The economics of the transitional period

The most significant thing about all those who sought to revise Trotsky's position on the Russian question is that they always deal with the problem in the abstract and never concretely explain the laws of the transitional society between capitalism and socialism and how such a society would operate. This is not accidental. A concrete consideration would impel them to the conclusion that the fundamental economy in Russia was the same as it was under Lenin and that it could not be otherwise. The germ of the capitalist mode of production, which began under feudalism through the development of commodity production, lies in the function of the independent craftsmen and merchants. When it reaches a certain stage, capitalist relations arise and exist side by side with a feudal superstructure. The latter is burst asunder by revolution and the possibilities latent in capitalist production then have the free possibility of fruition unhampered by feudal restrictions. The whole essence of revolution (both capitalist and proletarian) consists of the fact that the old relationships and the old forms do not correspond with the new mode of production that has ripened within the womb of the old society. In order to free itself from these restrictions, the productive forces have to be reorganised on a different basis. The whole of human history consists of the working-out of this antagonism through all its various stages in different societies.

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