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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/l/lupton.geoff/1996/lupton.1296


From bj695@FreeNet.Carleton.CA Tue Dec 17 07:21:29 PST 1996
Article: 90002 of can.politics
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From: bj695@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Geoff Lupton)
Newsgroups: can.politics
Subject: Re: WHERE IS A SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT?
Date: 16 Dec 1996 23:39:19 GMT
Organization: The National Capital FreeNet
Lines: 43
Message-ID: <594mj7$3md@freenet-news.carleton.ca>
References: <32b6bbd6.71969003@news.sk.sympatico.ca>
Reply-To: bj695@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Geoff Lupton)
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X-Given-Sender: bj695@freenet2.carleton.ca (Geoff Lupton)


Dave Diduck (d.diduck@sk.sympatico.ca) writes:
> In some of the threads in this NG, people, whom I would classify as
> socialists have disclaimed (unsucessfully) a number of past and
> present governments as being socialist.!
> 
> Trotsky/Lenin/Stalins USSR - Hitlers Germany - Castros Cuba - Romanows
> Saskatchewan all have been denied. How many times does the cock have
> to crow?

This comes down to a definitional issue, doesn't it? The regimes you have
cited (except Romanow's) are authoritarian or totalitarian in nature, with
Nazi Germany being a radical right state. None are social democracies.
 
> I am confused as to exactly where this utopia exists or even if it
> ever has. It seem that the socialist theory is always one dream away
> from being fulfilled. Now, I am aware that Marx wrote his stuff many
> many years ago and that he had, and has a few adherents, in Canada
> most notably the NDP/CCF with their Regina Manifesto.

Again, you have lumped *Marxism*, which is highly utopian, in with the
varying shades of democratic socialism, of which the NDP is only a very
moderate example. The CCF was more radically inclined, but hardly Marxist,
and spent much of its time fending off attacks from the Communists.

> The province of Saskatchewan has been a socialist guinea pig for 55
> years now and it's still an economic failure, even the medicare
> program requires financing from the feds (may John Diefenbacher twitch
> a few times for ever going along with the idea). We are a have not
> province with very little population growth and a high debt.

Oh, and the few times the Tories have been in power have been any better?
Surely, you are not going to use Grant Devine as a role model, are you?

> Socialists are in a state of denial because their experiments are
> failures

The only one in a state of denial is you. Ignorance is bliss, huh?
--
The people have the power
To redeem the work of fools
Upon the meek the graces shower
It's decreed the people rule		- Patti Smith


From bj695@FreeNet.Carleton.CA Thu Dec 19 06:25:43 PST 1996
Article: 90490 of can.politics
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From: bj695@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Geoff Lupton)
Newsgroups: can.politics
Subject: Re: WHERE IS A SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT?
Date: 18 Dec 1996 21:46:42 GMT
Organization: The National Capital FreeNet
Lines: 66
Message-ID: <599oo2$hhj@freenet-news.carleton.ca>
References: <32b6bbd6.71969003@news.sk.sympatico.ca> <594mj7$3md@freenet-news.carleton.ca> <32bb3977.104135207@news.sk.sympatico.ca>
Reply-To: bj695@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Geoff Lupton)
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X-Given-Sender: bj695@freenet2.carleton.ca (Geoff Lupton)


Dave Diduck (d.diduck@sk.sympatico.ca) writes:
>>> Trotsky/Lenin/Stalins USSR - Hitlers Germany - Castros Cuba - Romanows
>>> Saskatchewan all have been denied. How many times does the cock have
>>> to crow?
>>
>>This comes down to a definitional issue, doesn't it? The regimes you have
>>cited (except Romanow's) are authoritarian or totalitarian in nature, with
>>Nazi Germany being a radical right state. None are social democracies.
>>
> Like I said, they have been denied by the socialists. Strangely
> enough, this denial usually happens after their disintegration.  But I
> still don't know where the socialist Utopia is.

Obviously, you are either unwilling or unable (or both) to understand what
I said. The regimes you cited are *not* social democracies or democratic
socialist states. Why is pointing this out construed as some form of
"denial"? It is simply a matter of calling a spade a spade. In all the
regimes you listed, independent trade unions and their social-democratic
allies were among the very first to be suppressed, if not actually
exterminated, by the rulers in questions. Please *try* to be honest, OK?
 
>>> I am confused as to exactly where this utopia exists or even if it
>>> ever has. It seem that the socialist theory is always one dream away
>>> from being fulfilled. Now, I am aware that Marx wrote his stuff many
>>> many years ago and that he had, and has a few adherents, in Canada
>>> most notably the NDP/CCF with their Regina Manifesto.
>>
>>Again, you have lumped *Marxism*, which is highly utopian, in with the
>>varying shades of democratic socialism, of which the NDP is only a very
>>moderate example. The CCF was more radically inclined, but hardly Marxist,
>>and spent much of its time fending off attacks from the Communists.
>>
> I beg (that's a little white lie) to differ. I will gladly repost the
> Regina Manifesto for all marxist experts to refute. That particular
> manifesto is still part and parcel of the NDP Principles and Renewal
> Papers. Check it out. 

