[OPE-L:1333] Re: Political economy of socialism

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Date: Thu Sep 23 1999 - 08:29:11 EDT

Brief comments by David and Paul C lead me to respond --

Jurriaan wrote:

> 1. It's a law of human psychology that you cannot achieve a goal unless
> you can clearly specify what it is.

I question whether this has been the case historically. It seems to me
that many movements historically had a very different "goal" at the outset
than was realized afterwards.

What of "learning by doing", for example?

In any event, there is no reason to believe that whatever "goal" (by
which, I take it you mean a detailed outline of the operation of a
socialist economy) we (or the working-class) identify today will be the
same goal that is identified in the future (both before and following an
insurrection). What is not appreciated above is that it will be lessons
learned during the struggle for socialism which will modify what we want.

And let us not forget that it will be the citizens in a post-revolutionary
society who will ultimately have to concretize the goals concerning the
operation of a socialist economy. Unless you want to take away their
right to *self-determination*, then you must allow them -- in the
(hopefully not so distant) future -- the right to decide a lot of the
questions and answers.

Furthermore, I am wary of the idea that this task should be left to the
academics and theoreticians of today. Of course, we can think about it.
Yet, the "goal" will have to be expressed by the international
working-class rather than a small elite of intellectuals.

In solidarity, Jerry

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