Let us read from Comrade Stalin about the state of the Soviet state in 1939.
“Since the October Revolution, our Socialist state has passed through two main phases in its development.
The first phase was the period from the October Revolution to the elimination of the exploiting classes. The principal task in that period was to suppress the resistance of the overthrown classes, to organize the defence of the country against the attack of the interventionists, to restore industry and agriculture, and to prepare the conditions for the elimination of the capitalist elements. Accordingly, in this period our state performed two main functions. The first function was to suppress the overthrown classes inside the country. In this respect our state bore a superficial resemblance to previous states, whose functions had also been to suppress recalcitrants, with the fundamental difference, however, that our state suppressed the exploiting minority in the interests of the labouring majority, while previous states had suppressed the exploited majority in the interests of the exploiting minority. The second function was to defend the country from foreign attack. In this respect it likewise bore a superficial resemblance to previous states, which also undertook the armed defence of their countries, with the fundamental difference, however, that our state defended from foreign attack the gains of the labouring majority, while previous states in such cases defended the wealth and privileges of the exploiting minority. Our state had yet a third function: this was the work of economic organization and cultural education performed by our state bodies with the purpose of developing the infant shoots of the new, Socialist economic system and re-educating the people in the spirit of Socialism. But this new function did not attain any considerable development in that period.
The second phase was the period from the elimination of the capitalist elements in town and country to the complete victory of the Socialist economic system and the adoption of the new Constitution. The principal task in this period was to establish the Socialist economic system all over the country and to eliminate the last remnants of the capitalist elements, to bring about a cultural revolution, and to form a thoroughly modern army for the defence of the country. And the functions of our Socialist state changed accordingly. The function of military suppression inside the country ceased, died away; for exploitation had been abolished, there were no more exploiters left, and so there was no one to suppress. In place of this function of suppression the state acquired the function of protecting Socialist property from thieves and pilferers of the people’s property. The function of defending the country from foreign attack fully remained; consequently, the Red Army and the Navy also fully remained, as did the punitive organs and the intelligence service, which are indispensable for the detection and punishment of the spies, assassins and wreckers sent into our country by foreign espionage services. The function of the economic organization and cultural education by the state organs also remained, and was developed to the full. Now the main task of our state inside the country is the work of peaceful economic organization and cultural education. As for our army, punitive organs, and intelligence service, their edge is no longer turned to the inside of the country but to the outside, against external enemies.
As you see, we now have an entirely new, Socialist state, one without precedent in history and differing considerably in form and functions from the Socialist state of the first phase.
But development cannot stop there. We are going ahead, towards communism. Will our state remain in the period of Communism also? Yes, it will, unless the capitalist encirclement is not liquidated, and unless the danger of foreign military attack has disappeared. Naturally, of course, the forms of our state will again change in conformity with the change in the situation at home and abroad.
No, it will not remain and will atrophy if the capitalist encirclement is liquidated and a Socialist encirclement takes place.
That is how the question stands with regard to the Socialist state.”
J. V. Stalin, REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE TO THE EIGHTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE C.P.S.U. (B.), Delivered March 10, 1939, Problems of Leninism, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1945, p. 631-638
Therefore the basic functions of the soviet state at its second stage of development, the stage after the Stalin Constitution were
The function of military suppression inside the country: This has ceased, died away. In place of this function of suppression the state acquired the function of protecting Socialist property from thieves and pilferers of the people’s property.
The function of defending the country from foreign attack: This fully remained. Consequently, the Red Army and the Navy also fully remained, as did the punitive organs and the intelligence service, which were indispensable for the detection and punishment of the spies, assassins and wreckers sent into the Soviet country by foreign espionage services, but their edge was no longer turned to the inside of the country but to the outside, against external enemies.
The function of the economic organization and cultural education by the state organs: also remained, and was developed to the full. The main task of the Soviet state inside the country was the work of peaceful economic organization and cultural education.
