[OPE-L:5883] Re: communism

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Mon, 22 Dec 1997 08:26:11 -0500 (EST)

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Paul C wrote on Mon, 22 Dec:

> Public education is also a communist element of the economy. Consider
> the real transformation of social relations that would be entailed
> were it abolished and replaced entirely by for profit education
> paid for out of fees.

I don't think that this form of "null hypothesis" reasoning is valid in
this case. E.g. if regulations due to the presence of "market failure"
were eliminated, this would not mean that "communist elements" of the
economy would be eliminated. Rather, deregulation would represent a
victory for the more reactionary (neo-liberal) wing of the capitalist
class. In the case of what we call public education, this was a reform
which was supported not only by the working-class (and the peasantry in
some countries), but also by a section of the bourgeoisie (and public
education continues to be supported, albeit inconsistently and
inadequately, by the majority of the ruling class). If public education
is communist than are other reforms under capitalism, such as the
abolition of slavery, communist as well? I think not.

In solidarity, Jerry