The combination of economic stagnation (see below) and inflation at the same time. According to bourgeois economics this was supposed to be impossible, but when it first reared its ugly head in the U.S. in the late 1970s and 1980s they were forced to admit that it could indeed happen, though they still could not explain why.
From a Marxist standpoint the explanation for stagflation poses no problems: the stagnation aspect is simply an early sign of a developing overproduction crisis, and inflation is just a sign that the government is expanding the currency too fast (because of excessive government budget deficits usually). While it is true that massive Keynesian budget deficits can forestall stagnation or recession (for a while!), lesser bouts of deficit financing may only slightly mitigate the stagnation/recession while at the same time causing inflation.
The failure of an economy to grow, or for it only to grow at a very slow pace. This is often an early indicator of a developing overproduction crisis that is only being kept somewhat in check for a time through the expansion of government or consumer debt but on an insufficient scale to create a more solid rate of growth for the economy.
See also below and: PAUL SWEEZY
The claim that stagnation is the normal state of a capitalist economy in the monopoly capitalist era. This thesis seems to have been originated by Alvin Hansen, an American follower of John Maynard Keynes, but has been strongly adopted, elaborated and promoted by the eclectic “Marxist-Keynesian” economists of the Monthly Review School, especially Paul Sweezy, Paul Baran, Harry Magdoff, and John Bellamy Foster.
Hansen’s book, Full Recovery or Stagnation? (1938) argued that—contrary to standard economic dogma—capitalism does not always stabilize at the level of (more or less) full employment. Indeed, at a time when the partial recovery during the Great Depression of the 1930s was faltering, Hansen raised the suggestion that the economy might be pretty much stuck in stagnation, and implied (at least) that this might be the permanent situation unless very strong and determined Keynesian deficit spending was carried out.
Sweezy and Baran took this idea and ran with it, especially in their 1966 book, Monopoly Capital. Sweezy, Magdoff, and more recently John Bellamy Foster, then continued arguing along these same lines. This stagnation thesis has in fact become the core idea of the Monthly Review School’s understanding of modern capitalism.
Over the years, most bourgeois economists have pooh-poohed the stagnation thesis, and when Monopoly Capital itself came out (still during the post-World War II economic boom), Sweezy and Baran themselves felt the necessity to devote a large portion of the book to discussing the countervailing factors that had allowed U.S. and world capitalism to escape the worst levels of this stagnation up to that point. Starting around 1973, however, U.S. and world capitalism slipped into a prolonged period of qualitatively slower economic growth (the “Long Slowdown”), and the stagnation thesis began to look like it was really true. With the so-called Great Recession of 2007-2009, and the extremely sluggish “recovery” since then, this thesis has appeared to be even more solidly established.
However, this stagnation thesis is still essentially a Keynesian theory, and thus still a theory which remains within the bounds of bourgeois political economy (even if at the more radical end of bourgeois thinking). It is sort of a limited, or partial truth.
In fact a capitalist economy does inevitably sink into crisis because of the development of the inherent contradictions within it, and especially the primary contradiction between the social nature of production and the private expropriation of the products being produced. This means, as Engels put it, that the development of production proceeds at a faster pace than the development of the market. This contradiction can be completely overcome—for a while!—through extending massive credit to the working class, and through having the government go into huge and ever greater debt to buy the excess production (i.e., through Keynesian deficits). If this is done in a really determined way (as it was in Germany with public works during the mid-1930s, or as was done in all the major capitalist countries during World War II), then the crisis can be interrupted, and even fully interrupted—for a while. In this case it is possible (though increasingly more difficult to do in actual practice, what with the ever increasing power of capitalist production) to prevent stagnation until the economy finally collapses into a more complete and disastrous crisis (an indefinitely long depression).
However, more typically today, the expansion of consumer and government debt starts being done in only a half-hearted sort of way, as its final limits begin to come into sight. This is what leads to periods of serious stagnation, and even of intensifying stagnation, before the final collapse into more serious crisis—outright intractable depression. Stagnation is not the “normal”, or “permanent” state of a modern capitalist economy, but rather only a stage (if often a prolonged stage) towards something even more “normal” or “permanent”—namely, indefinite and overall constantly deepening economic depression. (Depression in turn can only be ended through the really massive destruction of all the excess real capital which has been built up over the decades.)
