Thanks for the clarification. Sorry if I took your earlier post the wrong way. I think we're on the same page.
One more question, just for fun - do you think its possible in all cases to separate out the effects of communism from other factors?
At 06:31 PM 7/21/98 -0400, you wrote:
>At 02:14 PM 7/21/98 -0400, Brett Knowlton wrote:
>>I agree with the notion that people can falsly claim to be doing something
>>in the name of a given ideology when they are really perverting it. But I
>>think communism as the world has experienced it so far deserves to be
>>The vast majority of real world communist examples I can think of have been
>>anti-democratic if not downright authoritarian. And authoritarian regimes
>>invariably abuse their power in one way or another, ranging from limits on
>>political expression to outright genocide. Soviet Russia and China are not
>>examples I would like to see emulated. Shouldn't communism be held at
>>least partly responsible for what has transpired in self-proclaimed
>I'm not trying to exonerate Stalin & Co. of any wrongdoing. All I am
>saying that they should be judged by some rational criteria, not by those
>created by the US anti-communist propaganda machine.
>Specifically, we need to define what is the essence of the communist system
>(central planning? state ownership of the means of production? ideology?)
>and analytically seprate the effects of that essence from the effects of
>other factors (such as economic backwardness, political instability, social
>structure, etc.) that affected the countries in question regardless of what
>political regime was in place. We also need to separate that efect form
>the effect of particular leadership style, which is the effect of the
>person rather than that of the system.
>Only after we analytically separate those different effects, a formidable
>task indeed, we can blame or exonerate communism.
>Needless to add that we need to to make a distinction between different
>Besides, Soviet Unions cum satellites and China are definitely NOT the
>examples to be emulated by the developed nations. The reason for that is
>quite simple: it is them who emulated the developed nations to catcg up
>with them economically and militarily.