after 1991 collapse, and until then the authorities had also tried to keep a plan. Nevertheless, the USSR economic decay already began in the fifties, when Khrushchev and its current succeeded in imposing to the Soviet Union Communist Party to give solutions copied by capitalists to the "economic problems of socialism in USSR"(6). Still today in China, the ownership of the greater part of the enterprises (however the dimension of productive apparatus is measured) is public (of the State or of lower levels public administrations). But China has already become a giant with feet of clay, somehow as USSR was in the seventies, when its leaders boasted of having reached the strategic parity with the USA(7).
In socialism, the public ownership of firms is something very different than in capitalism, (despite the words are the same) due to exact reasons.
- Because in a socialist country economy, politics and culture are closely combined (the division between citizen and worker, between political society and "civil society", typical of bourgeois society is abolished). The power is no more in capitalists’ hands, with the conflicting interests and powers typical of their social order. It is in the hands of the proletariat organized and united with its revolutionary vanguard (the communist party) in the will and the effort to create a communist society.
- Because there are a State and a network of proletariat’s and masses’ organizations mobilizing and engaging the whole society’s resources in order to promote the emancipation of the former oppressed classes, to promote the economic, intellectual and moral advancement of the most backward strata and categories, to repress and hold the old and new bourgeoisie at bay.
- Because there is a culture actively in service of emancipation, aiming at promoting the widest masses’ participation to society cultural patrimony, at bringing every individual, particularly those of backward classes and strata before oppressed, to the highest level he’s able to get.
- Because in any case and by all means all the popular masses’ members are driven to organize themselves and participate with dignity, responsibility and authority to the management of social life.
In short: in the socialist society the division between structure and superstructure, between economy and politics, between civil and political society is broken. The popular masses are organized at the highest level they’re able to do and have a direction clever and from every side devoted to the cause of their emancipation, so committed to promote not only the popular masses’ well-being, but to promote as well the elevation of the entire population’s grade of organization and level of consciousness, particularly that of its more backward part. In fact, this elevation is the necessary condition for everybody’s progress and well-being. In socialism, the aim of the direction is not a population "not disturbing the driver", but a population that learns and takes the commands in their hands.
The experience of the first socialist countries showed that the problem of direction and therefore of communist party is the decisive problem in socialism, for good or ill, for success and failure. In socialism, in the first or inferior phase of Communism, the mankind is principally involved in freeing itself from the past heritages yet surviving in every field: heritages not only of the bourgeois past but also of a quit longer past including all human history founded on class division and oppression. In all the history behind us, the population’s mass had been used by the dominant class for its manoeuvring, kept away from the responsibility to decide on its destiny. Still today, also in the bourgeois countries more democratic than Italy, for example in USA or England, above all the dominant class worries about keeping the workers quiet, about distracting, entertaining, dividing, manipulating or frightening them, depending on the circumstances. They never worry about giving them consciousness, culture, knowledge and means to responsibly decide on society life. Some decade ago one of the greatest US capitalists boasted of "being able to arm half the population for shooting the other half." Neville Chamberlain, Chancellor of the Exchequer since 1931 to 1937, and Prime Minister since 1937 to 1940 in London, considered the British people "a great mass of voters, men and women, very ignorant, scarcely intelligent and not able to weigh the facts" that he was hiding and distorted so to escape the British public’s opposition to its politics of cooperation and conspiracy with Hitler in order to drive Germany to the war against USSR. His successor Winston Churchill called people "a mass dedicated only to satisfy its bestial instincts", and he declared as well that "elections, also in the most civilian democracies, are always a misfortune and a disturbing of social, economic and moral progress." Regarding our country, it’s Catholic Church official doctrine that Pope, bishops and priests have to tell the people what to do (they are directly connected with God). Giovanni Gentile, organizer of Italian educational system, considered that in schools it was necessary to teach religion to the masses (though he was an atheist), because religion educated the masses to observe their duties. Berlusconi and Letizia Moratti (the Minister of Education in the Berlusconi’s government) shamelessly declare that to teach a general culture to workers’ sons it should be waste of time and money: it’s enough to teach them a job. Everybody knows what these ruling class’ spokesmen think about trade unions (not to mention the communist party): it would be better that trade unions do not exist. If trade unions must exist, at least they should be collaborative (with masters) as it is the CISL, the trade union most tied to the Catholic Church. They quite agree with the labour "bonzes" to banish democracy from trade union activity; only the leaders are able to plot with masters.
