The socialism we want

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at
Thu Jun 1 16:06:42 MDT 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: Gunnar Kreku <gunnar.kreku at>

> I have thought a long time that socialists should be much clearer about
how the >socialist society would look like. With what kind of institutions
can the working >people govern themselves? And how can the market system be
replaced by planning? >Most socialist organisations today have too general
answers to questions like these. >They concentrate on criticizing capitalism
and say that it is impossible to make a >blueprint of the coming socialism.
And they add that Marx did not say much on the >subject. But after what
happened in USSR, China, etc., I think it is necessary for all >socialists
to have a lot to say about what kind of socialism they want.

While it is a good idea to do this, both to keep inspired for the better
world shall I say, as well as to produce the kind of vision we can attract
people to our cause with, I am a little skeptical of producing visions for
the future in blueprint form. My reasons have nothing to do with the fact
that Marx did no such thing, but I reckon it has a lot to do with the fact
that there wasn't really much he *could* write.

As scientific analysis, it is important not to produce fanciful visions of
socialism, like certain Cliffite organisations, but rather what what kind of
socialism we will *need*; i.e. we should take the geo-political realities of
the day as our starting point, and see what kind of breakthroughs we could
make on that basis. In other words, if we are talking about Colombia today,
is it really possible to envision a fully democratic open society based on
the best principles of socialist organising? Or would it be sufficient (my
view) to move in that direction (through land reform and an independant
government structure), while taking the harsh realities of the inevitable
counter attack from Imperialism into account? Can any vision of socialism
that is divorced from our current weakness in the world have more than
inspirational value? Is not the victory of Hezbollah recently more important
towards the vision of a better world than all pamphlets put together?


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