chapter  4
27 Pages

Debates over State Capitalism Conflicting Concepts

A small but significant part of that debate has focused on the term "state capitalism." However, neither supporters nor opponents of using this term for the USSR's class structure ever defined it as we did in chapter 3 above. Instead, they deployed the word "capitalist" to refer to a particular distribution of ownership of means of production or, most often, to a particular distribution of political power or to combinations of both. Thus, the long-standing disagreements over the definition of class resurface again. Where we use a surplus labor concept 'of class to build an analysis of the USSR's class structure as largely capitalist, other references to state capitalism have marginalized or, more often, altogether ignored surplus labor. This chapter aims to demonstrate how both their analyses and conclusions consequently differ fundamentally from ours.