[OPE-L:2804] RE: socialism and planning

glevy@pratt.ed (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 6 Aug 1996 16:29:45 -0700 (PDT)

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Paul C wrote in [OPE-L:2801]:

> Give poor Maurice a break. What has really discredited socialism has been
> the flood of former marxists from Roemer to Kornai who line up proclaiming
> that there is no alternative to the market.

Again I disagree. I think that making excuses for the actions of the
Soviet leadership and ignoring or defending some of the horrors of Soviet
society has discredited marxism far more than the writings of a few
contemporary current of former marxists on "market socialism." If you
don't believe this is the case, try asking your neighbors in a working
class community why they aren't socialists. I bet a lot will tell you
that the reason is that the Soviet Union was socialist and they don't
want to live like that. Of course, it is true that they have been fed a
lot of anti-communist propaganda by the bourgeois media, the educational
system and the state. Yet, they have a good enough understanding of some
realities of life in the former USSR to know that's not what they want.

> First rule of politics, never appologise.

This may be good advice for bourgeois politicians. I think it makes a
lousy maxim for revolutionaries, however. I think that we are obliged to
tell workers the truth (as we know it). Also, I think that the failure to
apologize can lead to excuse-making and apologetics.

Re: OPE-L: 2777: I think that the Trotskyists on the list (of which I am
not one) do not want to engage in "Trotskyist polemics" either. Having
said that, I also believe that if some on the list want to make reference
occasionally to Lenin, others should be allowed to refer to Trotsky (or
Mao or whoever).

In OPE-L Solidarity,