Russia, under Gorbachev as under Stalin, claims to be socialist. Yet under Stalin millions of workers and peasants died in the purges; in 1956 Russian tanks put down the Hungarian workers' uprising; and in 1981 the hand of Russia could be clearly seen behind the suppression of the Polish workers' movement Solidarity. If by socialism we mean workers' emancipation, then Russia does not fir the bill.
But what sort of society is Russia?
Russia today is a centre of exploitation almost as powerful as the United States - and just as capitalist.
What is state capitalism? How did it come about? Are there economic crises? Does the law of value operate in Russia? Does class struggle threaten state capitalism?
Tony Cliff answered these questions and more when he wrote this book forty years ago. It has since become a Marxist classic and its analysis confirmed by subsequent historical events.
Includes a postscript by Chris Harman.