[OPE-L:5875] Re: communism

Allin Cottrell (cottrell@ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu)
Sat, 20 Dec 1997 16:09:01 -0500 (EST)

[ show plain text ]

On Fri, 19 Dec 1997, Jerry wrote:

> > What I had in mind is the idea Paul has put forward, namely that
> > the NHS is an example of a communist institution...
> 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!

Yes. Just as it came a shock to Moliere's Bourgeois Gentilhomme
to learn that he had been speaking prose for 40 years.

> Is public education also a communist institution?

It was one of the proposals of the Manifesto: "Free education
for all children in public schools". But there's room for
debate, since one can argue that a lot of what goes on during
school hours has more to do with learning obedience than with
the acquisition of knowledge and the development of talents.

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

I don't see it as a worry, that elements of communism might
develop in a society still dominated by capitalism. They will,
however, be somewhat "distorted" (public education) and/or
reversible (the National Health Service).

Allin Cottrell
Department of Economics
Wake Forest University, NC