Ante ciliga

Ante Ciliga was a Yugoslav communist who spent time in Soviet jails during 1930's. His main work is considered to be "The Russian Enigma", published in 1940, at the time he escaped the USSR.

I was not able to get a hold of the entire work, only one of its chapters. Here is what struck me. He writes about his discussion with fellow political prisoners in a Soviet concentration camp:

"Useless to get heated, comrade Ciliga, about Lenin's struggle against the bureaucracy. You rely on one of the last articles he wrote before his death, the one on the reform of the Workers and Peasants Inspection. Did he call on the masses to organize themselves against the bureaucracy? Not at all. He proposed the creation of a special organ with a well-paid staff, a super-bureaucratic organ to combat...the bureaucracy!" 

That is what the current bureaucracy continues to do. It attempts to combat corruption with the help of other bureaucratic organs. The bureaucracy is only a sign that people in general, and workers specifically, are not capable of self-management, but instead prefer to rely upon others to organize life for them. 


"At the end of his life Lenin lost confidence in the worker mass. He banked on the bureaucratic apparatus, but, fearing that it would overdo things, he sought to restrict the evil by making one part of the apparatus control the other."

He continues:

"a new revolution, truly freeing, socially freeing, the lower orders, can arise in Russia and elsewhere in the world, only by realizing the programme of the annihilated Workers Opposition”.

Its principal demands: workers’ self-government, freedom of parties, democracy. However, the problem of democracy runs upon the obstacle that this democracy is used by the world capitalism to impose its will upon the Soviet land. This we have seen in the beginning of the Soviet Russia, and in XXI century.

The problem of bureaucracy, or lack of self-management, coincides with the problem of the capitalist encirclement, the capitalist world in general. Can we imagine capitalism growing in the former USSR if the outside world was free of capitalism? This is the reason to believe that the problem of bureaucracy, and capitalist Restoration in the former USSR, will be solved simultaneously with the problem of capitalism in the world at large. Political revolution in the former USSR, and other transitional states, coincides the social revolution in the capitalist camp.

Ciliga approaches the problem of the social nature of the USSR is a manner that is simplistic. He reasons thus:

1. Workers' control = socialism

2. Bureaucracy's control = state capitalism

3. In the USSR, there is the control of bureaucracy.

4. Hence, the USSR is a state capitalism.  

This reasoning does not address the problem of "what is capital"? How justified is one in arguing that control by the bureaucracy = state capitalism? Unfortunately, some Marxist workers in the USSR think in the same way. 

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