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

From: howard engelskirchen <>
Date: Thu May 05 2011 - 14:26:22 EDT

Hi Jerrry,

Now you simplify don't you? That something is really possible doesn't mean
it immediately is.

You are right that the goal is common control over the conditions and
processes of production by associated workers who actually play a fully
participative role; the aspiration of socialists is not for social
arrangements where laboring producers are ruled over. We are not after a
concentration and centralization of political power, a goal that tracks the
dynamic of capital, but instead an associated coordination of powers,
plural. The ambition of socialism is not captured by an emptying of
separate individual autonomies on some one institutional other the way an
employee surrenders autonomy to an employer, but instead by a gathering of
social individuals empowered by their association.

But we start from where we are. Representation, a form of separation, is
where we start, and folks gather in economic, social and political
organizations to provide leadership to others and to fight for it. If we
act without illusion, then we must be just as realistic about the political
and social separations we inherit as we are about the material separations
that have shaped the economic institutions we endure. Again, the relevant
question just now is not whether power gets exercised by some on behalf of
others, but whether there is attention to the dynamics of separation, a
commitment to confronting them, blunting them and ovecoming them, and also
some measureable advance along a path that actually does these things.
Someone can speak for me once without this reflecting habits of separation;
if they do so every time, that's a different story. We can ask the question
posed by Kimberle Crenshaw in her attention to intersectionality: have we
listened first to those burdened with multiple oppressions? Oscar Wilde
said the trouble with socialism is that it takes too many evenings; we'll
notice progres when some contemporary jokes it takes too much training. I
mean by this full participation takes training, and for many of us, first of
all in listening.


----- Original Message -----
From: "GERALD LEVY" <>
To: "Outline on Political Economy mailing list" <>
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 9:56 PM
Subject: Re: [OPE] market - and other kinds of - socialism

> * * *
> In any event, aren't we in favor of the working class having power rather
> than
> merely a 'vanguard party' which claims to represent the interests of the
> working class? One of the lessons which we should have drawn from the
> history
> of the XXth Century is that if an elite governs in the name of the working
> class then this means that the interests of the working class, which
> include
> self-rule, are not well represented. We shouldn't be in favor of any
> vision
> of socialism, imo, in which the working class is ruled OVER.
> In solidarity, Jerry
> _______________________________________________
> ope mailing list

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Received on Thu May 5 14:26:54 2011

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