- Capitalism and Alternatives -

A foreign body in Socialism, a partical that just drifted in and embedded itself.

Posted by: Lark on November 01, 1999 at 17:02:56:

What am I talking about? About dictatorship, why is it a tenant of socialist thought in some varieties (that includes the idea that a participatory party monopoly is better than conventional democracy)?

I mean consider the state from a truly egalitarian point of view and you cant have it, it's a source of rank and privilege like the market, the only possible way in which it can be justified is by the Rawlsian theory that all inequalities that serve the very least in society (EG by providing motivation to progress or resulting from that necessary to functionality) must be tolerates while reduced, I mean we should even be suspsicious of the necessary inequality.

Consider the state from the other pillar of socialism, libertarianism, and again it appears as a necessary evil, necessary in that a police force if it proves necessary should be accountable rather than a private force in the pay of the rich (I appreciate this isnt even the case at present but by reform or revolution that can be changed).

So where does the idea that dictatorship is useful at all come from? Well I've been reading Machavelli's discourses, a major republican work based on a study and appraisal of the the republics of ancient Rome, and I think that the fact that when socialism emerged from the french revolution it had both anarchist/semi-anarchist democrats and republican, with the republicans consequently dominating, that the notion of dictatorship isnt a socialist tenant but a republican one.

I mean the republican notion in Rome was that liberty could be suspended in times of emergency, dictatorships of necessity where excusable, but that if a dictatorship threatened to live to long dictators where fair game for any patriots. This temporary or provisional dictatorship seems to have been exactly what Marx was talking about and when you consider that in normal times in Rome there existed no politics, not really, it appears like an embryotic provisional dictatorship like Marx's suggestion.

While republics are favourable to monarchies I think there's a lot in these theories that we could do without, this being a case in point.

A City Under Siege Still Needs Liberty.

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