Re: [OPE-L] response to John Holloway

From: John Holloway (johnholloway@PRODIGY.NET.MX)
Date: Thu May 26 2005 - 14:39:32 EDT

> Paul,
>     Thanks for your intervention and sorry for not replying sooner. Thanks too
> for the mention of John Collier, of whom I have not heard in many years.
>     I agree with you that the relation between the political and the economic
> is modified in the USSR. What is clear is that the two practices (the
> political and the economic) remain distinct, and that the exclusion of social
> control is probably just as pronounced as under mainstream capitalism. You say
> that >The key issue is how the mass of the working population can exercise
> effective control over the political level< but that, I would argue, involves
> the dissolution of a distinct political level. But probably, this is a point
> which I have now repeated too often.
>     Best wishes,
>     John
> John Writes:
> It is fundamental to the argument of the book that the expression ła state of
> the Paris Commune-type˛ makes no sense at all. The state is a particular form
> of social relations grounded in the separation of the political from the
> economic ...
> Paul C
> I think this eternalises the capitalist form of state and acts as if the 20th
> century never happened.
> The distinguishing feature of socialist states was the close enmeshing of the
> political
> and economic levels. In the CSSR or USSR there was no economy distinct from
> the state,
> this I would argue, is a necessary consequence of planned economy.
> In the socialist mode of production the extraction of the surplus product is
> inherently
> political, whereas in the capitalist mode it is primarily economic. It occurs
> through the
> planned allocation in material terms of part of the social product to non-wage
> goods.
> As such you can not separate out the planning process from the economy, and
> the
> planning process is inherently political.
> It is from this fundamental relationship that the dominance of the
> political/ideological
> level under socialism stems from. In this sense, as John Collier remarked,
> socialism
> is more similar to feudalism than capitalism in some ways.
> The key issue is how the mass of the working population can exercise effective
> control over the political level - what forms of mass democracy will allow
> that.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri May 27 2005 - 00:00:01 EDT