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1 Where Things Start

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides a synopsis of the group's staging of the post-war situation as bureaucratic capitalism. It also provides a minimal reminder before turning to the presentation of the group's usage of bureaucracy. For Socialisme ou Barbarie, contemporary capitalism was a new form of organisation characterised primarily by the proliferation of bureaucracy and transformations in its functions and meanings. In Socialisme ou Barbarie's general view, Trotsky merely transposed the nineteenth-century Marxian understanding of bureaucracy into the centre of his interpretation of Stalinism. Trotsky's framing of the 'Russian Question' and the understanding of Marx that was of a piece with it had been rejected by Chaulieu-Montal Tendency well before they broke with the Fourth International. Socialisme ou Barbarie would come to position Marx's critical analyses of competitive capitalism as being of fundamental importance but necessarily tied to a particular time and place.

Keywords: 'Russian Question'; bureaucratic capitalism; Chaulieu-Montal; Marx; Socialisme ou Barbarie; Trotsky



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