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This diary series is a slightly edited version of Contradictions of Capitalism, a book that I wrote in the early 90's which is still available now on Amazon. I have updated some parts of it to reflect the very important changes in the corporate economy since the mid-1990s with the appearance of a global economy rather than a national, which has important effects which much of the socialist movement has still not fully grasped.

Previous entries in this series can be found here:

Part One:
Part Two:
Part Three:
Part Four:
Part Five:
Part Six:
Part Seven:
Part Eight:

NINE: The Future of Leninism

As we have seen, the development of the Leninist state eventually leads to a growing class conflict between the petty bourgeois state-capitalists who control the means of production and the neo-capitalist classes which develop within this structure. This class struggle can only be hostile in nature, producing ever-stronger economic crises and faction fights within the existing political and economic structures. This conflict is exacerbated by the constant attempts of the neo-colonies to end their domination by the Soviet state. The interests of the neo-colonies and the neo-capitalists are the same; the overthrow of the Leninist state.

Eventually, the subjective and objective conditions meet, and the Leninist state falls to combined pressures from within and without. The now-victorious neo-capitalist enterprise managers will then restructure the state and the economy to form a new monopoly-capitalist state.

At the time of this writing, only the Soviet Union and its satellites, among the Leninist states, has reached a sufficient level of economic development so as to produce the crises and stresses of a fully-matured Leninist system. Gorbachev’s perestroika was a vain attempt to solve the internal contradictions which were crippling the Leninist system, by granting the decentralization which was demanded by circumstances, but attempting to keep this decentralization within limits that would not harm the Soviet state. That effort was doomed to failure.

Since, however, the Leninist mode of production is suited so well almost exclusively to the needs of an ex-colonial economy, we might ask the question, will every neo-colony in the world undergo a period of Leninist industrialization and expansion? The answer to this question must be “No”.

It should be apparent that, in order for a nation to achieve economic independence (through whatever means), it is necessary for this economy to possess or have access to sufficient resources to enable it to build an independent economy, one that is not dependent for vital resources on imperialist nations. Small nations which possess few resources are incapable of building a self-sufficient economy, since they will always be dependent on commercial relations with other countries. In a world of monopoly imperialism, these relations will always be lopsided. These small nations will remain neo-colonies.

Thus, successful Leninist industrial development is possible only in those neo-colonies which possess sufficient resources for an independent economy, in which the only thing holding back such a development is the crushing oppression of imperialism. Only a handful of neo-colonies have this capacity. If these nations are to achieve economic independence, they must take the “China Road” by closing themselves off to dependence upon either the monopoly capitalists or the Leninist imperialists.

Other neo-colonies in which anti-feudal and anti-imperialist revolutions are successful will be unable to maintain their economic independence. These smaller nations have insufficient resources for internal development and are locked into dependence upon one power bloc or another for these resources. They can successfully revolt in order to leave one power bloc for another, but they do not have the ability to develop economic independence.

As the process of the transition to capitalism in the Leninist nations is completed, therefore, the smaller neo-colonies will lack the economic aid and support to enable them to build an independent economy, and no new colonies will be able to fight their way to economic independence. As those nations with the capacity for Leninist growth and development do so, the possibility for successful anti-imperialist revolution fades.

Thus, as the independent Leninist states undergo a transformation to capitalism, the Leninist mode of production will disappear. The global economy will once again consist of rival monopolist blocs who fight amongst themselves over their neo-colonial dominions. The world will once again be sharply divided into a handful of monopolist exploiters and the vast mass of workers. At this stage, the monopolists are subjected ever more severely to their own internal contradictions and crises.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 06:25:48 AM PDT

  •  when I wrote this, in the late 80's, it seemed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, BlueDragon

    as if some of the larger neo-colonies, like Brazil or India, might still be able to follow a leninist economic path.

    Since then, however, the rise of the global corporate economy has changed all that. Nations no longer matter, and the entire neo-colony framework has been altered--now it is global corporations which are the basic economic units, not nation-states. Nations no longer matter, which means that nationalist revolution--as all the leninist revolutions were--no longer matter.

    To the global corporados, it no longer matters if nations are big or small.  All that matters is what advantages can be gained in them.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 06:30:50 AM PDT

    •  i get this: we are now in a (0+ / 0-)

      post modern, post nationalist, global corporate economy

      this means that resistance must be globally organized?

      if the innertoobs are turned off, that will become hugely more difficult.

      not to mention that there is no real model for global resistance.

      is 1968 a model?

