EDIT: Please do not go out and try to harass or insult Enigma. This post was not made to create a witch hunt against them. This post was made to criticise his stance on Russia and nothing more. End of story.
Hello comrades. Recently a fellow comrade of ours named @EN16MA@lemmygrad.ml wrote out a little masterpost to the Communist forum here on Lemmygrad titled “Russia is Marching Towards Socialism”. In this post, Enigma makes a number of claims about the current state of the Russian Federation, but the most prominent one is what the title says: that Russia is moving towards socialism, and has effectively become a dictatorship of the proletariat under Putin’s rule.
Here is the original post: https://lemmygrad.ml/post/175705
I hate to come down on a fellow comrade like this, but to quite blunt, this post is a hunk of shit. It is absolutely riddled with the most ridiculous claims that grasp at perhaps the world’s longest straws to try and make the argument that Russia in its current form is any way “socialist”. It only serves to make the rest of us MLs look like complete buffoons with no knowledge of history or foreign affairs.
This post of mine aims to debunk Engima’s claims and hopefully put both them and the rest of this community on the right path with regards to Russia, so that we all have a better understanding of what exactly is up with this country and where we should stand on it. It is very clear that Engima has no real understanding of current Russian politics and that is what I aim to address in this response.
According to the words of Vladimir Putin himself, since 2020 Russia has been in an NEP. The process of moving towards a socialist state began in 2020 with the establishment of a new NEP. Russia is still capitalist, specifically state capitalist with a strong market sector similar to China but it could be argued that Russia is currently a Dictatorship of the Proletariat:
So basically what Enigma is referring to here is an event in April 2020 in which Putin announced a list of measures of social protection, support for small and medium-sized enterprises, and changes in fiscal policy. Putin announced the following measures for microenterprises, small- and medium-sized businesses: deferring tax payments (except Russia’s value-added tax) for the next six months, cutting the size of social security contributions in half, deferring social security contributions, deferring loan repayments for the next six months, a six-month moratorium on fines, debt collection, and creditors’ applications for bankruptcy of debtor enterprises.
In short, Putin’s aim was to forgive all Russian loans and business tax payments for the next six months.
I don’t think I need to explain why this policy bears no resemblance at all to the NEP, other than its focus on helping small private businesses. Putin’s policy here is not some wide-sweeping change to the Russian economy like the NEP was; it’s literally just a COVID-19 relief scheme.
The only reason Enigma tries to equate them is because Putin himself equated his policy to the NEP. This is a comically terrible point for two reasons:
Well, Enigma must realise his logic is already faltering because he proceeds to try and make the argument that Russia (sigh) has already become a DOTP. How does he argue this, you may ask?
A recent example of Russia being a DOTP was when Putin at the start of the special military operation in Ukraine scolded the bourgeoisie for not falling in line. Russia deals with their bourgeoisie similar to China, with an iron fist.
What Engima appears to be referring to here, I guess, is Putin scolding members of the Russian elite for not supporting the invasion of Ukraine. How the hell does this have ANYTHING to do with Russia being controlled by the proletariat??? If anything, this only PROVES that the Russian oligarchs are still a problem, if Putin is having to call them out on live television for going against him! Regardless of how you feel about the invasion of Ukraine, this “argument” of Enigma’s is really just a non-argument. I have no idea why he even brought this up to begin with, it means literally nothing. And that comparison with China is so weak. China executes its billionaires on a regular basis. Putin scolds them on national television. Come on. Russia is not a DOTP.
Well, next up Enigma tries to argue that Russia is socialist because of “state planning” and nationalisation:
3/4’s of the economy is owned by the state, while there is also strong and vibrant small and medium medium sized firms in a market sector which have been promoted by the state as alternatives to foriegn oligopolies.
You know, South Korea also executed five-year plans during its recovery from the Korean War. Does that make South Korea socialist now? For Christ’s sake, this is literally a liberal/conservative’s understanding of socialism. Nationalisation does not equal socialism. State planning does not equal socialism. This should not have to be explained to someone who claims to be a socialist, let alone a Marxist-Leninist.
The leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Gennady Zyuganov has high praise for Putin and has even suggested that he should become leader of the party. This suggestion does not come from an empty vacuum, Putin has actually for the last several years not been apart of United Russia and has been antagonistic towards the party. He has instead supported Fair Russia (in the last election) who had talks of joining in a coalition with the Communist Party. Putin has also on multiple occasions praised Communism and Communist figures of the past.
This whole paragraph is rather incoherent and seems to bounce back and forth between “the communists love to putin” to “putin actually hates the communists” to “putin loves communist figures”.
First of all, Zyuganov is a terrible human being. He opposes abortion and LGBT rights, is extremely antisemitic, and supports Reaganist trickle-down economics and the Russian Orthodox Church. So saying he’s buddy-buddy with Putin isn’t a very good look.
Secondly, tagging Putin as a communist because he praises communist figures is just beyond laughable. Not only do Putin’s policies not resemble any Soviet policies as we have established, but he has also gone out of his way a number of times to disgrace figureheads like Lenin and Stalin. Just recently, in fact, the Russian government ordered the bulldozing of a monument of Lenin reading, “Peace and Love to All Peoples!” Putin just says whatever he can to get the people on his side; in reality he doesn’t have any loyalty to his country’s communist legacy. The fact Enigma just finds quotes of Putin praising communists and rolls with it, really shows how unwilling he is to think critically about what he is reading, which is the essence of being a communist.
Alright, so, after this point Enigma goes on a long tangent where he praises Russia for invading Ukraine, but I don’t think I need to get into it. I think I’ve said enough already about why Enigma’s little “masterpost” on Russia is one of the stupidest things I’ve seen from this community in quite a while. I don’t mean any personal disrespect to @EN16MA@lemmygrad.ml, but seriously dude, do your research next time. Posts like these just make the rest of us look like a bunch of uneducated nutcases and will just turn people off from the path of Marxism-Leninism, especially in times like these. Hopefully this post is what you need to start thinking more critically like an actual communist and Marxist.
Russia is not socialist, nor is it on the path to socialism. I hope I have this made point abundantly clear today.