[Marxism] re work-needs, etc

michael a. lebowitz mlebowit at sfu.ca
Fri Jun 13 13:04:08 MDT 2008

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 
'becoming'-- 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 its 
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' (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 that 
Che clearly understood.
3. It was Lenin who said there were two 'stages', and that there was the 
'socialist principle' of to each according to her contribution. Stalin 
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,

Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Office Fax:   (604) 291-5944
Home:   Phone (604) 689-9510
Cell: 778-230-6137

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