- Capitalism and Alternatives -

I'm not disputing collective action, just vanguardism and top down action.

Posted by: Lark on November 30, 1999 at 17:30:26:

In Reply to: Qualifications posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on November 30, 1999 at 15:11:30:

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

I was playing agent provocatuer there it's the way the Bolsheviks would try and close down debates by accusing each other of being borgousie....

: 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.

Fair enough but the agrangisment that has taken place of particular classes of people is unfounded, just check out the posts by Dr. Cruel etc. I get the impression they are lumpen proles/trailer trash and they would fight to defend the rich.

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

Oh, yeah, I'm not disputing collective action, just vanguardism and top down action.

: 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.

I would subordinate it to other needs definitely and I'm no hedonist but I dont think the whole exercise should be on the whole much more arduous than capitalism because if it is people will just revert back to bad habits.

: : 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...

I'll respond to the rest tommorrow I've to get a Train.

: 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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