[OPE-L:4790] Re: state ownership

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Thu Jan 25 2001 - 08:37:01 EST

Re Paul C's [OPE-L4783]:

The proposals that you refer to from the _Communist Manifesto_ were 10 measures that workers' parties were urged to put into effect immediately after the insurrection. They were evidently intended for the *short-term* purpose of consolidating workers' power so as to prevent the bourgeoisie from effectively organizing a counter-revolutionary movement (although this was not the rationalization for all of the measures, e.g.. the one on free education for children and the abolition of child labor).

In the _Critique of a Gotha Program_ (1891) there is reference to the "common" ownership of the means of production in the context of the "cooperative society".  And, of course, in _Capital_ there is the reference to the "free association of workers".

Let me ask you a practical political question: do you think that a conception of socialism as generalized state ownership has appeal to workers in any part of the world today?

I think that one of the shared beliefs of the working class internationally, especially and increasingly over the last 40 years, has been *anti-authoritarianism*.  Any renewal of a socialist movement, imho, will have to embrace this anti-authoritarianism and healthy skepticism of the working class re any state officials/bureaucrats. 

I agree with Paul Bu in [OPE-L4782], that in discussing the dissolution of the USSR, etc. we have to remember and emphasize the role of international imperialism. Yet, as internationalists and revolutionists we have the responsibility to take a critical stance towards what other "socialists" and "Marxists" have done.  In the context of the USSR, etc., this means in part that we can not forget the role of Stalinism.

In solidarity, Jerry

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