Richard Wolff talks about communism as one of 3 basic kinds of socialism



Let's turn to the second one; the
communist alternative, when the government takes over running and owning
enterprises and plans the output. Well there what we have is interesting
results. First, these sorts of economies have been stunningly successful in
achieving one of their central goals which is economic growth. I mean this
comes as a shock to Americans but it has to be repeated so we are not living in a
fantasy world. The two most spectacular stories of economic growth, of a society
going from poverty to wealth in record time, is the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics and the People's Republic of China. Wow. Communist China, communist
Russia are examples in which having one central authority, the government,
mobilize and focus on economic growth, of ending centuries of poverty
have been extraordinarily successful. Those are their achievements. They can
get economic achievement on a scale that other societies both capitalist and the
other kind of socialism, the regulatory kind, have not been able to achieve. That
has to be faced. That is a virtue of those systems. But they too have their
problems. Let's look at them. They generally tend to be less unequal than
the other kind of socialism usually can be. So they have that in their favor. But
in those societies you have arrogated, you have taken, an extraordinary amount
of economic power and put in the hands of a government. And the question has
been, and that has been answered now, that putting that amount of power into the
hands of the government runs the risk that such a government will use its
economic power to also dominate politically and culturally. And remember if
the government takes over the enterprise it means that instead of the private
individuals running the business of the country
it'll be government officials who do it. And that is still a small part of your
society. It means a minority, in one case it's private capitalists in the other
case it's government officials, is calling all the shots. And that is
politically dangerous. And we've learned that lesson.




Comments
  1. It wont happen under liberalism. Liberalism has created so many "damaged goods" of human subjects and citizens it would be a disaster. Not to mention the aging of society and a shrinking youthful workforce. It will only work if there is massive government coercion and investment in education to create socialist citizens. Such a project will still take generations to transform people into the "new socialist man." Democratic socialism like you are promoting would be far in the future assuming we can change the state from liberalism to socialism. I doubt Marx is right that the material conditions create the citizenry, its most likely the other way around: socialist citizens create the material conditions.

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