Due to such an heritage, despite the progresses in mass’ organization, mobilization and consciousness without which they couldn’t succeed in overcoming bourgeoisie, in socialism the popular masses cannot do without a corps of leaders who remain from many points of view distinct from the masses themselves, even if those leaders are united to them and masses trusted them. The experience of the communist movement during the 200 years of its existence, that of the first wave of proletarian revolution and that of the first socialist countries concordantly confirmed this thesis and deny the thesis of anarchism, grass roots politics and spontaneous political activism. At every level of the communist movement and socialist society, direction isn’t a function that one or other chosen at first and more or less at random can carry out, as it will be in social different conditions, in Communism. Socialist society (and generally the communist movement) has to select, form, protect, verify and control its own leaders and officials. Often and systematically, it has to remove the elements becoming unworthy, or simply unable to carry out such an important function, from their ranks. It’s a condition necessary for development or even for survival of a socialist country. A good popular masses’ leader (and then a communist party’s member) combines within himself steady and lasting dedication to the cause, capacity to become spokesman of popular masses’ interests even in conditions that could change very much, capacity to talk to the masses and to listen to them (to teach to the masses and to learn from them). Personal qualities being equal, these characteristics are got by practice (by experience) and by study. So, it’s not by chance that the working class, as any other oppressed class, faces great difficulties in expressing and forming its own leaders and spokesmen, its "intellectuals". Moreover, the more these ones rise, the more they become targets of bourgeois repression and are decimated. They are put to a hard survival test.
The communist party’s members and the leaders of other socialist society institutions are the depositories of power in socialist society in a way and level absolutely different and far more important and decisive than politicians of bourgeois society are. The socialist society abolished the private ownership of production means and the mercantile economy. They both are the texture of bourgeois "civil society", generate a lot of "influential men" even if not appointed to public offices, even if they aren’t politicians. On the contrary, socialist society unified and merged economy, politics and culture. Socialist society need a united group of leaders. It does’t go towards generating a lot of conflicting leaders (as in bourgeois society). It goes towards the leaders’ extinction and masses’ universal participation in society’s direction. During an entire historical period, the socialist society needs leaders of its own specific kind, who are united to the masses in a way as well specific of socialist society(8). Surely, in the far future, mankind will need no more such a special corps of leaders, but only as the heritages of bourgeois society within the socialist society will progressively extinguish themselves. Due to the development of all society aspects, to the cultural and moral growth of the population mass that socialist society promotes consciously and programmatically, to the simplification of social life that will take place as in practice the unification of structure and superstructure we talk above will become spontaneous and universal, to the attenuation of class divisions and all their expressions (divisions between sexes, between city and countryside, advanced and backward zones and sectors, intellectual and manual labour, etc.), obviously the directive functions will stop to be monopoly of a minority to which the popular masses recognize moral and intellectual aptitudes to do them, and they will become functions that at least a large part of grown up people will be able to carry out. Then, the gap of knowledge and aptitudes between the leaders and the population mass will be reduced almost to nothing.
Experience repeatedly denied the trotskyite theory about bureaucracy. Trotskyists and the like explain every difficulty and defeat of socialist countries, communist parties, unions, etc. with a simple formula, good on any occasion; bureaucracy. This conception wishes a society without leaders (functionaries), because leaders would be the negation of revolution and socialism. But neither socialist revolution nor any socialist country ever existed without leaders and functionaries. Actually, the communist movement had leaders (functionaries) good, heroic, avant-garde, who gave inestimable services to oppressed classes. It had also leaders (functionaries) incompetent, inept, corrupted, imbued with bourgeois conceptions, feelings and methods, dominated by bourgeoisie’s influence, traitors. The Trotskyists confuse the one and the other condemning them all as bureaucrats. So they prevent from distinguishing, selecting, verifying, purging and protecting. The trotskyite theory of bureaucracy is insubstantial and anarchist. It idealizes parties and movements of the Second International because its leaders weren’t party’s or trade union’s functionaries, but lawyers, journalists, doctors, teachers, chemists deputies, professional men: shortly, people to which, by its nature, bourgeois society gave means and time for directing. That situation was excluding professional revolutionaries and limiting the communist movement independence from bourgeoisie.
