[OPE-L:4805] Re: Re: Re: state ownership

From: Gerald_A_Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@email.msn.com)
Date: Mon Jan 29 2001 - 09:58:58 EST

Re Paul C's [OPE-L:4804]:

> Whatever the lifestyle and "atrocities" of Breshnev they pale into
> insignificance compared to those of Yeltsin.

No, they don't pale into "insignificance".  No doubt, the working class
is worse off in Russia now then it was under Brezhnev et. al. Yet,
the experience of bureaucratic rule in a "socialist" nation is significant
and will be long remembered both in Russia and the rest of the world.

> Anti-authoritarianism and opposition to state ownership are
> not the same thing. What is at issue is the effectiveness of the
> constitutional arangements for ensuring that the state is effectively
> a workers one. Also I think that you may play up the anti-authoritarianism
> too much. There is ample evidence of strong pro-authoritarian sentiment
> in Russia for example.

It's true that the extent to which the working class is anti-authoritarian
varies internationally.  It's also true that there are powerful social
institutions that reinforce authoritarianism in the working class
(e.g. educational and religious institutions). Yet, I think it is also
true that since the youth radicalization of the 1960's (best
expressed perhaps by the revolts in many countries in 1968), the
working-class internationally has become more suspicious of the state
(including within "socialist nations"; c.f. the experience of 1968
Czechoslovakia) and more generally mistrustful of all authoritarian
structures (including those within the working-class movement, e.g.
trade union "leadership").

Nonetheless, it is also true as you suggest that there are strong
pro-authoritarian movements, including movements within
Russia. These include neo-fascist movements to the extreme
right and Stalin-restorationists.

What specific "constitutional arrangements" would you

In solidarity, Jerry

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