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Immanuel Wallerstein had been long (and very controversially) comparing communist states to factories seized by a labor union during a strike.' If the workers try to operate the factory themselves, they inevitably have to follow the rules of capitalist markets. The workers might get a better distribution of material rewards, but not equality or democracy. The more "realist" among labor organizers would reimpose production discipline, compellingly citing external market pressures. The "Iron Law of Oligarchy" in complex organizations predicted that the narrow circle of those making managerial decisions would cut themselves of from the larger group and evolve into a new ruling elite. It might take time before ideological vapor entirely escaped from the cauldrons. Nevertheless the moment would come when the erstwhile organizers turned managers would no longer feel compelled to disguise the reality. The factory would then revert to being a normal capitalist enterprise, and the managers would cash in on their positions. If you wish, it is a sociological version of George Orwell's Animal Farm, but Wallerstein's analysis specified in a clear and logical fashion the structural conditions and causal sequences. He also added an important political caveat: socialism in one country or one factory may not last unless the whole capitalist world.system is replaced by a different historical system where capital accumulation is no longer the paramount priority.

this book is so good

(this theory was based on the real behaviour of Soviet leaders in as early as 1953)

—p.113 What Communism Was (99) by Georgi Derluguian 2¬†years, 6¬†months ago