Scott Marshall Scott at rednet.org
Wed Jun 14 07:03:04 MDT 1995

Howie sez:

>Is there
>not something to be said for organizing one's society to set the standard in
>meeting human needs?

Is this what the social democratic societies in europe did? I don't think
so. And the current crisis in countries like Sweden - where many of the hard
fought achievements of the working class are now being wiped out - is
directly related to the lack of democracy and the leaving of capital in full
basic control of the political, social and economic system.

>Isn't this what Marxism proposes: a society organized
>around meeting human need and not around the maximization of private profit?
>We might want to argue that Scandinavian social-democracy is still deficient
>in certain important ways, but that cannot diminish its status of being
>relatively the best at meeting human need.

Perhaps you should swallow your own medicine and argue why this is rather
than just assume we would all agree.

>At the very least whatever one's
>assessment it seems to me that one has to argue it, and not assume, as Scott
>does, that there is sufficient agreement amongst Marxists on this question
>that a peremptory dismissal of the opposing position will resonate with
>those one wishes to reach.

Again you got me wrong. On this list, if I assume anything I assume that
most do not agree and are inclined towards some sort of social democracy.

>Now I must admit that I feel that I may have inadvertently given the
>impression of arguing something similar to Scott when I took issue with
>something Justin had written. So let me apologise for that unclarity. On the
>substantive issue of whether the collapse of the old Soviet union was a good
>thing, my position would be that it is too soon to tell, though I am not
>optimistic that progressive forces will be able to take advantage of the
>political and organizational vacuum that this has created anytime soon. But
>I do not condemn the collapse as an unequivocal "bad", which Scott clearly
>does. That is because he saw the previous system as on the whole "good",
>which I do not.

Scott: Heaven forbid Howie. Though I do find it hopeful that maybe, just
maybe, you don't think all the death and destruction wrought by the setbacks
to socialism are good. As to some more of you assumptions: Yes I do feel
that the collapse is/was bad (no quotes - I'm not worried about nuanced
qualifiers). But you are completely wrong in saying that I saw the previous
system as on the whole good. ('On the whole' in this statement seems to
imply very little criticism or disagreement - more good than bad I could
agree with) But then you probably make certain stereotypical assumptions
about my elk like Ryan does.

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