Comrade Tim wrote:It succeeded in building a Communist, classless society in the aforementioned Anarchist Spain, not to mention an Economy which was more productive and efficient than both Capitalism and the Planned Economy.
Well if a quick transitional society being constantly attacked by fascist forces counts, than you can hardly say Marxism ever failed. It succeeded in building a communist, classless society in Russia, China, Vietnam, Hungary, Austria, Finland, Ireland, and other places that were more productive and efficient than both capitalism and the planned economy. But it collapsed in one way or another.
Marxists throughout history have said that a quick transition to Communism is impossible
It seems your example for Anarchist Spain seem to prove this to be correct.
Marxists don't believe in the FULL control of Unions.
This depends on the Marxist. Do see the Workers' Opposition link cited above. Also, "soviet," is a word meaning, "committee," as in, "workers' committee." The initial set up of the Soviet Union that Lenin led, the one that you said you agreed with before the civil war, was direct control from worker unions. HOWEVER—Lenin also fought to make sure that even in this system of your labour union electing people up a ladder, the union remained autonomous from the government that rose from electing your fellow workers as representation.
Which was a deliberate attempt to curb the power of bureaucracy. I cited Lenin speaking of this when Trotsky took the view that it was redundant to have a labor union and elected representatives from the labor union in control of things.
I am a Marxist and a syndicalist; as all Marxists really are.
Russia had mostly peasants in the creation of the Soviet Union, and they represented themselves regionally
instead of by trade (which makes sense as their trade was tied to the land anyway) but the Soviet state looked like this:
"Professional unions, the factory shop committees, and other democratic organizations," that is to say soviets, elect representatives to go to the city Soviet. The city soviet decides what constitutes a, "democratic organization," though unions and committees pretty much get in.
The Ward Soviet worked under the city Soviet in basic areas taking care of basic needs. In addition to recognized unions and shop committees, "the Soviet system is extremely flexible, and if the cooks and waiters, or the street sweepers, or the courtyard servants, or the cab drivers of that ward organised and demanded representation, they were allowed delegates."
Every few months, these city and ward soviets get together nationally by sending elected members of themselves to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets. Here a committee is voted upon, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, that works as parliament when the All-Russian Congress of Soviets is not in session. Because, again, these are workers that have jobs.
For things that are needed, national transportation, food distribution, etc, a commissar is elected. These can be instantly recalled at any time by any group. There were eleven in the early Soviet Union. These commissars elect a chairman, who again can be recalled at any time. This was Lenin while this particular set up was maintained.
This, in my mind, is a sensible use of syndicalism. It is the workers electing workers to represent them. Now, and nobody was more sensitive to this than Lenin (I'm trying not to wall-of-text you), the problem came from two areas: The first was that there were a lot of things the workers didn't necessarily know how to do. For instance, if you were elected from your job (whatever you do) and then found yourself elected up the ladder to make sure, say, make the railroads run on time, what do you do? You probably find some people that know something about railroads. And here we got into the problem with bureaucracy that Lenin wanted to curb:
Lenin wrote:What then is lacking? Obviously, what is lacking is culture among the stratum of the Communists who perform administrative functions. If we take Moscow with its 4,700 Communists in responsible positions, and if we take that huge bureaucratic machine, that gigantic heap, we must ask: who is directing whom? I doubt very much whether it can truthfully be said that the Communists are directing that heap. To tell the truth they are not directing, they are being directed. Some thing analogous happened here to what we were told in our history lessons when we were children: sometimes one nation conquers another, the nation that conquers is the conqueror and the nation that is vanquished is the conquered nation. This is simple and intelligible to all. But what happens to the culture of these nations? Here things are not so simple. If the conquering nation is more cultured than the vanquished nation, the former imposes its culture upon the latter; but if the opposite is the case, the vanquished nation imposes its culture upon the conqueror. Has not something like this happened in the capital of the R.S.F.S.R.? Have the 4,700 Communists (nearly a whole army division, and all of them the very best) come under the influence of an alien culture? True, there may be the impression that the vanquished have a high level of culture. But that is not the case at all. Their culture is miserable, insignificant, but it is still at a higher level than ours. Miserable and low as it is, it is higher than that of our responsible Communist administrators, for the latter lack administrative ability. Communists who are put at the head of departments—and sometimes artful saboteurs deliberately put them in these positions in order to use them as a shield—are often fooled. This is a very unpleasant admission to make, or, at any rate, not a very pleasant one; but I think we must admit it, for at present this is the salient problem. I think that this is the political lesson of the past year; and it is around this that the struggle will rage in 1922.
Will the responsible Communists of the R.S.F.S.R. and of the Russian Communist Party realise that they cannot administer; that they only imagine they are directing, but are, actually, being directed? If they realise this they will learn, of course; for this business can be learnt. But one must study hard to learn it, and our people are not doing this. They scatter orders and decrees right and left, but the result is quite different from what they want.
Connected to this, of course, was that the countries that made up the USSR were not only technologically backward, but had pretty much had almost all of its industry taken by Germany in WWI, and what was left was sacked by the French, British, American, Japanese, and White armies coming into Russia for years and years during the civil war. Trotsky maintained that the rise of Stalin was a result of this problem, right or wrong.
The other problem was really the civil war forcing the system to break down in various places. When the Whites came into an area and, say, murdered all the Jews and packed up anyone that was not useful as forced labor and put them onto a train to send to the next Red city to arrive as frozen bodies with a sign on them saying, "food delivery for the Reds," because they had just sacked all the food in said area (this really happened often)—the political representation broke down pretty fast. Electing your fellow dishwasher to represent you became very difficult when he was hanging from a tree because the White soldiers thought his nose looked too big, and you were wandering the frozen wastes looking for food because your town was in cinders and the food all taken.
This, of course, was exasperated by the unpopular (but necessary) advent of War Communism, that is to say, pooling all the resources together and attempting to distribute it. You grew your food, the Red Army would take it, and you'd get almost nothing back because they had to eat and supply our friend above wandering the frozen wastes.
It's really hard to run a democratic system with that level of oppression coming in to crush it.
The thing didn't end up going perfectly as a whole, of course. But it was a legitimate attempt to build a workers' government that, had at its core, a kind of syndicalism in that the unions themselves elected their representatives as workers. We can look at where it went wrong, and we should, but we should also look at what they got right—even if it didn't last until the final days.
Anyway, Marxists are syndicalists. You are just an anarcho-syndicalist.