RUSSIA needs a war on drugs??? -Reply

R.W. Daum rdaum at
Tue Jun 13 14:44:21 MDT 1995

On Tue, 13 Jun 1995, Scott Marshall wrote:

> >Scott, are you willfully misreading me, or what?

Lisa: Scott is just being a condescending prick and turning your
message into a chance to flame against his political opponents.

> No I didn't get into a long sociological diatribe about the mechanism by
> which loss of socialism caused the drug problem. Pehaps silly of me to think
> that folks on this list can make that connection on their own, since some
> like Justin feel that the loss of sociaism is a good thing no matter the
> consequences to regular working people.

Scott: Not speaking for Justin, but I, and probably a great majority of
marxists who hold a critique of Stalinism, greatly resent this type of
characterization of our argument.  Neither Justin nor I would even say
socialism existed in the USSR to begin with, so your point is moot.  All
it shows is your blindsighted insistence that a disastrous and disgusting
social system -- which the working people you supposedly stand for
themselves overthrew in a large part of the world -- was a good and
positive thing worthy of fighting for.  I don't agree, and I see the
overthrow of these bureacratic societies as something good.  I don't like
what has been erected in its place, and I would fight for a genuine
revolutionary democratic socialism, but your ilk has done such a great
job of discrediting that cause that it is difficult to do so.

Instead of attacking Justin, perhaps you should be paying attention to
your own ideas, which are themselves largely responsible for the
discrediting of socialism in the eyes of the vast majority of the world's
population.  Or perhaps you'd like to win the western working class over
to a conception of "socialism" which includes corruption, censorship,
hyper-bureacracy, inefficiency, and imperialism as its basic features?

> I doubt that's why anyone calls it state capitalism. State capitalism is a
> term used to justify hostility to socialism as it existed much like
> Stalinism is used to disregard and demonize arguments that some don't want
> to hear. BTW the arguments can come with tremendous amounts of "facts and
> figures" that only serve to prove a paraphrase of Mark Twains that 'liars
> can propagandize and propaganda can lie.'

I don't myself hold the state capitalist model, but I know enough about
its supporters to know that they don't use it to "justify hostility to
socialism as it existed."  It is clear that they use it in order to
explain why that society was itself not in fact socialist.  I myself
prefer an analysis which, while not calling those societies socialist,
admits that they were not capitalist.

I don't use the word Stalinism to disregard and demonize your arguments.
I use the word Stalinism to characterize a certain kind of society built
around the idea that "socialism in one country" is possible and desirable
and a kind of socialism which is built not from the agency of the working
class, but from a secure and inpeckable hierarchy that places itself over
and above that working class.  I call parties that support N. Korea, the
former USSR, China, etc. Stalinist parties because they uphold the same
analysis and the same actions that Stalin and his supporters upheld.

It is good, however, that the Stalinists have now cease to deport,
imprison, or kill people with my ideas and now at least pretend to debate
them.  Maybe there is a way that the left can again be united.

In solidarity,

rdaum at     |"Insofar as men are torn by affects which are| passions, they can be contrary to each other."
(403) 488-0093                | 	  -- B. de. Spinoza

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