[Marxism] Reimagining socialism?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Mar 10 09:02:47 MDT 2009

The latest issue of The Nation Magazine has an article titled 
“Reimagining Socialism” by Barbara Ehrenreich and Bill Fletcher Jr.,  as 
well as four responses by Immanuel Wallerstein, Bill McKibben, Rebecca 
Solnit and Tariq Ali. Except for Ali’s article, I had problems with most 
of the others despite their value in taking the idea of socialism 
seriously. As the financial crisis deepens, we can expect more of this.

Barbara Ehrenreich is an honorary chairperson of Democratic Socialists 
of America, the U.S.’s official section of the Socialist International. 
Most of her articles and books in the recent period have had to do with 
the problems of the working poor. My most vivid memory of her thoughts 
on socialism prior to the publication of this article go back to a 
Socialist Scholars Conference in New York shortly after the collapse of 
the Soviet Union when she rebuked the audience for not understanding the 
importance of consumer goods. Unless we could supply the X-rated videos 
and bananas that East Germans were now buying after their liberation, we 
had nothing to offer the working class. At the time I felt that this was 
a prime example of lowering the socialist bar, especially in light of 
the fact that people make revolutions in order to stop being killed by 
cops and the military rather than being able to buy “Debby Does Dallas”. 
But, more to the point, the consumer goods that East Europeans hankered 
for now seem to be a thing of the past under conditions of economic ruin.

full: http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/reimagining-socialism/

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