socialism or barbarism?

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at
Sat May 18 01:32:37 MDT 1996

Jorn, I agree with a lot of what you say about socialism or barbarism.
(Obviously we disagree about the class characterization of the workers'
But I am very dubious about one point you make:

>The long term: There is no probability whatsoever that
>capitalism "left to itself" (....) will end up with barbarism
>of the worst sorts: The common destruction of the contending
>classes. All attempts at finding evidence for this has failed.

First, I don't see how you can so easily put your finger on aspects of
barbarism in the short and medium term (and in the history of this
century), and fail to do so in the long term.

Second, for the past few years (and here our disagreement about the class
character of the former Soviet Union becomes central) we have been able to
see some of the first effects of what capitalism is capable of if 'left to
itself', without a counterweight of large-scale workers' power such as the
deformed workers' states represented, despite their counter-revolutionary

Do you think these tendencies (insatiable greed for profits, total
disregard for health, safety and life of the proletariat, war) are showing
any signs of diminishing? If the working-class organizations of the world
are smashed -- a historical defeat on and surpassing the scale of Germany
1933 -- do you think the imperialists will just snuggle up to each other
and say 'OK guys, we've done enough, let's just enjoy our wealth and power,
and relax and have a great time together!'?

So, please, justify your optimism regarding capitalism's long-term prospects.



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