Hayek, USSR, and All that...

Postmodern Enterprises quilty at philos.umass.edu
Tue Sep 27 11:05:20 MDT 1994


*  >>>>>>>>  LULU REPLIES....  <<<<<<<<<
Paul W. Cockshott
.On Tue, 27 Sep 1994 SCIABRRC at ACFcluster.NYU.EDU wrote:
-* .>      Paul also suggests that the Communist revolution was not
-* .> "a terrible disaster," and he looks to "the millions of
-* .> soviet workers who fought fascism to defend socialism" as one
-* .> of the sparkling achievements of the Soviets.

-* .Most proletarian activists are now in the third world. Go to India
-* .or to Turkey or South Africa and you will find amoung the communists
-* .there an attitude to the USSR and to Lenin and Stalin that may seem
-* .incomprehensible to you, but is a perfectly understandable outcome
-* .of a quite different life experience.
-* .This economy which was apparently a shambles had during the 30s
-* .the highest rate of economic growth ever attained by any country
-* .for a comparable period.

This is one of the things paved over in the rejoinders on the death of
communism.  It's unfortunate that many leftist buy into it also.  I.e.
There is a quite false claim that since Stalinism, etc. had their obvious
shortfalls, they don't show how successful "true socialism" can be.  Well
aside from just what "true socialism" might be like, the experiments in
actually existing socialism have been overwhealming economic successes,
and have ameliortated the immiseration of the working classes
enormously.  The 70-some years of the Soviet "socialist" effort saw
people in better health, with longer lifespans, and more material comfort
than either the pre-revolutionary period, or most starkly than this
period of counter-revolution.  Even stronger examples come from the
obvious comparisons of China w/ India, or Cuba with demographically and
ecologically similar Latin American countries.  In 1949 India was a bit
better off in China.  After the revolution, until the "market reforms" of
the 1980s, China increased the living standards of the Chinese quite
enormously, while India stagnated or showed very moderate improvements.
The case with Cuba is even stronger.  Once marketization happens in any
of these places, poverty and starvation accompany it.  Basically, the
moral has to be that socialist central planning is simply better than
markets in the narrowest economic terms, just as long as you focus on
anyone poorer than the capital-owning ruling class.

Oh, yes.  By way of introduction, since this is my first post to this
group.  I'm one of those academics... a philosopher, of all things.  I do
some Marxist philosophy (mostly fond of Althusser, and for completely
different reasons, Adorno), and also some of that funny French
"post-structuralist" stuff, and some other miscellany.

Yours, Lulu...


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