"Red vs. Green"

Jamal Hannah jamal at bronze.lcs.mit.edu
Thu Sep 14 14:58:09 MDT 1995


Comments on Louis N Proyect's articles previously posted to the
marxism-list:

> Hackers and the Profit Motive
> -----------------------------
> Here are some further ruminations on the topic of socialism and
> computers.
>
> Some of the key pioneers in the personal computing revolution were not
> driven by entrepeneurial greed. For example, the Community Memory
> project in Berkeley, California was launched in 1973 by Lee
> Felsenstein. The project allowed remote public access to a time-shared
> XDS mainframe in order to provide "a communication system which
> allows people to make contact with each other on the basis of mutually
> expressed interests, without having to cede judgement to third parties."
> The Community Memory project served as a kind of bulletin board
> where people could post notes, information, etc., sort of like an
> embryonic version of the Interenet.
>
> Felsenstein, born in 1945, was the son of a CP district organizer and
> got involved in civil rights struggles in the 1950's. Eventually, he
> hooked up with the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley and became a
> committed radical. Lee's other passion was electronics and he entered
> the UC as an electrical engineering major.
>
> Felsenstein then hooked up with another left-of-center computer hacker
> by the name of Bob Halbrecht and the two went on to form a tabloid
> called PCC "People's Computer Company". Among the people drawn to
> the journal was Ted Nelson, a programmer who had bounced from one
> corporate job to another throughout the 60's but who was always
> repelled by "the incredible bleakness of the place in these corridors."
>
> Nelson was the author of "Computer Lib" and announced in its pages
> that "I want to see computers useful to individuals, and the sooner the
> better, without necessary complication or human servility being
> required." Community Memory flourished for a year and a half until the
> XDS started breaking down too often The group disbanded in 1975.
>
> The PCC continued, however, and played a key role in publicizing the
> earliest personal computers. One of the machines that Felsenstein and
> Halbrecht got their hands on was an Altair 8800, the first genuine
> personal computer for sale to the public.
>
> So enamored of the idea of personal computing were Felsentsein and
> Halbrecht that they then launched something called the Homebrew
> Computer Club. The club drew together the initial corps of engineers
> and programmers who would launch the personal computer revolution.
> Among the participants were a couple of adolescents named Steven Jobs
> and Steve Wozniak who went on to form the Apple Corporation.
>
> The hacker ethic which prevailed at the Homebrew Computer Club was
> decidely anticapitalist, but not consciously pro-socialist. Software was
> freely exchanged at the club and the idea of proprietary software was
> anathema to the club members. There were 2 hackers who didn't share
> these altruistic beliefs, namely Paul Allen and Bill Gates. When Allen
> and Gates discovered that their version of Basic which was written for
> the Altair was being distributed freely at the club, they rose hell. The 19
> year old Gates stated in a letter to the club that "Who can afford to do
> professional work for nothing?"
>
> Another interesting example of the anticapitalist hacker ethic is
> personified in one Richard Stallman. Stallman worked at the MIT
> Artificial Intelligence Lab in the early 1970's and, no doubt influenced
> by the spirit of the age, came to see the lab as the embodiment of a
> philosophy which "does not mean advocating a dog-eat-dog jungle.
> American society is already a dog-eat-dog jungle, and its rules maintain
> it that way. We hackers wish to replace those rules with a concern for
> constructive cooperation."
>
> Stallman developed EMACS, the most widely used Unix text editor,
> and went on to form the GNU foundation which distributes EMACS
> and other free software. When you press ctrl-x, ctrl-w upon entering
> EMACS, you can read a statement of the GNU foundation which
> includes the following words "If you distribute copies of a program,
> whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights
> you have. You must make sure that they, too, receive or get the source
> code." Can one imagine Microsoft Inc. issuing a statement such as this?
>
> I have go on at length without discussing the Internet. Suffice it to say
> that the hacker ethic infuses the entire project know as the Internet.
> What threatens it the most is the mindset best exemplified by Bill Gates
> who would make every last thing proprietary.
>
> In general, we should resist the tempation to put an equal sign between
> the so-called free-market and technological advances. There is much
> evidence that the kind of  breakthrough that personal computing
> represents is to a large degree attributable to the selfless, generous and
> anticorporate motives of the early hackers.


