Youtube can be a great place to ‘learn’ and expand one’s knowledge, appreciation and awareness. Of course, Youtube also contains a corresponding downside of myth and delusion, and since its take-over by Google, inappropriate adverts now pop-up even during relaxation videos, sombre occasions, and even children’s TV. There are many good ad reliable leftwing videos just as there are many terrible and odious rightwing videos, but I have chosen the video below for critique, as in typical Trotskyite rightwing fashion, it presents the falsehood that Soviet Communism was no different to fascism or capitalism. It incorrectly states that Lenin advocated the adoption of capitalist ‘Taylorism’ in the USSR (implying that Lenin was a hypocrite), when in fact Lenin advocated the exact opposite:
Lenin actually said that increased productivity (the objective of Taylorism) can only be achieved ‘outside’ of capitalism by an emancipated workforce that is in control of its own working environment. Taylorism stated that the workforce must be completely controlled and entrapped in the working procedure from start to finish, and to achieve this, they must have no rights or self-determination. This is rightwing, US predatory capitalism at its absolute despotic. This is what Lenin actually said:
‘Of course, employment of the labour and guidance of the bourgeois intellectuals in combination with proper control by the democratic organisations of the working people and the Soviets, will create a number of new problems, but these problems will be quite solvable. No difficulties can stop us from solving these problems, as we have no other way out towards a higher organization of production under the present situation.
I shall go further. Big capitalism has created systems of work organization, which, under the prevailing conditions of exploitation of the masses, represent the harshest form of enslavement by which the minority, the propertied classes, wring out of the working people surplus amounts of labour, strength, blood and nerves. At the same time they are the last word in the scientific organization of production, and as such, have to be adopted by the Socialist Soviet Republic and readjusted to serve the interests of our accounting and control over production on the one hand, and raising the productivity of labour, on the other. For instance, the famous Taylor system, which is so widespread in America, is famous precisely because it is the last word in reckless capitalist exploitation. One can understand why this system met with such an intense hatred and protest on the part of the workers. At the same time, we must not for a moment forget that the Taylor system represents the tremendous progress of science, which systematically analyses the process of production and points the way towards an immense increase in the efficiency of human labour. The scientific researches which the introduction of the Taylor system started in America, notably that of motion study, as the Americans call it, yielded important data allowing the working population to be trained in incomparably higher methods of labour in general and of work organisation in particular.
The negative aspect of Taylorism was that it was applied in conditions of capitalist slavery and served as a means of squeezing double and triple the amount of labour out of the workers at the old rates of pay regardless of whether the hired workers were capable of giving this double and triple amount of labour in the same number of working hours without detriment to the human organism. The Socialist Soviet Republic is faced with a task which can be briefly formulated thus: we must introduce the Taylor system and scientific American efficiency of labour throughout Russia by combining this system with a reduction in working time, with the application of new methods of production and work organisation undetrimental to the labour power of the working population. On the contrary, the Taylor system, properly controlled and intelligently applied by the working people themselves, will serve as a reliable means of further greatly reducing the obligatory working day for the entire working population, will serve as an effective means of dealing, in a fairly short space of time, with a task that could roughly be expressed as follows: six hours of physical work daily for every adult citizen and four hours of work in running the state.
The adoption of such a system would call for very many new skills and new organisational bodies. Without doubt, this will create for us many difficulties, and the posing of such a task will even evoke perplexity if not resistance among certain sections of the working people themselves. We may be sure, however, that the progressive elements among the working class will understand the need for such a transition, and that the appalling extent of the economic chaos witnessed in the towns and villages by millions of men returning from the front who had been torn away from it all and now saw the full extent of the ravages caused by the war-all this, without doubt, has prepared the ground for shaping public opinion in this direction, and we may be sure that the transition which we have roughly outlined above will be accepted as a practical task by all elements among the working classes who have now consciously sided with the Soviet government.’
Lenin required the Soviet Union to progress through the industrialisation of the peasantry into a proletariat workforce and productivity was the obvious way ahead as a means to implement this process. Taylorism was capitalistic, but it demonstrated a method of increasing the productive output of an oppressed workforce. Lenin ‘rejected’ capitalist Taylorism because of its oppressive nature, but nevertheless was of the opinion that a liberated workforce could produce so much more because it was ‘free’ and engaging in what amounted to voluntary work for the betterment of humanity. Therefore, Lenin did not accept or endorse capitalistic ‘Taylorism’ as this anti-Soviet documentary suggests, and neither did Lenin’s decision lead to the counter-revolutionary actions of bourgeois-infected workforce at Kronstadt. Of course, Noam Chomsky, as a Trotskyite, will not miss any opportunity to denigrate the Soviet Union.