Re: [OPE] market - and other kinds of - socialism

Date: Thu May 05 2011 - 09:34:39 EDT

> Social democratic parties, or significant portions of them, have at certain
> historical periods been serious about socialism.

Hi Paul C:

It may be that there are some exceptions, but it has been a VERY LONG TIME
since social democratic parties were serious about socialism.

> There is anyway, outside of the Jungles of India, no real difference between
> Communist and Social Democratic parties in their basic mode of operation,
> they both participate in elections, both link to the trades unions, and
> both organise legal and orderly protests.

After the downfall of the USSR, many CPs BECAME social democratic parties.
This is most clearly the case in Eastern European nations.

> As soon as such a party starts standing for election the issue arises as
> to what its economic programme will be.
Yes, but why are they standing for election? If it's to win the election
- as is often the aspiration of social democratic parties - then they
don't have to explain anything at all about socialism. What they will
have to explain is their economic program for the 'here-and-now', i.e.
capitalism. In practice, this usually means advancing a program calling for
increased funding by the government for social welfare programs, more progressive
taxation, more regulation, more economic rights for workers (including,
possibly, co-determination in industry) and some kind of planning (such
as industrial policy and/or 'medium term' macro planning a la Sweden [more a
kind of a 'goal' specified by the government in consultation with capital
than a real planning mechanism]). In other words, they don't have to -
and usually don't - advance a socialist program but rather a program for
social reform under capitalism.
In, on the other hand, it's a smaller party which is using the elections as
an educational vehicle for explaining their programme to working people,
then it certainly makes sense for them to also specify a socialist programme.
i.e. a vision of how an alternative, socialist society would be organized
(and, also, explaining the problems associated with the conception of
'evolutionary socialism' and how working people will have to eventually surpass
a parliamentary process of change).
In solidarity, Jerry
ope mailing list
Received on Thu May 5 09:35:33 2011

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