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Piers BS: Changes? (37) RE: BS: Changes? 22 Sep 05


Well you are correct Bill D. in that it is perhaps the most difficult job in the world ever, to overcome the capitalist propaganda machine and its religious and political mouthpieces. I do not pretend that it will be easy particularly as we are so few now. However, myself and many others have managed to become socialists. At school, church and in the media everyone is constantly told that what problems there are a result of bad leadership or bad luck, the rich are rich because they are clever and work hard and the poor are poor because they are lazy and stupid, if they even acknowledge there is rich and poor. The system is never challenged, alternatives are never discussed.

The old "it'll never work because people are greedy" line is an absraction from society as it is now constituted. It is not in doubt that people wish to accumulate at the expense of others, but the idea that this is an immutable human attribute is questionable. We can all give examples of (other) people being greedy, but do people in general accumulate to no purpose, do we hoard things we will not need, do we gluttonise at every meal? I don't and I don't know anyone that does. It is easy to throw a piece of meat to a group of hungry dogs and watch them fight over it and say 'look they are only out for themselves and are not willing to share things equally, its their nature'. Most goods and services do not need to be in short supply, most estimates of the world's carrying capacity are vastly in excess of the current population.

There is a good paragraph (If the abolition of the . . .) in the link you provide which does explain what the state is, and why merely bureacracy does not constitute a state (they do refer to the outdated (as the means of production are developed enough for all basic needs to met) idea of a higher and lower phase (Lenin wrongly described the lower as socialism and the higher as communism, whereas Marx et al. had used the terms interchangebly)). The idea that all bureacracy constitutes the state is untenable. Socialism will inherit an integrated world economy with complex production of goods and provision of services, though we can get rid of vasts amounts bureacracy, it will of course involve some administration but this I would argue should be decentralised (unlike the state as we know it now) and be of a direct democratic nature (unlike the state now), these things define the state. If we are to a society where all needs are met there needs to be away of communicating those needs, a way for workers to decide what hours they want to work, a way to co-ordinate that work, a way to decide what the work should be, etc, etc? Democracy is the essence of socialism, anarchists who believe bureacracy = the state are very anti-democratic, they often believe that revolution is seizure of power and destroying capitalist property rather than revolution using the existing political structure where possible. I can understand why people dislike political democracy as it currently stands, but not why you should be disparaging about actually being involved in democratic decisions that really do affect your life - this is individualism gone mad.

I do not think communes can be accurately termed socialism because socialism aims to replace capitalism which is world system. OK development happens unevenly but capitalism is now the dominant world system, production and distribution is integrated between countries, as it necessary for socialism.


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