Re: [OPE-L] e-interview of Michael P

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Wed Oct 25 2006 - 09:00:30 EDT

> MP: Of course, I would like to see a peaceful, socialist world.  If
> someone as far-seeing as Marx refused to prepare cookbooks for the future,
> I would certainly not take up such a project.  To build such a future
> requires collective action, not the musings of an obscure academic.

Hi Michael:

I understand your point but I think it's a bit one-sided.  Yes, I agree
that academics and intellectuals can not presume that _they_ will be
the ones who will come up with the recipes which will be selected
in the future by the working class.

Yet,  thinking about the character of socialism is also an important
practical political task and has been for some time, especially since
the downfall of the former USSR and other 'socialist' societies.
Indeed,  some 'recipes' (note plural) are required to answer the TINA
(There  Is No Alternative) argument of Neo-Liberalism.  And, imo,
there need to be anti-Stalinist and anti-authoritarian recipes since
workers in every part of the world  will not join a fight for another
1930s Soviet-type society.

So, while I don't think that academics per se should be the ones
charged with this responsibility,  thinking about the
character of socialism is not by any means a fantasy.  What is
needed is for there to be an ongoing discussion by workers and
activists about what sort of society they want.  Discussions of
utopias are no longer Utopian.

In solidarity, Jerry

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