Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The Soviets at Work (or rather the workers at work)

Sometimes you just happen upon things which have the potential to turn your world upside down or to make your eyes bulge. Well happened to me the other day as I was reading through a book called "The Soviets At Work" by a certain Nikolai Lenin. Yes, that's him who you likely know simply as Lenin.

It was written by Lenin to highlight how the Russian Soviet was dealing with the issues of organisation. A difficult situation in Russia in 1917 as would be expected.

What I find difficult is that I seem to detect a tone throughout the whole book where Lenin portrays the Bolsheviks as the true vanguard of the revolution. I can see how he might do this to take power away from other factions but to me it comes across as almost creating a new class of people - the career politicians and party layabouts.

Take for example this extract:
The revolution has just broken the oldest, the strongest and the heaviest chains to which the masses were compelled to submit. So it was yesterday. And today the same revolution - and indeed in the interests of socialism - demands the absolute submission of the masses to the single will of those who direct the labor process.
This is where I have problems with Lenin's Communism. New bosses, same wages and conditions. The concept of workers' control goes out of the window and the position of the pre-revolution parasitic capitalists, bosses and nobility is replaced by party officials!

Absolute submission my arse.