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Hmm, I'm a bit uneasy about the interpretation of Marx and Lenin's words on the nature of the socialist state's officials being "subject to recall" and "paid only the wages received by other workers". In the video, this is interpreted as Marx and Lenin advocating for a central worker's state--but it seems to me that the only thing these quotes indicate is that Marx and Lenin liked the model of the Paris Commune in how representatives were at the mercy of the workers they represented, and that their income and wealth was not such that they became an elite population. How does this suddenly jump into advocating a centralized workers state?
Apologies for the delay in replying - I'm still getting set up on the website and didn't get a notification. I did not intend to say that having officials "subject to recall" requires a centralized state (I mentioned it because in the context of the workers state that they were describing it shows that they had other policies in mind that they intended to be applied across the whole nation), however having workers paid only the same wage as other workers, if this applies all across the nation, in fact does require a certain amount of centralization: it requires a centralized wage policy. Think about it. In order to ensure that all wages are set at a certain level across the entire nation means that all wages must be set by a centralized wage policy - this is really all that I was saying here - but it is important. Although a policy such as recall being set across the country is a nationwide policy it is the kind of policy that still may leave other democratic decisions to the local level, not so for a centralized wage policy. A policy like minimum wage may similarly leave most everything to the local level, but a fixed wage for all areas, industries, and jobs requires much more centralization. Fixed wages for all different kinds of jobs will require, for example, strategies to induce workers into industries and positions that would normally be enticing due to higher wages -- and, as the Soviet leaders learned (and market socialists are now aware) this is something that central government needs to be involved in, because if it is left to local governments they cannot ensure that the whole nation is able to produce what is required to keep the whole citizenry fed and clothed. With free wages and prices the market can take care of this, but when all wages are set by a single wage policy in order to be equal, the market cannot perform this function. Glad to have you on board, and please let me know if you still disagree! Thanks for the queston!
Why was it important that capitalism was being “transformed” by forces of concentration in the developed countries, which Marx and Lenin argued were ripe for socialism?
Because this gave grounds for economic planning due to a perceived lack of difference between private monopoly and public ownership, and because it was perceived as laying the ground work for the transformation into socialism, the next phase of society.
Good answer. Keeping in mind what Lenin and/or other Bolsheviks saw as the key differences between this concentrated capitalism - monopoly private ownership - and socialism (can you name a few?), and what the key similarities were (which they clearly saw), do the differences outweigh the similarities? Was there plan viable in theory--in other words, if they were able somehow to force through a "transformation", would the resulting "socialism" be significantly different and better than (a) the private capitalism, and/or (b) some less monopolistic, less concentrated, version of capitalism that might instead be brought about (at least in theory)?