The stagnation thesis, therefore, while sort of a half-truth, is still based on an inadequate and partial understanding of the nature of the economic contradictions of capitalism. It imagines that the capitalist economy will only sink into stagnation, without understanding that even stagnation is only a way-station towards something much worse.
STALIN, Joseph [Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili] (1879-1953)
[To be added... ] (See also below.)
STALIN — Errors and Crimes Of
[To be added... ]
See also: PATERNALISM
STALIN — Rule by Fear
While it is a great exaggeration by the bourgeois class enemy to say that Stalin and his government “ruled by fear alone”, I think it is hard to deny that fear played a significant role in his rule and in the regime he led. To some extent this even had positive effects, as in getting Party and government officials to “toe the line”, work very hard, refrain from graft, and sincerely strive to bring about the rapid expansion of production and victory over the Nazi invaders. Here is one story (which may or may not be true) told about one of Stalin’s commissars, Vladimir Nosenko, who was in charge of shipbuilding:
“[Stalin’s continuing joke] began some time before the Second World War when, passing him in the corridor, Stalin exclaimed: ‘Comrade Nosenko, why haven’t you been arrested yet?’ According to his colleagues, Nosenko spent many sleepless nights waiting for the knock on the door. Over the next few years, whenever Stalin met Nosenko he would joke: ‘I thought I had you shot.’ Finally he talked to Nosenko at the celebrations for victory in World War II. ‘What really brought us victory?’ Stalin asked. ‘Was it our superior Socialist technology? Was it our dedication to the motherland? Was it our proletarian consciousness? Yes. It was all these things. But mainly it was our sense of humor. Wasn’t it, Comrade Nosenko?’” —Ben Lewis, Hammer and Tickle (2009), p. 51. [Note: This story is from a deeply anti-communist book full of lies and distortions. But it is possible to learn a few useful things even from a book such as this. In particular, this story, along with much additional evidence from many other sources, suggests that Stalin really did consciously use fear as one of his major methods of ruling the Soviet Union. —S.H.]
On the whole, the use of fear in this way cannot be justified, and certainly not against the
working class and the masses. The resort to the use of fear in order to rule shows the failure
to successfully use education, ideology, and democracy to bring about the conscious striving to
change society on the part of the people.
Only with respect to the class enemy, the bourgeoisie and its agents, can the use of fear normally be justified, and be justified as part of the mechanism of the dictatorship of the proletariat. It was true, of course, that in the Soviet Union some bourgeois (or feudal class) people had to be relied upon for a while, even within the military and the government. It was necessary and justified to rely on a semi-cooperative section of the reactionary officer corps during the civil war, for example, and it was necessary to supervise and control such individuals not only via means such as mass supervision and political cadres, but for them to fully understand what might very well happen to them if they did not carry out the instructions and orders of the revolutionary government.
However, fear as one of the most prominent and general methods of rule, and used against the working class itself, was definitely not correct or justified. And Stalin, in particular, must be very strongly criticized for using this method of rule against the people. It is not that rule by fear cannot for a time be effective; it is just that there are much better and more appropriate methods available most of the time, and any major reliance on this method of using fear must inevitably fail in the end. Moreover, to the extent that the working class and masses themselves are governed through fear, they themselves cannot really be said to be ruling society. Such methods contradict democracy for the people and genuine socialism.
STALINGRAD — Battle Of
One of the most decisive battles of World War II, in which the Soviet Red Army withstood the seige of the city of Stalingrad on the Volga River and turned the tide against the German Nazi invaders. This was a battle of almost unimaginable ferocity, and is one of the epic events in all of human history.
For an article discussing this famous battle from the Maoist standpoint, see “Stalingrad: The Battle of History... The History of a Battlefield”, in A World to Win, #27 (2001), online at: http://www.bannedthought.net/International/RIM/AWTW/2001-27/AWTW-27-Stalingrad.pdf [PDF: 8 pages, 1,649 KB]
STANDARDS — Stylistic
See: STYLISTIC STANDARDS
STANDING TOGETHER TO ORGANIZE A REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT (STORM)
A small multinational “revolutionary cadre organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area”, which existed from September 1994 to December 2002. It was largely composed of students and young people. Its ideology is sometimes described as “Third World Marxism”.
STORM grew out of a Marxist-leaning organization in the Bay Area called Roots Against War (RAW), which emerged in the early 1990s and organized protests around the Gulf War and the Rodney King verdict. STORM originally was an eclectic mixture of anarchists, communists and revolutionary nationalists, but after some internal struggle the anarchists left and the organization became more Marxist in tone. Many members especially respected Mao Zedong and considered him their spiritual leader.
