Collapse of Soviet Union

  The collapse of Soviet communist edifice though apparently looks a political event in essence it is an economic one. It is necessary to use terms having economics signification to explain the position here. Historically speaking, socio-economic structures of Slavery, Feudalism, Democracy and Socialism (or Communism) have seen their heyday in our global community. All these socio-economic structures are drastically different from one another.

What is that in each one of them that makes it so different from each other? It is the “style” of production of commodities and the “economic relations” among persons who carry out this production.

 Economics tells us we need “means” to produce “commodities”. Since our emergence in ancient past from cave-dwelling animal conditions, we humans have been producing commodities to meet our needs.

We have been producing these commodities by using different kinds of “means” to carry out their production. Initially, we met our needs by hunting preys and gathering food from nature. Then, we discovered and used agriculture to meet our demands. And, then there came the “industrial revolution” when we discovered and used steam-power to run machines to produce commodities. Commensurate with these ways of producing commodities, we organized our collective life into tribal communities, land-based feudalistic village life and mechanized-production based modern democratic urban life.

This is about the way we produced commodities and our way of community life.

  What about the “economic relations” among persons who carried out that production?

In the hunter-gatherer society, tribal people collectively hunted and gathered food. In land-based society, some people owned land (Zamindars and their kings) and others worked on that land. In modern industry-based society, some people own industries (capitalists) and others work in those industries.

However, in (erstwhile) socialist society, the people through their so-called government owned industries and also worked in ‘their own’ industries. But there was no drastic difference here in Socialist (or Communist) society in the way of making production; it remained the same old industrial way (of producing commodities).

Here, in Socialist society “economic relations” among persons who made production were changed from the democratic-capitalist way to the socialist workers-controlled way in an artificial manner by the use of ‘revolutionary’ force. There was no change in the ‘mode of production’ and still the change in “economic relations” was brought by artificial means.

As in Socialism there was no change in the way the commodities are produced, there was no ‘natural’ foundation for coming into being of a “new economic relations of production-forces”; except, of course, the use of force in artificial way.

Such a society by its very nature would be artificial, unstable and prone to revert back to its previous self, that is, to democratic-capitalist society.

  Such an artificial society can only be sustained and prolonged by the application of force; the moment this force is withdrawn, such a society would collapse on its own. And, that is why Soviet Union collapsed within less than hundred years.

  Could it have been made a sustainable socio-economic order?

The key is in the ‘way’ of production of commodities. There are these two terms “production” and “way of production” that need consideration to understand the process of social change.

In essence, what is “production”? Human beings require commodities, like food, clothes etc., to meet their needs, wants and demands. These commodities are not available in nature in ready-made forms; they are needed to be produced by us; and, they are produced by human interaction with ready-made or naturally available materials. Many things are already available in nature in the form of raw material etc. But they may be useless to humans unless the same are transformed by humans in an artificial manner into something useful to meet human needs and demands; these raw things need to be converted into commodities.

  To convert raw things into finished commodities we require two elements: firstly, we require an input of energy from an outside source to carry out the process of this conversion or transformation; and, secondly, we require a mechanism that puts this transformation-process into motion.

  Historically, in the hunter-gatherers society, the first element, an input of energy for production, was provided by humans themselves; they hunted prey or gathered food. In the agricultural society this energy input was provided by animals, like oxen, horses etc. In the modern industrial society this energy input is provided by fuel-driven machines; and, similarly, in any new society of coming future, this energy input will, in accord with the scientific law of conservation of energy, have to be provided by only fuel-driven machines.

However, historically, the second element, the mechanism that puts the production process into motion, was made available in the hunter-gatherers society by “human beings”, that is, hunters themselves. Also, in the agriculture society it was again made available by “human beings” who used animal-power. And, also, in the modern industrial society this impetuous is again provided by “human beings” who operate machines to power the production process. This was the situation not only in the democratic capitalist economic system but also in the  Soviet socialist system as well. In the matter of ‘production’ these two differing systems had the ‘same style’  but in the matter of ‘production relations’ the Soviet system brought by force a totally new arrangement, which arrangement was not congenial or natural to the prevalent capitalist / socialist ‘production style.’ One cannot impose socialist production relations when the production style is still the capitalist one. It was this economic anamoly in the Soviet system that made it unnatural and brought it down. However, the development of science and technology never ceases, and with their advancement the production style too changes with time. We are already seeing an emerging new style of production in 21st century, which is bound to bring in place totally new production relations in the society.

 In the newly emerging society this impetuous will be provided not by “human beings” but by “artificial intelligence”, which will automatically operate fuel-driven machines to power the production process. It will be complete automation of the production process through robotics. Driving of production process by “robots or machines” in the place of “human beings” will remove for the first time in human history the need of humans in the production process.

  This new factor, complete mechanical automation of production process, will render humans useless for the production of commodities. The absence of human need in the production process will result in an almost universal unemployment in our newly emerging industrial society. This situation will demand a drastic change in the present socio-economic system where we allow some persons to own machines and use those machines only to earn maximum profit.

  Then, the central point for urgent consideration for the collective humanity would be: should machines be allowed to be used merely to earn profits and render humanity jobless or machines should only be used as the means to make production of commodities, which would provide jobs to humanity and minimize their working-hours.

It seems more likely that humanity, with her highly evolved Mind, enlightened culture, global unity and democratic empowerment through technology, would choose the second option over the former. With the rapid advance of science and technology today we are moving inch by inch to a flash point where our modern world will turn its side and bring an epoch making change in human history.

This document is systematically sequential. Read NEXT here.

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