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Privatization and the Development of Capitalism in Russia
The almost universal assumption, at all points of the political spectrum, is that Russia is in the throes of a painful transition to capitalism.  Privatization is seen as the key to this transition, and resistance to privatization is accordingly seen by the Western Left as the essential basis of a progressive politics seeking to salvage something from the debris of the collapse of the Soviet system. In this article I want to question all three of these assumptions.  The fundamental error underlying the conventional interpretation is its implicit identification of the development of a market and the privatization of the enterprise with the development of capitalism. To understand the dynamics of the transformation of the Soviet mode of production we have to look behind juridical and political changes to the development of the social relations of production. It remains an open question whether the dynamics of this development determine a transition to capitalism, but this transition will not be determined by the relatively superficial changes which have taken place so far, but by the development of class struggles over the social relations of production. 
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