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Thread: Socialism and Capitalism: Siamese Twins

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    Post Socialism and Capitalism: Siamese Twins

    http://www.limonka.net/limonka/001/eng/14.html

    Socialism And Capitalism: Siamese Twins

    by Edward Limonov


    In 1988, during the writing of the book "Disciplinary Sanatorium", I immersed myself in excerpts and dictionaries. I remember in the French dictionary "Petit Robert" I was struck by the definition of capitalism: "Social system in which the means of production, plants and factories belong to private individuals", calmly told me the dictionary. It gave the impression that the definition belonged to Mr. Karl Marx. Since it is truly known that Marx wrote some articles for the "Encyclopedia Britannica". I looked into some others dictionaries and encyclopedias. And everywhere, to my surprise, the definitions of capitalism were given in Marxism terminology. It turned out that for capitalism to see itself it had to look in the mirror of Marxism. There is no other mirror.
    Keeping thinking, I already then noticed that both socialism (since Marxism is only a radical kind of socialism) and capitalism are oriented on property. Both systems are concerned with property and capital. Under capitalism property and capital belong, as it was already mentioned, to private individuals, under socialism, property and capital belong to the working people - hired workers, in other words the proletariat. Simple, isn't it?
    Pursuing this really elementary investigation, we learn, that before the apparition of Marxist radical socialism, capitalism did not call itself "capitalism". It did not call itself anything, actually, because it was not yet a distinct social-economic system. The first "capitalists" appeared in England, Holland, North Italy - in Milan, but they did not consider and called themselves capitalists. They called themselves businessmen, merchants, manufacturers, factory-owners. They functioned in States with a monarchic regime. Kings could borrow from their rich, for instance, to wage a war, huge sums of money and never return them. (I intentionally simplify the exposition in order to simplify the comprehension.) The interdependence and alliance of capitals (the world of businessmen) and power happened at first in protestant States: in England and the United States. The emigrant and exile Karl Marx, a German doctor of Jewish origin spent the largest part of his life in England, in London, so to speak, in the epicenter of capitalism where he died and was safely buried in a London cemetery. His grave during all the 70 years of soviet power was respectfully visited by the soviet followers of prophet Marx.
    Now let's find out, what exactly had happened? Was there capitalism at all? In the second half of the XVIII century, when the British completely conquered India, they seized enormous treasures: precious stones, gold, became the owners of cotton plantations. It is precisely this looting of India that made possible (in addition to the skills of the protestant puritan ethic: labor and thrift) an unusual burst of the business activity in Great Britain. Treasures + raw materials. The robbed material valuables and the robbed raw materials made possible the industrial Revolution. Let's recall that the first "capitalist" enterprises in England were weaving mills. What did the "Luddites" break, what did they destroy? Right, machines and more precisely weaving looms. Because the looms took the salary from the artisans-weavers. All this information was once provided by the soviet textbook on history. It provided it talkatively because it concerned the most precious and cherished: capitalism. Without which Marxism has nothing to do.
    Marx was over-modern, super-modern. Even hasty. He described in "The Capital" a phenomenon that wasn't present even in England yet. Only its elements existed. "The Moor" as the relatives called him for his olive skin, was by his mentality a black romantic. Isn't the "Communist Manifesto" published in 1848 a romantic work? "A specter is haunting Europe - the specter of Communism …" Specters are present in romantic literature, the gothic novel is full of specters. I don't intend to poke fun at the serious scholar-theoretician, whom Marx was all his life. What I want to say is that Karl Marx was too fast with his discovery of capitalism. In real fact capitalism as a social-economic phenomenon worthy of attention, appeared after Marx' death. And in essence even later - after the success of the Russian Revolution, conducted under the flag of Marxism. It is then that the word realized: capitalism exists. Without the convincing success of the Russian Revolution all the activity of Marx, all his conventions, internationals (we know how this is done, 30-40 friends arrive from diverse countries of the world) - would have remained mice scuffling. As if not enough societies, organizations, parties were founded in the XIX century! Sometimes historians timidly grind out the words that Russia was not a developed capitalist country, that its proletariat was not numerous at the moment of the revolution. But, I mean, excuse me, The First Proletarian nevertheless happened, despite the rules, violating all the rules! And also happened in a country that Marx openly disliked, did not care for. Possibly because in London's emigrant circles he always ran into the energetic, colorful Russian lord, the anarchist Bakunin. Maybe from his confrontations with Bakunin, from his wrangles with him Marx came up with his biting opinion about Russians: "A mix of the psychology of a slave and of the Mongol world conqueror". Today many are taken aback by the fact that