in defense of planned socialism

tgs at tgs at
Sun Nov 6 07:24:13 MST 1994

Andrew (in response to Justin)

I got some points, which might be helpful or no:

1) Its not necessary to do away completely with private property.  It's
only necessary to do away with private property in the means of production
to the extent that this means the ownership of other people's labor-power/
product of labor.  All the rest, if people WANT to do away with it, can
wither away gradually as consumption becomes more collective/electronic.
For example, once there is a musical or video information highway which is
no longer commodified, I can't imagine having to buy all these CD's,
having to lug them around whenever I move (along with all my friggin' books,
bookcases,etc.), if I can just use a portable machine to call up any cultural
artifact I want from the electronic master library.

2) It's not necessary right away to do away completely with specialization.
Certainly, we're going to make all these lazy Ph.D.'s (again, JUST KIDDING)
clean out the toilets along with the rest of us.  But that doesn't mean people
won't specialize in something they really love.  Since necessary labor time
is withering away, I think that craft is going to explode, not go away.

It's not necessary to rely upon what Marx would have termed "crude communist"
measures, homogenizing our interests to make us all virtuous, a la the
greate "ascetic revolutions" (See Bruce Mazlich, the Ascetic REvolutionary, on
Cromwell, Robespierre, Lenin, and Mao), to make socialism work.  Socialism will
certainly NOT work under such circumstances, for then, you give power away to
the ascetic leaders, who are inevitably holier than you or I.

Socialism is based upon collective political, social, and economic structures,
upon collective decision-making, wherever and whenever possible. For example,
the only solution for large firms which employ many workers is for  those workers
to take over their factories and to make decisions about those factories in
conjunction with some more central state body--the soviets and democratic
assemblies. But I am not for collectivizing the little guys right away. I am
for making state loans  to them conditional upon greater cooperation among
themselves, I am for having the large worker owned firms competing against them
until they learn to cooperate, I am for propagandizing and  buiding association
 m\among the women and children within their famillies in order to undermine
screaming why did you do that you little shit I'm goimg to beat you up darling
wife patriarchy which is common among such firms.

3) You are absolutely right to insist that we vote every month, at the very least.
Those who don't want to, don't have to, they can fuck off (Oops, there I go
again.  From now on I'll use words like poo-poo and tinkle).  AS for my
vote getting swamped in a sea of a million others, that's why serious democrat,
rather than someone trying to strawman democracy, is for decentralization.

to quote Taylor in Planet of the Apes: Keep em flying--the flags of rebellion


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