Unlike RAW, STORM had some white members, though its membership was always more than 75% people of color. Its membership was also more than 60% women. Reflecting the problems and tensions of American society, the racial, ethnic and gender composition of STORM, and its leadership committees, was viewed as critically important:
“Throughout its history, STORM was committed to maintaining itself as a majority women, majority people of color organization. This commitment also extended to the areas of mass work in which STORM members collectively worked. Growing out of theoretical frameworks inherited from revolutionary, third wave and Black feminist members of STORM developed the ‘Sisters at the Center’ slogan early on in their organization’s history. Application of this slogan meant a conscious emphasis to keep women of color and working class women at the center of the organization’s analysis, program and practice.” —From the Wikipedia entry on STORM.
Interestingly, most of STORM’s membership had never previously been in any other
revolutionary organization. STORM officially dissolved in December 2002. Perhaps part of
the reason for its disbandment can be seen in the Van Jones Affair. After STORM disbanded,
one of its founders and leaders, Anthony “Van” Jones, moved into the inner circles of the
Democratic Party, and was appointed by President Obama as a “special advisor” with respect
to “Green jobs”. In September 2009 he resigned from this position after some right-wing
red-baiting about his past associations. It has been claimed that nearly all the
members of STORM in its last period were also staff members of various social non-profit
organizations. This may have even developed in the direction of a sort of alternative
social-program bureaucracy, which seems to have led to some resentment on the part of those
outside of STORM. It is very doubtful if this sort of thing can be a good social base for
constructing a revolutionary organization.
See also the 97-page pamphlet summarizing the history, development and disbanding of the group, “Reclaiming Revolution: History, Summation & Lessons from the Work of Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM)” (Spring 2004), online at: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/10717234/Reclaiming-Revolution-history-summation-and-lessons-from-the-work-of-STORM
A theory and “system” of acting and theatrical performance and production originated by Konstantin Sergeivitch Alexeyev (1865-1938), who used the professional name “Stanislavsky”. It often involves various techniques to try to bring about (or at least simulate) emotions in the actor which are supposedly those a real-life person would have in such a situation. The techniques include “Emotional Memory” (the actor recalling situations where he or she actually had that emotion), and engaging in actions on stage (likely surreptiously) which might evoke the appropriate emotions or at least approximate their appearance.
Stanislavsky fled from Russia at the time of the 1905 Revolution, and after the October Revolution in 1917 he went to the United States. Despite this, during the revisionist and state-capitalist period of the Soviet Union, Stanislavsky’s “system” was widely adopted and promoted. And from there it was also adopted in China during the 1950s and early 1960s. However, the Stanislavsky system came under heavy criticism in China during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, as the quotation below demonstrates. The Stanislavsky system has also been extremely influential in the U.S. and elsewhere, often as an American variation of the system called “method acting”.
“Stanislavsky was a reactionary bourgeois art ‘authority’ in Russia.
Scared to death by the revolution of 1905, he fled to Germany with his repertoire of plays
which lauded the tsar and the aristocracy. He was applauded and given an audience by the
German emperor Wilhelm II. When the Great October Revolution took place, Stanislavsky
admitted that he had again found himself ‘in an impasse’ and that ‘it was necessary to
take a look ... from a distance.’ He took his theatrical company to the United States where
he was on terms of intimacy with the imperialists. He grieved over the lost ‘peaceful’ days
of tsarist times and cursed the revolution for having caused ‘war, hunger, world catastrophe,
mutual misunderstanding and hate.’
“The period from the failure of the 1905 revolution to the upsurge of the October Revolution was a period of reaction in Russian politics. To quench the flames of the proletarian revolution, the tsarist government mobilized all the forces of reaction and resorted to the counter-revolutionary dual tactics of using political and cultural repression and deception alternately against the revolutionary people. It was precisely during this reactionary historical period that the theory of the theatre which Stanislavsky painstakingly worked out—that is, Stanislavsky’s ‘system’—took shape. This clearly proves that it was a product of the tsarist government’s reactionary policy of using culture to narcotize the people.
