- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on November 30, 1999 at 15:11:30:

In Reply to: I will offer no quarter and take no prisoners if you want to start this Barry..... posted by Lark on November 30, 1999 at 13:41:34:

: : :[Crick] "The great Leninist innovation, hardly present in Marx, was the concept and reality of party rather than movement [blah blah blah]...

: OK we have the scholar himself rubbishing references, perhaps it is only legitimate if it was written by Trotsky or Lenin, does anyone find this really similar to the tactics of the Catholic Church before the wars of religion and athiest enlightenment forced them to concede the possibility of differing interpretations and views within the same framework of christianity?

: : This lazy quote-snipping from a guy who dismisses the ENTIRE working class as a revolutionary vehicle,

: That's rich coming from a bourgousie intellectual who sees himself as the next great self important leader and dismisses the ENTIRE Working Class in favour of a VANGUARD, a POLITICAL PARTY (anyone for parliament?).

Actually, we don't know taht he is a bourgeois...but I agree with your point.

: What I WAS ADVOCATING: As any good account indicates, or simply a look at the world without illusion, the workingclass while being the most oppressed and frequent victim of class struggle are not the most responsive or retalitory and therefore it is stupid, profoundly stupid, to assign to them a role that they are incapable of fulfilling.

Actually, though, workers have often been in the forefront of demanding social change. If the working class is politically aware they can achieve more than just about anyone else.

: :repudiates political parties becuase 'you make the revolution yourself' (ONE person?),

: Rich coming from the political idolitor who views INDIVIDUAL PERSONS, read theorists not activists, as more important than organised society or the natural order.

: what I WAS ADVOCATING: The revolution begins with the individual and progresses from them to the family, community, society and then state. When this has taken placed when a slow motion cultural coup deta short of exterminating the population en mass the social order can not be destroyed, this is why children and elderly persons fought bitterly for Germany once they had been infected with Nazi credos and large sections of population took poison when the Russians invaded, however as the Soviet Union stands as testiment the state is weak compared to mighty society or the mighty aggregate of individuals.

I don't know, often individuals are pretty much powerlesson their own.

: :rejected the U.S.S.R. because they didn't have such neat-o commodities as Playstations and MTV,

: what I WAS ADVOCATING: People will never give up their uncomfortable disporia if they can not imagine a greater alternative EG if you dont appeal to peoples actual real existing drives and wishes your never going to convince anyone.

No, I disagree with you. I think that is people are educated and inspired by hope for a better tomorrow they will be willing to give up such frivolities. The socialist society may not be able to provide playstations, but so what? the demand for playstations isn't a 'real', natural drive in the sense you imply, it's a drivbe cretated artificially by the advertising capitalist machine. if society encouraged other drives, no one would give a damn about having or not having playstations. It;'s not a natural desire like food, freedom, clothing, sex, religion, etc.

: What was the most common indicator of a lack of freedom in the accounts of defectors etc. you couldn't get these things in the east...

Well, defectors are often not the msot trustworthy source, nor can they speak for the masses of people who were loyal and did not defect. In general, those communist rregimes which were also democratic hadteh support of the people, regardless of whether or not they provided playstations etc. In general, I think that if a socialist society can address basic needs, it doesn't have to rpovdie consumer luxuries; the inspiration it gives to people will win tehir support and more than make up for any deficit in consumer luxuries. The socialist society may not produce plystatiosn, but so what? I'll bet that if they did a good job elsewhere no one would care.

: :thinks Plato (Mr. Dictator himself) was an OK guy,

: That's rich coming from the guy who idealises Lenin and Trotsky, I suspose Plato's signature is on a lot of deathwarrants...

Nor Marx neither. They were both philosophers after all, and are no more responsible for any killings then Christ was for the Inquisition.

: If Plato interests me it's my business, I do have a personal idea of what utopia would suit me but I readily concede that not everyone would think it freedom so I consider an anarchist freedom to be the only satisfactory one.

A socialist people's democracy would satisfy me.

: :and---finally---believes socialism can be achived WITHOUT class conflict!

: Rubbish, COMPLETE rubbish, Socialism isnt conflict, it will put an end to conflict,

yes, eventually, with apologies to Trotsky.

:that process may intail provisional struggle and conflict

probably a long, protracted worldwide struggle, which may be violent in some times and places, when all otehr methods have failed; in otehrs it will be through the parliamnetary system, and in still otehrs through strikes, protests, civil disobedience, etc.

:but only a fool thinks 'Long Live the Class War, Long Live Struggle', or rather that is the thought of the facist, nazi and stalinist.

Well, teh struggle will certainly last long....but actually 'class war' is not a fascist idea at all, it's anti-fascist.

: : What a puzzling philosophy!

: I hope your now enlightened.

: : : [Meanwhile, Lark's latest liberal surrogate debator drones on...and on...] The party became convinced that it was the embodiment of the working class, indeed of an international working class, just as clearly as the Jacobin Club had [yadda yadda yadda]...[and more conflations of Leninism and Stalinism only someone who NEVER read the PRIMARY material might believe...]

: Jesus Christ, Crick is dealing with the evidence, it doesnt matter what Trotsky etc. thought, even though it's present here for everyone to see EG Party Political Worship, Leader veneration, Benign Tsarism, they murdered workers and socialists at Kronstadt and they're successors just carried on the tradition.

well, I wouldn't condemn everything that came out of teh Soviet Union as bad. Post-Stalin, they did a lot of good things as well as bad. Helping to get rid of colonialism and apartheid, things like that...

: : What do YOU believe in, Lark?

: I'd have thought that's clear. Principles, Cultural Revolution (not like Mao before any idiots pipe up, like the neo-conservatives who have wised up to Gramsci and are taking over the US as we speak) and insurrectional militarism.

: : What's YOUR postive program?

: I think DDN's 'Give me this or give me death' post is a good place to start, immediately, that is through reform, I'd like to see a militant brand of Green Keynesianism implemented by a popularly elected administration employing 'emergency powers' and defended by actual armed individual activists on the ground and then from day two the serious consideration and implementation of the ideas of Participatory Economics as theorised by Micheal Albert ('Looking Forward: Participatory economics for the twenty first century' Albert & Hahnel, Boston: South End Press, I'd recommend you get that book and read it and then read all the books available from South End Press).

: : Or shall we just fall back on 'freedom and democracy' for everybody (just like Gerorge W. Bush does)?

: Your are underestimating how important these are, why dont you go live in Cuba? Or better yet Red China?.

Cuba is not a dictatorship. They have a large measure of participatory democracy, although it is not truly democratic neither- then again, neither is the United States. Lots of people like to bring up teh old canard about Cuba being anti-homosexual; did you know that homosexuality is recognized by Cuba's constitution as 'just as natural' as heterosexuality. Can you imagine that happening in the US?

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