Revisiting old problems

TimW333521 at aol.com TimW333521 at aol.com
Wed Jun 5 06:59:13 MDT 1996


 I want to commend Louis Proyect for raising the important questions that he
did at the beginning of this thread and in such an honest way.  There is too
little of this type of discussion on the left and on this list as well.  The
questions are immense and I don't pretend to have it all worked out.  So I
will make only two comments.

(1) The common characteristic of "what went wrong" in USSR, China, Vietnam,
Cuba, etc., is clearly the decision of the leadership to impose a
revolutionary strategy at the expense of its inviligation by the masses
through real democratic forms.  Louis seems to be suggesting that they made
this choice (Sophie's choice?) because invigilation would have inevitably led
to counter-revolution.  If this is the case, then socialism is truly
impossible in these lesser developed nations.

Nicaragua suggests, however that " democratic counterrevolution" at least
leaves the revolutionaries morally intact and the potential there for a
future  return to the revolutionary offensive.  Something worth thinking
about!  Maybe we need to view socialist revolution as a process with
inevitable ebbs and flows, even in advanced countries.

(2)  On a more optimistic note, I do think we have to be cautious in drawing
too much out of the immediate world situation which is so damnably dominated
by free market fanatics in the service of large capital.  After all, a series
of elections in East Europe, possible Russia, Italy, etc. suggests at least a
bit of a swing of the pendulum in the other direction.  Of course, I
personally view a stage of "market socialism" as essential in any event, both
in terms of productivity and democracy.



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