Excerpts from

ABC of Communism


by Bukharin and Preobrazhensky


 

§19. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE COMMUNIST SYSTEM.

 

PRODUCTION UNDER COMMUNISM

 

".. the destruction of the capitalist system was inevitable..….
It is perishing because it is affected by two fundamental contradictions..

·        anarchy of production …

·        the class character of society, …

Capitalist society is like a badly constructed machine ... it was inevitable that this machine would break down …"

"… the new society must be much  more solidly constructed …
(it) will be free from the contradictions …

·        it must be organized society; ...  free from anarchy of production…

·        it must be a classless society.."

 

 "The basis of communist society must be the social ownership of the means of production … All the means of production must be under the control of society … society will be transformed into a  working organization for cooperative production. … No longer will one enterprise compete with another; the factories, … will be subdivisions … of one vast people’s workshop which will embrace the entire national economy …"

                 " ... so  comprehensive an organization presupposes a general plan of production. … We must know in advance how much labor to assign to the various branches of industry; what products are required and how much of each it is necessary to produce; how and where machines must be provided. ... Without a general plan, without the general directive system and without careful calculation and book-keeping, there can be no organization. …"

 

"Communist society … frees people from oppression by …others. …there will not be permanent managers of factories, nor will there be persons who do one and the same kind of work throughout their lives… Under communism people receive a many-sided culture, and find themselves at home in various branches of production: today work in an administrative capacity, … next month perhaps in a steam-laundry, and the month after in an electric power station. …" 

 

§20. D       DISTRIBUTION IN THE COMMUNIST SYSTEM -

 

"…production is not for the market, but for use. …we no longer have commodities, but only products. These products are not exchanged one for the other, they are neither bought nor sold. They are simply stored in the communal warehouses, and are subsequently delivered to those who need them … Money will then have no value. … in the first days of  communist society, products will probably be distributed in accordance with the amount of work done … at a later stage, however, they will simply be supplied according to the needs…"

 

§21. ADMINISTRATION IN THE COMMUNIST SYSTEM

 

" in communist society there will … be no State.State is a class organization of the rulers… If there are no classes, then there is no class war, and there are no class organizations. Consequently the State has ceased to exist…"

"... who is going to supervise the whole affair?  The main direction will be entrusted to various kinds of book-keeping offices or statistical bureaux. There from day to day, account will be kept of production and all its needs; there also it will be decided whither workers must be sent, whence they must be taken, and how much work is to be done.  And inasmuch as, from childhood onwards, all will have been accustomed to social labor, and since all will understand that this work is necessary and that life goes easier when everything is done according to a prearranged plan  and when the social order is like a well-oiled machine all will work in accordance with the indications of these statistical bureaux. "

 "… this will only happen in the fully developed and strongly established communist system, … Two or three generations of persons will have to grow up under the new conditions before the need will pass for laws and punishments and for the use of repressive measures by the workers’ State. Not until then will all the vestiges of the capitalist past disappear. "

"Moreo  however, in these statistical bureaux one person will work today, another tomorrow. The bureaucracy, the permanent officialdom, will disappear. The State will die out."

 

 §22. THE DEVELOPMENT OF PRODUCTIVE  FORCES
IN THE COMMUNIST SYSTEM  
(THE ADVANTAGES OF COMMUNISM)

 

"... more rapid development of the forces of production will be due to the following causes.

  • ... the liberation of the vast quantity of human energy which is now absorbed in the class struggle.

  • ... the energy and the material means which now are destroyed or wasted in competition, crises, and wars, will all be saved…

  • work will be conducted in very large factories ... large-scale production is always more economical…

  • Under capitalism, there are definite limits to the introduction of new machinery. The capitalist only introduces new machinery when he cannot procure a sufficiency of cheap labor… In communist society, our concern will not be for profit but for the workers. There every technical advance will be immediately adopted. "

 

                OUR GOAL, THE DEVELOPMENT OF PRODUCTIVITY

 

"The foundation of our whole policy must be the widest possible development of productivity. ... The disorganization of production has been so extensive, the post-war scarcity of all products is so conspicuous, that everything else must be subordinated to this one task. More products! More boots, scythes, barrels, textiles, salt, clothing, corn, etc. — these are our primary need. "

 

THE PURPOSIVE ORGANIZATION OF ECONOMIC LIFE 

 

" The break-up of capitalism left … its legacy ... Russia was utterly disintegrated… As a result of the revolution, the factory owners had dropped the reins of administration, and at first, in many places, the factories were simply masterless. There then ensued an unsystematic seizure of the enterprises by the workers, who could wait no longer. A local ‘nationalization’ of this kind had begun before the  November revolution. … Even after the November revolution, nationalization was at first conducted haphazardly. …the primary need was to nationalize  the largest and best equipped enterprises; but things did not always work out this way. The general tendency was to nationalize those enterprises which the owners had abandoned and which could not be left uncared for. "

 

" In many cases, however, enterprises were nationalized because their owners were especially hostile to the workers. …among these there were not a few which were in bad order and practically unworkable. Quite a number of them … collapsed… All this inevitably led at first to increased disorganization."

" At the outset, the Soviet Power and its instruments had no accurate reports of what was going on. …The old organization, the capitalist system, had collapsed; the new organization, the socialist system had not yet come into being. ""

 

"NE        NEVERTHELESS, ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL TASKS OF THE SOVIET POWER WAS AND IS THAT OF UNITING ALL  THE ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES OF THE COUNTRY IN ACCORDANCE WITH A GENERAL PLAN OF DIRECTON  BY THE STATE."

 

"…th        The great merits of the communist system is that it puts an end to the chaos, to the ‘anarchy’, of the capitalist system. Herein lies the very essence of communism. …The foundations of communist society are laid by the organization of industry and first of all by a purposive unification of industry under State control."            

" The administrative apparatus of industry…… is constructed as follows. At the head of each factory there is a workers’ factory administration. This usually consists of the workers in the enterprise, who are members of the appropriate trade unions, and of members of the technical staff who are appointed subject to the approval of the central committee of the workers’ trade union; two-thirds of the members of the factory administration are ordinary workers, and one third belong to the technical staff… Larger undertakings are directly subordinated to the so-called ‘chiefs’ and ‘centers’. This 'chiefs' and 'centers' constitute unions of whole branches of production. For example, the Chief-textiles supervises the whole textile industry; "

 

"The composition of these chiefs and centers is decided by the presidium or the executive committee of the Supreme Economic Council.  And by the central committee of the respective trade union. … The local economic councils are usually responsible for the organization of minor enterprises. The ‘chiefs’ and the ‘centers’, in their turn, are united into groups of kindred industries. For example such unions of "chiefs" constitute respectively the ‘Gomza’ (State machine shops), the Centro-copper, the Chief-gold, the Chief-nails, etc.

Not only ... are the individual branches of production unified but these branches of production are further integrated into larger unities All   the departments are subordinated to the Supreme Economic Council (Vysovnarhoz or SEC). … the SEC coordinates all the economic activities of the country, and the primary duty of the council is to draw up and to carry out a unified scheme for the State administration of economic life.

 

 

 

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