cj#1020> re: What is socialism?

1999-11-26

Richard Moore

Dear cj,

In cj#1017, Austin <•••@••.•••> had said:
    ...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
    described?


To which I said:
    I ... agree that in an _industrialized society, an interim
    revolutionary system would by necessity resemble what has
    gone under the name of socialism.

    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?


Below are the responses which came in.  After those I'll comment.

rkm

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 10:22:52 -0800 (PST)
To: •••@••.•••
From: "John H.St.John" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#1017> re: Why class struggle isn't where it's at...

Socialism is when the tools of production are in the hands
of the government.

Corporatism is when the tools of production are in the claws
of a corporation robot.

Cooperativism is when the tools of production are in the
hands of the producers.

John

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: "cosmic13" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#1017> re: Why class struggle isn't where it's at...
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 12:50:49 -0600

Excellent example being set for the rest of the world - of
fusion of some of the best aspects of "Socialism", combined
with some of the best aspects of "Capitalism"  is -
Mondragon Worker-Equity Collective, in Nothern Spain. Highly
egalitarian for workers and communities, AND incorporates
most progressive of "Least Hierarchical Corporate Mgt.
Principles", where all workers have delegates to all of the
key mgt. committees. 1000's of laid-off workers are now
employed there, with very low-interest-rate loans available
for required "worker-equity-buy-in".  With vested workers,
much higher motivation levels, result in  production and
quality surpassing most "Classical Corporate Competition".
They also exist largely outside of any "Capitalistic
Stockmarket Manipulators".

In Solidarity -

Rich Wenzel

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 20:01:52 -0600
From: aat <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#1017> re: Why class struggle isn't where it's at...

I'd be inclined to let the masters define it.

>From the manifesto, part 2, 1848:

(...)

Nevertheless, in most advanced countries, the following will be pretty
generally applicable.

  1.  Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of
      land to public purposes.

  2.  A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

  3.  Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

  4.  Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

  5.  Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a
      national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

  6.  Centralization of the means of communication and transport in he
      hands of the state.

 7.  Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the
     state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the
     improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

 8.  Equal obligation of all to work.  Establishment of industrial
     armies, especially for agriculture.

 9.  Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual
     abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a
     more equable distribution of the populace over the country.

 10. Free education for all children in public schools.  Abolition of
     children's factory labor in its present form.  Combination of
     education with industrial production, etc.

When, in the course of development, class distinctions have
disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the
hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public
power will lose its political character.  Political power,
properly so called, is merely the organized power of one class
for oppressing another.  If the proletariat during its contest
with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of
circumstances, to organize itself as a class; if, by means of a
revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such,
sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it
will, along with these conditions, have swept away the
conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes
generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as
a class.

In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and
class antagonisms, we shall have an association in which the
free development of each is the condition for the free
development of all.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

rkm>

Yikes!  I had no idea socialism was this bad!  It sounds worse than
capitalism!  If this is socialism I want no part of it.  No inheritance at
all?  We can't even own our own homes or small farms?  Drafting into
industrial armies??

When I suggest that we want to borrow the good ideas from socialism, I
think more of the Scandanavian model, not this marxist one (assuming the
quotes are accurate).

The "Mondragon Worker-Equity Collective" sounds very interesting.  We need
to use the best ideas from different sources, as they seem to be doing.
And we should welcome local diversity.  There's no reason why a solution
that makes sense in Spain would also be ideal for Australia, New Guinea, or
Minnesota.

---

Below is a weird message someone sent me.  I don't know if it's a spoof or
what.

rkm


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