“The core of the ‘system,’ in Stanislavsky’s own words, is ‘self.’ According to him, all the obscurantism which he advocated, such as the ‘ruling idea’ of a play, ‘through-action,’ ‘the germs of all the human vices and virtues’ and ‘living human elements,’ reposed in the ‘innermost I.’” —First paragraphs of “Revolutionary Mass Criticism: Comments on Stanislavsky’s ‘System’”, by the Shanghai Revolutionary Mass Criticism Writing Group, Peking Review, #36, Sept. 3, 1969, pp. 7-11. This complete individual article is also available at http://www.massline.org/PekingReview/PR1969/PR1969-36-Stanislavsky.pdf
[In Marxist usage:] The primary instrument of political power in class society, consisting of organs of administration (government departments), and of force (army and police). There are also usually auxillary organs (legislatures or parliaments, and courts of law) which exist both to resolve conflicts within the ruling class and to lend the appearance of fairness and “complete democracy” to the state. The state is thus a mechanism for class rule, the embodiment of the dictatorship of a particular class, no matter how camouflaged it may be.
STATE AND REVOLUTION, The
This is a very important work by Lenin, written in 1917, describing the state as the primary agency of class rule, and discussing its role in the revolutionary process. It is available in volume 25 of Lenin’s Collected Works [4th English ed.], and online at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev/index.htm
“The State and Revolution, written by Lenin on the eve of October,
1917, sets forth the Marxist-Leninist teachings on the state. The last chapter, which was
to deal with the experiences of the Russion revolutions of 1905 and February 1917, was
never written: Lenin was ‘interrupted’ by the advent of the October Revolution.
“The attitude to the state is a most vital question for the working class movement. Right-wing social democrats teach that the state is neutral and stands above classes. In this great book Lenin shows the falsity and treachery of this idea; he places before the reader the statements and arguments of Marx and Engels on the subject of the state, defends and develops their teachings on the basis of an analysis of the experiences of the working class movement.
“What are the principal questions dealt with in The State and Revolution?
“1. Lenin shows that the state is an organ of class rule. It came into being as a result of society splitting into antagonistic classes, as an organ for the oppression of one class by another. Its characteristic feature is the existence of a ‘public power’ consisting of special bodies of armed men, prisons and coercive institutions of all kinds, a state bureaucracy. This state machinery has become perfected in the capitalist state.
“2. Lenin shows that the working class cannot lay hold of the capitalist state machinery and use it for their own purposes, but must smash it and replace it by the proletarian state—the proletariat organized as the ruling class.
“The forms of bourgeois state, he says, are very varied, but they are all forms of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Similarly the transition from capitalism to communism will create a variety of political forms, but their essence will invariably be the same: the dictatorship of the proletariat. The object of the proletarian dictatorship is to crush the resistance of the exploiters and prepare the way for classless society—communism.
“3. Lenin deals in detail with the difference between bourgeois and proletarian democracy. We can and must imagine democracy without parliamentarism, he says; and analyzing the experience of the Paris Commune (1871), he shows how Marx recognized in the Commune a new form of democracy, proletarian democracy.
“At the same time Lenin shows how the workers must always fight to defend and extend bourgeois democracy, because this provides the best conditions for waging the class struggle against the capitalists. He shows that the workers wage their struggle in alliance with all the oppressed people under capitalism, and how this class alliance must be continued and strengthened through the dictatorship of the proletariat after the defeat of the capitalists.
“4. Lenin deals in detail with the meaning of the transition from socialism to communism, and with the economic basis of this transition.
“Socialist society is organized on the slogan: ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his work.’ As production increases and an absolute abundance of products becomes available there will gradually be introduced communism, whose slogan is: ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.’ At the same time there will gradually disappear the antithesis between intellectual and manual labor, and between town and countryside. In the course of the transition to communism the state will gradually wither away.
“Lenin’s lecture on The State, delivered in 1919 to students of Sverdlov University, presents the essential teachings about the state in a short and popular form. [Available online at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1919/jul/11.htm ] It is a splendid introduction for the beginner, who should read it before tackling The State and Revolution.”
—Maurice Cornforth, Readers’ Guide to the Marxist Classics (1952), pp. 19-20.
STATE, The Bourgeois
The bourgeois State is the organ of power and administration which exercises the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie (or capitalist class) over all other classes, and especially over the proletariat (working class).
“The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.” —Marx & Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848), Ch. I: MECW 6:486.
1. The form of capitalism in which the capitalists own the means of production (factories, machinery, etc.) collectively and as a class, rather than individually or in small associations (partnerships, corporations, etc.). The Soviet Union was the prime example after the restoration of capitalism there in the mid 1950s and until its collapse in late 1991. It seems fair to conclude these days that state capitalism is unstable and tends to decay back into more traditional forms of monopoly capitalism.
