Dominique Meeùs
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Notes de lecture : table des matières, index — Retour au dossier marxisme

Five Conversations with Soviet Economists

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1941-1952 (Full text).

Regarding the plan for the economy a lot of terrible words have been piled up. What all has not been written. “Directly social character of labour in the socialist society. Overcoming the law of value and elimination of anarchy in production. Planned conducting of the economy as a means of bringing the production relations of socialism in conformity with the nature of the productive forces.” Some kind of a flawless planned economy is painted. Whereas one can say simply: — under capitalism it is not possible to carry on production on the scale of the whole of the society, there you have competition, there you have private property, which separates. Whereas in our system the enterprises are united on the basis of socialist property. Planned economy is not something we want, it is an inevitability, otherwise everything would collapse. We have destroyed such bourgeois barometers as the markets and the stock exchanges, with the help of which the bourgeoisie corrects the disproportions. We have taken everything up on ourselves. Planned economy in our system is as much inevitable as is the consumption of bread. And it is so not because we are all “good boys”, not because we are capable of doing everything, and they cannot, but because in our system the enterprises are integrated. In their system integration is possible only within trusts and cartels, i.e. within narrow limits, but they are incapable of organising an All people’s economy. (It is in place here to remind ourselves of Lenin’s critique of Kautsky’s theory of super capitalism). The capitalist cannot run industry and agriculture and transport according to a plan. Under capitalism the town must devour the countryside. Private property there is an obstacle. So say simply: there is integration in our system, and in their system there is division. Here (page 369) it is written: “planned functioning of the economy as a means of bringing the production relations of socialism in conformity with the character of the productive forces”. It is all rubbish, schoolboys’ chatter. (Marx and Engels spoke long ago, and they had to talk about contradictions). But why in hell are you treating us to such generalisations? Say simply: in their system there is division in the economy, the form of property brings divisions; in our system there is integration. You are at the helm, and the power is yours. Speak simply.

Au passage, il semble considérer la notion de contradiction dialectique comme un héritage du 19e siècle dont on se passerait avantageusement. Marx et Engels parlaient comme ça parce que c’était la mode de l’époque. Nous ne devons pas les imiter. De manière générale, il ne supporte pas qu’on se paie de mots.

Dans l’économie, il y a des proportions à respecter. Dans l’économie bourgeoise, ce sont les mécanismes du marché, et la Bourse qui servent de baromètre des disproportions. Sous le socialisme, on n’a pas ces moyens-là, par contre on utilise la planification.

If you want to seek answers for everything in Marx you will get nowhere. You have in front of you a laboratory such as the USSR which has existed now for more than 20 years but you think that Marx ought to be knowing more than you about socialism. Do you not understand that in the Critique of the Gotha Programme Marx was not in a position to foresee! It is necessary to use one’s head and not string citations together. New facts are there, there is a new combination of forces — and if you don’t mind — one has to use one’s brains.

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