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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    31 May '09 14:51
    Given that Marxism (with or without Leninism) has been a catastrophic failure, what road should socialists advocate in a post-Marxist world? One avenue would be to re-examine some socialist approaches that were on the table before Marx set the movement on the disastrous path toward Stalinism. One in particular would be Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and his theory of Mutualism.

    The long and short of Mutualism is worker owned cooperatives, or what is known as "market socialism." Instead of a single owner, or a small group of external shareholders, corporations would be owned and managed by the people who work in them. They would be cooperative entities within a market economy. There are several examples of this currently in practice around the world, the most prominent being the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, in Spain.

    The great advantage of this approach is that it does not require a complete top-down transformation of society before it can be implemented. It can work seamlessly within the capitalist economies that are already in place. All that would be needed is a mechanism to promote worker owned start-up companies, or worker buyouts of existing companies. Instead of seeking to overthrow capitalism from without, Mutualism would seek to gradually transform the nature of capitalism from within, one corporation at a time.

    In my opinion, it is high time that socialists wake up to the fact that Marx and socialism are NOT synonymous and that Marx should be treated as a dead end, relegated to the dustbin of history. There is a groundswell of discontent with global capitalism around the world that could be productively channeled into fostering the growth of worker owned cooperatives. Toward this end, the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives was started in 2004. If they get but a fraction of the support and effort that went into promoting Marxism over the last century, we'll be well on our way toward building a better world.
  2. 31 May '09 14:53
    Social liberalism.
  3. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    31 May '09 15:01
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Social liberalism.
    Not at all. Social liberalism does not seek to alter the current dynamic of capitalism. It only seeks to blunt its excesses. Plus it requires a government structure to do something on your behalf. Social liberalism is itself a top-down approach toward ameliorating the worst excesses of capitalism.

    Mutualism, on the other hand, would change the very dynamic of capitalism. Plus it has the advantage of being a more grass roots approach. The workers would be doing something themselves, for themselves.
  4. 31 May '09 15:04
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Not at all. Social liberalism does not seek to alter the current dynamic of capitalism. It only seeks to blunt its excesses. Plus it requires a government structure to do something on your behalf. Social liberalism is itself a top-down approach toward ameliorating the worst excesses of capitalism.

    Mutualism, on the other hand, would change the very dyna ...[text shortened]... ng a more grass roots approach. The workers would be doing something themselves, for themselves.
    I didn't say social liberalism seeks to alter capitalism. It doesn't. "Social liberalism" is the answer to the question "what now?" as it is immensely successful in establishing socialist principles - equality of oppurtunity between classes, genders and races.
  5. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    31 May '09 15:19
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I didn't say social liberalism seeks to alter capitalism. It doesn't. "Social liberalism" is the answer to the question "what now?" as it is immensely successful in establishing socialist principles - equality of oppurtunity between classes, genders and races.
    LMAO!
  6. 31 May '09 15:20
    Marxist-Leninism hasn't failed! I think we can say that Stalinism failed, and Maosim failed, but Marxist-Leninism works!
  7. 31 May '09 15:24
    Originally posted by scherzo
    Marxist-Leninism hasn't failed! I think we can say that Stalinism failed, and Maosim failed, but Marxist-Leninism works!
    How do you know?
  8. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    31 May '09 15:27
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    How do you know?
    I guess the same way you know that "social liberalism" has been "immensely successful in establishing ................. equality of oppurtunity[sic] between classes, genders and races."
  9. 31 May '09 15:36
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    I guess the same way you know that "social liberalism" has been "immensely successful in establishing ................. equality of oppurtunity[sic] between classes, genders and races."
    Social liberalism is currently implemented in large parts of Europe.
  10. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    31 May '09 15:37
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I didn't say social liberalism seeks to alter capitalism. It doesn't. "Social liberalism" is the answer to the question "what now?" as it is immensely successful in establishing socialist principles - equality of oppurtunity between classes, genders and races.
    Social liberalism is a political approach toward solving economic problems. Mutualism is an economic approach toward solving economic problems. Guess which is the more direct approach? Besides, there is no contradiction between the two. You could have Mutualism, or worker owned cooperatives, within a social liberal political framework.
  11. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    31 May '09 15:41 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Social liberalism is currently implemented in large parts of Europe.
    And there is equality of opportunity between classes, genders and races across large parts of Europe?
  12. 31 May '09 15:42
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    How do you know?
    Cuba, Venezuela, and Russia 1917-1924.
  13. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    31 May '09 15:46
    Originally posted by scherzo
    Cuba, Venezuela, and Russia 1917-1924.
    Are you claiming that Venezuela is an example of Marxism-Leninism in practice?
  14. 31 May '09 15:49
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Are you claiming that Venezuela is an example of Marxism-Leninism in practice?
    Under Hugo Chavez, yes.
  15. 31 May '09 15:50
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    And there is equality of opportunity between classes, genders and races across large parts of Europe?
    No - but more so than in any other part of the world. Even with a perfect political/economic system, cultural effects will stop true equality of opportunity.