2. [As used by various other “left” theorists:] Western-style monopoly capitalism, or specific periods of it during which the state plays a more prominent role than other periods. The bourgeois state does play a much increased role in the control and direction of capitalism in the imperialist or monopoly capitalist era (as compared to earlier capitalism); and since the 1930s the role of the state has been further increased in monopoly capitalism. But this state role in the economy is still qualitatively much less than it was in the Soviet Union in the revisionist era and it is incorrect and confusing to call any period of Western-style monopoly capitalism by the name “state capitalism” or “state monopoly capitalism”.
3. [Under socialism:] A short transitional stage of capitalism in a state ruled by the revolutionary proletariat, as a step toward transforming the economy into actual socialism. (See separate entry below.)
STATE CAPITALISM — Under Socialism
A fairly brief transitional stage in the economy of a society (or in a part of that economy) after the seizure of power by the revolutionary proletariat, and before the economy is transformed (or fully transformed) into genuine socialism. It may even still involve the participation of individual capitalists under state supervision and control. But if the economy is still capitalist (even if state capitalist or supervised by the state) is it proper to call such a regime itself socialist? Yes it is, if it is genuinely moving toward socialism. Remember that socialism has both a political and economic aspect; if the revolutionary proletariat has seized power and is in the process of transforming the economy into socialism, then it is certainly reasonable to call it a socialist government or country.
In the early years after the Russian Revolution, both before the period of “War Communism” and during the temporary retreat known as the “New Economic Policy” (NEP), a considerable part of the Russian economy was properly called (including by Lenin himself) state capitalism. Similarly, in the early 1950s in China a large section of the economy was properly deemed state capitalism by Mao and the CCP.
Of course, if state capitalism is a step backward from socialism (and not merely a temporary retreat forced by extreme circumstances) then it is not properly considered to be state capitalism under socialism, but rather the destruction of socialism. This is what occurred in the Soviet Union in the late 1950s and 1960s, and in China after Mao’s death. There is no such thing as state capitalism under socialism if the bourgeoisie has once again seized control of the society.
“The present-day capitalist economy in China is a capitalist economy which for the most part is under the control of the People’s Government and which is linked with the state-owned socialist economy in various forms and supervised by the workers. It is not an ordinary but a particular kind of capitalist economy, namely a state-capitalist economy of a new type. It exists not chiefly to make profits for the capitalists but to meet the needs of the people and the state. True, a share of the profits produced by the workers goes to the capitalists, but that is only a small part, about one quarter, of the total. The remaining three quarters are produced for the workers (in the form of the welfare fund), for the state (in the form of income tax) and for expanding productive capacity (a small part of which produces profits for the capitalists). Therefore, this state-capitalist economy of a new type takes on a socialist character to a very great extent and benefits the workers and the state.” —Mao, “On State Capitalism” (July 9, 1953), SW 5:101. [Within a few years this entire state capitalist sector in China was transformed and absorbed into the socialist economy.]
STATISTICS — Economic
See: ECONOMIC STATISTICS
STEEL — World Production Of
Steel is one of the most important products in the world economy. China is by far the world’s largest producer, accounting for 46% of total world production. (See chart at the right.)
STEVENSON, Charles Leslie (1908-1979)
An American bourgeois analytical philosopher in the logical positivist tradition, who specialized in ethics and aesthetics, and is best known for his erroneous theory of emotivism in ethics. He studied with the bourgeois philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein and G.E. Moore in England.
In articles such as “The Emotive Meaning of Ethical Terms” (1937) and in his book Ethics and Language (1944), Stevenson put forth the positivist notion that moral statements are “meaningless” (and “unscientific”) except for their emotive content. This is one variety of non-cognitivism in ethics. Thus for him, “Killing is bad” would be equivalent to something like: “Killing... UGH!”.
No doubt many statements in morals do carry emotive (or emotional) connotations, but they are also factually meaningful and either true or false (though just which often depends on the precise situation). Thus killing is normally very wrong because it goes against the collective interests of the people, and therefore the statement “Killing is wrong” is indeed true in most situations. This is a simple example of how the scientific investigation of the situation can in fact determine what is right or wrong, despite what Stevenson thought.
