[OPE-L:2803] Re: socialism and planning

glevy@pratt.ed (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 6 Aug 1996 15:57:10 -0700 (PDT)

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Paul C wrote in [OPE-L:2800]:

> The theory that socialism could be established in one country would be
> relevant in any situation where there was a socialist revolution in
> a single isolated country. How secure that revolution would be would
> depend upon the size of the country, its wealth and military strength etc,
> but adoption of such a policy would be an absolute necessity for the
> left forces in any such revolution.

I think we have a different conception of what is required for socialism.
Also, I believe that for socialism what is required is for workers of the
world to unite. Even had the revolution happened in an advanced
capitalist nation like Germany, as the Bolsheviks hoped and expected, I
*still* think that the future ability of that society to become socialist
would depend critically on class struggles and revolutions in other

> The circumstances of an isolated Cuba are different
> from those of an isolated USSR, both because of geography, historical
> tradition, size, and moment in time. But even in the much weaker position
> that Cuba finds itself in, I would side with those within Cuba that sought
> to advance towards socialism rather than regress to capitalism.

Of course, I agree that the circumstances of Cuba and the former USSR
were not the same. I also hope that Cuba does not regress further towards
capitalism (although it sounds like the Cuban leadership is committed to a
policy of promoting capitalist markets).

> The theory of socialism in one country ceased to be historically relevant
> after 1948, but became relevant again after 1989.

I disagree. While there was a USSR, that theory was used to justify
Soviet foreign policy and attitudes towards revolutionary movements in
other countries. It may be less important today -- to the extent that
regimes which hold state power and agree with that belief are few if any.

In OPE-L Solidarity,