Re: [sixties-l] Bedtime for Democracy

From: William M. Mandel (
Date: 01/03/01

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    Jerry: The point is that Stew and you have different definitions of
    socialism. I think Stew understands it in the classical sense of an end to
    private ownership of the means of production. You understand it as any
    reforms that take the sharp edges off capitalism.
    William Mandel
    Jerry West wrote:
    > 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
    > Editor/publisher/janitor
    > ----------------------------------------------------
    > News and Views from Nootka Sound & Canada's West Coast
    > An independent, progressive regional publication

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