[OPE-L:5278] RE: Re: The Webbs as utopians

From: P.J.Wells@open.ac.uk
Date: Wed Mar 28 2001 - 11:37:33 EST

Jerry writes in #5277

>What Bernstein and the Webbs had in common
>with the Utopian Socialists was the belief that
>socialists could be able to bring about socialism
>through an evolutionary process. Both groups,
>including (contemporary) Social Democrats,
>embrace a particular perspective of the
>(capitalist) state that is in opposition to Marx's
>(and other revolutionary) perspective.

I'd go along with this, if allowed to substitute "bring about socialism" by
"achieve their respective programmes", and "through an evolutionary process"
by "without confronting the bourgeois state".

The first substitution is simply to avoid bracketing the Webbs' bureaucratic
philanthropy with the genuinely transformative aspirations of the others
(including Bernstein).

The second is suggested on the grounds that Bernstein could be interpreted
as arguing that no special measures were needed apart from raising peoples'
consciousness so as to fit them for the happy day when capitalism faded

The Webbs, on the other hand, were extremely pro-active (read "interfering
busybodies") in pressing their agenda of reforms from above.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Apr 02 2001 - 09:57:30 EDT