[Marxism] What Do Socialists Actually Read?

Bonnie Weinstein giobon at sbcglobal.net
Sun May 1 11:47:38 MDT 2005


I can't help it. I have to comment on this issue of "print media" vs.
"electronic media" that seems to be a thread running through this
discussion. If you feel that socialists, whether they are pushy or not, are
wasting their time on print publications and that trying to sell them at
various and sundry events is repugnant, don't you thing that folks who
publish their own articles on various email lists is also being just as
intrusive in electronic media? What's the difference?

Many people don't reprint articles from "socialist newspapers and magazines"
because they believe in capitalism. They believe that the socialist
"experiment" failed. And that the ideas of the great revolutionary writers
are nothing more than outdated idealistic visions of human relationships
that will never be.

It's the logic that leads to alliances with certain more liberal segments of
the capitalist ruling class. This logic rationalizes that it's more
realistic to expect that capitalism can be reformed to be more democratic
and to be more fair toward the working class than to believe we could have
socialism‹socialism failed in their minds. But socialists don't counterpoise
democracy and socialism. We say that socialism is the only road to real
democracy, i.e., workers' democracy‹majority rule.

And we socialists, with our meager resources‹our printed organs‹that tells
who we are and what we think humanity can rise to, are portrayed as
dogmatic, fanatic, crazies that can't accept the reality that no one is
interested in these ideas any more.

The Cuban revolution, number one on the U.S. hit-list, is living proof of
the vitality of classical Marxist, Leninist, and Trotskyist scientific
analysis of the social evolution of humanity. Cuba's carefully planned
economy has actually made advances even under the horrific U.S. Embargo! It
has sent doctors to its neighboring countries to help the impoverished‹
training new doctors as they go. They have given thousands of medical
scholarships to students from around the world who could not afford to go to
medical school‹free of charge. They have made revolutionary new advances in
cancer treatment that had to be acknowledged by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration. 

Since the embargo made it impossible for Cuba to get the pesticides it
routinely used since before the revolution, it now relies on organic
gardening and has organic community gardens throughout Cuba. It has a lower
infant mortality rate than the U.S. And Cubans are more literate than
Americans. And, it is spreading its revolutionary ideas to whoever will
listen. 

(Cuba also has a much lower incarceration rate. According to the National
Institute of Corrections http://nicic.org/Library/019412 which reports the
prison population rates per 100,000 of national population of countries
around the world, the U.S. Incarcerates over 686 people per 100,000 and Cuba
incarcerates 297 people per 100,000. Some people think incarceration rates
are a gage of democracy. The lower the incarceration rate, the more
democratic a country is.)

What a revolutionary idea it is to think that humans could overcome war and
the unequal distribution of wealth by eliminating the "middle man" of
capitalism and produce for need instead of profit! To each according to need
and from each according to ability. The Cubans seem to think it's working.

Bonnie Weinstein,

Socialist Viewpoint

 



On 5/1/05 7:23 AM, "Yoshie Furuhashi" <furuhashi.1 at osu.edu> wrote:

>> Dear Yoshie,
>> I usually don't disagree with you, but I have to on this occasion.
>> Once again we see the innate elitism of the American academic left.
>> It may be that you are transposing your own interest in defining
>> what socialism is and isn't. In the final analysis the academic left
>> is part of the problem, not the solution.
>>                                    Peace&Socialism, Rick Page
> 
> Take a look at this mailing list, for instance.  What sort of
> publications do you see people post and discuss?  Items most often
> posted here are articles from bourgeois newspapers (sometimes because
> they are useful, other times because they are objects of criticism).
> Then, broad left publications, publications that fall into C, D, E,
> F, G, and H that I mentioned, some of which are indeed academic.
> Rarely do I see people posting and discussing articles from socialist
> "newspapers," except to gossip about their publishers' changing
> political fortunes and lines, as in the recent thread about The
> Militant's turn to bilingual publishing (which masks the
> consolidation and diminution of the SWP's publications).  That's the
> reality that socialists should confront.





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