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Andrew Kliman - The Incoherence of ‘Transitional Society’ as a Marxian Concept


I will examine two key aspects of Evgeny Preobrazhensky’s concept of ‘primitive socialist accumulation’: the notions that (a) the essential differences between socialism and capitalism are nationalised property and economic planning, and that (b) a transition from capitalism to socialism can take place through the extension of nationalised property and economic planning. Drawing on the work of Karl Marx and Raya Dunayevskaya, I will argue, first, that state property and economic planning are not the essential differences, and second, that Preobrazhensky’s conception is one example of the view that political and legal changes are the determining factors in social change. That view, I will contend, inverts Marx’s conception according to which political and legal relations correspond to and are determined by the mode of production, not vice-versa. If this latter view is accepted, I will further argue, the idea of a transitional society between capitalism and socialism is incoherent. This does not mean that social transformation must be instantaneous; what it means is that socialism cannot exist, partly or wholly, until the mode of production is revolutionised and that this cannot take place by political and/or legal means.

Andrew Kliman is a Marxian economist and a notable representative of the Temporal Single-System Interpretation (TSSI). He is Professor of Economics at Pace University and the author of two books, Reclaiming Marx’s ‘Capital’: A Refutation of the Myth of Inconsistency and The Failure of Capitalist Production: Underlying Causes of the Great Recession. He has gained notoriety for his unrelenting criticism of Neo-Ricardian and Neoclassical interpretations of Marx.


Andrew Kliman - »Tranzicijska družba« kot neprimeren marksovski koncept

Ključni plati koncepta »prvotne socialistične akumulacije« Evgenija Preobraženskega sta (a) nacionalizirana lastnina in ekonomsko planiranje kot temeljni razliki med socializmom in kapitalizmom ter (b) ideja, da je lahko tranzicija v socializem izvedena s širitvijo nacionalizirane lastnine in ekonomskega planiranja. Na podlagi spisov Karla Marxa in Raje Dunajevske bom pokazal, da državna lastnina in ekonomsko planiranje nista temeljni razliki med omenjenima produkcijskima načinoma in da je to pojmovanje Preobraženskega značilen primer stališča, da so politične in pravne spremembe določujoči faktorji družbene spremembe. Takšno stališče obrača Marxovo pojmovanje, da politični in pravni odnosi sovpadajo s produkcijskim načinom in so od njega odvisni. Če sprejmemo Marxovo stališče, je ideja tranzicijske družbe med kapitalizmom in socializmom neprimerna. To ne pomeni, da mora biti družbena transformacija trenutna. Pomeni pa, da socializem ne more obstajati niti delno niti popolno, dokler ni produkcijski način radikalno spremenjen, in da se to ne more zgoditi s političnimi in/ali pravnimi sredstvi.

Andrew Kliman je marksovski ekonomist in glasen zagovornik t. i. časovne enosistemske interpretacije. Je profesor ekonomije na univerzi Pace ter avtor knjig Reclaiming Marx’s »Capital«: A Refutation of the Myth of Inconsistency in The Failure of Capitalist Production: Underlying Causes of the Great Recession. V marksističnih krogih je razvpit zaradi neuklonljive kritike neoricardovskih in neoklasičnih interpretacij Marxa.


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