Quick replies

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Wed Nov 8 06:32:39 MST 1995

On Tue, 7 Nov 1995, Robert Peter Burns wrote:

>  of non-essential goods and services.  To give you an idea of what
>  I mean: imagine pre-1985 Sweden, but with social ownership and 
>  workers' self-management added.

Louis: This is symptomatic of the myopia of market socialists. Pre-1985 
Sweden, or any other welfare state, could not exist without the pillage 
of the third world. European Social Democracy is much more civilized than 
American dog-eat-dog styled capitalism, but both ultimately are based on 
exploitation of the huge majority of the world's population in places 
like Bengla Desh and Brazil. The Eastern Europeans who embraced Market 
Socialism 10 years ago and who had such a major impact on the thinking of 
Jim Roosevelt and David Belkin, authors of "Why Market Socialism", were 
expecting that Hungary, etc. would end up looking like Sweden. Now Sweden 
in 1995 is starting to look like Hungary while Hungary is starting to 
look like Brazil. This is the reality. "Market Socialism" is simply a 
trend. It, like postmodernism, will go out of style sooner or later the way 
that Nehru jackets and Herbert Marcuse did. It is hard to entertain 
illusions in such ideology when the misery of the marketplace causes such 
suffering everywhere. Capitalist markets, socialist markets: it's nearly the 
same in the final analysis.

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