dual systems (to Justin from Tom)

tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu
Tue Nov 8 16:09:21 MST 1994


Justin,

I think we're basically in agreement on the main points in this discussion.

to follow up, and extend my analogy with other adaptations:
Language is important.  To use words like exploitation and imperialism
in their broad sense is fine--in ordinary conversation.  But in political
economy, we need to define them narrowly.  here is another example:
during the Hitler-Stalin pact, Schachtman et al. concluded that Stalinism
was "imperialist" like Nazism.  Well, very broadly, yes, but narrowly, no.
Yes, the Stalinist bureaucracy sought to expand their territory--in order
to defend their societies and thus their own careers and necks against imperi
ism.  But there is nothing in the inner drive of Stalinism, as there is with
capitalism, which can serve as the kind of expansionist motivation which leads
to world conquest and war.  To confuse the narrow with the broad, here, too,
is to make dangerous confusion and to get sucked in to liberal anti-communist
ideology: Soviet Union, and now Serbia, which is not even Stalinist anymore, as
"evil empire."


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