[lbo-talk] A Crisis of Neo-liberalism or a Crisis of Captialism?" by Christopher Carrico

Mike Hess mhess126 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 12 20:26:46 PST 2011

Nice response. I wouldn't defend the Cuban, Russian or Chinese implementations of revolutionary socialism. I'm interested in some kind of democratic socialism achieved through non-violent uprising, with a new understanding of labor organization, and other worker-owned institutions. Clearly no one has gotten the formula exactly right yet. But such a society should be able to provide for the needs of every member without the incentives and antagonisms of our current order.

Over Olympian time, Capitalism can be more easily seen as a force for liberation relative to previous political economies. It's tempting to think the sheer force of humanity will direct society ever more egalitarian. But Olympian time really has no impact on our tangible, material experience.

On Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 10:06 PM, Somebody Somebody <philos_case at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> This is the problem with the reformist approach: you can make
>> meaningful change that improves the living standards of the working
>> class', but you don't get to keep it.
> The revolutionary approach doesn't necessarily allow improvements in the living standards of the working class to be kept either, as we well know. Even in Cuba the regime is implementing plans to roll-back egalitarianism, reintroduce the lash of income disparity and the market.
> Some gains are relatively permanent - like literacy, which remains an achievement in China and Russia. But then this also seems to be a permanent achievement of the reformist left in capitalist nations as well.
> So, we can say that neither the reformist nor revolutionary approach makes any guarantees for gains and concessions won by the working class. But, then, when are there ever any victories in politics or the class struggle that are won for all time?
> Finally, it's an open question whether the changes won by reformist social democratic, labor, and liberal parties are ever entirely stripped away. From an Olympian vantage point, it may be that the working class is simply experiencing a case of two-steps forward, one-step back. We may never return to anything like the conditions that prevailed when Englels wrote The Condition of the Working-Class in England.
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