Debate - Economic Base, Social Classes and Superstructure: Some critical remarks on Stephen A. Resnich & Richard D. Wolff’s, Class Theory and History: Capitalism and Communism in the USSR, London, Routledge, 2002 (p.93-112)  [Fichier PDF]
Economakis George, University of the Aegean
Keywords : Surplus, modes of production, social classes, superstructure, communism
JEL classification : B14, B24, B51, P10, P16, P20
The theoretical purpose of Resnich & Wolf (R&W) in the book under discussion is to demonstrate that the USSR and similar “socialist democracies” were not socialist-communism regimes but regimes of a state capitalist type, regardless of the state ownership of the means of production and the abolition of market economic functions. Although the apperception of the ex-socialist regimes as a state capitalism is a valid one, the concepts that R&W form and apply to it indicate they are rather doubtful, and lead to a turn over of Political Economy to pre-Marxist presumptions and postmodern conceptions in crucial theoretical questions such as the determination of social classes, the class definition of a social structure, the relation (and relevance) between economic base and superstructure.