[OPE-L:1334] Re: Re: Political economy of socialism

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu)
Date: Thu Sep 23 1999 - 10:10:13 EDT

On Thu, 23 Sep 1999, Gerald Levy wrote:

> 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.

Naturally, but the point is that there ain't going to be any
revolution unless people have some idea in advance of what they
hope to achieve thereby, and how it's going to be better than
what currently exists.

> 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.

Socialist theorists today certainly can't _legislate_ what
socialism will look like, even if they wanted to. The point is
not to bind the future, but to enable it.

The notion that the revolution will come of itself, and we can
leave thinking about the nature of socialism till afterwards, is
completely untenable. For all but a tiny minority of
intellectuals today, "socialism" simply means something that was
tried, and failed horribly, in the middle two quarters of the
twentieth century. Why would anyone want to make a revolution
to re-establish that?

Allin Cottrell.

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