[Marxism] re work-needs, etc

Charles Brown charlesb at cncl.ci.detroit.mi.us
Fri Jul 4 11:43:17 MDT 2008

michael a. lebowitz 

Just a quick passing shot:

1. Marx did not distinguish between a socialist society and a communist

society; rather, he referred to a single society in the process of 
CB: And as has been said many times, he referred to a "higher phase",
thus distinguishing between phases. Giving the phases names is not the
critical analytical step. Distinguishing the phases is.


 moving from a point where it relies upon historical 
premises which it itself has not produced, through a process of  
'subordinating all elements of society to itself, or in creating out of

it the organs which it still lacks',  to the point where it produces
own premises (i.e., rests upon its own foundations).
2. Distribution in accordance with contribution was for Marx the result

of a 'defect'-- an inherited historical premise, the continuation of 
bourgeois right (in this case the treatment of one's own labour-power,

'the personal condition of production', as your property. Nowhere does

Marx advocate 'building upon defects' 
CB: That's a lawyerly way to say it.  Probably nowhere did Marx
advocate "not building upon defects" either.


(cf. my note with this title in 
the October 2007 Science& Society for the barebones argument). In fact,

it is essential to struggle to subordinate this defect--- something
Che clearly understood.
CB: Although, nowhere did _Marx_ say "it is essential to struggle to
subordinate this defect", either.


3. It was Lenin who said there were two 'stages', and that there was
'socialist principle' of to each according to her contribution. 
CB: Where'd he say that ?  Of course, Lenin was dealing with socialism
in practice, not in theory like Marx. And as Engels said, Marxism is not
a dogma , but a guide to action.



and many others have followed. In fact, my note referred to above was 
originally presented in May 2006 in Havana at the Marx Conference and 
was directed (not openly-- but the Cubans all knew what I was talking 
about) against this very argument already emerging in Cuba (and most 
explicitly in the December 2005 speech of Soberon, president of the 
Cuban Central Bank).
          in solidarity,

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