[OPE-L:4802] Re: state ownership

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Mon Jan 29 2001 - 08:13:42 EST

Paul C replied in [OPE-L:4801] to the following question:

> > Let me ask you a practical political question: do you think that a
> > of socialism as generalized state ownership has appeal to workers in any
> > of the world today?
> Yes, wherever there is a significant socialist movement, among the
> of that movement. I suggest that among communist workers in Turkey and
> India for example.
> Also among a significant sector of the working class in Russia.
> Even here in Britain, there is working class opposition to any
> reduction in state ownership. I was instrumental in getting a
> campaign going in scotland that stopped the privatisation of
> water supply here. We demanded a referendum on the issue
> and got one in Glasgow where we got more than 90% opposition
> to privatisation.
> There is majority popular, let alone working class support
> for the re-nationalisation of the railways in Britain.
> When the issue of state ownership is posed as opposed to
> private ownership there is support for it. In this society the
> media and the political system do their best to make sure
> that the issue is never posed.

I agree that *if* the issue is whether or not to support privatization,
then there is wide working-class support in most countries
for continued state ownership (and indeed, as you suggest,
there are many mass resistance movements to bourgeois campaigns
to privatization -- and, often relatedly, deregulation).

Yet, this issue is not the same issue that I raised in my question
above. The issue I posed is whether *a conception of socialism
as generalized state ownership* has appeal to workers in any section
of the world today?

I'm not sure whether such a very limited conception of socialism
has ever had mass support. However,  I think that after the
downfall of the USSR, etc. (and the "revelations" about the
lifestyles and atrocities etc. of the "leaders" of those nations) there
is even more skepticism about such a conception of socialism.
And this skepticism and anti-authoritarianism is not primarily the
result of media or  "political system" propaganda. Rather, it
is an expression of the historical learning process of the working

In solidarity, Jerry

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