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

Andy Daitsman Andrew.Daitsman at mail.cc.trincoll.edu
Wed Sep 28 12:06:27 MDT 1994

Wes Cecil wrote:

>democratic.  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.

Maybe I'm incapable of thinking for myself, but I just read this yesterday
and it made sense to me:

"...at its core, the classical Marxist project of communism is inextricably
infused with a profoundly emancipatory vision, based on the dis-alienation
of human beings in every arena of their existence and activity.  It is an
idea intended to extend and expand the formal definition of democracy, in
its understanding of the people as subject rather than subjected, as the
determining rather than the determined element, as the authors of their own
histories.  It celebrates democracy as a people empowered, as a society that
has reabsorbed into itself the authority that formerly stood above it.
Egalitarian popular participation in detemining and carrying out public
policy and in directly controlling the process of production lies at the
center of the Marxist definition of socialist society, although it is only a
sketch in the body of Marx's work.  Participation informs Marx's
differeneces with the fromal definitions of democracy; it becomes both the
means by which individuals will develop to the fullest their capacities and
the manifestation of those freedoms.  Nor did Marx see the actualization of
this idea as a distant goal, an abstract ideal made possible only by the
"construction" of socialism.  Rather, it is the very means by which all
other goals--the transformation of both the individual and the society as a
whole--are to be achieved."  Carollee Bengelsdorf, _The Problem of Democracy
in Cuba_ (Oxford, 1994), pp. 3-4.

My dad at different times in his life identified himself to me both as a
Stalinist and as a Jeffersonian democrat, and he never renounced either
identification.  There's got to be something in the ideology that could
allow such contradictory statements.

See ya,
Andy Daitsman
Trinity College


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