It’s impossible to abolish leaders (functionaries) in a communist movement aiming to be independent from bourgeoisie, as it’s impossible to abolish the State in a socialist country. Progressively, both the ones and the other die out, as the popular masses don’t need them for their social life. But today, without leaders (functionaries) is impossible to do the revolution, establish socialism, and carry out the transition toward Communism. The abolition of leaders (functionaries) makes socialism a dream impossible to realize.
Generally, what ruined the first socialist countries (and also many communist parties all over the world) weren’t the leaders (functionaries). They collapsed because it prevailed that part of leaders (functionaries) who followed a bourgeois line and faced socialist society’s problems with bourgeois conceptions and methods. We must keep watch that leaders and functionaries follow a right line and be at masses’ service. Theory and practice are connected. The unity between theory and practice is a duty, because it’s a fact that only a right theory leads to solve practical problems, and soon or later a theorist who give up to solve such problems ceases to have true theories. For some decades, the first socialist countries showed that it’s possible successfully to keep watch to it and have leaders who follow a right line and are at masses’ service. With its victories and defeats, their experience gave a rich knowledge of method and criteria for carrying out this struggle successfully. The theory of the struggle between two lines within communist party and the theory of class struggle within socialist society are two of the greatest Maoism’s contributions to the socialist thought(9). The struggle between two lines within communist party and the class struggle in socialist countries are the keys to salvation and development of communist parties, socialist revolution and socialist countries.
So, it’s not true that "bureaucracy" is the source of communist movement’s and socialist countries’ evils. But it’s true that the new bourgeoisie, that one typical of the socialist countries, forms and can form only within the communist parties’ members and the leaders of socialist society’s institutions. We’ve already seen the reasons for it. They’re related to the entirely specific role the socialist society asks them to carry out. Exceeding, in order to be clearer in explaining the concept, we can tell that proletariat dictatorship is still a State (that is a machine for repression and oppression), even if of a new and particular type. Likewise the leaders of a socialist society are still masters (they have power over other people), even if of a new and particular type. It cannot be otherwise, due to socialist society’s objective conditions, that will progressively change only with the advancement of the transition towards Communism. A really revolutionary leading group is the most precious part of a socialist society, and the most difficult to create. This leading group is also the most fragile part of socialist society. It’s the part most exposed to deviations, corruption and degenerations. It’s also the favourite target of bourgeois attacks, the greatest source of risk for socialism development. That’s why, obviously, it’s the main target of purges. All this will decrease and finally disappear only as, in socialist society, the difference between who direct and who’s directed will decrease and finally disappear at the end. We must rightly manage this contradiction, forming and selecting leaders, with controls, purges and defence by the masses, with other methods experience showed and will better show with a deeper study. If we don’t do it, the new bourgeoisie, that unavoidably still exist in leaders’ body because of socialist society’s nature and because of its same leaders’ role, develops and can succeed in sizing power and give a direction opposite to that going towards Communism. In the communist parties, before the conquest of power, a similar process occurs: the communist parties’ degeneration always begun from the top. But it’s not true to say that this is unavoidable. The communist parties’ leaders undergo bourgeois influence more than simple party’s members, and the more they do it the higher their role is. They’re more exposed to both lead and sugar bullets, to bourgeoisie’s pressures and blandishments. In addition, exercising power and carrying out their function, they’re spontaneously tempted to imitate the bourgeois examples that surround them from thousands sides. They’re spontaneously tempted to behave like masses’ masters and not like their servants and helpers of their emancipation by all means and in every field. Every time the conditions of class struggle pass through important changes, the communist party’s leading group divides in two. This is practically unavoidable. A part becomes the vanguard of the revolutionary proletariat, with boldness and heroism, consistent with the new tasks. Another part is no more consistent with the new situation. Sooner or later it becomes reconciled with bourgeoisie, deviate towards it or even join it. Obviously, each of this parts’ consistency and political role depend on left wing’s ability to carry out the two lines’ struggle with foresight and rightness, and on its ability to distinguish and manage differently mistakes and deviations, managing both of them fairly.
