anticipation of demand

tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu
Sat Nov 5 06:22:07 MST 1994


Steve,
I would not trace Stalinism merely to heavy industrialization policies.  Nor
do I completely share Andrew's belief that we will wipe out all specialization
(this I too find a bit disturbing, not to break ranks, because there's a lot
of Andrew's stuff that I really like; I really enjoy his optimism and idealism,
and I myself am idealist always in aims, but hopefully never in analysis).

I believe that Bolshevism went wrong for the following reasons, most of which
were political.  In the first place, there wan indeed the imperialist
encirclement. Yet this by itself was no excuse. For revolutions will tend
to occur, as Lenin and trotsky themselves point out, in backward and
intermediate societies: thus there will be encirclement.  The problem was
in the Bolsheviks' response.  Rather than evolve a political  strategy
democratic enough to permit them and their system to remain sane enough and
rational enough, long enough to create standing policies in the Comintern to
break out eventually of this encirclement, via European revoution rather than
fascism, they quickly, because of their beholdenness to Kautsky's andChernyshevsky's
/other Populists' statist ideas of vanguardism, which were in effect a call
for a one-party workers despotism.  This effectively attempted to abolish
politics in the Soviet Union.  And as Luxemburg shows in her pamphlet,
the
Russian Revolution, this only means that politics comes back in the form of
a fearsomely gargantuous bureaucracy.  Thus Lenin becomes increadingly
obsessed  with the question of who debureaucratizes and decorrupts the corrupt
bureaucracy he has spawned, and comes up with--more bureaucracy.

If we want a model of planning that works, we have to go back to the Paris
Commune and Marx's writings about it, a model which fully involves popular
decision-making and political conflict in the planning process. Paul C.
has shown to my satisfaction that my idealistic notion that computers can
successfully augment such a democratic process--carried out in national, regional
, and local assemblies as well as workers' soviets and factory councils.

Here's my model of democratic planning, Justin/Steve.  It cannot be proven,
because we live in a political world where the bourgeoisie has prevented its
application, and the Bolsheviks, who had the chance, BLEW IT, because of th
ideological blinders.


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