The state

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Thu Feb 23 07:47:47 MST 1995


On Wed, 22 Feb 1995, Tom Condit wrote:
>
> If, in fact, the nation-state no longer has any power over
> economic decisions, then the entire reformist and social
> democratic project is finished.  Social democracy, like
> stalinism, is above all a nationalist current, projecting reform
> policies within the context of national economic policy.

Louis Proyect:

Excellent point. Indeed, Leo Panitch made an identical point in his talk
in NY the other night.

Social democracy is indeed bankrupt. Social democrats all around the
world are jumping on the "competitiveness" bandwagon. They all are
pushing for higher productivity through a more skilled workforce so that
their respective nations can beat out other nations. This is the line put
forward by many DSA'ers in the United States. James Judis, the execrable
journalist who writes for In These Times, has been pushing this line for
years. This is what led him and his American co-thinkers to push for Bill
Clinton so ardently, and this is why they pin their hopes on Robert Reich
who is as close to a Social Democrat you're going to get in the inner
circles of power.

The Social Democrats attack the right-wing for not being smart enough to
advance their own national capitalisms. This is a joke. Capital doesn't
respect national boundaries; the bourgeois hasn't a shred of patriotism.
As Marx said, "The need of a constantly expanding market for its products
chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must
nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere."
The bourgeoisie has become internationalist, while we --the socialists--
remain mired in an outmoded nationalist outlook.

Millions of keystrokes have been devoted to explaining the demise of
Stalinism. Much more has to be said about the demise of Social Democracy.
In the final analysis, it was a global market economy that destroyed both.


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