FWD: Re: Japan's economy in freefall

William S. Lear rael at zopyra.com
Fri Sep 18 15:01:48 PDT 1998

On Fri, September 18, 1998 at 14:25:23 (-0400) Louis Proyect writes:
>Bill Lear:
>>I'll let Doug fend for himself here, but I should point out that just
>>the other day Lou criticized Robin Hahnel because his argument for
>>ParEcon "appeals to the intellect". Here he is saying that persuading
>>people by "the force of our argument" is what is important.
>No, my attack on Hahnel was not that his arguments appealed to the
>intellect, but rather that they were a form of neo-Utopian Socialism. ...

Funny, the quote above was from your own post criticizing Hahnel.

> .... When
>I say that I will argue for socialism, I do not mean that I will argue for
>a blueprint that is intellectually and logically consistent ...

So Marxism is not "intellectually and logically consistent"? I find it to be quite consistent in both respects (whatever is meant by intellectual consistency, I suppose).

> .... Let me clarify the difference by
>showing you how Marx dealt with the Hahnel/Albert of his day, namely,
>Ferdinand Lasalle. Lasalle had cooked up a blueprint for socialism that was
>based on workers co-ops, not unlike Mondragon. Here was Marx's response in
>"Critique of the Gotha Program":
>"What we have to deal with here is a communist society, not as it has
>developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges
>from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically,
>morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old
>society from whose womb it emerges."
>This single sentence is something that Hahnel/Albert simply don't
>understand. While their blueprint-writing is harmless, it simply misses the

Again I think it is you who miss the point. What they write is entirely consistent with the quote from Marx, if I've read it correctly. The society of the future, post-capitalism, will have to deal with issues "just as [they] emerge[] from capitalist society". Hahnel and Albert understand this perfectly well (as would anybody even half-serious about social change) and they make no claims to divine the precise ways in which our society will be transformed from one based on wage slavery to one not based upon it. They do hope that when the transition comes about that some of their arguments will have been read and debated, and will hopefully shape the society of the future. They hope that centralized, top-down control will not be used to organize the economy, and that a cooperative, democratic means be used instead.


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