the first social revolution happened in not quite a capitalist country. Explanations appear that essentially, they say, the Russian Revolution of 1917 was a bourgeois revolution, however if its first stage - the February revolution was a classical bourgeois revolution, then in October the power was seized by a radical sect, similar to the Jacobins. We already know that all revolutions are made by misfits. Therefore the question, who did it, falls off. Under which flag did they do it - we also know. We are interested in the fact that Russia was not a capitalist country in 1917. The power belonged to the tsar, the social regime was called "autocracy" and the Russian factory-owners and merchants though they were wealthy, did not possess the power. The majority of the population consisted of poor peasants, period. A question appears: and what countries were capitalistic, that is, where did the capital rule, banking or industrial? An answer also appears: In Marx times there were no such countries on the globe. Neither in Lenin times. The steel-foundry combination of Krupp was important during the times of William I and William II in Germany, but Krupp did not govern Germany. And England, in which the industrial revolution took place, in the XVIII century, when India was looted and in the XIX century when factories' and plants' chimneys smoked all over the place, was a parliamentary monarchy. Capitalists did not rule it. That is, Marx ran ahead of time. And Lenin demonstrated the existence of capitalism as a social system. Since his Marxist socialism had to defeat someone. "We knocked down autocracy and capitalism," the Bolsheviks said. They knocked down the autocracy but there was no capitalism.
    In 1997, if I'm not mistaking, in the press-center of the Tretyakov Gallery was held a meeting with George Soros. The meeting of the capital's society and the "Institute of an Open Society", headed by this eccentric American philanthropist. We came there with Dugin, and both made an appearance, after signing up beforehand. Our presence and appearance was beforehand discussed with the Russian Soros helpers and Soros himself was informed: two dangerous revolutionaries will come. He could have said: "Lord have mercy, no!" But he said - let them come.
    Oh, how animated he became both times when we appeared. He instantly wake up from some indifferent sleep, hauled himself in the armchair, seated himself straight, straightened his glasses, neatly putting them on his nose. He smiled, put out his ear. From the forty-eight presenters he was interested only in the opponents - both of us. Because all of the others presenters were favored by him, were either employees of the "Soros Fund" in Russia or intelligentsias who had received aid from him. Beside him was seated Peter Aven, former minister, head of the financial group "Alpha". When I was talking I clearly saw - before my eyes a dead was resuscitated! The "Open society" of Soros demanded that people like me die out. But without an enemy it's boring and disgusting and one does not feel like himself. Soros was happy that I was alive and from the second row, looking in his thick glasses I was telling him nasty things. The thick glasses, chopped, bad English language, potato nose of this capitalist-billionaire reminded me my first publisher - a Rumanian Jew David Daskal. In 1979 in New York Daskal decided to publish my first novel in Russian. Explorers and conquistadors, lippy, nosy, these guys differentiated only by the quantity of dollars they had earned. Conquerors from Eastern Europe, they came in the 50s to the Yankees who already got lazy, however, they easily passed them by.
    But let's return to socialism and capitalism. In his last book Soros - a philanthropist and financial man, and as people tell, a brave and aggressive speculator, who ruined Indonesia's currency, an entire country, suddenly comes forth as almost an enemy of capitalism, states doubts in capitalism. (Unfortunately, of course, no citing of Soros' book can be considered. Yesterday the chief of the isolation ward refused me a table lamp, for which I asked the permission to be brought me from outside.) In any case he declares himself enemy of the capitalism that formed in Russia. Simultaneously the philanthropist spends a wild quantity of millions of dollars (a hundred only on science!) in support of Russian scientists' activities, in publishing of Russian textbooks that explain to the students how the word is made according to Soros. It is a person with a colossal megalomania, with the desire to impose himself on the world. And with huge money, which makes his desire realizable.
    At the end of that press conference Soros made a speech. Doing that he looked at me. Because I, more impudent than Dugin told him that he is our enemy and we will fight with him.
    Soros spoke like Zuganov. In his speech all the terminology was socialist, Marxist, like in the Petit Robert dictionary. Peter Aven smiled mystically and happily to the rhythm of his speech, his eyes glowing through the darkened thick glasses, the same as Soros'. (Here, mystically, like on some kind of order, the "Russian Radio" declared that Soros appeared on a press conference in Moscow today and indignantly waved the circular of the Academy of Science, which obliges the scientists to keep their secrets during contacts with foreigners.)