Stevenson’s theory is very similar to, and is often viewed as merely an elaboration of the ethical theories of A.J. Ayer and other positivists. They developed such theories because they could not grasp the real basis for morality, namely people’s collective interests (and in class society, their class interests).
See also: CLASS INTEREST THEORY OF ETHICS
STIMULUS or STIMULUS PACKAGE
[Bourgeois economics:] A round of government spending, usually involving a substantial Keynesian deficit, which is design to “stimulate” a weak or recessionary economy.
See also: “PRIMING THE PUMP”
STIRNER, Max [Pen name of Johann Kaspar Schmidt] (1806-1856)
German idealist philosopher, a Young Hegelian, who was an important ideologist of individualist anarchism. His major work was Der Einzige und sein Eigentum [The Ego and Its Own] (1844). Marx and Engels severely criticized Stirner, and at substantial length, in their early book, The German Ideology (written in 1845-46). This very strong and extensive criticism of Stirner (who they derided as “Saint Max”) helped Marx and Engels clarify their own materialist philosophical and political outlook and better contrast it to idealist individualism.
[To be added...]
STOCK MARKET CAPITALIZATION
The total current market value of all the stocks listed on a particular stock market, or else on a group of stock markets considered as a whole. In October 2007 when most of the stock markets of the world were at or near their peaks, the 54 stock exchanges which are monitored by the World Federation of Exchanges had a combined market capitalization of $63 trillion. This world stock market capitalization had fallen by more than half, to $31 trillion, by the end of November 2008. In other words, the stocks owned by the average investor had lost more than half their value in 13 months.
[To be added...]
See also: Philosophical doggerel about Stoicism.
“Stoics—adherents of an ancient Greek school of philosophy arising about the 3rd century B.C. and existing until the 6th century A.D. The Stoics recognized two elements in the universe: an enduring element—matter without quality; and an active one—reason, logos, god. In logic, the Stoics proceeded from the assumption that the source of all cognition is sensuous perception and that a conception can be true only if it is a faithful and full impression of the object. The Stoics taught, however, that perceptual judgment arises only as a result of agreement between the mind and a true conception. This the Stoics called ‘catalepsy’ (or ‘seizure’) and viewed it as a criterion for truth.” —End note 102, LCW 38.
STOLYPIN, P. A. (1862-1911)
The extremely reactionary Chairman of the Council of Ministers in the Tsarist government during the period 1906-11. In the phrase “the Stolypin reaction” his name is associated with the suppression of the first Russian revolution (1905-07) and the following period of harsh political crackdown on even the slightest tendency toward political change.
See: STANDING TOGETHER TO ORGANIZE A REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT
STRATEGY AND TACTICS
[To be added... ]
STRATEGY — Revolutionary
See: REVOLUTIONARY STRATEGY, OCTOBER ROAD, PEOPLE’S WAR
“STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION” [Soviet Imperialist Doctrine]
A scheme by Soviet social-imperialism to more closely integrate the economies of its “socialist” satellites with its own economy for the purpose of better exploiting its “fraternal countries”.
“Following their invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, the Soviet social-imperialists trotted out a policy of ‘economic integration’ which, Moscow declared, would traverse a course from low level to high level. In the initial stage, this ‘economic integration’ involves only individual departments of the member states of the ‘socialist community’ where their production structure will receive ‘stepped-up transformation.’ By the 1990s, it will reach the high stage, that is, the stage of ‘structural integration.’ During this period, the ‘unified economic structure’ of the countries participating in the ‘economic integration’ and their ‘unified national economic system’ based on common production planning will gradually take shape. What all this boils down to is that these countries will be completely deprived of their right to exercise sovereignty over their industrial and agricultural production and their national economic structure as a whole, and that they must submit to the dictates of the colonial empire of the Soviet Union. ‘Structural integration,’ in effect, is synonymous with colonization.” —Note in Peking Review, #46, Nov. 11, 1977, p. 26.
[In linguistics:] A school, or approach, to linguistics which focuses on the structures or systems of elements in languages. One important success of this approach was in phonemics, where each separate sound in a language (or phoneme) is identified through its contrasting interrelationships with the other phonemes. In the broadest sense, all areas and schools of linguistics are “structural” to some degree. However, there is also a more specific sense of linguistic structuralism where the focus is on mere surface structures, and the classification and description of features of utterances. This is often derided as being woefully insufficient by those, such as Noam Chomsky, who seek to uncover the “deep structures” which may underlie the grammar of all languages.
