Re: [OPE] Greece Finance EU and Neo Liberalism

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Sat May 08 2010 - 10:00:19 EDT

On 2010-04-30 14:12, Paul Cockshott wrote:
> No it is deliberate, I get stick from CP loyalists in Germany as well for calling the Eastern European economies social democratic, but I do so advisedly. If you look at the economic programmes of Atlee in India, Gottwald in Czechoslovakia or Ambedkar in India all in 1948 you see that they were, in essence, much of a muchness. They were all in their different circumstances following a basic economic model developed by German Social Democracy whilst in opposition prior to the Great War.
> Contemporary KPD members are equally insulted that I call it Social Democracy, but that is what it was.
> In say 1975, East Germany's economy was more social democratic than the UK which was probably more social democratic than Sweden in terms of the original economic aims of social democracy. This was to create a predominantly state owned economy, but one which still operated in terms of money.
> In the 2nd quarter of the 20th century some European social democrats liked to call themselves 'communists', but this had little to do with economic policy and instead related to whether they wanted to come to power by insurrectionary means. The infatuation with insurrection was short lived and all parties in Europe, except KKE shifted from insurrectionary to social democratic methods. Even KKE was only insurrectionary for a few years before reverting to social democracy.

I agree that the central difference between classical social-democrats
and communists was a strategic one about how to obtain state power.
Moreover, since the socialist movement at large did not have a worked
out plan for organizing a non-capitalist economy, the policies it could
implement during the first half of the 20th century were improvised in a
context of mass production lines, world wars between nation-states and
catastrophic depression.

'Public ownership' was a central component of social democratic economic
policy and took its characteristic form during, say, 1914-1950 and hence
I agree that there is overlap with the economic policies implemented by
communist parties in power. But I think it is quite a very coarse
classification to say that the political economies of Sweden and East
Germany in 1975 were 'social democratic'. They may both have had a
considerable state-owned sector and welfare services but they were in
the end based on two different modes of production and that makes all
the difference if we are to believe Marx.

//Dave Z
ope mailing list
Received on Sat May 8 10:05:54 2010

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