    Still in 1993, balloting in the Tver region for the 172nd electoral district, I answered the questions of the electorate: am I for private property or against it? I did not answer by a short "yes" or "no", but answered that I'm for the effective form of property. It is important that the plant, the factory make profits, so that the workers have a good pay and the government receives its taxes, and who the owner of the plant is, whether it is one man or a workers' collective or auctioneers is indifferent. Still today I stand on the same position, in what concerns these gloomy, concrete (or old brick) blocks, usually located in the city's outskirts, called factories or plants. In youth I gave away a part of my life, chopped, loaded, carried metals and ore into such blocks, so I know them very well. By his own will, in this heat, or cold, chemical stench and draughts, nobody would go there. Therefore what should be discussed is not the problem of property (to this mister in stripped pants or to these dozens of types in jeans does the business' actions belong) but the problem of getting rid the human kind from this filth, which the factories and the plants are.
    I wrote about ecology problems already in 1988 in "The Disciplinary Sanatorium", I even foresaw the appearance of radical ecologist groups, which would protect their beliefs weapons in hands. Although such aggressive groups are not yet registered by the governments or the mass media I am certain in my foretelling of the future. Also I am certain that the question of the form of property of businesses, factories and plants, means of production, not only ceased to be revolutionary (I already mentioned above that nobody will go today under the slogan "Factories to the people!") but also became a scholastic, meaningless question.
    That is not surprising. Human mores always change. The laws of Manu punished by death for the unauthorized displacement of the boundary-mark stone. Today such problems are solved by an exchange of mutual insults at the rural administration, that's all.
    The confrontation of capitalism with socialism from the very beginning was a fiction, invented by professor Marx, on the base of the already present economic knowledge + a bucket of fantasy. In reality the practician, conquistador Marx needed a revolutionary class (or a chosen people, which is essentially the same thing). Since if you get yourself out of the desert, this is banal, and this action will not surprise anybody. But to lead an entire people from the desert - this is a feat.
    It is clear that the proletariat, the hired workers, when it only appeared was badly paid and lived terribly. But it was also clear that this was a temporary problem, since all problems of this kind (more salary, more hours, quantity of working hours) - can be solved and are solved in the practice of relations. What helped the workers in the West to cozily settle in life was, actually, the "proletarian" revolution in Russia. It started to heavily press on the minds of the western employers and the governments of European countries. And they tried with all their forces not to drive the hired workers to extremes. Otherwise there would be a proletarian revolution.
    It is interesting to compare the slogans of the French workers and the students in May 1968. The workers appeared under the laconic slogans: "40" "60" "1000". A good style, which dissimulated an insipid boorishness, narrow views, when one sees only the edges of the trough. They had in mind the forty-hours workweek, pension at sixty years old and the minimal salary of thousand francs.
    The students put forth truly genial slogans: "No God, no master!" "Be realists, demand the impossible!" "Forbidden to forbid!" "Imagination to power!"
    Today when both Zuganov and Soros talk with the same language about property, when some transnational corporation is owned by so much thousands auctioneers, that it can be considered a collective property, the limits between socialism and capitalism do not exist. It never existed at all. As there was no capitalism and now there is no socialism. The intelligent "Moor" only invented the terminology. And the fact that Lenin had won under the flag of Marxism, well, what can one say, throw up one's hands and say: a genial misfit who assembled a priceless human material under his command, he would have won under any flag. And another commentary. I lived in France a year and a half under the socialist Mitterand. The only visible difference between the two regimes consisted in the fact that under Giscard "Figaro" assiduously printed on the last page pictures of the just guillotinized criminals. Under the socialists a moratorium on death penalty was introduced and the pictures disappeared.
    Another interesting fact. As it is made clear from the various memoirs published in the last years, it turns out that few of Lenin associates had read the first volume of "The Capital" to the end. Having learned this I was delighted, because I always suspected that they didn't. These brain-burning computations of professor Marx were not needed to them, people of action. They needed an exciting, beautiful flag and a few slogans. What can be more exciting than a red flag?
    Why did communist and socialist parties degenerate? Because they function with the same categories as the liberals, call for the same goals. But if our ideological enemies preach the productivity of labor, then it is stupid to preach a still larger productivity of labor. Besides, knowing for certain that it works better for them, with mechanical labor and productivity. One needs to preach something different, totally-totally different. The fraternity of people, freedom of man from mechanical labor. Sexual comfort. Right for war.

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    Post Re: Socialism and Capitalism: Siamese Twins

    It's sad that most people don't have a clue on what socialism really is. It's just an organized society, nothing wrong with that, and it is our only chance to survive and advance.

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