[In the other social sciences:] An extension of the focus in linguistics on structures and their interrelationships, to the elements of society in general. This was an especially strong movement in France in the 1960s, with the most prominent individual being the bourgeois anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009). A prominent assumption of structuralism is that the phenomena of human existence are not intelligible except through their interrelationships and interactions. There is obviously some considerable truth to this, but it becomes highly questionable when made into an absolute, with no other principles of how to investigate and comprehend society being accepted. Structuralism, in other words tends to be skewed and unidimensional in its approach.
On the other hand, since the interrelationships and interactions of the many sorts of social elements (such as kinship relationships, ideologies, class relationships, social labor, educational mechanisms, etc.) tend to be highly complex and go off in many directions, there is a strong tendency among the structuralists to dabble in many other spheres of investigation where their training and knowledge is quite minimal. The fact that a person is a trained and experienced anthropologist, for example, does not automatically make him or her competent to discuss psychology, mythology and religion, philosophy, political economy and so forth. This tendency in structuralism towards unjustified expansion in the scope of the discussion often seems to lead it into a semi-coherent mishmash.
There have been attempts (largely unsuccessful) to extend the structuralist approach to other spheres as well, including literary theory and criticism, psychoanalytic theory, Marxist theory (by Althusser, for example), and even architecture!
STRUCTURED INVESTMENT VEHICLE (SIV) [Contemporary Capitalist Finance]
A special type of “conduit” (dummy corporation set up by financial institutions), which generally uses borrowed money from independent companies to purchase mortgages and other loans (often of highly dubious quality) from its mother company, packages them into pools, and then “securitizes” them (i.e., issues mortgage or loan backed bonds or securities supposedly backed up by these pools), which it sells to investors. Furthermore, often there are different tranches or slices of these securities some of which are claimed to be much “safer” than the lower rated slices. Through this convoluted means, and with the connivance of rating agencies, the investment bank or financial corporation is fraudulently able to sell securities based on highly dubious loans (including sub-prime mortgages) as if they were very safe investments.
STRUGGLE — Continuing
“It is provided in the essence of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary.” —Walt Whitman, “Song of the Open Road” (1856), sect. 14. [This is perhaps generally true; but the good news is that the success of that earlier struggle also makes the next level of struggle possible and potentially successful too! —S.H.]
STRUGGLE — CRITICISM — TRANSFORMATION
A policy stage during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution promoted by Mao and his followers, starting in 1968. As explained by Mao:
“Struggle-criticism-transformation in a factory, on the whole, goes through the following stages: establishing a three-in-one revolutionary committee; carrying out mass criticism and repudiation; purifying the class ranks; consolidating the Party organization; and simplifying the administrative structure, changing irrational rules and regulations and sending office workers to the workshops.” —Mao, quoted in “Unprecedentedly Excellent Situation in China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution”, Peking Review, #44, Nov. 1, 1968, p. 12.
STRUGGLE — Ideological
See: IDEOLOGICAL STRUGGLE
STRUVE, Pyotr Berngardovich (1870-1944)
Originally a semi-radical bourgeois economist and political writer who was a prominent representative of what was called “Legal Marxism” in Tsarist Russia in the 1890s. Later he was a Cadet Party leader, and after the October Socialist Revolution he became one of the chief counter-revolutionary leaders and a White émigré.
STUDENTS FOR A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY (SDS)
[To be added... ]
See: POLITICAL STUDY, REPEATED STUDY
STURM UND DRANG
[German: literally “Storm and Urge”, but usually translated as “Storm and Stress”.] A proto-Romantic literary movement which developed in Germany from the late 1760s through the early 1780s, and which took its name from the title of a 1776 play by Friedrich Klinger. It promoted individual expression of emotion in reaction against both feudal practices and the perceived rational restrictions of the Enlightenment.
See: ARTISTIC STYLE
The standards which serve to define an artistic style (the style which a work of art is considered to exemplify). In turn, precisely how well the work actually meets the standards of that style is one of our primary bases for aesthetic criticism of the work.
Stylistic standards are, in the usual case, highly complex and abstract. As such, a work may more or less meet these standards; the work may meet them well or somewhat poorly. A portrait, for example, is a style (or genre) in which resemblance to a person’s face is important, but the resemblance may be good or bad—and this, in part, determines whether the portrait is good or bad.
See also: AESTHETIC EVALUATION
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