- Capitalism and Alternatives -

All forms of class rule are 'regimes'---what you defend is a kaleidoscopic and esoteric utopia

Posted by: Barry Stoller on March 02, 19100 at 10:23:03:

In Reply to: A non-partisan Socialist doesnt defend even the most perfect regime. posted by Lark on March 01, 19100 at 13:30:47:

I would... like to remind critics of the Soviet Union that the 'beacon of world democracy,' America, has in its history nothing less shameful. America's history is characterized by slave labor (Africans), ethnic genocide (Native American), rampant imperialism [Mexico], and the restriction of individual freedom (indentured servitude, lack of political representation for women, etc., etc.).

: Where as I would be objective in either situation and one is freedom without socialism, it is consequentially inequitable and self destructive on an individual or social scale, the other is socialism without freedom which is slavery and brutality altogether.

This paragraph demonstrates the paucity of your reasoning and the immaturity of your political understanding.

There were Americans who opposed the genocide of Native Americans, the enslavement of Africans, the land-robbery of Mexico, and the repression of women in 1850---an infinitesimally small and politically powerless statistical minority. You state, however, with incredible confidence, 'I would be objective in either situation,' as if you KNOW you would be among that anomalously progressive and incredibly tiny minority had you lived in 1850. Excuse me if I find your chest-beating nationalism and your corrosive homophobia indications otherwise.

You call capitalist America (today) 'freedom without socialism.' That's untrue. There is freedom in capitalist America for ONLY capitalists. Everyone else must submit to their terms when approaching the means of production (hence, subsistence). To call capitalism freedom as broadly as you do is to simply parrot ruling class propaganda.

You also refer to the U.S.S.R. as 'socialism without freedom.' This is true ONLY with some important qualifications. Because you posit (tenaciously) supra-class freedom, an absolute freedom, you disregard the material fact that socialism, however benevolently intended, must ABROGATE all freedoms as understood (and enjoyed) by capitalists.

Regarding freedom in the U.S.S.R., a severely compromised communism, you disregard the historical point I was attempting to make. Khrushchev once commented that '[m]ost people still measure their own freedom or lack of freedom in terms of how much meat, how many potatoes, or what kind of boots they can get for one ruble.'(1)

What I attempted to communicate, hasty reader, is that social conditions are the result of productive conditions: if the means of production can only support a small amount of surplus, then, concomitantly, cultural and political life will reflect that level of productive poverty (a small minority will appropriate almost all the surplus); if the means of production supports an abundant surplus---enough for everyone---then, concomitantly, cultural and political life will reflect that abundance. Providing the social relations (distribution) are in accord with the means of production---which, in the case of capitalism, they are NOT.

Your error is comparing a poor communism with a rich capitalism.

Which brings us to...

But what these quasi-socialist quacks REALLY prefer is a 'socialism' that is nothing more than an esoteric construct. Is Lark's 'socialism' going to look like SDF's? Is NJ's 'socialism' going to look like Red Deathy's? No---they each have the LUXURY to dream up 'socialisms' that fit perfectly their PERSONAL desires.

: Which is maybe a good reason why we should keep things as they are.

Yes, there it is! Your explicit endorsement of capitalism. We FINALLY arrive at the conclusion of a long, long debate that began many months ago when I asked the question 'Is Lark a Socialist?'



1. Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers, Little, Brown & Co. 1970, p. 457.

: What are you doing instead of voting Barry? Debating here, talking, or rather fanatically conforming with each others views, amongst yourselves at some trotskyist meeting? That's gonna change the world.

Educating fellow-workers to the historical task of the proletariat is my mission. I choose Marxism as the tool to do so because it is a theoretical discipline which promotes political unity.

If you want to invent new 'socialist' utopias each week and vote for some crook every fours years because since your utopias are not obtainable 'we should keep things as they are,' don't let me stop you.

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