[Marxism] Re: State capitalism -- addition

Ian Pace ian at ianpace.com
Sun Dec 19 15:27:54 MST 2004

From: "Tom O'Lincoln" <suarsos at alphalink.com.au>
To: <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Saturday, December 18, 2004 11:46 PM
Subject: [Marxism] Re: State capitalism -- addition

>>>Any unrest in the Eastern Bloc was due to factors such as desire for
> Western  style freedoms, or perceived freedoms.<<
> Well it's true that most people in Eastern Europe wanted the right to
> strike, the right to express their views without ending up in jail, and
> right to news media that weren't a total insult to the intelligence. My
> East Berlin friend's father used to say, "what's the news, Tom, I
> haven't had a chance to watch TV" - meaning West Berlin TV of course.
> People only read East German newspapers for the weather and sport.
> Wasn't "Actually Existing Socialism" just the most fabulous thing?
This reminds me of a point that Eagleton made somewhere, in typical didactic 
British far-left manner. Rightly criticising the liberal view of Eastern 
Europe (written pre-1989), he said that 'what the people of Eastern Europe 
need is not more free speech, but a workers' revolution against the state'. 
Correct in one sense, but he didn't seem to countenance the possibility that 
more free speech might play a part in facilitating a genuine workers' 
revolution. I suppose there is the counter-argument that repressive 
conditions breed revolutionary circumstances, but I'm sure that's not what 
was meant in this context. I can't see how any genuine socialist can really 
deny the importance of such things for people outside the western world 
while jealously guarding them within it.


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