The above article is sadly overly-optumistic and basicaly
blatantly wrong.. in that it gives an impression of an altruistic
"hacker ethic" (a myth, with a few rare exceptions, of which you mentioned)
How many times have I seen the "hacker ethic" thrown out the window
when some "hacker" got a military contract thrust at them, I dont know.
Even stooping to working for the CIA, and snitching on friends.
Sorry, but we still live in a capitalist economy.  Hackers simply
are not a source of socialistic thought.  Some might help,
as individuals, but as a whole one cannot consider hackers to be
"progressives".  They are just.. hackers. (one can be a socialist
and a hacker, but a hacker and a socialist?  some are, sure.)

I myself have been a hacker for years.. and while I came across a
significant number of individuals who seemed quirky and interesting
(such as Richard Stallman) and seemingly altruistic, I also encountered
an larger group of ultra-capitalists.. the secular right wing
(in America they call themselves "Libertarians", though this term
was formerly associated with non-authoritarian leftist movements
worldwide before WWII)  The Libertarian Capitalist tendency
to associate "freedom" with technology, attack ecology and feminism,
and support hierarchical economic structures and elitist mentalities
behind a seemingly "libertarian" facade only shows what the real face
of the "techno-community" is.  That the Internet and software
are "free" simply by accident.. but this "freedom" is limited to
the raw information alone, not the computers or other firmware.)

Another problem with the computer industry, and hackers themselves (with
some exceptions) is the incessant mental syndrome of "Computer nationalism"
and "cutting edge riding".  People fight over what computer is best,
when in fact what computer they origionaly chose was based on random chance.
Furthermore, the market forces all involved to not be
satisfied with the current hardware or software for very long. This
must be taken into account when one looks at the computer industry:
the "masses" of users are dragged along by the market forces of
Microsoft & Apple's incessant battles.   That computers can serve
people is generally a side-effect.  They are most defiantly an
integral part of the military-industrial complex, and the ideology
that being within this sphere produces effects everyone involved.
It is difficult to see _how_ this ideology effects us because
we are "inside" of it, looking out.  From inside, enviromentalists
seem crazy or like "enemies" to many.

The capitalist mentality is very pervasive in the computer world,
notice the popularity of Ayn Rand & her goons everywhere one
looks on USENET, MUDs, etc.  (nevermind the army of right-wing christians
and dittoheads behind them).  To say "well, if they didnt exist technology
would be more liberating" is a cop-out.  Their existence is directly
related to the very nature of the computer industry and the mentalities it
tends to produce.

> Kirkpatrick Sale's Neo-Luddism
> ------------------------------
> Interesting that Kirkpatrick Sale's new book would be cited on this list.
> I'm actually mapping out an essay on computers and socialism that will
> critique this book and defend a number of concepts in Cockshott and
> Cottrill's "Toward a New Socialism".
>
> My central ideas: the "second contradiction" between society and nature
> as described by Jim O'Connor will emerge more and more as a central
> issue as we slouch toward the 21st century. Early signs: the confused
> political message of the ranchers described by Jeffery St. Clair in Doug
> Henwood's recent post reflects clash over land, water, etc. The new,
> populist resurgence in the USA can be understood in terms of the
> political economy of the "second contradiction". Rwanda's civil war
> must be understood against the backdrop of a 50% drop in grain yield
> through the 1960's.
>
> I am not talking about environmentalism, a bourgeois ideology. I am
> talking about socialist ecology. The 21st century will demonstrate with
> terrible force the destructiveness of capitalism. All of the contention in
> recent years over which system promotes more rapid growth: socialism
> or capitalism will be re-thought. The "growth" of Walmart, Exxon,
> GM, etc. is like a cancerous growth that will eventually destroy its host
> body: the planet earth and its population.

First of all, I want to point out that by accusing Sale of "neo-luddism"
you are stooping to ad-hominim slander.  It's obvious that calling
someone a "luddite" on the Interenet is akin to using the
term "commie" or "Red" in the 50's.  So much raw hate is drummed up
against the luddites on the Interenet that one knows ahead of
time that this label will draw an instant negative emotional reaction.

I feel that this choice of title basically undermined the
objectivity of your essay.

