[Marxism] realities of academic labor vs. G's fantasies

Ian Pace ian at ianpace.com
Tue Jul 25 17:25:38 MDT 2006

From: "Louis R Godena" <louisgodena at ids.net>
> Well, my point is that we should plan (and act) with an eye toward 
> abolishing this behemoth; it does not serve the people in the long run; it 
> was designed (and largely executed) during the Cold War as a short term 
> palliative to ward off dreaded "socialism".  It is being junked in one 
> form or another just about everywhere.   It is not a tenable model, even 
> under a workers' state, in the long run.   I imagine some scheme will 
> emerge (designed, I hope, by the most devoutly pragmatic socialist 
> thinkers and doers that our working class can produce) that will resemble 
> Engel's co-operative society, where the fruits of all labor (work of 
> course will assume a new "meaning" as it will contribute demonstrably to 
> the public good) will accrue to the benefit of the producer, minus of 
> course some nominal portion to provide for the amenities which any decent 
> society demands.   This is a far cry from the modern welfare state under 
> capitalism, which bloats dependency, weakens resolve, and instills in both 
> the supplicant and the capitalist a normative milieu, that capitalism is 
> "ordinary", even "good".
In the event of the collapse of capitalism that makes sense, but in the 
meantime you seem to be taking the position that it's better for capitalism 
to get worse than to preserve any of the better aspects of contemporary 
society. Would you attack those campaigning for a publicly-funded hospital 
or school to stay open, then? That's part of the modern welfare state under 
capitalism, and it 'bloats dependency, weakens resolve and instills in both 
the supplicant and the capitalist a normative milieu, that capitalism is 
"ordinary", even "good"'. Perhaps you'd take the world back to the 1930s, 
and hope that sows the seeds of revolution (it might well sow the seeds of 
something else entirely, as it did back then)?

This is when 'Marxism' gets so absurdly theoretical and detached from 
contemporary realities that it disappears up its own backside. I cannot 
believe that Marx himself would have been in favour of dismantling the 
welfare state.

Indeed it is being junked in many places, and I'm not a cheerleader for that 
process. On the contrary, I think that process should be fought by all 
Marxists. Do we want to allow poor single-mothers and their children to 
starve and be deprived of health and education, consoling them with the 
promise that their situation will help to ferment revolution and better 
times? Crazy and dangerous stuff.


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