Ron Press anclondon at gn.apc.org
Wed Apr 12 20:25:06 MDT 1995


>>>>>>>>>>>>> From: Rob Frantz <rfrantz at u.washington.edu>

I myself find it difficult to see why so much blame is laid at
Gorbachev's feet.

The demise of the system, ( It had many of the characteristics of
what many would call socialism, jobs, education, pensions, health
care and so on. It also had amny things which could not be squared
with democracy which should have beena major aspect of socialism),
The demise of a system cannot in all consience be blamed on one
person. I think there is a school of thought called conspiracy
theory, which is rightly discredited. But even a conspiracy needs
more than one man. Just as the victory over the Nazis was not down
to Stalin, so the failure of the form of socialism in the former
USSR cannot be put down to him alone, nor to Gorbachev later.

I regard the learning of lessons from history essential. But
history is much distorted in the telling as has been recently
pointed out in the list.

We must dig deeper. I beleive it is because so far all recent
systems of organisation have adopted a pyramidal structure. This
is prone to developing dictatorships.

Is there another viable organisational system?

I remember in the womens movement in the UK they had a much looser
system. For example they held their meetings without a platform
but all sat in a circle. It had quite an unusual effect.

Certainly the system in the USSR gave little or no chance for
participation in decision making for the ordinary people. No more
than the system in the USA does today.

Except that there is the possibility of a movement like the
movement against the was in Vietnam, or the CND in the UK. ?

My friend Stalin said, `when the line is decided organisation
decides all' ( or something like that), I think we generally know
where we want to go but the form of organisation is very wooly.

re Rascism.

>>>>>>>> From: Kenny Mostern <kennym at uclink2.berkeley.edu>

I agree that rascism is not an essential tool for the capitalists.
But it certainly one they use very effectively from time to time.
I cannot however remember a time where rescism has ben a usefull
tool in the hands of the working class.

Ron Press

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