As for calling environmentalism "a bourgeois ideology", there is
no proof that what you or others call "eco-socialism" is any less
"bourgeois" than environmentalism.  The architects of "eco-socialism"
are all professionals who's interest in computers comes _first_
and connection and passion for people _second_.  (otherwise, there
would not be such a heavy emphasis on proving enviromentalists wrong, and
the panical, hysterical attempts to convince everyone to "embrace"
all technology).  Environmentalism did not simply develop out
of the heads of the middle or upper class.  Much of the modern ecology
theory also comes from observing and listening to indigenous people,
peasents, and the poor (whom pollution always effects the most).
To proclaim environmentalism "bourgeois" simply because the right
has attempted to co-opt it is to do exactly what the mainstream
media has done in order to demonize the enviromentalist movement:
focus on the fact that some rich people happen to like nature, and then
say "therefore, environmentalism is not really a socialistic idea."
I believe that you use all the help you can get.  And the USSR
certainly would have been a more desirable place if they had cared
about the environment more.  One can then say that environmentalism
is an integral part of what socialism is, or _should_ be.

That Marx might not have thought much of nature does not
mean one needs to take all of Marx's words to heart.  Supposivly
Marx was also anti-semitic, but this hardly matters today.

> The problem with Sale is the same problem as that of the 19th century
> Utopians. As blissful (?) as the life of the Amish appears to him, this is
> not a solution for the billions of people living in cities during the period
> of late capitalism.

Funny, considering the fact that Americans use so much more water,
electricity, gasoline and other resources than they need to.. the
very idea that somehow we need to decimate more of the environment
is to accept the idea that "the market must expand".  It's entirely possible
that further technological expansion could be halted for a number of
years, and _social_ progress would be the main force that would
bring food to the mouths of the majority, not a further expansion of
the technology-and-cement grid.

One should also remember that there are many people who simply do not
_need_ to use computers, etc.  One should take things on a case-by-case
basis, based on human needs, rather than a quota decided
before hand.  The reason so many Americans have computers is not
because they _had_ an immediate _real_ need, but because relentless
advertising convinced them they needed them.  The idea of integrating
"a computer on every table" into a socialist vision is somewhat
arrogant.  Is it truly one's socialistic convictions speaking, or rather
their technological fetish?  The incessant desire to "get everyone wired"
is questionable.  (I cant deny that I have been stricken by this myself.
I do not believe it has any realistic basis other than a side effect of
the psychological effect of the computer markets' propaganda apparatus.)

At this point, it would be ideal if various organizations had some connection
to the Interenet.. at least one.  But if ones concerns are driven
by a _human_ based motivation and not a _profit_ based motivation,
then how should one approach technology?  Perhaps with a bit more
careful consideration along the way.

> The solution would appear to be in a planned economy that is global in
> scope. Resources must be balanced against human need. Computers will
> be instrumental in effecting this change. The original Marxian vision of
> communism as a global system will be revisited on a grand scale. All
> socialist politics must embrace this new vision.

"All socialist politics must embrace this vision" is basically an
authoritarian proclamation.  Different people in the world still live
under different conditions and have different needs.  To assume that
ones own mentality and environment is "the optimal" one is
excessively chauvinistic and self-centered.  Use computers to accomplish
something yourself, and then show others what you have done.  But
dont try to force the world into your own personal vision of
"hacker utopia".

> Traditional Soviet-styled planned economies and social democracy will
> not match up to these tasks, since they are based on a national model of
> growth and development. The end of the cold war has made Soviet-style
> socialism obsolete. It has also made social democracy, market socialism
> and other nationally-oriented, unplanned approaches based on
> capitalism obsolete.

The USSR's later days were a miserable example of what we could call
"socialism".  Using it as an example repeatedly will tend
to undermine one's argument.  The USSR drifted SO far from
actual democracy SO early on that it is difficult to imagine
how different it would have been had circumstances gone otherwise.
(even the CPUSA member I used to speak to regularly told me that she
did not think it was worthwhile to hold up everything about the USSR
as a example or goal to strive for.)

The USSR (or China) is what capitalists would like everyone to think
of when they think of "socialism" ... and this of course makes the
whole idea absolutely ridiculous for many people.

> The Unabomber and Green Anarchism
> ----------------------------------
> Just as the cyber-ink was drying on my critique of Kirkpatrick Sale's
> neo-Luddism, I pick up the NY Times and discover that the
> Unabomber's "revolution" is designed to prevent a future in which the
> human race is at the mercy of intelligent machines created by computer
> scientists. Out of the chaos, he expresses the hope that a return to "wild
> nature" might prevail.

All I can say about the Unabomber is that those, like yourself,
who wish to discredit the enviromentalist movement and
theories will tend to have a field day using him as an example
of "why this type of thinking is bad".  This is basically dishonest
and underhanded.  While I pay close attention to what the
anarchists (and enviromentalists) have to say about the
Unabomber, I know what to expect from the anti-environmental right
(an "left") ahead of time... slander and negative-associations.

