- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Old News.

Posted by: Red Deathy ( Socialist Party, UK ) on January 23, 19100 at 11:54:09:

: Wages, yes; class, no.

Erm, no, there was clear expropriation of surplus value by the bureaucracy, complete with inheritence and ownership - it certainly wasn't private in the sense of western liberal capitalism, but tehre was a social-class division.

: The 'new class' crap was demolished by Trotsky as early as1937.
: No ownership, no class.

But there was ownership - teh state owned everything, indeed, last I recall most Trotskists keep on going about the 'legal' ownership by the working class, that the state owned eveything in their name.

: What did Khrushchev get when he left office? He supplemented his meager pension by growing potatoes in his garden...

Khruschev may not have, but others certainly inheritted, and certainly benefitted from their superior position in the hiearchy. Again, think Catholic church for the model...

: There was no class in the U.S.S.R. There was only hierarchy from the social division of labor (wages reflected the hierarchy, they did not cause it).

But teh bureaucrats weren't getting wages, in as much as they pay wasn't determined by market forces, they were simply getting a cut of the appropriation.

: The U.S.S.R. crumbled only because Gorbachev was going to decentralize management, ending the only thing that Soviet 'officials' had (a monopoly on the social division of labor). If there was a class, as you assert, then the existence of private property would have PREVENTED the (peaceful) dissolution of the Soviet state.

I didn't say it was private property, but rather that it was held in common as a class, and if you look most of the nomenklatura became the oligarchs of new russia. The USSR fell apart because it was bad capitalism, it couldn't calculate exchange between departments of industry properly.

: See Kotz and Weir's Revolution From Avove and Solnick's Stealing the State for confirmation...

Can't recall the precise title, but if you find a book by Adam Buick on Russian state capitalism, thats the one...

: I never said ALL jobs would be done by ALL people. Don't you read links? I said that if (some) skilled work and (some) unskilled work was not shared between all people, hierarchy would eventually reemerge.

But I don't agree with that, because I think that as long as allocation of resources is entirely indepentant of work done, no such hierachy can emerge.

: Screw Morris.
: Do you or do you not remember---acknowledge---agree with---Engels' point?

I was agreeing, that there will have to be authority, in teh form of social democrtacy, not in any sense of having leaders, etc. Further, there is a difference between having authority, and authoritarianism.

Authoritarianism assumes that if some people might well behave like wankers, then all people must be tret on the assumption that they might be wankers. Its the difference between authority as a first response, and authority as a last response...

: 'Organically?'
: One word, RD: How?

Through people having the nouse to know when to change jobs, through wanting to do wsomething different, and through people living their own lives.

: Repeating 'trotskies on an ice-pick' like some mantra will not be considered a credible response.

Its called sarcasm pet, my point was that we are basically splitting hairs here, not debating serious issues.

: But HOW does it come that 'Frank' is the one who knows where to drive?

Coz he's the one thats been to Alnwick before, wheras Bernie hasn't.

: Because he's monopolized that particular job?

Oooh, the bastard, he hasn't has he? No, its simply that different people know different things.

: Again: How?

Because people know how to run their own lives, I do not need to work out a grandscheme to allow them to do so.

: Am I insinuating that some workers may try to take advantage of other workers (after---especially right after--- the revolution)?

How can they? How? Without wages, without the means or incentive to do so? How can they exploit others without the material basis to do so?

I don't think socialism will end all problems, but certainly, it will make the resolution of problems a lot easier than at present.

: The vigor and eloquence of Marx's socialism is its realistic appraisal of humans and the irrefutable truth that humans emerge out of their existing material conditions (and conditioning)...

And that humans change, and are always changing, and that they are adaptable.

: Answer how those rules will be 'open ended' (who will enforce THAT?) and get back to me.

They will be open ended because they will be made and re-written constantly by those who use them, and that will be enforced by people living freely, co-operatively and democratically together. Folks'll do what is necessary to get on with life.

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