      •  the innertoobs are a method, not an (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        They are no different than "mail" or "runners" or "beating drums".  It is the organization itself that matters, not the method it uses to communicate. The civil rights movement fought a nationwide battle for 20 years without the innertoobs or cell phones, and won. The labor movement fought a nationwide battle for longer than that without them, and they won too. So can we, if we have to.

        PS--shutting down the innertoobs cripples the corporados just as much as it cripples us.  They are just as global as we are, and just as utterly dependent upon their global communications as we are.

        not to mention that there is no real model for global resistance.
        That is correct---there is no model.  It's never been done before. But then, there was no model in 1775 for national resistance, either--and no model in 1890 for a national labor movement.

        We will have to figure it out for ourselves, just like our great-great-great-grandfathers did.

        There is indeed already a workable model of global resdistance developing, though--the Fair Trade Movement is already moving towards a true global resistance network to force fair-trade provisions (such as minimum-wages, union protections, product safety, environmental regulations) into the various global trade agreements.

        And of course the corporations themselves have built an entirely new global model that did not exist before--and they did it in less than ten years.

        We are just as smart as they are. We can figure it out.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 08:19:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh, i certainly recognize (0+ / 0-)

          innertoobs are a method, not an organization. and recognize that shutting down hurts them.

          very interesting that you see the global corporation model emerging in just ten years.  very.

          i'd love to hear more about how you trace it out.

          thanks for pointing out the Fair Trade Movement.  I can immediately recognize what you mean.

          •  the rise of the global corporation (from the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            national corporation) will be discussed in the last chapter.

            In a nutshell, it happened from 1985 (when the Japanese national auto and steel companies first began to dominate the American national companies) and was finished by 1995 (when WTO institutionalized the global rulebook for the handful of remaining global corporations--though I suppose one could argue that it really ended by 1993 with the beginning of NAFTA and "free trade agreements"). Those ten years transformed the entire world, turning us from a nation-based economic structure to a global one.

            If you really want a detailed analysis of this, I suggest the last few parts of this diary series here on the history of corporations:


            Beginnig with part Nine: The Multi-National Wars.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 10:16:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Nepal tried turning off the Internet in 2005 (0+ / 0-)

        in response to a Communist insurgency and a popular revolution against King Gyanendra, whose nephew Dipendra had murdered his parents, the previous monarchs, and then committed suicide in 2001. Business freaked out, including the tourist trade and all companies involved in international trade. The blackout lasted a whole week before the King was forced to relent, and he soon after found himself out of power.

        Nepal: Out of the Silence

        At 10:25 a.m. on February 1 [2005], King Gyanendra of Nepal delivered a stunning proclamation—Nepal's multi-party government had been dismissed and a state of emergency declared. Simultaneously, telephone lines across the country were cut, mobile phone service discontinued, and fax and Internet connections shut down…

        In the silence that followed, a surprising thing happened.

        The king was unable to shut off Nepal from the rest of the world. Rather, in the days after the coup, smuggled e-mails, clandestine Web sites, and the unlikely emergence of a handful of Nepalese bloggers threw the government and independent journalists into a cat-and-mouse chase. The king's unintentional result: While attempting to plunge Nepal into a communications dark age, he spawned a small legion of online journalists.

        Also essential to this process were foreign diplomats and journalists with satellite connections.

        Other regimes have cut off the Internet, and suffered similar pushback. At present, only North Korea is able to deny Internet service to its people, and that is starting to fray, with limited access at universities. We saw that movie in China years ago.

        Disclosure: I am one of the authors of How to Bypass Internet Censorship.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 07:27:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Please give us full links, in this manner (0+ / 0-)

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 07:30:03 PM PDT

  •  Foreign corporations are doing a lot of business (0+ / 0-)

    in China, and China is as big an empire as at any time in its history. Although not anywhere near its maximum level of oppression, China is still one of the great violators of human rights, including economic rights. In what way are you saying that the “China Road” closes them off to dependence upon either the monopoly capitalists or the Leninist imperialists?

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 07:36:43 PM PDT

    •  this was written in the late 80's, when (0+ / 0-)

      China was still closed off, and was just then beginning to allow Western businesses in.

      Before that time, China was completely isolated economically from both the USSR and the West. That was the only way they could prevent Western economic interests from entering and taking over the entire economy--as they already had done in the 1910's and 1920's.

      Today, China has proven to be a master at using the Western companies to finance and carry out its own industrialization--a possibility that did not exist until global corporations were independent of any national interests, and the possibility of another nation taking over and controlling China's economy no longer existed.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 08:52:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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