TimW333521 at aol.com TimW333521 at aol.com
Wed Jun 14 07:00:26 MDT 1995

I think is is helpful if we can approach the question of "democracy"  and
"dictatorship"  in relation to the USSR and the US perhaps with at least some
recognition of factual reality.  I stated that the American began as a
limited democracy (yes women, slaves and, in some areas, propertyless were
excluded from voting).  Others have pointed out that America has evolved in a
more "democratic" direction.  Certainly this is so as far as extending the

To say it is more democratic does not necessarily mean it is more socially
just.  It was and is a capitalist society.  It has evolved into a powerful
imperialist one, the most powerful in the world.

I also asserted that Russia evolved in the opposite direction.  It began with
a wide base of democracy expressed through the Soviets and quickly evolved
into a single party dictatorship.  This led inevitably to a bureaucratic
repressive system ruled over by a single dictator.

This does not necessarily mean that the Soviet Union was less socially just
than the far more democratic United States it competed with.   On balance I
would agree that, even with its inequalities and bureaucratic priviledges,
social inequality was less and social security greater in the USSR of the
Brezhnev era than the U.S. in the Reagan era.

We could go on and on and bash each other over what "really matters": some
social equality OR some democracy.  Or we could honestly face reality, refuse
to apologize for the limitations of either system, and work constructively
for a society better than both: a democratic socialist society.

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