> Green anarchism contains some deeply reactionary tendencies. There is
> a belief in the Gaea principle which regards the natural world as some
> kind of self-regulating, perfect mechanism. Homo Sapiens can be seen
> as almost superfluous or, worse, as intrusive. If humanity does nothing
> to mend its ways, the natural system will continue without it.

While one may not aggree with this premise, it is hardly "reactionary".
Your own opinions could better be described as "reactionary" in that
you see environmentalism as a threat to your own ideas and lifestyle.

To make assumptions about what a "Gaian Society" would be like is
to do the same that the right has done- create horror-stories
about "chaos and lack of morality" in such an environment, even though
one does not even know what to expect since it has never existed
on a wide scale to begin with.

> This hostility toward the state is typical of traditional anarchism.
> Moreover, the green anarchists share with "postmodernist" Marxism a
> non-class based enthusiasm for the new social movements.

Funny you should accuse others of "postmodernist" marxism, when
in fact the 3rd wave/techo-specific "marxism" is in fact a part
of the more reactionary trends of "postmodern" thought: the idea
of the encroaching "cyber-utopia" displacing interest in nature.
If utopianism itself (precluding human needs) is inherently reactionary,
then one can assume that _both_ nature-utopia and techno-utopia are
reactionary visions.. right?  But of course reality is not so simple..
and both visions _might_ be either reactionary or not. (just like anything
.. any idea, really.)

> Communities of peace activists and feminists who are non-hierarchical,
> sharing and spontaneous, and who live in harmony with nature
> represent pockets of the new order. Workers hardly figure in this
> schema.

While there are always sckirmishes between these two sections
of progressive organizations, the differences are not
irreconcilable, and in fact, the left will be far stronger
when these differences are finally resolved.  It should be
noted that since the 60's there has been a conscious effort by the
ruling class to divide all of the left.. workers, feminists, blacks,
gays.. in order that the left should be weak.  It is in fact natural
that oppressed groups would identify with each other and
eventually unite.  It is not the fault of feminists, anarchists,
and ecologists in "rejecting hierarchy" that they cannot unify with
the working class.. it is because there are real-world divisions
that do not permit such an alliance at this time.
(If you want something, you have to work towards it.)

Rush Limbaugh, The Bell Curve, anti-working-class-postmodernism,
and other doctrines all work together to perpetuate an
atmosphere of division, even in the left.. because the left
resides within the culture and the culture is what transmits
these ideological streams to everyone.

> They also share with some of our trendier neo-Marxists an inordinate
> enthusiasm for cooperatives. One describes the recent upsurge of coops
> as "anarchism in its latest manifestation. Contemporary coops, and the
> support structure which has grown up around them are subtly imbued
> with the anarchist spirit." (T. Cahill, "For Anarchism: History, Theory
> and Practice") It is true that coops have elements which are found in
> anarchist structures: decentralization, egalitarianism, self-management
> based on local needs, etc. I for one find it difficult to believe that coops
> are harbingers of a liberated society. They can be just another self-
> exploitative device through which capitalism unburdens itself from
> responsibilities to society.

Until other alternatives are made available, coops will continue
to be formed by those who cannot stand the pressure of forced-competition
which "the market" perpetuates.  Rather than denounce the coops, you
should work to strengthen organizations which might bring about
a world revolution.

> It is out of this reactionary stew that the Unabomber emerges. As
> Marxists, we have an alternative to this kind of bankrupt politics. In my
> next post, I shall sketch out a Marxist alternative to green anarchism.

Oh please.  This is really insulting.  To blame the anarchists
for the Unabomber is benieth contempt!  Anyone who read Herbert
Marcuse could come to the same conclusions as the Unabomber.
(or, perhaps anyone who looked at the recent history of the real
world and the effect of the industrial societies on the rest of
the world.)

Your excessive love of computers and hatred of environmentalism does
not give you the excuse to associate pacifists with individuals who
commit acts which the rest have no control over.

> The Red/Green Dialectic
> -----------------------
> 1. *Industrialization does not cause environmental degradation*
> The greens are wrong in their belief that industrialization causes
> environmental degradation. Neither do "anti-Gaia" values such as
> Judeo-Christianity, patriarchy, greed, etc. The root cause is the
> capitalist mode of production.