The first socialist society’s experience shows it needs politics, culture and organizational system that could promote mobilization, intellectual and moral growth, and participation in social life of workers, women, young people, members of most backwards groups and categories, relegated to the fringe of society by bourgeois oppression. Without this, even if the private ownership isn’t yet restored, the economic activity of socialist society slows down, diminishes its effort to satisfy the needs and improve the well-being of the popular masses, stagnates and sooner or later it changes into a business of a gang more or less greedy, exclusive and criminal. Politics changes into an oppression system. The individual and disorganized resistance of vanguard workers and Communists, even if widespread, is useless. Let’s take out the power, in a socialist country, to whom wants Communism and looks for satisfaction of masses’ needs and for their well-being, their emancipation from every ruling class and the end of classes’ division. Let’s give it to who aims at personal enrichment and at perpetuation of material and intellectual privilege or even merely accepts it. Let’s reduce workers to individual isolation, let’s untie or loosen the organizations that give social power to workers, let’s break off the tie between the tops with basic organizations and between these and the masses. Little by little, then the cohesion and burst factors of socialism will vanish and a bourgeois general line will start. At this point, the absence of the private ownership and market, that were strength and cohesion factors of socialism, become factors of weakness, anarchy, decay, irresponsibility and inertia in such a bastard order. The socialist countries become more unstable and weaker than capitalist countries.
Due to lack of a tested system of prices and mercantile relations, the relations of personal dependence impose themselves again. They do it easier, the more backward and poor that society is. At this point it happens, on a wider scale, what we normally find in public enterprises and administration and in the great private enterprises (joint-stock societies, etc.): run for gaining benefits and personal richness from social goods (that is abuse of social goods), irresponsibility, corruption, selling favours. The personal relations become a mean for striking bargains, and the net of those relations becomes a business network. The struggle against corruption become a useless or hypocrite bustling against the general course of things, a ritual sermon, a mean for manipulation and revenges. When a society calls itself socialist but it pays honour, respects, exalts and admires the individual enrichment, the public ownership becomes a ground for individual hunt. The role every individual has in public enterprises and administration become mean of enrichment, favours and irresponsible power. The absence of capitalist private ownership makes the decaying socialist country weaker than a capitalist country: makes its relations more arbitrary than the relations in a capitalist country, takes out the spur of increasing work productivity and of reducing production costs, of innovating productive process and product, of research and research application to production. The socialist factors of development are no more existing , and the capitalist ones aren’t yet largely and freely operating. The separation between managers and enterprise, already clear and operating also within the joint-stock societies in bourgeois society, is complete in decaying socialist society. Abuses of powers and servilities can freely generalize. The separation between the official laws and morals become gigantic. Somehow, we’re going towards that general inertia that the opponents of Communism rightly predicted would affect capitalists and bourgeoises if they were deprived of the sole or main incentive of their activeness: the individual enrichment. In the decaying socialist society the individual enrichment is reintroduced, but for the managers it is not tied to enterprise’s success: it’s tied to the plunder of enterprises, of public administration and property. Without a developed market, the enterprise success is not tied to its efficiency. The ways for individual enrichment are theft and embezzlement, instead of the increase in value of the enterprise capital. The larger they are, the more the enterprises remains out of competition that imposes the intrinsic and natural law of capitalist way of production to every single fraction of capital, as extrinsic constriction: the law of increase in value of capital, accumulation of capital, maximum profit.
