From the Critique of the Gotha Programme: As regards the formation of workers’ collectives

“The German Workers’ party, in order to pave the way to the solution of the social question, demands the establishment of producers’ co-operative societies with state aid under the democratic control of the toiling people. The producers’ co-operative societies are to be called into being for industry and agriculture on such a scale that the socialist organization of the total labor will arise from them.” This quote is from the Lassalean Gotha Program which Marx criticizes below

After the Lassallean “iron law of wages”, the physic of the prophet. The way to it is “paved” in worthy fashion. In place of the existing class struggle appears a newspaper scribbler’s phrase: “the social question”, to the “solution” of which one “paves the way”.

Instead of arising from the revolutionary process of transformation of society, the “socialist organization of the total labor” “arises” from the “state aid” that the state gives to the producers’ co-operative societies and which the state, not the workers, “calls into being”. It is worthy of Lassalle’s imagination that with state loans one can build a new society just as well as a new railway!

From the remnants of a sense of shame, “state aid” has been put — under the democratic control of the “toiling people”.

In the first place, the majority of the “toiling people” in Germany consists of peasants, not proletarians.

Second, “democratic” means in German “Volksherrschaftlich” [by the rule of the people]. But what does “control by the rule of the people of the toiling people” mean? And particularly in the case of a toiling people which, through these demands that it puts to the state, expresses its full consciousness that it neither rules nor is ripe for ruling!

It would be superfluous to deal here with the criticism of the recipe prescribed by Buchez in the reign of Louis Philippe, in opposition to the French socialists and accepted by the reactionary workers, of the Atelier. The chief offense does not lie in having inscribed this specific nostrum in the program, but in taking, in general, a retrograde step from the standpoint of a class movement to that of a sectarian movement.

That the workers desire to establish the conditions for co-operative production on a social scale, and first of all on a national scale, in their own country, only means that they are working to revolutionize the present conditions of production, and it has nothing in common with the foundation of co-operative societies with state aid. But as far as the present co-operative societies are concerned, they are of value only insofar as they are the independent creations of the workers and not protégés either of the governments or of the bourgeois. empasis RV

As regards my assertions in other posts that the bias toward a massive state apparatus is not inherent to the ideas of either Marx or Lenin and is rather a function of 20th century modernism in particular Keynes and the justifications of power both on the part of Stalinism and imperialism.

this relates to the discussion that I opened
https://rawlinsview.wordpress.com/2011/02/26/from-alexander-hamilton-to-evegeny-preobrahzhensky-the-economics-of-the-progressive-state/

About rawlinsview

News and political commentary from the point of view of the social interests of the international working class.
This entry was posted in Bibliography, Political Economy. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to From the Critique of the Gotha Programme: As regards the formation of workers’ collectives

  1. Curtis Cole says:

    Not exactly my area of expertise,since I am not thoroughly educated in this particular area;nevertheless I enjoyed reading your thoughts,and will be sure to read more in the future.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s