THE SOVIET STATE AND BUREAUCRACY-DEGENERATION
We have to start our study with the following quote from Stalin:
“In 1917, when we were forging ahead, towards October, we imagined that we would have a Commune, a free association of working people, that we would put an end to bureaucracy in government institutions, and that it would be possible, if not in the immediate period, then within two or three short periods, to transform the state into a free association of working people. Practice has shown, however, that this is still an ideal which is a long way off, that to rid the state of the elements of bureaucracy, to transform Soviet society into a free association of working people, the people must have a high level of culture, peace conditions must be fully guaranteed all around us so as to remove the necessity of maintaining a large standing army, which entails heavy expenditure and cumbersome administrative departments, the very existence of which leaves its impress upon all the other state institutions. Our state apparatus is bureaucratic to a considerable degree, and it will remain so for a long time to come…”
THE PART'S TASKS- December 2, 1923
Reader will take note of the date of the quote. It is particularly important that Trotskyites take note of the date.
From the study of the soviet experience we see that;
1-Our state apparatus is bureaucratic to a considerable degree, is full of defects, it is cumbersome and expensive and nine-tenths bureaucratic, its bureaucracy weighs heavily on the Party. Elements of bureaucracy exist in our state, co-operative and Party apparatus.
2-Therefore, it is necessary to combat the elements of bureaucracy.
3-This task will confront us all the time, as long as we have state power, as long as the state exists.
4-To transform Soviet society into a free association of working people, peace conditions must be fully guaranteed all around us so as to remove the necessity of maintaining a large standing army, which entails heavy expenditure and cumbersome administrative departments, the very existence of which leaves its impress upon all the other state institutions
5-One can curse and denounce bureaucracy in the state apparatus, one can stigmatise and pillory bureaucracy in our practical work, but unless the masses of the workers reach a certain level of culture, which create the possibility, the desire, the ability to control the state apparatus from below, by the masses of the workers themselves, bureaucracy will continue to exist in spite of everything.
Therefore, to transform Soviet society into a free association of working people, the people must have a high level of culture that is the desire, the ability and the capability to administer the state; peace conditions must be fully guaranteed all around us so as to remove the necessity of maintaining a large standing army. Only thus can we get rid of the state.
In other words, only thus can we get rid of, wither away, the first and second functions of the state, transforming the third function from a function of the state into a normal, everyday function of the society, and thus get rid of, wither away, the state.
Let us take a look at the conditions to get rid of the state and see how we can achieve these conditions.
1- A high level of culture, which create the possibility, the desire, the ability to control the state apparatus from below, by the masses of the workers themselves.
Is this something that we can achieve by our own affords, in one country. The answere to that question is yes.
1/A- Building the technological and economic basses of communism as the essential means of achieving a high level of culture by the masses.
Building socialism, i.e., building a powerful industry and getting rid of the bourgeoisie in all aspects of economic life is not enough to achieve this result. We must also create the conditions to pass to the formula, "to each according to his needs," passing through a number of stages of economic and cultural re-education of society, in the course of which work must be transformed in the eyes of society from only a means of supporting life/ into life's prime want, and social property into the sacred and inviolable basis of the existence of society. In other words, we must create the conditions for communism.
For this, at least three main preliminary conditions have to be satisfied.
People who have never been a communist, but have been lucky enough to read few pages of Lenin and/or Stalin, while being fully taken in by Mao and/or Enver, refer to the method of organising criticism from below, of organising mass control from below, of raising the culture of masses as methods of getting rid of bureaucracy, without further ado.
The fact of the matter is that, to achieve a high level of culture by the masses, a level of culture that enables them to participate fully in running the affairs of state, a high level of production, and the economic conditions for communism-common property in all spheres of social activity- must be achieved. For otherwise, they will not have the time and the means to develop their culture, and thus participate fully in administering the state.
Therefore, the main line running throughout the policy of Bolshevism is to achieve an independent industry that is capable of providing for the agriculture as well as for its own development, thus making it possible to transform all property into social property of all people, thus making it possible to provide plenty for the masses, thus providing all that is needed to achieve a high level of culture by masses.
We can see from our studies that the Soviets were at the verge of achieving all this, especially with their achievement of fully automated factories and the computer which as we know enables us to fully and easily automate all production, and by organising product-exchange with collective-farms to prepare their transformation into state-farms.