When the socialist superstructure is destroyed, in socialist countries the absence of capitalist private ownership and of private individual economic initiative become a factor of decay for the political life as well. The absence of many parties, elections, parliaments, etc., in short, of all bourgeois society’s typical institutions deprives the necessarily emerging and developing conflicting interests of institutional forms for expressing and settling themselves. So, it lets grow abuses, political cliques, plots, criminal or anyway illegal arrangements, mafia, factions, open and brutish violence badly suitable to a good development of businesses.
The parasitism, criminality, authoritarianism that permeate and pervade all the countries ruled by State monopolistic capitalism, from Germany to USA, from Sweden to Japan, are raised up to nth power in decaying socialist countries, because there is not that structure of old capitalism, made of middle and little enterprises, coming out in imperialist countries when the imperialist superstructure of monopolist and financial capital goes upside down, because there is not the division of powers and the rest of super structural bourgeois implements.
In spite of the primitive and priestly theory about human nature, individual vices are a social product, so as virtues are. Criminal social order produce proliferation of criminals. On the ground of capitalism restoration, there advance moral degeneration, mistrust towards fellow men, cynicism, desperation, brutishness, and wild depravation of the single so evident among the ruins of the first socialist countries. The vices and crimes widespread but somehow veiled by old imperialist countries, here show themselves in their disgusting nudity, and become forms of power, symbols and expressions of the new ruling class and its suit and mob of supporters. Here there are combined the worst modern revisionists, the off springs of old ruling classes grown at home or in emigration and the boldest exponents of the real criminal networks constituted in the shade of modern revisionists, by them protected or with them colluded.
The first socialist countries’ decay under modern revisionists’ direction shows and confirms that a society bourgeois in usages, customs, values, relations, that is in superstructure, but without the responsibility involved by capitalist private ownership and without the constriction of competition, is precarious, doesn’t succeed in reproduce and so is destined to break up. When Communists led them, the first socialist countries victoriously withstood the aggression and successfully faced up top to sabotage, boycott and conspiracy of old ousted ruling classes’ exponents. Under direction of modern revisionists they became fragile and vulnerable. The countries the modern revisionists seized were the social systems of the future, even if in germ. They put them in the train of imperialist countries, as if they were the same sort of countries, but backward. The imitation of imperialist countries was raised to a model of development. But the socialist countries they seized were undoubtedly weak and awkward as capitalist countries. The imperialists surrounded socialist countries ruled by Communists with a real "sanitary cordon", so much they feared their influence on oppressed classes, that is the on the mass of population of imperialist countries themselves. Instead, in socialist countries ruled by revisionists, the imperialists recruited agents and sympathizers en masse. Their cultural influence became a mass-phenomenon that destabilized socialist countries. Without a revolutionary revival, sooner or later the collapse and the capitalist private ownership had to arrive.
Its own way, the new Chinese bourgeoisie get teachings from USSR decay. It has the same aim that new Soviet bourgeoisie of Khrushchev’s and Breznev’s times had: a rich and powerful country. But the liquidation of socialism conquests gives it serious problems of political stability as well. It isn’t under the illusion that its aim can be achieved without capitalist private ownership and market, as the new Soviet bourgeoisie was. Therefore, it launched the "market socialist economy", and tries to carry it out as long as it can. It isn’t content with officially exhorting the managers of public enterprises to direct them as they were capitalist, to manage the enterprises to them committed as capital to increase in value. It besieges public enterprises with a market of individual or joint - stock capitalist enterprises, Chinese or foreign. It combines them in joint ventures with capitalist enterprises. It transforms them in joint - stock societies and let the capitalists enter in the share capital and management. It privatises them. Nevertheless, to impose the payment of the incomes, the reward of the borrowed capitals (interests) or of the invested capitals (profits) is a problem not yet solved today. The bank system, the Stock Exchanges and the financial system are weak points of Chinese bourgeoisie. These weak points are strictly tied to the liquidation of the socialism vestiges. It’s an enterprise of historical importance, which result is still not granted at all.
The first socialist countries’ experience in their second phase confirms that it’s impossible to transform the economical base without transforming the superstructure. Structure and superstructure are distinct abstractions, really existing only as determinations of one same concrete reality, in their contradictory unity. The core of Great Cultural Proletarian Revolution is confirmed: in order to maintain and develop the socialist structure, it needs to carry out the revolution in the superstructure. In broad outline, the theory of the "gang of Five" showed the way for the future socialist countries(10).
