Monday, March 30, 2009

After the Revolution: FAQ

Here are answers to a few frequently asked questions concerning the views I've been presenting regarding the need for a revolution.

1. Your agenda sounds like you're proposing Soviet Communism.

No. I propose neither a violent overthrow of the government, which I don't see as the problem, nor an end to any of our civil liberties. I don't think a command economy such as that of the USSR could work here. Although Sweden or Israel offer intriguing examples.

2. Didn't Communism fail?

That depends on what you expected Communism to accomplish. Politically, the Leninist theory of the state and the ruling political party, eliminated any possibility of an open society. This has been roundly criticized from the Left, a criticism in which I happily join. However, Communist revolutions achieved quite a lot in social and economic terms, when one takes into account that they took place in very backward, pre-industrial and politically neo-feudal countries.

 3. So if you are not a Communist, what are you?

I'm unhappy with the political parties available to us in the United States. The only viable political parties, Democratic and Republican, accept the same economic dogmas, myths and taboos. There is no political party of the left that is particularly worthy: the socialists are tiny, the trotskyists are a tad too doctrinaire and the Communists carry the monkey of Stalin on their backs. I see myself as someone who advocates for a social and economic democracy that is at least as sturdy and open to popular influence as our political democracy is, particularly since January 2009.

2 comments:

Geneviève said...

2. what do you call "an open society"?

3. Not because the socialists are "tiny" means that their party is not worthy

Cecilieaux said...

A open society is one in which the basic civil rights of the citizenry -- freedom of expression, assembly, travel, petition, worship and so forth -- are respected as a matter of law and practice. For all our problems, the United States remains an open society.

The worthiness I was referring to, in the case of the Socialist Party (which one?), was not a matter of the ideas, but of practical political viability. These are tiny splinter groups who wouldn't know what governing is if it came to shake their hands.