I went into an intense analysis as to how the USSR allowed revisionists after Stalin to seep into its party here. They were the first communist party to successfully overthrow a capitalist government. How could they structure a political party that gave prominence to revisionist policies and move away from Stalinism?
When explaining the four cardinal principle of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics (SWCC), Mr. You described the massive amount of resources China dedicated to learn why the Soviet Union fell. The overwhelming conclusion these experts came to was because of the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union.
But how can a political structure allow such revisionism to take hold? The focus of this question is not aimed at the correct problem of ideological compromise. A breakdown of ideology is not halted or obstructed by political bodies, but rather through ideological party discipline.
After the October Revolution, Lenin pointed out a number of times that:
a) The overthrown exploiters always try in a thousand and one ways to recover the “paradise” they have been deprived of.
b) New elements of capitalism are constantly and spontaneously generated in the petty-bourgeois atmosphere.
c) Political degenerates and new bourgeois elements may emerge in the ranks of the working class and among government functionaries as a result of bourgeois influence and the pervasive, corrupting influence of the petty bourgeoisie.
d) The external conditions for the continuance of class struggle within a socialist society are encirclement by international capitalism, the imperialists’ threat of armed intervention and their subversive activities to accomplish peaceful disintegration.
The constant threat of bourgeois elements does not end at a victorious revolution. It is ongoing, evolving, and malleable. Despite the critiques against Deng, his economic reforms not only led to the prosperous China we know today, but SAVED the CPC from corruption. The Four Cardinal Principles were created by Deng and are the four issues for which debate was not allowed within China:
The principle of upholding the socialist path
The principle of upholding the people’s democratic dictatorship
The principle of upholding the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC)
The principle of upholding Mao Zedong Thought and Marxism–Leninism
To my knowledge, the USSR never had such ideological commitment. Although this is Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, I can never imagine evolving capitalism to socialism to communism without a party even having these already imbedded in their political structures and party ideology.
But we can see what happens when a party lacks ideological discipline:
In announcing the abolition of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviet Union, the revisionist Khrushchov clique base themselves mainly on the argument that antagonistic classes have been eliminated and that class struggle no longer exists…
Ever since Khrushchov seized the leadership of the Soviet Party and state, he has pushed through a whole series of revisionist policies which have greatly hastened the growth of the forces of capitalism and again sharpened the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and the struggle between the roads of socialism and capitalism in the Soviet Union.
The USSR was the target of some of the most horrendous espionage and guerrilla tactics from the West. At the time Yeltsin got elected, it was basically a CIA-ran election.
In short, we must remember that socialism is a transition. Proper focus and discipline cannot falter while bourgeois elements fester in new forms. The beauty of Marxism and what SWCC has shown is that our ideology is just as adaptable to survive and thrive so long as we remain committed to that road.