- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Gee's problem with authority

Posted by: Stoller on October 14, 1999 at 18:47:18:

In Reply to: forget lenin posted by Gee on October 14, 1999 at 17:34:06:

Gee has expressed a good deal of skepticism about who will enforce the rules of the socialist society---when (and if) it arrives.

Because he doesn't seem too concerned about who is enforcing the rules of the capitalist society, or doesn't feel any objections to those rules, he tends to think that the control is minimal, benevolent, or 'fair.'

This is where he goes wrong when he questions authority in the projected socialist future.

There is plenty of control in our current society. Almost all of it arises from the private ownership of the means of production. Although most people respect this authority, history has shown that they do so primarily because the owners of the means of production are quite effective when suppressing any challenges to it.

I'm no utopian. There will be rules in the socialist future. There will be enforcement of those rules when infractions occur.

But there will less control when the private ownership of the means of production ends. Simply put, there will be less to protect.

Who will hold this new authority?

The majority of the people instead of the minority.

How will this authority be expressed?

It will be expressed as it is today---by armed citizens recognized to have the authority to enforce the rules of ruling class. As I understand it, there will be significant differences, however, from the current ruling class's expression of authority: 1) the new authorities will be rotated from the population so as to prevent a monopoly of power from forming; and 2) the new authorities will be working for themselves instead of a power-wielding minority.

Again it could be asked: who will enforce this rotation?

Only when the majority of the population rejects capitalism and inaugurates a new form of society can any proposals be implemented. I believe proposals will come from a revolutionary party that is ready to assume a contingent leadership when the time arrives. I believe this leadership must have the support of the working class in order to be validated. That would be the contingency.

What would be different from conditions as they are today?

The socialist future will be a future in which the majority runs the state. Presently the minority does. I reject their authority and await the day I---and millions of other working people---can participate in running society.

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