[Marxism] David Schweickart versus Michael Albert
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Nov 2 11:40:40 MST 2006
Over the past week or so I have been watching "La Commune", a 357 minute
masterpiece of a movie by Peter Watkins about the Paris Commune. Rich in
Brechtian efffects, it is both historically accurate while emphasizing the
connections to today's struggles. Stepping out of character, the actors
comment on media monopoly, etc. I plan to write a detailed review of this
film, but am prompted to say a word or two about various contributions
lately to the ongoing debate about how to build socialism or a more just
society. In my view, Marx had little to say about how future societies
should be constructed and instead looked at the Paris Commune as a concrete
example of workers taking power.
David Schweickart is a well-known "market socialist", an economic approach
generally identified with the moribund Analytical Marxism school. It has
also been supported by left economists without any particular theory, such
as the late Alec Nove. I know that Schweickart has an obvious interest in
the AM school as indicated by his enthusiasm for Roemer's collection of AM
essays but really have no idea whether he has both feet in that camp.
My most recent encounter with his work was prompted by the discovery that
he was among the group identified by Paul Burkett and Marty Hart-Landsberg
in their book-length MR article on China who still believed that the
country was socialist. As is almost universally understood, a rapacious
capitalism is being built in China under the rubric of "market socialism".
Only a year ago, Schweickart was swooning over China's accomplishments: "I
think it illuminating to view China as a grand attempt at constructing a
viable, equitable society beyond capitalism."
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