Hayek, USSR, and All that.. (fwd)

eugeneh eugeneh at HUMANITIES1.COHUMS.OHIO-STATE.EDU
Wed Sep 28 10:57:30 MDT 1994


     Wes wrote (in a response to an earlier posting) that


 It is awfully clear that Marx was not a big fan of democracy, that the
U.S. is both a fully functioning democracy and a repressive/exploitative
society, and that any imagined overthrow of international capitalism is
going to have to involve crushing the middle class values which support
the democratic system.


     But I think it's important to distinguish the (kind of) democratic
     system that exists in the U.S. from democracy as a principle of social
     organization.  The U.S. system is NOT a fully functioning democracy;
     it is at best a *representative* democracy in which the mechanisms of
     representation are thoroughly subverted and controlled by the power of
     money, by capital.  Marx was certainly no big fan of the kinds of
     "democracatic system" instituted in Europe and the Americas, but he
     was not against democracy per se (as a principle of social
     organization); on the contrary, he can be read as intent on
     *realizing* democracy by putting an end to class domination and
     placing productive activity in the hands of the producers themselves
     (sometimes called "direct" or "economic" democracy these days).

     Gene Holland


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