For Peter Drucker

Richard Fidler rfidler at
Tue Jan 30 07:59:25 MST 2001

Paul Flewers wrote:

>> To add a small point to Mine and Lou, the elder Peter Drucker was an exiled
Austrian sociologist who came to Britain in the late 1930s, and then went on to
the USA. In 1939 he had published in Britain The End of Economic Man, a book
which saw Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union as identical totalitarian
collectivist societies, and considered that the whole world was heading in a
collectivist direction, with people relating to each other in a directly
political, rather than economic, manner (hence the title). This sort of idea was
pretty common several years before James Burnham wrote his Managerial
Revolution. I've always thought that Burnham in all his political guises was a
pretty thin thinker, I wouldn't be surprised if he 'borrowed' many of his ideas
from others.<<

And the younger Peter Drucker is ... a latter-day Schachtmanite! See his book,
"Max Schachtman and His Left: A Socialist's Odyssey through the 'American
Century'" (Humanities Press, 1994):

(page 132) "Schachtman's conclusions, laid out in the December 1940 New
International, were that the Soviet Union was not a workers' state - there could
be no workers' state without workers' political power. It was not capitalist. It
had a new bureaucratic ruling class that had to be overthrown in order to create
workers' democracy or move toward socialism. Even though every vestige of
working-class political power had disappeared in the USSR, the collectivized
property created by the revolution survived. Schachtman therefore called the
USSR 'bureaucratic collectivist': the economy and state were the collective
property of the bureaucracy....

"Schachtman's theory ... remains today one of his chief contributions to
socialist thought."

Are you sure the two Druckers aren't related?

Incidentally, the younger Drucker is a leading member of the (Mandelite) Fourth
International, notwithstanding his "bureaucratic collectivist" views. He told
the conference on U.S. Trotskyism in New York City in October that in his view
the differences over the "third camp" position developed by Schachtman and
others after their exit from the Socialist Workers Party were not particularly
relevant now, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although no one challenged
him from the floor, this statement struck me as rather odd, given the obvious
influence classic "third camp" positions on such issues as the NATO intervention
in Kosovo have had on such contemporary groups as Solidarity and the magazines
Against the Current and New Politics, as well as the "state capitalist" currents
like the International Socialists.

Richard Fidler

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