- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Socialism dogma free.

Posted by: lark on October 21, 1999 at 14:47:11:

In Reply to: Is Simply ANYTHING Socialism? posted by Barry Stoller on October 18, 1999 at 19:01:28:

: Behind your back? On a public debate board? If I really wanted to 'talk behind your back,' why did I put your name in the postís title?

Try posting to me not about me.

: Moving on:

: : : This is libertarianism!

: : Your right it is, is it incompatible with socialism?

: I think so. Please refer to this post for more details. Then let's talk.

Your falling into the trap of assuming that the monopoly some capitalists claim to have on libertarianism is legitimate.

: : ...perhaps I'm wrong but then definitions differ and I feel no need to CONFORM to yours so feel to disagree with me.

: Definitions can only differ so far, Lark!

OK, continue.

: Some so-called socialist's definitions of socialism have disgraced socialism!

Oh, you have.

: My suspicions about your definition of socialism have been aroused, in part, because you have claimed that the black market is socialism (a point relished by that libertarian fanatic Borg). Wrong!

No, I was using that post to suggest that I think the "Market" is a means by which the ruling class regulates our consumption in such a manner as to create their wealth, under socialism where consumption is regulated differently it would be cheaper or free.

: But the PRIMARY reason my suspicions have been aroused is because you have repeatedly asserted that socialism can be independent of the working class.

Independent of all Classes, I want a classless society, this attachment to the "working class" leads to situations like "what you've got a mobile phone?! You middle class bastard!" or the like where the "Working class" keep themselves in voluntary subordination and poverty, or at least the "socialist" "working class".

: Completely wrong!

We'll see.

: Then, you have said---in this post:


: What is required is a Citizens wage paid by the authorities to every citizen, as close as possible to, if not equal to the average workers income and totally tax free, additional income would be taxed at a flat rate of about 50% until introduction costs can be diminished etc. Labour is now decommodified and if you can't get a job you'll be alright and if you don't want to work, which SHOULD BE YOUR RIGHT, you don't have to.

Continue, there must be a point.

: You envision a socialist society where a person doesnít 'have' to work if he or she doesnít want to---yet receives a wage by 'the authorities.'

A staging ground for socialism maybe but definitely not capitalism, I thought the goal of socialism was to decommodify labour.

:(I thought you repudiated all authorities---or is that only ones that don't hand free money out?)

OK does it make it better if I said Civil Libertarian?

: Is this socialism---or demotic nonsense?

I'd have to know what demotic nonsense was.

: Then you disparage the U.S.S.R. because they couldn't---or wouldn't---provide people with Playstations and MTV.*

Why life was singularly uninteresting, entertaining, etc. and naturally people felt envious of the west, instead of the other way around.

: Let me get this straight.

: The state should provide all manner of commodities, even to those who don't work.

Free associations of producers would provide commodities to anyone who could pay for them. Work is seperated from remmuneration yes.

:The working class you so often dismiss will not be involved in producing these commodities. Who, pray tell, will make them?

What? I dismiss the Marxist religious inclination to dream up a honourable and saintly proletariat. People who are greedy, who dont say yeah I've got my wages as is due to me through citizenship now how can I earn more.

: You haven't envisioned any sort of socialism other than a naive utopian one:


: Hence, mish-mash allowing the most manifold shades of opinion; a mish-mash of such critical statements, economic theories, pictures of future society by the founders of different sects, as excite a minimum of opposition; a mish-mash which is the more easily brewed the more the definite sharp edges of the individual constituents are rubbed down in the stream of debate, like rounded pebbles in a brook.(1)


This, of course, makes it illegitimate?

: _______________

: * Lark: I'm thinking about the reasons why people in the east saw the west as such a utopia that they over turned state communism and aside from political liberty etc. I suspect the thriving entertainment industry had something to do with it, where as all they could do was attend authoritarian military parades.

: Where does your information about the fall of the U.S.S.R. come from? Time magazine?

No, I'm thinking that if I was in that situation what would I do, why would I favour the west.

: As Gorbachev stated in Perestroika, he planned to 'make heavy cuts in the managerial apparatus' and transfer power 'from the center to the localities' (Harper & Row 1987, p. 91). Furthermore, reversing long-time policy, he insisted that 'Soviet trade unions have the right to monitor managerial compliance with labor contracts, the right to criticize management, and even the right to demand that a director who fails to comply with the legitimate interests of the working people be removed from office' (p. 114, my emphasis). In other words, Gorbachev intended to institute democratic decentralization---as proposed by Lenin in Revolution and the State---and give real power to the people. Now, the fall of the U.S.S.R. becomes somewhat more credible than vulgar theories about Western consumer abundance!

why didn't they favour Gorbies decentralist state socialism to western decadence? Why wherent people in the west crying for reform to restruction the west into the soviet union?

: Please see Kotz and Weir's recent Revolution From Above: the Demise of the Soviet System for substantiating evidence that the U.S.S.R.'s managerial apparatus, threatened by the impending (Leninist) decentralization and democracy, threw their support behind capitalism---in order to retain the previous hierarchy and their concomitant privileges.

Fair enough, I suspect claims that leninism is decentralist and democratic though.

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