- Capitalism and Alternatives -

At a time I did think as you do.

Posted by: Lark ( independent thinker, labels being unhelpful because most socialists dont think me one, Ireland ) on June 30, 1999 at 13:14:03:

In Reply to: Restating my position for the civil socialists posted by Marcos on June 30, 1999 at 00:16:33:

: This is adressed in the main to SDF and Red Deathy who have responded to my socialist imperatives with surprising aggression!

Well this is the stuff of political discourse I dont want to jump to any conclusions but expecting SDF or RD (or myself even) to "Lay off" you because you consider yourself a socialist or choose to use this label is a bit Tank or Trotish and those attitudes spell death for "The Workers" as much as capitalism.

:Perhaps we have started in the wrong way, dissapointed though I might be at your reticence in upholding the revolution. For I am a socialist and an egalitarian.

I do believe you have been misguided enough to believe in and defend the Russian statist putsch, it is a strange socialist who primarily empathises with institutes and theories rather than people.

Socialism is about class struggle, or (since I dont like that term because it is readily available to those trying to make socialism appear like a classcentric body politic) the struggle of the lowliest and most destitute, assisted by all men and women of good will, with the social elite and privileged of the day. Therefore in defending the Russian putsch storm troopers you are defending an elite and yes elites are evil and intrinsically unsocialist even if they adopt that label.

: Socialists should not be disagreeing so, we do, I have assumed, all look toward our socialist future.

We should all disagree for disagreement and debate is the stuff of free exchange and politics, the freedoms bought to this world through liberal struggle are as valuable to me as those brought to the world through socialist campaigns.

:There is nothing to be gained from distancing yourself from socialism over regrets of the way it has been used by capitalists to gain power in certian brave but fatally flawed revolutions.

You have said these revolutions are flawed yet insist that the flawed methods be employed in the future?

:Red Deathy has stated " we build and campiagn, and that all we can do" but I am horrified! For this is not the revolution which leads to our socialist future!

Why are you horrified? Your impatience is incredible, Capitalism was thousands of years in the making, it's real ideological praxis was not born until the eighties and yuppidom which had cross class appeal, Socialism must take at least as long.

You cant solve the dilemma of living with a single blow, my friend, we all wish we could but in that direction lies violence and chaos.

:You state it is up to the proletariat to heed us, but then we wait, until the very end of the earth, for the proletariat labors under the false consiousness of capitalism, and it replaces our collective consciousness - the capitalist pigs will win!

Where is your proletariat? Appeals from the nineteenth century when the class divisions of fuedalism where still fresh (the landed gentry and propertied lords and ladies had simply changed their names to landed and propertied capitalists) me thinks. Now we live in an age where people without scrupples can assume the wealth of a class beyond their station your "proletariat" are dead.

I dont like your reference to capitalist pigs it reeks of dogmatic doctrine propaganda. The issues are sharp my friend and passion does drive us all, we are right to be horrified by terrible things, but maintain a cool head and empathise with your opponent they are flesh and blood like us and the ability to empathise with others, regardless of their circumstances, is not just a fine thing but the heart of socialism.

:People will think they are allright whilst we shall sit ever waiting and knowing they suffer!

Maybe they are alright if they are content then maybe they dont require a bloody revolution wrecking their lives. However where oppression doesnt exist, and we shouldnt dream it up, it is always possible to improve things.

So many people view socialism as voluntary poverty and authoritarian dogma this is why we are defeated not because capitalists are such clever manipulators.

: What is wrong with the vanguard? What is wrong with a socialist vanguard - the courage of the collective made into a fine point to pierce the money grubbers system! You speak of workers lead to slaughter! I speak of their oppression, the oppresion of the collective under the iron fist of capital!

Dont distract attention from one form of oppression, police states and authoritarian elites brought in through putschs carried out by impassioned but ignorant stormtroopers, by refering to another, the power of the employer to hire and fire and the economic relations in society to create savage competitors in other matters like race or nation.

:Workers have their chains to loose, but the struggle is not without effort - as long as we the collective realize our socialist future then we have success my comrades.

This is beginning to tire me, the dogma involved here is nothing ordinary read the liberals and capitalists you oppose they where perfectly honest in their opposition once. Adam Smith, the economic and political architect of modern capitalism, declared no society could be prosperous that the greater number where miserable or destitute a fairly socialist statement for the wealth of nations dont you think? No free from dogmatic hatred, in the cool light of reason, rediscover humanitarian empathy and reasoned humanism, then you'll know socialism as opposed to marxism.

: A consciousness does not raise itself, it does not raise by reading the socialist message amid a torrent of capitalist propoganda! It sinks every week as more people are beholden to the ways of capital. The revolution must have the courage of the socialist! But fear not comrades, for such as you - if true socialists - will not be left outside of the revolution, you shall be the thinking men tending the needs of your brothers with advice and insight, there is a place for you - the revolution is not of brutes!

This is fine as propaganda goes, it will rally the faithful for sure but it isnt really reasoned debate, the bit about "true socialists" and not being left out of the revolution is a bit religious, the mormons tell me the same thing about their version of heaven.

Heavens not for this life though, settle for improved conditions and socialiable company, revolution could achieve that. Read a bit about anarchism, real anarchism like Daniel Gurin or Noam Chomsky not the free market radicals, to they might be dreamers by and large but they are the neglected libertarian dimension of socialism.

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