Socialist Utopia

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Tue Jul 4 10:14:56 MDT 1995


On Tue, 4 Jul 1995 TimW333521 at aol.com wrote:

> I know that I have taken a new look at the concept of utopia in Marxism
> because of the concrete experience of the USSR and other "socialist"
> countries.  I have supplemented this with some study of  experimental
> mini-utopias in 19th Century and contemporary society.   This has made it
> difficult for me to reject totally Kolakowski's notion that the attempt to
> create "utopia" has produced abominations!

Louis Proyect:
Why put a left veneer on these notions by invoking Kolakowski? This is
exactly the kind of counter-revolutionary ideology that was spoon-fed to me
at Bard College in the early 1960's by Heinrich Blucher (Mr. Hannah Arendt).

You get the same ideas from Mannheim, Popper, Arendt and a million
other bourgeois critics of proletarian revolution. The problems of the
Soviet Union are historical in nature, not philosophical.

Lenin is the last person in the world who I would accuse of having
blue-prints. He veered between war communism and the NEP in no time at
all. He was for what worked. I am reminded of charges of how "utopian"
and quixotic Fidel Castro is. The Cuban Government has gone through more
policy changes in the last 35 years than all bourgeois goverments
combined. We vote and vote and we still get downsizing and urban decay no
matter who we vote for. I'm coming around to the viewpoint that
"totalitarian" Cuba is ten times more democratic than the United States.


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