RE: [OPE] dictatorships and parasites

Date: Thu Jan 29 2009 - 10:48:49 EST

> Now about what matters: isn't the liberal democracy what is called> bourgeois democracy in Marxist terms, which is conceived of as being a> class dictatorship based on the exploitation of labour power by the> capitalist class?
Hi Claus:
I just wanted to interject here to note a connection between a couple of
threads. The objection to using the term 'dictatorship', when referring to
a _class_ dictatorship is similar to the objection to using the term 'parasitic'
when referring to a _class_ which lives off of the labor performed by the
direct producers. Both 'dictatorship' and 'parasitism' carry for some
'an emotional load' (as Paula put it). But, I think that is mistaken:
the concept of a 'dictatorshp of the bourgeoisie' (and the 'dictatorship
of the proletariat') do not (or, at least should not, if correctly understood)
have an 'emotional' content: they are valid descriptive expressions for class rule.
Also, the concept of a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie stands in opposition to
a liberal perspective in which there are 'good' governments and 'bad' governments
(dictatorships) and hence what is needed are reforms and a replacement of
dictatorships (bad government) with democratic (good) governments.
This is consistent with the world outlook of the liberal bourgeoisie but does not
express a working class perspective (even if wide sections of the working class, at
a given moment in their history, come to embrace liberalism). Similarly,
liberalism conceives of 'good capitalists' and 'bad capitalists' (which they might refer
to as 'parastic'). They would then claim that what is needed are reforms which
get rid of the 'bad capitalists' and replace them with 'good capitalists'. This is
a reformist perspective, not a revolutionary one. A revolutionary perspective
argues that it's not a matter of 'good' vs. 'bad' capitalists, but rather a
_system_ based on exploitation. It may be misleading to some to apply the term
parasitic to the capitalist class as a whole, but it gets across this point just
as the concept of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie gets across a revolutionary
point about the class character of the state.
In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Thu Jan 29 10:54:58 2009

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