Tony Cliff

On the Class Nature of the “People’s Democracies”

(July 1950)

Originally published as a duplicated document in July 1950.
Reprinted in Duncan Hallas (ed.), The Fourth International, Stalinism and the Origins of the International Socialists, London 1971, pp.60-64.
Reprinted in Tony Cliff, Neither Washington nor Moscow, London 1982, pp.40-85.
Downloaded from Rolf Vorhaug’s Homepage with thanks.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

In the Fourth International the supporters of the position that Russia is a degenerated workers’ state are divided into two basic groups in their evaluation of the class nature of the “People’s Democracies”:

  1. Those who declare that they are capitalist states;
  2. Those who declare that they are workers’ states.

We are convinced that if the first of these groups brought their ideas to their logical conclusion they would realise that Russia is a state capitalist country; the other point of view leads directly to Stalinism. This document attempts to prove this.


Last updated on 24.8.2002