Historical significance of Stalinism
foucault at eden.rutgers.edu
Fri Mar 24 04:15:54 MST 1995
It seems to me Mr. Lawler's conclusion is excellent. Further, Mr.
Lawler's work implies a significant failing of Marxist politics. Stalinism
concentrated on the appearances, rather than the substance of bourgeoise and
neo-feudal classs domination. This was understandable in the very early days
since the capitalist revolution had really not come to fruition. Class as
defined by social cues was still predominant. But if the revolution of
capitalism was to overthrow status with real economic power, then modern
socialists are behind the dialectic curve concentrating on the Who rather
than the WHEREWITHALL of social power.
The debate on democracy after the revolution seems to me a little
naive. I fail to see how the necessary mechanisms of government are going to
be radically different in the near socialist future. That is why I am
somehting of a syndicalist/unionist. It seems to me that the very separate
social entities of firm ownership are the first order of business.
I'll throw open to the floor a modest idea. Since Americans look on
recent worker takeovers of companies such as that of United Airlines (which
will post larger than expected earnings this quarter) with almost no alarm,
what would the effects be in terms of socialism if ALL the corporate world
were worker controlled firms, even if by simple majority. Clearly the
"workers control the means of production" element would be satisfied to some
extent. What modifications of the present liberal democratic institutions
would be NECESSARY under such conditions, for socialism ? Indeed, can any
modification of the government be adequate, on its own, to satisfy socialism,
or does actual ownership, as we now understand it, have to shift to workers
to some significant extent ?
It seems to me that the mood of the populace would indicate a
preferance for checks, deeds, stock certificaes, and cash, rather than some
new checks and balances.
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