More on Hitchens

Jurriaan Bendien J.Bendien at wolmail.nl
Sat Nov 9 05:20:27 MST 2002


I am not keen on "aid organisations run by right-wing prostelysing
christians (or any other religion for that matter) which demand adherence to
religious practice before the provision of welfare" either. But I was not
keen on this already before reading Hitchens' book, so as far as I am
concerned he is just preaching to the converted. And if Hitchens heckles
hypocrisy and then says "But we're living in one of those periods where, on
the world stage, only capitalism is revolutionary, not just in rich
countries, but also in poor ones and also in countries that used to be
state-capitalist", then for me this casts serious doubt on the validity of
his "critique". Not "only capitalism is revolutionary", and capitalism is
revolutionary only in still generating some new productive forces which
benefit human kind - but this advance pales into insignificance if  placed
next to the poverty, misery, alienation and oppression which it generates
for billions of people, and if we look at just how exactly these productive
forces are applied within the framework of the imperialist system and the
biosphere.  That is precisely why you need to be a socialist !

As regards "state capitalism", this is no satisfactory description of
Soviet-type societies at all; the people living there did not accept it, the
business class (bourgeoisie) did not accept it, it is politically simplistic
and even harmful, and it doesn't permit us to form a better conception of
the transition to socialism, beyond abstract slogans about "workers power".
If you cannot correctly specify what capitalism means, when capitalism is
overthrown or what is in the interests of the working class and the
peasantry once it is overthrown, you are not able to say anything much that
is valid about the transition to socialism. It is funny how someone can
subscribe to the very "radical" (sic.) theory of state capitalism and then
say "only capitalism is revolutionary" in our time. This is just not
consistent, and not convincing. It is a spurious radicalism, a kind of
posturing.

Jurriaan



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