[OPE-L:1338] Re: Re: Re: Political economy of socialism

From: Michael J Williams (michael@williamsmj.screaming.net)
Date: Fri Sep 24 1999 - 06:34:53 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: Allin Cottrell <cottrell@ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu>
To: <ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu>
Sent: Thursday, September 23, 1999 3:10 PM
Subject: [OPE-L:1334] Re: Re: Political economy of socialism

> 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?

But for relevance to this debate about theoretical pre-figuration, the
interesting issue vis-a-vis Soviet style systems is whether their
catastrophic failure is to be partially predicated on the notion of lack of
theoretical prefiguration ex ante, on 'excessive' theoretical
pre-figuration, or indeed on neither.

My take would be that we can best avoid being party to future such
catastrophes by building our politics on careful and detailed critique of
the existing capitalist system, and how we can alleviate its inequities in
ways most conducive to opening up paths to on-going emancipation of the
dispossed, rather than by constructing more utopias that threaten ex post to
be dystopic.




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