Class Struggles in the USSR, 1st period (1917-1923) by Charles Bettelheim

By Charles Bettelheim

Booklet by way of Bettelheim, Charles

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A decree of February 21, 1919, consolidated a general scale of wages and salaries with a "spread" which was much wider (that is, which implied much greater inequality) than had been considered acceptable in the period immediately after October, although narrower than the pre-1914 differentials. The decree fixed the minimum wage at 600 roubles and the maximum salary for "highly-qualified administrative personnel" at 3,000 roubles. This applied to Moscow and environs; elsewhere the same coefficients of inequality were to apply, but the basic wage would vary in accordance with local conditions.

During this process of revolutionary transformation, all the "places" and roles that corresponded to those of the bourgeoisie are transformed, and the agents of production and reproduction occupying those places and playing these roles also become less and less a bourgeoisie -- although constantly liable to develop, in these places and roles, bourgeois social practices which may cause the proletariat to lose the positions it has already won. net Page 4 / 24 All those who, in the system of social production and reproduction, occupy a place corresponding to that of the bourgeoisie, and who in that system develop bourgeois social practices despite the existence of the dictatorship of the proletariat, constitute a bourgeoisie.

The distinction between the "place occupied" by the agents of production and their "role" -- and consequently also the class practices in which they engage -assumes very special importance when we come to analyze a social formation in which the proletariat is in power. The existence of the dictatorship of the proletariat modifies differentially the place and role of both the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, and the exercise of this dictatorship makes it possible to modify further this place, this role, and the system of dominant social practices.

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