Today we can clearly and easily say that we can achieve all these by creating an industrialised country of proletarian dictatorship that has completed is electrification and computerisation. The years of Stalin’s death coincides with the years when the Soviets were marching to achieve these in a short space of time!
1/B- Using all the available means to develop the culture of the masses, i.e. their faculty and ability to administer the country, to administer economy, to administer industry, to administer the whole state.
Under capitalism, the working class is not able to train in its sons the knowledge and faculty of government, and become able to do so only after coming to power. Therefore, every means capable of promoting the development of the cultural powers of the working class, every means capable of facilitating the development in the working class of the faculty and ability to administer the country and industry—every such means must be utilised to the full.
Until the end of the first five year plan, we have been obliged to "exercise economy in all things, even in schools" in order to "save, to restore heavy industry" (Lenin). Only then, we have been able to restore heavy industry and begun developing it further. And only then, the time has arrived to set about fully achieving universal, compulsory elementary education. Until this time we could not provide for the working class even the universal elementary education. And literacy which is provided through elementary education is the basis of all culture, if it is to become a high level of culture.
Be it before achieving universal elementary education, be it after, one of the means of raising the cultural level of workers, has been the mass organisation of workers. Trade unions, Soviets, people’s courts, mass meetings, committees of all sorts. These have all served as schools of administration, means of raising the cultural powers of masses. One other method that was used was the building of factories and farms that use high level of technology, and work in such environment. These also serve to raise the cultural level of masses.
Another method is the famous method of criticism-self criticism. This method was used not only to raise the cultural level of the masses but also to help weed out the bureaucratic and degenerate elements from all walks of life, including the Party.
All of these methods are used not because they represent an excellence in the material and cultural conditions of the country, but because there is a short coming in the material, and thus cultural conditions of the country and these methods have to be used as methods which are available and necessary to raise the cultural level of the masses and to weed out the bureaucratic and degenerate elements.
These methods, by nature, are contradictory and rely for their usefulness or otherwise precisely on these contradictions.
On the one hand criticism is there to raise the cultural level of the masses, to use their knowledge and experience in this process to overcome the shortcomings of the work of the apparatus; to clear away the bureaucratised and degenerated elements; on the other hand this very process can be utilised by our enemies to demoralise the party and state apparatus, to damage their organisational capabilities and to destroy the standing of our leaders.
On the one hand to build factories and to work in the factories raise the cultural level of the workers, on the other hand working conditions of long hours and heavy work restrict their ability and opportunity to govern the state.
On the one hand all the mass organisations and committees are, for the masses, the means of learning how to govern; on the other hand our enemies can infiltrate these organisations and engage in disruptive activities, etc., etc.,
In this sphere, the proletariat in power contributes by setting an example to the proletarians of other countries, helping them learn from its own example, not just by its political and when needed by its military achievements, but most importantly by its economic achievements; and of course, by helping them directly to the extend that it can. In other words it helps the proletarians in its periphery to achieve power; contributes to peace in its periphery.
But and in the final analysis, this is not a condition that can be achieved by only our own forces-by the forces of the proletariat in power. It requires the contribution of all the world proletarians.
It requires the condition of socialist-communist encirclement of imperialist countries!
THE SOVIET STATE AND BUREAUCRACY-DEGENERATION SHORT CONCLUSIONS
COMPUTERISATION AND THE SOVIET STATE
Had the incremental destruction of Soviet economy and communal morality of the Soviet people, and thus the restoration of capitalism by Trotskyite-Buharinite traitors to the motherland not been successful; and had we a Soviet Union that lived in line with the requirements of comrade Stalin, of socialist economy and morality, the Soviet country would have completed the electrification and computerisation of the country, and the Soviet state would begun to wither away through its direct democratic stage.
The perfect form of direct democracy requires the fulfilment of the following. i) the automation and continuousness of production and distribution in each unit and throughout the country through computerisation ii) the registration and perfect planning of all production and distribution through the networking of all these computers to a central computer iii) the control of all production and distribution by all the workers through the networking of their computers to this central computer iv) the direct participation of all the workers in administration of the state through this network of computers.
