Re: Cynthia McKinney: Don't Be Fooled By "Inclusive Capitalism,'' by John Spritzler via Shamireaders

  Partly the problem is that people have no vision, other than the Marxist/socialist/communist one, of what a fundamental change would even look like; and they don't like what the Marxist/socialist/communist regimes have produced one bit because of their blatant anti-democratic nature, in which "some animals are more equal than others." So they remain tongue-tied on the question. It's an embarrassing silence! It allows people to say There Is No [better] Alternative (as Margaret Thatcher famously did.) Israel Shamir's recent talk about Putin makes a similar point, that the Russian oligarchs say the only alternative to their power over society is "Stalin." And as one of my sons (not so famously) said, "People don't get on a bus if they don't know where it's going." We need a vision of where we want to go, or we will remain where we are.

I submit that the change we need must be one that abolishes class inequality and prevents it from re-emerging. I submit that egalitarianism as discussed at!egalitarianism/c1adc is a vision of what we WANT that does this (at least better than any other such vision I am aware of.)

I submit that we start talking about what we WANT at the fundamental level that Cynthia McKinney asks.

I submit that absent such a vision widely shared among billions of people, class inequality will remain intact, even if modified by the likes of Lady Rothschild and company to deal with the anger of the 99%. The reason for this belief is the observation that past social movements against the ruling elites have often won what they explicitly aimed to win (abolition of Jim Crow, abolition of Apartheid, right to form a labor union, 8 hour day, etc.) but they never win more than that, and since these movements never aimed explicitly to abolish class inequality, class inequality persists. Furthermore the ruling class, when left in power in a society that remains based on class inequality, eventually reverses or neutralizes our previous reform victories, so for example Jim Crow is gone but now we have the New Jim Crow of racist prison incarceration; apartheid in South Africa is gone but working class South Africans are oppressed arguably even more by the same old corporate elite as they were under apartheid; we can join a labor union but the labor unions have killed the working class movement; there's time and half for work over 8 hours, but only if its the same job and people are working two or more different jobs now to make ends meet.)

To get off of the treadmill of defeat that we are currently on we need to have a vision of what we want, a vision of how to abolish class inequality. Let's start talking about that vision and involve a few billion people in the conversation, OK?

John Spritzler, editor  &


The "socialists" whose vision "entails participatory government, beginning with neighborhood and workplace organizations, with central government, to the extent it will exist at all, merely implementing the decisions of the people" are not the socialists who have ever achieved power, they are not the socialists whose party has ever had a member become a head of state, and they are not the socialists who follow the thinking of Karl Marx. Marx advocated a strong central government unambiguously. In the "Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League" by Marx and Engels, written in 1850, they declare:

"In opposition to this plan the workers must not only strive for one and indivisible German republic, but also, within this republic, for the most decisive centralization of power in the hands of the state authority. They should not let themselves be led astray by empty democratic talk about the freedom of the municipalities, self-government, etc."

The "socialists" who advocate "participatory government, beginning with neighborhood and workplace organizations, with central government, to the extent it will exist at all, merely implementing the decisions of the people" are, as far as their ideas about government are concerned, not part of the tradition that has called itself socialist and that is what the vast majority of people on the planet associate with the word "socialism." Most people associate "socialism" with the socialist parties that produced socialist President Hollande of France, who banned demonstrations in support of Palestinians; or that produced the former socialist prime minister of Greece, Papandreou, who enforced austerity hated by three quarters of the population, and who was not only a member of a socialist party but was also the president of the Socialist International.

People (including very possibly those who say they want "participatory government, beginning with neighborhood and workplace organizations, with central government, to the extent it will exist at all, merely implementing the decisions of the people") who believe that genuine democracy entails what I call voluntary federation (described at!egalitarianism/c1adc ) should SHARPLY disassociate themselves from the word "socialism" because that word conveys to most people on the planet what socialist parties do when they achieve power, and that has always been to have a strong law-making central government that people have to obey no matter what.

It isn't simply that capitalist propaganda makes people oppose otherwise good Marxist-inspired (i.e., socialist or Communist) parties and regimes; it is that these parties and regimes are in FACT thoroughly anti-democratic. (George Orwell--no pro-capitalist, he!--wrote Animal Farm to say this about the USSR.) And the reason they are anti-democratic is not simply that their leaders deviate from "true" Marxism; it is because their leaders FOLLOW Marxist theory. The problem is that Marxist theory, as I discuss at and as Dave Stratman wrote about at , is fundamentally elitist and anti-democratic.

The reason the Left is, as I wrote about at , so dangerously naive is because its elitist contempt for ordinary people (reinforced by Marxist theory directly or indirectly) enables its ruling class ideological leaders to point it in the direction of attacking ordinary people (as "racist" and "enjoying white privilege" and "homophobic" and "complicit" and "sheeple" and "thinking only with their belly," etc. etc.) instead of attacking the ruling class.

Houston, we have a problem! A very Big Problem. The problem is the Left.  Until we break from the Left and its associated words (such as "socialism" and "progressive" [as discussed at ) we will never succeed in articulating the actual egalitarian revolutionary aspirations of most people. And until these aspirations are articulated explicitly and clearly, there will never be a movement capable of achieving them.

John Spritzler, editor

And I submit that no matter how beguiling John's notion of egalitarianism is, it is yet another version of anarchism - a 19th Century idealistic/utopian view that is mired in a materialist, reductionist, thoroughly Western take on the nature of things. John, for whom I have great admiration and respect, has proposed a mechanism for achieving his desired goal, but what is lacking is an actual path, which must perforce be spiritual (I am most definitely not talking about religion or any other belief system). The idea of Path presupposes a progression from childhood to adulthood, from confusion to clarity - it does not spontaneously emerge somehow because it is willed. The genuine spiritual/wisdom traditions go much deeper and are all based on an understanding of this process. If you're interested I am happy to point you to a recent though ageless wrinkle on the task of creating a sane, equitable, sustainable society - Shambhala Buddhism.

I totally agree with John that we have to "start talking about what we WANT at the fundamental level that Cynthia McKinney asks." This is what Occupy, hopelessly hamstrung by political correctness, was unable to even begin to articulate. And I submit that the debate must begin at an even more primordial level than "what we want," a discussion bound to get quickly mired in confusion and acrimony. First and foremost we must come to grips with who and what we actually are.

Roger Tucker
One Democratic State