[OPE-L:5889] Re: Re: communism

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 23 Dec 1997 09:22:20 -0500 (EST)

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Paul C wrote on Tue, 23 Dec:

> That the bourgeoisie was forced to introduce such communist elements
> to the economy remains a source or regret to its more class concious
> members.

I don't think that the capitalist class violated their class interests by
supporting public education. They gained something from the arrangement as
well, e.g. increased skill levels, docility, etc. for future
wage=-earners. I think that it would be more accurate, historically and
logically, to say that the ruling class can be divided over this question.

(NB1: One should also remember that educational institutions perform an
important ideological mission for capital, one that would not be as well
served by private education).

(NB2: one should also consider reforms such as public education in terms
of the "legitimation" of the state).

Let's also remember that capitalists supported other reforms that violate
the logic of the marketplace but may serve the interests of capital as a
whole, e.g. public firefighting (and police! ... and "defense"!). These
are all services that could in theory be provided by the private sector
but would be provided inefficiently and/or "unfairly".

Returning to the NHS, who paid for health insurance for wage-earners
beforehand? Wasn't it *individual capitalists*? For those capitalists who
previously paid-out these benefits to companies for health insurance, this
reform benefited *them*. Also note that in the transition to the NHS,
wage-earners were expected to pick-up part of the cost via a deduction in
their paychecks. That doesn't sound so bad for capital, does it? The
biggest "losers", after all, were some of the private doctors and
hospitals -- not the capitalists as a whole. [btw, it's the lobby by
doctors, etc. that has prevented national health insurance in the US].

In solidarity, Jerry