This is the essential content of direct democracy.
Soviet state will take such a form, the Soviet citizens will start to administer the state, and when this becomes a normal and voluntarily accepted work of the citizens, the state would begin to wither away-when and also we are surrounded by peace conditions, i.e. when the imperialist encirclement is replaced by socialist-communist encirclement.
Now, in the future, that is how we will do it!
Only the children of comrade Stalin can put an end to the bureaucratisation and degeneration in the Soviet state,
Khrushchevites who are the continuers of Trotskyites and Buharinites can only lead to its degeneration.
Khrushchevism is the Trotskyism and Buharinism of the period of our state when all the exploiting classes have been demolished; when our state was about to enter the third stage of its development, at which the sources of all the possibilities and conditions of bureaucratisation and degeneration would be dried up; conditions for the masses to control the state from below, continuously and directly would be created.
Contrary to all the previous battles, this time they had won. The results of their victory is obvious to all.
6.1. STALIN ON BEUROCRACY
Let us read just a few of what has been said by comrade Stalin:
“1- THE PART'S TASKS- December 2, 1923 - V5. p.368-9 ....... THE CAUSES OF THE DEFECTS
The first cause is that our Party organisations have not yet rid themselves, or have still not altogether rid themselves, of certain survivals of the war period, a period that has passed, but has left in the minds of our responsible workers vestiges of the military regime in the Party. I think that these survivals find expression in the view that our Party is not an independently acting organism, not an independently acting, militant organisation of the proletariat, but something in the nature of a system of institutions, something in the nature of a complex of institutions in which there are officials of lower rank and officials of higher rank. That, comrades, is a profoundly mistaken view that has nothing in common with Marxism; that view is a survival that we have inherited from the war period, when we militarised the Party, when the question of the independent activity of the mass of the Party membership had necessarily to be shifted into the background and military orders were of decisive importance. I do not remember that this view was ever definitely expressed; nevertheless, it, or elements of it, still influences our work. Comrades, we must combat such views with all our might, for they are a very real danger and create favourable conditions for the distortion in practice of the essentially correct line of our Party.
The second cause is that our state apparatus, which is bureaucratic to a considerable degree, exerts a certain amount of pressure on the Party and the Party workers. In 1917, when we were forging ahead, towards October, we imagined that we would have a Commune, a free association of working people, that we would put an end to bureaucracy in government institutions, and that it would be possible, if not in the immediate period, then within two or three short periods, to transform the state into a free association of working people. Practice has shown, however, that this is still an ideal which is a long way off, that to rid the state of the elements of bureaucracy, to transform Soviet society into a free association of working people, the people must have a high level of culture, peace conditions must be fully guaranteed all around us so as to remove the necessity of maintaining a large standing army, which entails heavy expenditure and cumbersome administrative departments, the very existence of which leaves its impress upon all the other state institutions. Our state apparatus is bureaucratic to a considerable degree, and it will remain so for a long time to come. Our Party comrades work in this apparatus, and the situation—I might say the atmosphere—in this bureaucratic apparatus is such that it helps to bureaucratise our Party workers and our Party organisations.”
“5- THE RESULTS OF THE THIRTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE R.C.P.(B.)-June 17, 1924 - V6. p. 260-270 .... QUESTIONS OF THE EDUCATION AND RE-EDUCATION OF THE WORKING MASSES
One of the essential tasks confronting the Party in the epoch of the dictatorship of the proletariat is to re-educate the older generations and educate the new generations in the spirit of the proletarian dictatorship and socialism. The old habits and customs, traditions and prejudices inherited from the old society are most dangerous enemies of socialism. They—these traditions and habits—have a firm grip over millions of working people; at times they engulf whole strata of the proletariat; at times they present a great danger to the very existence of the proletarian dictatorship. That is why the struggle against these traditions and habits, their absolute eradication in all spheres of our activity, and, lastly, the education of the younger generations in the spirit of proletarian socialism, represent immediate tasks for our Party without the accomplishment of which socialism cannot triumph. Work to improve the state apparatus, work in the countryside, work among women toilers and among the youth—these are the principal spheres of the Party activity in the fulfilment of these tasks.
