Yugoslavia, market socialism, democracy, etc.

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Wed Nov 15 06:41:58 MST 1995


On Tue, 14 Nov 1995 ROSSERJB at vax1.acs.jmu.edu wrote:

>      The question on democracy still holds and very seriously.
> Saying that you are thinking about it is a weak excuse for avoiding
> it.  FACT:  No permanent command economy in history has been a
> political democracy.  Marx said he was for democracy, mostly, 
> despite occasional grumblings about "bourgeois democracy"
> and the "dicatatorship of the proletariat."  We know market socialism
> can coexist with democracy.  Can command socialism on a permanent
> basis?
> Barkley Rosser

Louis: Barkley, when you ask the question "can *command* socialism 
coexist with democracy, you are not seriously asking me for a reply. That 
is the type of question that comedians in the Borscht Belt in the 1950's 
posed as "have you stopped beating your wife yet?"

I also have a different definition of democracy than you. I think there 
is and has been more democracy in Cuba, a single-party state, than there 
has been in Jamaica which has held elections regularly since 1960. I 
don't think the United States is "democratic". I don't think Israel is 
"democratic". Elections do not equal democracy.

Jon is correct. This list is *on* Marxism, not *of* Marxists. I simply 
adhere to ideas on democracy, socialism and planning that have evolved 
within Marxism or revolutionary socialism over the last 100 years or so. 
I am comfortable with this. I enjoy arguing with people, like yourself 
and Burns, who don't.

You and Robert Peter Burns SJ are two of the occasional social democrats who 
"intervene" in our discussions in order to convince us to take down our 
banners of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky and replace them with Roemer, 
Schweickart, Bogdan Denitch and Michael Harrington. No thanks. You have 
run into the hard-core here. We are people who are for a planned-economy, 
for worker's democracy, for revolution despite everything that has 
transpired in the USSR. One of our moderators is fairly typical. That is 
Lisa Rogers over there. She has a Che Guevara t-shirt on, the patch over 
her left-eye and a parrot on her right shoulder. You are trying to sell 
subscriptions to Dissent magazine over here. You might as well try to sell...



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