- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Cultural Revolution

Posted by: NJ ( DSA, MA, USA ) on February 06, 19100 at 19:56:57:

Barry, another point. You've persuasively made the case that job rotation would prevent Stalinist / Maoist repression from ever existing again, because represwion is the tool of a bureacuractic elite intent on preserving their power, and if jobs are rotated, then no one will be foolish enough to start behaving abdly, because they lknow they'll get screwed when they're out of power again. Or something like that. Is that correct?

I'm sure that job rotation would LIMIT and OPPOSE the tendency towards tyranny and barbarism. But I don't believe it would end it entirely, and tehrefore, I don't think we can brush off the danger of barbarism by saying 'job rotation will fix that'. Some of the worst crimes in the history of Maoist China were committed, not in the name of 'bureaurcatic centralism', but what they called 'democratic mass rule', i.e. rule by teenage gangs that roamed the countryside killing and abusing 'enemies of the people'. Now these kids were not the power-holding elite, and I'm sure they had little illusion that they were eventually going to be the next rulkers of China. In fact they probably knew that after a few years of anarchy they would be sent back to school or work or whatever, and China would distance itself from teh madness of the Cultural Revolution. How would your society prevent problems like this from arising? I raise this point because I just saw 'The Last Emperor' (directed by an Italian Communist, incidentally, so no 'reactionary' shit) which portrays very accurately both the atrocities of Thought Reform in the '50s and the 'Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution' in the '60s. Now, thought reform can possible be attributed to bureacurcatic overcentralization, although I don't think correctly, so you might argue it couldn't arise in a job-rotated society. But I don't believe that argument can hold at all when it coems to teh GPCR.

A power holder need not hold power for a long time to do a lot of damage. Pol Pot, after all, killed a sixth of his population in three years. And it's not always the power holders who kill people, either. Don't you think the only way to prevent these problems is to recorgnize absolute rights and morality.

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