Socialist Utopia

glevy at glevy at
Tue Jul 11 13:44:42 MDT 1995

Tim W. wrote:

> I am afraid both the example of Chile and the example of the Turks during
>  Byzantium make, in a way , my point.
> Both are examples of pre-capitalist society, with loose community-based
> structures, resisting a more structured, centralized and powerful urban
>society.  This suggests, by analogy, a romantic notion of socialism as having
> a PRE-capitalist rather than POST-capitalist structure.
Chile under the Unidad Popular government could hardly be described as
having being a "pre-capitalist society" (although it was not a
*completely* capitalist society).  Obviously, we must recognize
that post-capitalist social structures will have to be structured with a
recognition of the actual capitalist structures that were in place prior
to social transformation. *Any* idea of what post-capitalism should look
like is inherently romantic and utopian.  Our historical task will be to
assist the process that ends capitalism as the dominant mode of
production within our social formation.  Of necessity (in order to win
political support) we will have to address broad questions of how we
understand socialism.  The workers and socialists of the future (*if* we
complete our  historical task successfully) will have to work out the
details of actual socialist societies for themselves.

> And it is decidedly impractical.  We are talking about socialist revolution
> in a modern urban society, which already has a centralized structure and
> massive urban population.  You both seem to be suggesting an abandonment of
>nine-tenths of the society to the counterrevolutionaries while the socialists
> hole up in the hills and carry on  guerrilla warfare, perhaps like the
> Chechens.  Not a very pretty picture of utopia!
Indeed, this is "not a very pretty picture of utopia!"  To "hole up in
the hills and carry on guerilla warfare" is "decidedly impractical" when
placed in the context of US society.  To abandon "nine-tenths of the
society to the counterrevolutionaries" would clearly be a mistake.  Yet, who
was "suggesting" the above scenario?


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