[OPE-L:5869] Re: Hello and Kliman's cat

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Fri, 19 Dec 1997 12:52:09 -0500 (EST)

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Allin wrote on Thu, 18 Dec:

> 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).

It will come as quite a shock to the traditionally anti-communist
social democrats in the leadership of the Labour Party that they were the
architects of communist institutions!

Is public education also a communist institution?

> 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.

If one, however, claims that they are "communist elements", then the
spectre of communism under capitalism becomes a possibility.

At issue, I suppose, is the role of liberalism and social democracy
under capitalism.

btw, I don't "disown" national health insurance (in fact, I wish I had
it!) any more than I "disown" public education.

In solidarity, Jerry