- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Let me know what you unearth.

Posted by: Lark on October 29, 1999 at 17:00:02:

In Reply to: connections posted by Gee on October 29, 1999 at 13:03:57:

: I don't think you do though - well, I cant judge that for you ofcourse, but I think your posts often interject a more 'free spirited' and less orthodox socialism into the debate. A mix of reformist and Proudhon anarchist if you will.

Well I'd be closest to Chomsky his book Class Warfare is unusual in that he makes the point that he is an anarchist and then supports reform, What Uncle Sam Really Wants is written in a similar vein, an outline of Socialism as workers self-management and an indictment of Soviet Union statism and then an explanation of how people can pressurise their representatives and increase the participatory nature of conventional, relative, democracy.

Or Bernard Crick who wrote a fanatastic book called In Defence of Politics, in which he decries the lack of tolerance in politics, anti-political mindsets on the left and right (it includes an explaination of the extent to which hayekian philosophy had penetrated russia endangering the very free exchange of political views), asks everyone to lose the real prejudiced attitudes that they have on the left and right of the political spectrum and then includes a detailed chapter on Socialism. None Marxist libertarian socialism.

: Whilst I agree that you, or RD, would not encourage or be party to the kind Leninism / Moaism that developed in other countries my very real contention is that unless virtually *everybody* is in absolute agreement with socialism and what it requires then the results are either a reversion to mixed-economy 'westernism' or a clampdown of authoritarian enforcement of skewed statist socialism.

Well given that on this very page tankies have declared their membership of the DSA an organisation that I find broadly agreeable because it is an association rather than a party, doesnt require strict obediance and appears steeped in civil libertarianism, I think it is a very, very necessary task to fight prejudice and promote free politics amongst socialist encouraging them to quit the marxist camps and all associated authoritarianism. It might be an idea to conduct a similar exercise among libertarians Gee, or else we may be left with a stateless market despotism and an army of apologists saying at least it isnt Russia, China, WW2 Germany.

: When I do read those posts they seem to be about details of what happened in Kerala or 1930s germany, what some subdivision of Trotskyists did 30 years ago and so forth - I have to admit that I dont really know enough about it to comment fully.

I'll be really honest here there is an authoritarian strain of socialism, which has received some mortal wounds since the collapse of it's earthly incarnation in Russia through political fatigue, that is, like all despotism it became incredibly unpopular and once reform was effected to allow greater freedom the people decided they wouldnt have it anymore. It is possible that this is where the association between facism and communism came from, or possibly Mussolini's change from Communist Party hack to Facist leader but why is it being wheeled out as unexceptional fact when it is clearly a generalisation.

I find it an incult personally and really dogmatic to insist this is the way it is it's never going to be any different when people like me or RD or his party, even though it's not that popular, are living proof that this is wrong.

: Perhaps I should go study some material to see if there is a reason for this stated connection between communism and fascism.

Let me know what you unearth.

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