============================================================================ Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2000 22:33:19 -0700 To: •••@••.••• From: Randy Schutt <•••@••.•••> Subject: Re: cj#1080,rn> "How do we get to this 'democratic renaissance'?" Richard, I couldn't have said it better myself. In fact, I couldn't have said it half as well. So I'm glad you said it. Great work!! --Randy http://www.vernalproject.org ============================================================================ From: "Vadim Bondar" <•••@••.•••> To: •••@••.••• Subject: Re: cj#1080,rn> "How do we get to this 'democratic renaissance'?" Date: Wed, 05 Apr 2000 03:18:23 EDT Hi Richard, A very, very good article. A few notes: 1. Before Marx "socialism" used to mean the highest aspirations for a human society. Now, unfortunately, it is often a marketing name for the leftist intellectual constructions. 2. I think it is becoming more evident that people moved beyond the point of individual leaders telling them what to do and how to think. 3. I like your dynamic view of the revolution. Cheers, Vadim. ============================================================================ From: •••@••.••• Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 23:51:31 EDT Subject: Re: cj#1080,rn> "How do we get to this 'democratic renaissance'?" To: •••@••.••• MIME-Version: 1.0 rkm wrote: we need an economic framework that uses resources responsibly, serves the needs of people, and does not concentrate wealth into the hands of a few. This is obviously incompatible with capitalism, but it is not an ideology Perhaps the end results per se do not represent an ideology, but the mechanism for producing those results would be an ideology. You can talk about how nice it would be to have a means of transportation in which people can sit and ride around the city rolling on wheels, etc. and say this is not a "system" (ideology), but of course it's a system, called the combustion engine, or automobiles. The automobiles would not have come into existence without the scientific systems underlying it; they were not created by a large group of people with good intentions but no design, science, system, etc. Bill Blum ========== Dear Bill, My own understanding of what 'ideology' means was changed radically by a book I read by John Ralston Saul, "The Unconscious Society". He made his point by contasting Socrates with Plato. Plato was an ideologue - he busied himself designing the 'perfect system' for society. He used the name 'Socrates' in some of his dialogs, but it was Plato speaking, not Socrates. Socrates himself was a _questioner... whatever ideology you presented him with, he would poke holes in. Plato was an elitist; he didn't trust in people. With his 'superior' intellect, he wanted to invent what was 'best' for others and then, explicitly or implicitly, impose it on them. Socrates believed in people and encouraged them to think and to question for themselves. Socrates didn't leave us an ideology, but he left us with the essential core of democracy - thinking for ourselves and not trusting our lives to leaders or systems. This is the sense in which I now understand the world 'ideology'. An ideology is in some sense 'closed' - it claims to have all the answers and its adherents are drawn toward coercing others to adopt - or at least accede to - the dictates of that ideology. Its extreme forms are exemplified by religious fundamentalism, fascism, or neoliberalism. Science itself has become today an 'ideology', and calling someone 'unscientific' is a form of ridicule. Obviously science - as a method - has much to offer. But as an ideology, it becomes oppressive. It denies values and knowledge which cannot be readily quantified and measured. To my way of thinking, this leaves out what is most essential about life and about humanity. Are love or compassion 'scientific'? rkm ============================================================================ From: "Diana and Jeff Jewell" <•••@••.•••> To: <•••@••.•••> Cc: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••> Subject: Democracy/Marxism Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2000 10:14:23 -0700 Bill Blum wrote: I just read your remark: "I realize that many Marxist analysts would reject democracy and want a brand-new system". As a Marxist, I must say that I don't understand what you mean. Since when are Marxists against democracy? Are you by chance confusing democracy with capitalism? Bill, your points are well taken. What I meant to convey was that Marxists seem so fixated on replacing capitalism [which, in my humble opinion is about as likely to occur in our lifetimes as is the sudden meltdown of the polar ice caps] that they are unwilling to settle for working to achieve real democracy. As to any offense taken by Marxist analysts, while it must be acknowledged that they've never rejected democracy, it should also be recognized by one and all that communism as it has been known in the real world has never had the confidence or commitment to actually try real democracy [at least not on a national scale]. Moreover, as antithetical to democracy as capitalism is by its very nature, one could still believe that real democracy -- if and when that may be achieved -- could render the practice of capitalism into something that would serve society better than anything yet experienced by humankind. But the practice of a Marxist 'solution' -- that would first require the smashing of capitalism before democracy could be indulged in -- is a proven recipe for dismal failure and mass rejection. =============== Dear Diana & Jeff, I must respectfully disagree with your assumptions. For one thing, I don't think your summarization of communism acknowledges the success Cuba has had with grass-roots democracy. But more important, I don't think you are understanding the nature of capitalism. You are falling into the trap, I fear, of thinking you need to choose between two competing _ideologies: capitalism and marxism. There are infinite other economic possibilities, and room for different choices in different societies. Capitalism cannot be reformed - it must be ended - and people are beginning to wake up to that fact. But that does not mean we need to choose communism, socialism, or any other ism (ideology). Capitalism is not the same as free enterprise - it is a very specialized ideology which offers the accumulation of wealth as the only economic value, and which demands that economics dominate all other societal values. rkm ============================================================================ Richard K Moore Wexford, Ireland Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance email: •••@••.••• CDR website: http://cyberjournal.org cyberjournal archive: http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/ book in progress: http://cyberjournal.org/cdr/gri.html A community will evolve only when the people control their means of communication. -- Frantz Fanon Permission for non-commercial republishing hereby granted - BUT include and observe all restrictions, copyrights, credits, and notices - including this one. ============================================================================ .