Wallerstein (2 questions)

Xxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxx.xxx
Mon Apr 30 16:29:00 MDT 2001


I wrote:
>
> >How would this affect the conditions of workers? We need to look at a
> >couple of  variables:
> >
> >1) downsizing of the state  (socialist state of the East europe variety
> >versus state capitalist of the turkish variety)
> >
> >2) dismantling of state enterprises (which they _lay off_ a lot of
workers
> >as a result)
> >
> >3) dismantling of the welfare state and limited gains of the working
class
> >(such as pension rights, wage protection, government subsidized
programs,
> >health care, child support etc..)
> >
> >4) liberal labor laws making it more difficult for the workers to strike

> >and easier for employers to fire.
> >
> >5) wage negotiation and regulation based on a "free market model"

J. replied

> I assume you refer here to changes that are already taking place, when
> Eastern European countries are not yet EU members.  Therefore they do not

> support your call on the EU issue either.  That said, are you implying
that
> "downsizing" the State in Eastern Europe would have a net negative
economic
> and political effect on workers?  Why?  How did you figure it out?  Is
the
> State in Eastern Europe "socialist"?

You should  reread above. I did not say that "the state is socialist" in
Eastern Europe. I said that "dismantling of state socialism"  had a
negative impact on workers. I was simply referring to what had had happened
after the demise of socialism-- consolidation of capitalism, which is
currently continuing.

 > do you consider the
> possibility that joining the EU may bring about any benefit to the
workers?
> Shouldn't they be taken into account?

I will ignore these unrealistic questions.


> What do you mean by "reforms"?  Progressive reforms?  Do you regard the
> consolidation of the "free market model and private property regime" as a

> step backward in Eastern Europe?

Yes.  I don't see modernization on capitalist terms as a step forward.

>  Do you believe Eastern European workers
> see it that way too?  Why or why not?

actually, why don't you have a look at  working class organizing against
deregulation throughout Europe.

http://www.wsws.org/workers/1998/nov1998/rail-n24.shtml

***By Robert Stevens 24 November 1998

Rail workers in Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece took
strike action yesterday in protest against European Union proposals to
deregulate and privatise the European freight rail system.

Rail job losses over the past 15 years have been primarily the result of
downsizing in the run-up to the Single European Market and European
Monetary Union. The falling cost of passenger and freight transportation,
not only in Europe but also internationally, has intensified competition
throughout the transport sector. The EU is seeking to privatise this sector
in preparation for an escalation of this trade war in the aftermath of the
Single European Market.

> >EU  is a good example of how it is diffcult nowadays to sustain the
> >national development possibilities within capitalism because of
> >globalization. but, we should, nonetheless, as marxists, protect what we

> >have and oppose further liberalization and downsizing of the state,
while
> >still being committed to revolutionary struggle. This is especially
> >important for third world countries where workers are suffering
relatively
> >worse because of low labor standarts and protection.
>
> Do you really believe that, in the current European context, a
> responsibility of revolutionary Marxists is to help "sustain the national

> development possibilities within capitalism"?

I don't. I said that "national development possibilities within capitalism"
is difficult to sustain because of globalization. Development on socialist
terms is preferable. This should not, however, mean that we should
sacrifice the _limited_ gains of the working class for globalization
(privatization, deregulation, neo-liberalism, etc.).These attempts all are
aimed at reducing labor costs by having free markets, and hence more
exploitation.


> Frankly speaking, since these are meant to be appeals of serious
consequence
> in the lives of real people (workers), then they should rely on something

> more solid than sloganery.  I mean this with all due respect to Mine and
all
> readers.

actually, if you want to tell us something more *solid* about EU or NAFTA,
tell us more clearly what you think about these regional blocks and how
they will benefit workers.


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