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Well, I'd much prefer to talk about state capitalism rather than either 'communism' or 'real-existing socialism', but I'd have to explain it every time.

Why not re-re-brand, the way Jérôme did? Or always write "so-called-Anglo-Saxon-model" etc.?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Dec 30th, 2005 at 11:53:55 AM EST
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Isnt that a term that was used by the old British socialist Workers Party people to describe the old Soviet system, or am i getting confused as I age?
by observer393 on Sun Jan 1st, 2006 at 01:19:25 AM EST
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May well be, tough my source is possibly independent - an essay by a Hungarian-Romanian philosophist, an anarchist-turned-liberal-turned-far-left [further than me]. The way he introduced the term captured me for nailing precisely the contradiction I always felt between the (economic) rhetoric and reality here under the ancien regime.

Now my source may have got the expression from a Western communist first. I recently read in some off-hand comment, however, that a branch of Western European Trotskyists actually defended the Soviet system under this tag name, and wanted to realise Socialism in the same form... so I'm confused. Could you tell more about the WP's usage? (Is it not the precursor of the current SWP?)

(With all that said, I was never high on political dogma. Sometimes words limit thinking. Or, you could talk of the same things with different words or focus. For example, I find quite some some similarity between a branch of libertarianism and idealist communism...)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jan 1st, 2006 at 01:17:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The SWP used it as a term to label what they saw as the failed Stalinist attempt at socialism. An attempt that had failed because the Stalinists were economically state capitalists rather than socialists. I can't remember the exact arguement.
I think the SWP came from the International Marxist Group when it splintered. The Workers Party is/was different from the SWP. The WP were a lot smaller but listed Vanessa Redgrave as a member.
Its a while back and I dont remember it so well now, and I live elsewhere these days.
by observer393 on Mon Jan 2nd, 2006 at 12:33:40 AM EST
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Oh, so they used it in the same meaning (and the origin of my WP/SWP confusion. your small-case socialist was a typo).

I note the SWP still exists - they were very active behind organising the Stop The War Coalition in 2003, and many entered the Respect party.

I add one angle on this state capitalist thing possibly absent in the SWP's version: my philosopher's description of an angle of regime change here. In 1989/90, a lot of formerly state companies became private - but often with the new owners being the former state company heads or other apparatchniks, who used all kinds of legal loopholes and tricks. The result is that in formerly 'communist' countries, the larger part of entrepreneurs and businessmen were former Party members. (Our current PM is a prime example.)

This 1989/90 property grab by the cadre is commonly considered the Big Theft. This philosopher however posited that it was no theft - only a transformation from state capitalism (in which officially everything belonged to the people, but was in effect at the control and to the profit of the self-selecting elite) to private free-market capitalism, with the same capitalist class keeping and defending its property in a different legal framework.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jan 2nd, 2006 at 03:03:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It sounds like we are talking the same theory here, or at least your friend and the SWP are.
Interesting, and thank you for making me think back to earlier times, something I sadly do so little now.

PS my typos are hideous

by observer393 on Tue Jan 3rd, 2006 at 01:22:50 AM EST
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