cj#1017> re: Why class struggle isn’t where it’s at…


Richard Moore

Dear cj,

I hope this posting gets to you.  I'm posting indirectly via another
account while I'm visiting my family on  Kauai.

Will be in San Francisco from Jan 12 to Feb 12.  Write to me if you might
want to get together.


Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 22:11:00 -0600
From: aat <•••@••.•••>
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Subject: Re: cj#1014> Why class struggle isn't where it's at...

Dear cj,

First let me say that your work is greatly appreciated, and I
find watching you develop your theories as satisfying as
watching a tank of graceful, colorful, exotic tropical fish.
I wish you well.

In your answer to X, who is being cajoled to accept Marxism, you
answer, correctly I'd say, that the real issue is democracy vs.
hierarchical control. Would you agree that this could also be
stated as 'democracy vs fascism' - and that these are two opposing
political systems? Whereas 'socialism vs capitalism' might more
precisely be considered as two opposing economic systems?

The US media revels in opposing communism (socialism) to
democracy and I find this irritating because I think they are
different beasts and should not be compared.

I would say generally, ideally, but perhaps too simplisticly,
that democracy is complimentary to socialism, and fascism is
complimentary to capitalism.  In their purest forms, that's the
way they seem to me to fit best.  I know it doesn't always work
out that way in the real world.  That is true probably mainly
because whenever we see a socialist government established,
capitalism ensures that this government endure any of a number
of hardships which it pulls from it's bag of tricks.  The
socialist government is then under pressure to compromise
principles, do capitalistic things, in order to survive.  Cuba
today is a good example of this - though I think Fidel is doing
a very decent job, all considered.

My point is then, when you say:

 >what we need to do is replace the industrial-growth system
 >itself.  We all together need to move on to a new system.  No
 >one is going to take over someone else's job - we're all getting
 >new jobs in a new regime

 >So my focus is really on how we can achive bottom-up democracy
 >where there are no positions of power.  I would be willing to
 >trust the people to work out their economics on a case by case

I see this is a long term economic goal, and it may well be
feasible, but when we inherit (the mildest word handy) this
industrialized behemoth, we won't be able to chop it all up into
mom and pop enterprises tomorrow.  There will have to be an
interim economic system, part of which would almost certainly
have to endure permanently.  Would you agree that this economic
system should be a socialism similar to that which Marx




Dear Austin,

Thanks for a particularly cogent and sensitive reply.

I agree that the attempt to contrast "democracy" with "socialism" is
propaganda, as is the attempt to equate "democracy" with "capitalism".

I also agree that in an _industrialized society, an interim revolutionary
system would by necessity resemble what has gone under the name of

Before taking this conversation any further however, I think it is about
time someone take the trouble to define 'socialism'.  Do you want to give
it a shot?  Anyone else?