a) The struggle to improve the state apparatus. The congress devoted little time to the question of the state apparatus. The report of the Central Control Commission on the fight against defects in the state apparatus was endorsed without debate. The resolution on "The work of the Control Commissions" was likewise adopted without debate. This, I believe, was due to lack of time and to the great number of questions which the congress was called upon to consider. But it would be absolutely wrong to infer from this that the Party does not regard the question of the state apparatus as one of key importance. On the contrary, it is a vital issue in all our constructive work. Does the state apparatus function honestly, or does it indulge in graft; does it exercise economy in expenditure, or does it squander the national wealth; is it guilty of duplicity, or does it serve the state loyally and faithfully; is it a burden on the working people, or an organisation that helps them; does it inculcate respect for proletarian law, or does it corrupt the people's minds by disparaging proletarian law; is it progressing towards transition to a communist society in which there will be no state, or is it retrogressing towards the stagnant bureaucracy of the ordinary bourgeois state—these are all questions the correct solution of which cannot but be a matter of decisive importance for the Party and for socialism. That our state apparatus is full of defects, that it is cumbersome and expensive and nine-tenths bureaucratic, that its bureaucracy weighs heavily on the Party and its organisations, hampering their efforts to improve the state apparatus —these are things which hardly anyone will doubt. Yet it should be perfectly clear that, if our state apparatus were to rid itself of at least some of its basic faults, it could, in the hands of the proletariat, serve as a most valuable instrument for the education and re-education of broad sections of the population in the spirit of the proletarian dictatorship and socialism.”
“13- THE FIFTEENTH CONGRESS OF THE C.P.S.U.(B.)-December 2-19, 1927 -V.10, p.327-331
d) The state apparatus and the struggle against bureaucracy. So much is being said about bureaucracy that there is no need to dilate on it. That elements of bureaucracy exist in our state, co-operative and Party apparatus, there can be no doubt. That it is necessary to combat the elements of bureaucracy, and that this task will confront us all the time, as long as we have state power, as long as the state exists, is also a fact.
But one must know how far one can go. To carry the struggle against bureaucracy in the state apparatus to the point of destroying the state apparatus, of discrediting the state apparatus, of attempts to break it up—that means going against Leninism, means forgetting that our apparatus is a Soviet apparatus, which is a state apparatus of a higher type than any other state apparatus in the world.
Wherein lies the strength of our state apparatus? In that it links the state power with the millions of workers and peasants through the Soviets. In that the Soviets are schools of administration for tens and hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants. In that the state apparatus does not fence itself off from the masses of the people, but merges with them through an incalculable number of mass organisations, all sorts of commissions, committees, conferences, delegate meetings, etc., which encompass the Soviets and in this way buttress the organs of government.
Wherein lies the weakness of our state apparatus? In the existence within it of elements of bureaucracy, which spoil and distort its work. In order to eliminate bureaucracy from it—and this cannot be done in one or two years—we must systematically improve the state apparatus, bring it closer to the masses, reinvigorate it by bringing in new people loyal to the cause of the working class, remodel it in the spirit of communism, but not break it up or discredit it. Lenin was a thousand times right when he said: "Without an 'apparatus' we would have perished long ago. If we do not wage a systematic and stubborn struggle to improve the apparatus we shall perish before we have created the base for socialism."
I shall not dilate on those defects in our state apparatus that are glaring enough as it is. I have in mind, primarily, "Mother Red Tape." I have at hand a heap of materials on the matter of red tape, exposing the criminal negligence of a number of judicial, administrative, insurance, co-operative and other organisations. ....... The Party's task is, in fighting against bureaucracy and for the improvement of the state apparatus, to extirpate with a red-hot iron such outrageous things in our practical work as those I have just spoken about.
e) Concerning Lenin's slogan about the cultural revolution. The surest remedy for bureaucracy is raising the cultural level of the workers and peasants. One can curse and denounce bureaucracy in the state apparatus, one can stigmatise and pillory bureaucracy in our practical work, but unless the masses of the workers reach a certain level of culture, which create the possibility, the desire, the ability to control the state apparatus from below, by the masses of the workers themselves, bureaucracy will continue to exist in spite of everything. Therefore, the cultural development of the working class and of the masses of the working peasantry, not only the development of literacy, although literacy is the basis of all culture, but primarily the cultivation of the ability to take part in the administration of the country, is the chief lever for improving the state and every other apparatus. This is the sense and significance of Lenin's slogan about the cultural revolution.
