Reply to: Socialism Hasn't Failed - It Hasn't Been Tried - Yet!

Joanne Forman, letter in reply to the article:
Perry Sanders and Dianna Sitar,
Socialism Hasn't Failed; It Hasn't Been Tried - Yet!
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from the New Unionist, February 1994, page 2

LETTERS AND DEBATE

Soviet State Capitalism Was Progressive Relative to Private Capital!

The article by Perry Sanders and Dianna Sitar in the December issue ("Socialism hasn't failed; it hasn't been tried -- yet") is excellent, in that it pointed out that the late, unlamented Nazi Germany and (ditto) Soviet Union were brutal, state-capitalist regimes.

However, it is a mistake to blur history by equating Hitler and Stalin, a trend perhaps fostered by the distance of younger people from historical events. This leads to to the blurred and incorrect notion that fascism and communism have the same basis -- an idea assiduously promoted by many of the pundits and academics of our very own state capitalism: the United States of America.

The immense differences in Russian and German history cannot be rehearsed in a brief letter. Nor is it useful to get into a numbers game of who killed more people or caused more misery.

But one thing must be said loud and clear: despite its name, "National Socialism" had no socialist content whatsoever. This is obvious if one can force oneself to wade through the turgid "Mein Kampf."

But the proof of the pudding is the fact that the means of production remained firmly in private hands-as they do today in Germany. Krupp, Siemens, I.G.Farben, et. al. continued to generate profits for the ruling class. If they deplored Hitler's crudeness, they financed his rise to power.

The Soviet Union, on the contrary, did expropriate the private capitalist, which was a progressive step, however it was subsequently messed up (and it was).

-- Joanne Forman, Taos, NM