1. The objection and its answer are taken up also in the Project of Manifesto-Program of the new Italian communist party - National Secretariat of CARC, 1998, p. 109.
2. In mankind, the capitalist is the last historical incarnation of the primitive man whole-heartedly struggling against nature, in order to get enough to live on, and surviving only preventing other people to share the prey.
3. About the division in phases of the first socialist countries’ existence see the article About the socialist countries’ historical experience in the review Social Relations, n. 11 (November 1991). In USSR the first phase goes on since October Revolution (1917) to 1956, and the second since 1956 to 1991. In the People’s Republic of China the first phase goes on since 1949 to 1976, and the second is still going on.
4. Both in USSR and in China, the proletarian dictatorship never hit with repression more than 5 % of country’s population, even when the class struggle was more open, unfolded and bloody, despite the huge support the counter revolution get from all the world (from the greatest economic, military and spiritual powers of the old world: USA, Europe and Vatican); despite the hopes of revenge this support maintained and fed among the ousted classes; despite the huge intellectual and moral influence the ousted classes maintained on the most backward parts of the population and their great experience of organization, command, mobilization and manipulation; despite the strength of millenarian habits and the difficulties to assimilate the innovations accompanying and constituting socialism; despite the lack of experience, the mistakes and the errors of Communists and their followers. 5 % was an extraordinarily low percentage, considering the revolutionizing of relations, habits and conditions, and the productive and military effort requested by socialism and by the need to defend themselves from outside aggressions. It was a low percentage also in comparison with the mass of marginalized, prisoners, criminals, humiliated, deformed, undernourished and polluted people, in short, of destroyed lives and people adrift brought by every capitalist country, even the most advanced and richest country (as USA), even in their most prosperous and trustful periods. Besides, we must take into account that the repression done by proletarian dictatorship was destined to extinguish; on the contrary, the destroyed lives of the capitalist countries couldn’t d (and cannot) do anything else than increase in times of crisis and war.
5. Presently, after the USSR anticommunist turning (1956) and its collapse (1991), and the China anticommunist turning, the bourgeoisie tries hard to hold socialism responsible for events and results caused in the socialist countries just by the anticommunist turning promoted and headed by admirers, followers and imitators of the bourgeoisie, that is the modern revisionists (Khrushchev, Breznev and Teng Hsiao-ping, mentioning only the leaders of the current).
6. In 1952, a year before his death, Stalin (1879-1953) published the booklet Economic problems of socialism in Soviet Union. There he indicated that in USSR, in economic field, there were maturing contradictions that could degenerate if not well dealt with, as indeed happened.
7. This last thesis is illustrated in the article The Chinese invasion, in this number 22 of La Voce.
8. Are the popular masses oppressed because they are ignorant, or are they ignorant because they are oppressed? It’s the story of what came first, the chicken or the egg. Oppression and ignorance are an infernal circle where the one produces and preserves the other. The popular masses don’t succeed to free themselves from oppression until they free themselves from ignorance, and don’t succeed to free themselves from ignorance until they free themselves from oppression. The breaking of this infernal circle is practical, as for Columbus’ egg. Communist party, mass organizations, socialist revolution, socialism establishment, socialist countries, that is the communist movement, are the breaking of the infernal circle oppression-ignorance! The anarchist (and militarist) doctrine put the elimination of oppression as premise to eliminate ignorance. The reformist doctrine of "popular education" put the elimination of ignorance as a premise to eliminate oppression. Neither the one nor the other are able to break the infernal circle.
9. About the 5 greatest contributions to communist thought see the article The eight discriminant, in La Voce, n.10 (March 2002).
10. The Chinese counter revolutionaries led by Teng Hsiao - ping in 1976, a month after Mao’s death, arrested the four main leaders of the Great Cultural Proletarian Revolution and call them the "Gang of Four". They did what they can for making forget that the head of GCPR was Mao. In fact, the "Gang of Four" was the "Gang of Five".