This is pretty much absurd.  Of course industrialization causes
enviromental degradation.  The question is: what to do next in order
to counter the enviromental degradation?  Obviously take steps
to rectify the situation.  Your "all or nothing" extremist position
is no better than those who you are disagreeing with.

I think it's fair to say that capitalism and industrialization
have tended to go together.. hence the close association of
the two terms.  If someone who does not like capitalism decides
they dont like industry, this isnt surprising.  It's doubtful
that they truly believe _everyone_ can go live out in the woods:  most
humans would be better off staying in the cities (and if they took care
of each other, the cities would be nicer to live in).. but it
is fair to say that one should leave alone those indigenous people
who dont _need_ to buy a new TV set.. or even need to _want_ to buy one.

> Palchinsky argued against the type of gigantic enterprises that were
> beginning to capture Stalin's rather limited imagination. He noted that
> middle-sized and small enterprises often have advantages over large
> ones. For one thing, workers at smaller factories are usually able to
> grasp the final goals more easily. He believed that the single most
> important factor in engineering decisions was human beings
> themselves. Successful industrialization and high productivity were not
> possible without highly trained workers and adequate provision for their
> social and economic needs.

This all underlines a basic problem with using the USSR as any kind of
example of what a "socialist" society currently being sought
might be like:  the bad enviromental record of the USSR.  But
the USA too has areas which are horribly polluted, and came close
to having terrible nuclear (and other) accidents.  The fact
that America managed to avoid such things can be attributed to a greater
amount of democracy and freedom for political activism on the part of
the individual citizens of the US.. not based on the US being "bourgeois".
Had the USSR been a radically-democratic country.. even more so than the
USA (as it should have been), it's enviromental record would have been
undoubtably better.  (of course it's possible that one must
trade democracy and freedom for haste in production.. obviously
no one wants to accept this openly as true)

> Could the Soviet Union have evolved and progressed with an
> industrialization model more akin to Palchinsky's? I believe so. In any
> case, it is a mistake to draw an equation between Stalin's 5-year plans
> and the term "planned economy". The loss of Palchinsky and the
> political opposition he identified with constitute a major defeat in the
> century-long struggle for socialism.

Hmm.. could be.

> Cuba, of course, should be judged on an entirely different basis. Cuba
> resorts to nuclear power only because it is economically isolated and
> desperate. The electricity generated from the nuclear plant under
> development would go to power hospital equipment, university lighting
> and communications facilities. In many other ways, the Cuban
> leadership has shown sensitivity to ecological concerns. It would be a
> mistake to judge this beleaguered isle by the same standards as the
> Soviet Union, the former super-power.

I generally aggree..

> One step ahead of Cuba, we had revolutionary Nicaragua. Volunteers
> from my organization Tecnica worked with Sandinista government
> officials on "appropriate technology" projects too numerous to mention.
> Among the misfortunes accompanying Chamorro's election was the
> abandonment of a number of these types of projects.

Pity..

> 3. *The nonsense of Malthusianism*
> Neo-Malthusians, who are endemic to the green movement,
> misunderstand the cause of urban squalor and misery. They blame it on
> there being "too many people". The Marxist explanation makes much
> more sense. Marxism posits the existence of a reserved army of the
> unemployed. This reserve army is a inevitable consequence of the
> replacement of human labor by machinery. The reserve army permits
> capitalism to increase the surplus value produced by labor and also
> allows for expansion in boom times. The overpopulation "problem" is
> simply a surface reflection of the tendency of capitalism to produce this
> reserve army. When people have jobs, homes, savings, etc. as they do in
> Western Europe, there is no discussion of an overpopulation problem.
> When millions, driven off the land, crowd into the urban slums of West
> Africa or India looking for work, we discover that there is an
> overpopulation problem.
>
> As David Harvey says, "There are too many people in the world because
> the particular ends we have in view (together with the form of social
> organization we have) and the materials available in nature that we
> have the will and the way to use, are not sufficient to provide us with
> those things to which we are accustomed." (Economic Geography,
> 1974)
>
> Was there ever a golden age when society lived in balance with nature?
> People like Kirkpatrick Sale tend to romanticize indigenous societies in
> a manner reminiscent of Rousseau. The explanation of the difference
> between various stages of societies has nothing to do with a change in
> values; it has everything to do with colonialism, imperialism and the
> introduction of money into a primitive communist society.

One can look at indigenous societies with some amount of admiration
and interest and at least leave them be, rather than
see them as "savages" who need to be brought to our own standards
of "modern liberalism".

