Re: [sixties-l] Bedtime for Democracy

From: Jerry West (
Date: 01/04/01

  • Next message: William M. Mandel: "Re: [sixties-l] Bedtime for Democracy"

    William M. Mandel wrote:
    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.
    JW reply:
    Could be.  I understand it as any enterprise or service, including the
    means of production, that is democratically controlled either indirectly
    through a democratic level of government or directly through worker
    owned cooperatives (more or less, but you should get the point, and
    since this is theoretical I do not want to argue about the influence of
    money or the media over the control of democratic governments).
    I also agree with Stew that the outcome of socialist enterprise is to
    serve the needs of the community (a statement which itself could
    generate pages of discussion).
    I would disagree with Stew that Santa Rita is not a socialist
    institution since it is a child of a theoretically democratic government
    and is designed to serve the needs of society.  The fact that it does
    not serve those needs in a way that we see fit and is used from time to
    time against socialists is lamentable.
    Where I live we have the means of electricity production and delivery
    owned by the state.  That is a form of socialism and among our benefits
    is the third lowest electric rates in North America, way lower than the
    mess in California.  Another form of socialism here is that the state
    owns the only insurance company authorized to sell basic auto insurance,
    it also registers vehicles for the state.  My rates are better here than
    they were when I lived in California.  We also have a state owned major
    railway and there are many more examples and that is why I rose to the
    bait to point out that socialism was not defeated.
    Anyone who feels a desire to live in a place where democratic socialism
    can actually achieve power peacefully and implement some of its
    principles should move on up to BC, we can use more good voters to fend
    off the free enterprise pirates and corporadoes. :)
    Jerry West
    News and Views from Nootka Sound & Canada's West Coast
    An independent, progressive regional publication

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