[OPE-L:2816] RE: socialism and planning

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Sat, 10 Aug 1996 12:23:09 -0700 (PDT)

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At 16:29 06/08/96 -0700, glevy@pratt.edu wrote:
>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.

Paul C:
I think that this shows a certain geographical bias. In working class
communities in Scotland most people are in favour of socialism. And
when the USSR existed, there was considerable sympathy with it among
the working class here.

Among the working classes of Europe in general there was widespread
pro-soviet sympathy in the 40s and 50s. After long periods of
cold war propaganda during which the USSR was the military enemy,
this tended to decline. In judging the outlook of American workers
you must take into account that the effects of US imperialism on
the US workers movement, otherwise you end up allowing imperialism
to define what is acceptable to the workers movement.

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)