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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Piers MI5 monitored Ewan MacColl (174* d) RE: MI5 monitored Ewan MacColl 07 Mar 06

In writings of the pioneers of socialist and communist thought in the late 19th century, the terms socialism and communism were used interchangebly, both to mean a society of social/common ownership which involves the abolition of private property, money (the means of exchanging privately owned things) and actual democracy (one person's say being as good as anothers in the workplace and in social matters). These pioneers believed that the only possible way of building such a society was from the bottom up, as it were. Marx wrote that workers of all lands should unite to overthrow existing social conditions. Most Russians didn't want socialism/communism in the early 20th century and they didn't get. They got a society with even less democracy than countries with mixed state-private capital-based economies and an economy of mostly state-owned industries where the political elite lived off surplus created by the workers rather than private individuals, workers in "Communist" Russia were as exploited as we are in the west, and Lenin's worker's state never turned into socialism.

The Bolshevik policy of a revolutionary vanguard seizing power by any means necessary (force, deception, populist tactics) to control the state and emancipate the workers on their behalf (whether they wanted it or not) is anti-democratic and anti-socialist. Many people call themselves socialists and still advocate this kind of means to achieve socialist/communist society (like Trotsky did, remember Kronstadt!). Whilst one can empathise with those like MacColl who support and have supported Bolshevik tactics you can't have socialism without socialists. If we want to be rid of war, poverty, miserable work, leaders and bosses and have a society where the priority of production is simply to fulfil human needs we have to make socialists. That is what it means to be a socialist.

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