Here is what Lenin said about this in March 1922, before the opening of the Eleventh Congress of our Party, in his letter to the Central Committee addressed to Comrade Molotov:
"The chief thing we lack is culture, ability to administer....Economically and politically NEP fully ensures us the possibility of laying the foundation of socialist economy. It is 'only' a matter of the cultural forces of the proletariat and of its vanguard."
These words of Lenin's must not be forgotten, comrades (Voices "Quite right !")
Hence the Party's task: to exert greater efforts to raise the cultural level of the working class and of the working strata of the peasantry.”
6.2. PROBLEMS OF BEAUROCRATISATION IN THE COMINTERN PROGRAM
"..Thus, in so far as they promote from their ranks leaders in the work of construction, drawn into this work of construction broad sections of the proletariat and aim at combating bureaucracy, which inevitably arises as a result of the operation of class influences alien to the proletariat and of the inadequate cultural development of the masses, the trade unions become the backbone of the proletarian economic and State organisations as a whole. (p. 35. )
Only to the extent that the proletariat promotes from its own ranks a body of men and women capable of occupying the key positions of socialist construction, only to the extent that this body grows, and draws increasing numbers of the working class into the process of revolutionary-cultural transformation and gradually obliterates the line that divides the proletariat into an "advanced" and a "backward" section will the guarantees be created for successful socialist construction and against bureaucratic decay and class degeneracy. ( P. 38. )
.. The steady attraction of the masses into the process of socialist construction, the constant renovation of the entire State, economic, trade union and Party apparatus with men and women fresh from the ranks of the proletariat, the systematic training in the higher educational establishments and at special courses of workers generally and young workers in particular as new socialist experts in all branches of construction- all these together serve as one of the principle guarantees against the bureaucratic ossification or social degeneration of the stratum of the proletariat directly engaged in administration. ( P. 47. )
6.3. ONCE AGAIN TROTSKY LEADS THE WAY BY DECADES- OR TROTSKYITE THEORIES OF BUREAUCRATISATION OF THE SOVIET STATE.
The danger of bureaucratisation, the danger of degeneration, these are already taken up by Stalin and the Comintern program. Those who know these know these dangers and what gives rise to these dangers, therefore work to destroy the reasons that give rise to these possibilities;( division of proletariat into advanced and backward sections- inability of the masses to take active part in political life due to their need to work long hours, due to cultural backwardness- division of forms of ownership and necessity for commodity circulation etc.).
But it is otherwise with Trotsky. What he propose make it impossible for the proletariat to destroy these reasons of possible degeneration and bureaucratisation: the need to follow world prices and unavoidability of crises in the USSR if there are crises in capitalist world; call to collectivisation when conditions are not ripe, attack collectivisation that is being carried out when they are; demand bureaucratic control of T.U.s; declare the building of socialism in the U.S.S.R. impossible and engage in sabotage and spying for imperial powers to insure that it is impossible.
And yet, he declares that this possibility of bureaucratisation and degeneration has already became a reality, and that because of this U.S.S.R. is about to collapse.
U.S.S.R. does not collapse, in spite of these prophesies it does not collapse. Nay more, develops by leaps and bounds and builds socialism. But no worries. He and his gang certainly works to bring that about. And now that they did bring this possibility into reality, Stalin can be blamed. Fine theory this. Exactly same as his permanent revolution, which foresaw the struggle of proletariat against the bourgeois nation before Lenin's April thesis-forget the man’s opposition to Lenin’s theory of bourgeois democratic revolution under the hegemony of the proletariat until 1917.