chapter  10
54 Pages

Class Contradictions and the Collapse

The USSR was born out of class contradictions similar to those in which it died. In 1917, Russian private capitalism and its social context~especially the distribution of private property, markets, and the czarist state~had either collapsed or reached such extremes as to undermine confidence and support. Socialist critics of the ultimate unworkability and unacceptability of private capitalism responded vigorously to growing sympathy for their arguments and programs. The crisis of 1917 provoked the USSR's birth in a transition chiefly from private to state capitalism. In the 1980s, it was the state capitalism and its social context~especially collective property, state planning, and the Communist Party~that were in critical decay. This crisis reversed the direction of 1917: this transition went from state back to private capitalism.