Re: [sixties-l] Bedtime for Democracy

From: Jerry West (
Date: 01/02/01

  • Next message: radman: "[sixties-l] Fwd: The Year of the Protest" wrote:
    I really don't know what world you're living in.  In my world almost all
    the nations that called themselves socialist no longer do so- and those
    that still do are probably headed for capitalism. In my world all the
    labor and social-democratic parties that once advocated a moderate
    version of socialism no longer do (they all favor the free market.) And
    in almost every country that once boasted of a welfare state - that
    welfare state is in a state of retreat and collapse. In our own country
    there has been a major reduction in social programs and the military is
    now seen as the government way of dealing with social problems - let the
    poor become soldiers. Anyway JW - that's the world I live in - now tell
    me about your world which I gather is much the better one.
    JW reply:
    In your original post, Stew, you claimed the worldwide defeat of
    socialism. Perhaps your view of socialism is much narrower than mine, or
    you historical envelope considerably smaller.
    In my world there has been considerable progress in implementing
    socialist policies, even in capitalist countries, over the last 150
    years more or less.  That some of these programs have failed, that some
    are being torn apart and either discarded or mutilated (maybe mutated)
    in a right wing reformation hardly constitutes the defeat of socialism. 
    It may constitute a regressive period in the development of socialism.
    Whether a society calls itself socialist or not, if it has socialist
    features then socialism to some degree is alive and kicking there.
    In my very real world we still have single user pay, comprehensive
    socialized healthcare (the kind that progessives in the US only dream
    about), we have a single, publicly owned automobile insurance agency
    which has a legal monopoly, public highways, public schools, a publicly
    owned hydro-electric company that delivers some of the cheapest power in
    North America.  We have public universities whose tuition rates have
    been frozen for about five years despite free enterprise whining to let
    the market set the rate, and the list goes on.  It might not be the
    worker's paradise, but it is a far cry from an unregulated, Darwinian
    free market society.
    So, I would say that your obituary notice for socialism is a bit
    premature, at least in the world as I see it.
    Jerry West
    News and Views from Nootka Sound & Canada's West Coast
    An independent, progressive regional publication

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