[Marxism] Getting Over State Socialism's Crimes

Roger Raven rogergen at tpg.com.au
Mon Feb 5 16:42:22 MST 2007

For me, the issue is that socialism's "crimes" continue to be an enormously popular focus of the enormous Right-wing political apparatus, as well as a divisive issue amongst socialists ourselves.   

Because it appears to be such a serious barrier to the further development of socialism, it seems important - not just desirable, important - to arrive at a conclusion that will provide a definitive answer to the issue for any objective person.   The destructive, narrow, and stereotyped replies that I've received on this list alone demonstrate how profound a barrier it remains - and will remain until it is resolved.

For me, the issue is not limited to the specific or even the general issues of what crimes Stalin, Mao, and other socialists did or didn't do.  Against the crimes of commission of Stalin, Mao and others, we should also attempt to lift the veil of silence on the costs to ordinary people - the crimes of deliberate omission - of the various types of capitalism and Capitalist Restoration.

Let me reassure everyone that this will be my last post on the subject.   But the barrier remains.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Louis Proyect 
  To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition 
  Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 5:55 AM
  Subject: Re: [Marxism] Getting Over State Socialism's Crimes

  Roger Raven wrote:
  >An arrogant view, expressed arrogantly, though a Neanderthal would have 
  >been much more intellectual.   This sort of deeply self-centred and 
  >stereotyped "reply", with its fatuities and deceits, is of course 
  >worthless.    I've had more successful "private taunting" from little 
  >children - who were certainly more open-minded and scholarly.
  >Since you clearly do not want a socio-economic system in which the means 
  >of production and the distribution of wealth are subject to social 
  >control, whether through popular collectives or via the state, why are you 
  >contributing to this list?

  Let me jump in here and remind everybody that Marxmail is not the best 
  place to discuss the "Russian questions". With occasional exceptions made 
  for dispassionate scholarly investigations about some detail or another 
  about the Soviet Union, we generally try to exclude debates over Stalin or 
  Trotsky's legacy, etc.

  If anybody is interested in having that kind of discussion, I'd recommend 
  the Trotsky newsgroup at:


  There might be some Yahoo mailing lists that also like to explore such 
  topics, but I am not familiar with them.

  But let's stick to the here and now...



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