[OPE-L:5853] Re: Re: Hello and Kliman's cat

Allin Cottrell (cottrell@ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu)
Thu, 18 Dec 1997 10:51:16 -0500 (EST)

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On Wed, 17 Dec 1997, Gerald Levy wrote:

> But Jurriaan and/or Allin might have had something else in
> mind. What is it?

What I had in mind is the idea Paul has put forward, namely that
the NHS is an example of a communist institution, athough it
exists (existed?) within a social formation in which the
capitalist mode of production remained dominant. The NHS was
not a "concession" granted by somebody or other. It was very
deliberately planned and implemented by the political
representatives of British labour, at a time when the political
power of labour in Britain was at its zenith (to date). The
striking thing is how popular it was -- how even the "middle
classes" came to see it as an object of national pride, and as
clearly the "rational and fair" way of providing medical
services. If one "disowns" such phenomena -- saying they may be
all very well but have nothing to do with communism -- then, as
I think Juriaan was saying, one ends up giving the impression
that communism is as remote as the stars.

Allin Cottrell
Department of Economics
Wake Forest University, NC