> What changed in Ethiopia? Did the people stop worshipping Gaia?
>
> No, Ethiopia was brought into the colonial orbit. Land began to be used
> for the export of cash crops. The peasantry was driven off the land and
> communal property relations were abolished. Instead of being in trust
> for future generations, the land was viewed as just one more resource to
> be exploited.

First of all, no one "worships Gaia" in any serious sense.  Any
references to "worshiping gaia" are sarcastic remarks by anti-enviromentalists
trying to demonize others.  But the description you gave for the reason
why Ethiopia was decimated is not so far from what I believe most
enviromentalists would accept.  So I dont see what the big beef is.  If
your main point is that we live in reactionary times and that even
the enviromentalist movement has been effected by capitalist
thought.. I aggree with you.  But to denounce environmentalism
or any glorification or respect for nature is a bit much.  Why
waste ones time doing that when one can spend more time _showing_
how and where computers and technology can help?

> 4. *Alienation from Nature*
> The greens tend to view alienation as a problem of the individual
> consciousness. This disharmony can be overcome by getting closer to
> nature and living in a more simple manner, like the Amish in
> Pennsylvania so admired by Kirkpatrick Sale.
>
> The Marxist analysis stresses the social dimension. We are alienated
> from each other and we are alienated from nature because we are
> surrounded by the cash nexus in a market economy. Everything,
> including people and nature, are seen from the point of view of their
> exchange value. This colors everything. The way we speak reflects this
> alienated existence. We speak of the "investment" we have in an
> intimate relationship. We are worried whether our "assets" are to be
> found in our appearance, like Richard Gere's, or in our intelligence or
> wit, like Woody Allen's (well, from 15 years ago anyhow).

The more alienated one is from nature - a non-sentient environment,
and the more dependant people are on environments created and controlled
by other human beings (specifically, capitalists), the more likely
people will be generally miserable.  I think this makes it
preferable to keep a good amount of nature and public land
around as possible.

> The relationship between society and nature is dialectical. It is a
> mistake to think, as the greens do, that nature subsumes everything.
> Nature has been and will be determined to some extent by this peculiar
> animal, homo sapiens, which uses tools to control it's environment.
> There was never a pure state of nature when we had the same
> relationship to nature that a bumblebee or kangaroo has. We are more
> closely related to another special primate, the chimpanzee, which also
> uses tools when it extracts termites from their nest with a trimmed twig.

People can choose to "shape" nature, or they can choose to "adjust"
to nature.  It's the difference between a carefully
manicured "city park", and a wild, overgrown field. (I prefer the
latter.)  People should be allowed to make this choice, and
I do not believe that one is always neccesarily better than
the other.  It depends on the circumstances and the conditions.

> Greens may resent Marx when he says in the German Ideology "The
> nature that preceded human history...today no longer exists anywhere"
> but he is much closer to the truth.  He is not being mechanistic or
> anthropocentric when he makes this kind of statement, but being
> dialectical. He understands that nature determines society while
> simultaneously being determined by society. This contradiction of
> course is tilted in the direction of society under capitalism. The only
> way some kind of balance can be restored is through socialism. Homo
> sapiens, the tool-user, has become estranged from nature over centuries
> of social development under private property. The only way we can
> overcome this alienation is through the intelligent use of tools that
> allow us to *control* society and nature.

That last sentence sounds a bit loaded and authoritarian.  It also
makes it all too easy to justify blatant capitalist "rape of the
land" (exploitation of resources) .. it would be better if you
used a more qualifying term.  Control nature?  Control society?
Hmm.  why dont you worry about controlling yourself, and not others?

> We should not be afraid to declare our intention, as socialists, to bring
> society and nature into harmony through planning and through
> technology. As David Pepper notes in chapter three of his "Eco-
> Socialism", we can create a better world through this type of approach:

I dont doubt that such people can make important contributions.. but
I would not trust them to _lead_ any kind of socialist movement.
Rather, to be it's servants and custodians.

> (Sources: David Pepper's "Eco-Socialism" (Verso, 1994) was the source
> of many of the ideas and citations from this article, and the article

Unfortunately, while you may claim to not be basing your ideas on Toffleran
values, the "Eco-socialism" group, I believe, is basing their
theories on Toffler's work.. so ultimately your ideas are coming from
Toffler and his followers.

...

Point about market-socialism and how it detracts from class struggle
is well taken.  But I wonder if you see "class struggle" as the
"road" to a "working" market socialism.  I sure hope not.

 - Jamal H.



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