State Capitalism


Is state capitalism really a thing? I’ve heard some people use the term to refer to countries such as modern-day China and Stalinist-Russia, while I’ve heard others say the term is sort of an oxymoron and can’t really go together. Just wanna hear some peoples thoughts on it.


I don’t view state capitalism as being its own economic category; in the case of China I see it as merely the intervention by the state on the economy. One would think that true capitalism can only be created by free and unrestricted business enterprise; state intervention in the economy, regardless of how capitalist it appears, one might consider a form of market socialism.

Apologies if that makes no sense, I’m not known for my economic expertise…


Now this is very interesting. I was recently thinking about the defence of Socialists to suggest that the Soviet Union was State Capitalist and not Socialist. They define the two ideologies as 1. State Capitalism, the economic system in which the means of production belong to the government. 2. Socialism, the economic system in which the means of production belong to the workers.
However, these definitions are just plain wrong. In actual fact the definitions are different.

  1. State Capitalism, the economic system in which the government creates products, advertises, employs and markets a business to the population for means of profit. Effectively acting as a corporation.
  2. Socialism. The transition economic system between Capitalism and Communism in which the means of production are owned by the worker’s vanguard party in a dictatorship of the proletariat. Instead of Marketing the product like in state capitalism, the Government rations it equally among the population. Therefore no State Capitalist economy has ever been achieved and the Soviet Union was definitely Socialist.


The term state capitalism is generally speaking a term used by anti Leninist/Marxist leninist socialists to describe the functional relationship in the USSR between the state and people, they replaced their bourgeois with the state , which did basically all the same things that capitalists did, I.e extract surplus value, commodity production, and even wage slavery etc. Whether or not you consider the ussr to be state capitalist or socialist depends largely on what school of Marxism you are from, with most rejecting the ussr, and they usually use the short lived example of say the Bavarian soviet republic of what an actual soviet society looks like, and that it’s a functioning democratic society. (soviet as a term basically describes a council, councils of workers in this case, Lenin and most communists at the time intended the means of production be organised via a soviet system)

@Arandomcapitalist 2. Is largely correct if you are into Marxism Leninism, which was the dominant branch of the 20th century. (unfortunately, because it cost us communists everything)





Ironic this guy defends the state capitalist practices of Mao


Sorry, but could you explain to me how Mao was state capitalist? I don’t really remember much about Mao and I haven’t had time to do like full on in depth research(AP classes suck), but from what he described Mao seemed pretty socialist, in an agrarian way. But again, I’m not familiar with Maoist China and whatnot. So if you could please explain( or argue for it I guess lol, since he’s saying it’s socialist) I would appreciate it.


It was supposedly Market socialism but it became to capitalist in the early stages and then “globalization” took ahold of it and Boom, it became cheap labor central.


ah ok. Makes sense lol.