I have "checked it out": in fact, I have a copy of it at home. If you want
to repost the entire document and get into a detailed debate about which
parts are supposedly "Marxist" (as opposed to social democratic), I will be
only too happy to oblige you, as will others, I'm sure. Go for it, then.

>>Oh, and the few times the Tories have been in power have been any better?
>>Surely, you are not going to use Grant Devine as a role model, are you?
>>
> Not a chance, my archangel, Jason Kodish would eat me alive :-)

I figured as much. Afraid to put your money where your mouth is, are you?
OK, let's try again. If you don't like the Tories, who do you support?
 
>>> Socialists are in a state of denial because their experiments are
>>> failures
>>
>>The only one in a state of denial is you. Ignorance is bliss, huh?
>>
> It can be, thats why I like poking socialists with the hot poker of
> reality.

Well, keep trying, I guess. I haven't seem much "reality" from you yet.

--
The people have the power
To redeem the work of fools
Upon the meek the graces shower
It's decreed the people rule		- Patti Smith


From bj695@FreeNet.Carleton.CA Fri Dec 20 07:27:29 PST 1996
Article: 90608 of can.politics
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From: bj695@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Geoff Lupton)
Newsgroups: can.politics
Subject: Re: WHERE IS A SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT?
Date: 19 Dec 1996 23:11:59 GMT
Organization: The National Capital FreeNet
Lines: 61
Message-ID: <59ci3v$rs5@freenet-news.carleton.ca>
References: <32b6bbd6.71969003@news.sk.sympatico.ca> <594mj7$3md@freenet-news.carleton.ca> <32bb3977.104135207@news.sk.sympatico.ca> <599oo2$hhj@freenet-news.carleton.ca> <32bac6b6.271390750@news.sk.sympatico.ca>
Reply-To: bj695@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Geoff Lupton)
NNTP-Posting-Host: freenet2.carleton.ca
X-Given-Sender: bj695@freenet2.carleton.ca (Geoff Lupton)


Dave Diduck wrote:
>>>>> I am confused as to exactly where this utopia exists or even if it
>>>>> ever has. It seem that the socialist theory is always one dream away
>>>>> from being fulfilled. Now, I am aware that Marx wrote his stuff many
>>>>> many years ago and that he had, and has a few adherents, in Canada
>>>>> most notably the NDP/CCF with their Regina Manifesto.
>>>>
>>>>Again, you have lumped *Marxism*, which is highly utopian, in with the
>>>>varying shades of democratic socialism, of which the NDP is only a very
>>>>moderate example. The CCF was more radically inclined, but hardly Marxist,
>>>>and spent much of its time fending off attacks from the Communists.
>>>>
>>> I beg (that's a little white lie) to differ. I will gladly repost the
>>> Regina Manifesto for all marxist experts to refute. That particular
>>> manifesto is still part and parcel of the NDP Principles and Renewal
>>> Papers. Check it out. 
>>
>>I have "checked it out": in fact, I have a copy of it at home. If you want
>>to repost the entire document and get into a detailed debate about which
>>parts are supposedly "Marxist" (as opposed to social democratic), I will be
>>only too happy to oblige you, as will others, I'm sure. Go for it, then.
>>
> I already did a couple of months ago. Guess there weren't any Marxists
> around in those days to refute it.

An orthodox Marxist would not gravitate towards the Regina Manifesto, nor
did the Communists ever support the CCF or NDP. If you knew anything about
the history of the Canadian Left, you would know about the deep antagonism
that always existed between social democrats and revolutionary Communists.

>>OK, let's try again. If you don't like the Tories, who do you support?
>>
> I've never made a secret of it RPC. Now, what's yours?

In fact, I don't support any party or government. I have come to the
conclusion that the modern state itself, either "right" or "left", is the
very root of the problem. Authoritarian socialists are reformers at heart,
but their methods still result in oppression of the people, despite some
material improvements in their lives. What eroded the East Bloc, among
other factors, was the alienation of workers from their occupations, the
very thing that Marxism was supposed to eradicate. Until workers (and,
indeed, all citizens) have direct control over their lives and their
pursuits, they will never be content. 

However, a return to "laissez-faire" capitalism is NOT the answer.  This
will only serve to renew the social antagonisms that created social
divisions in the first place. All the Soviets really did was replace
feudal and capitalist overlords with a new class of political commissars
who ruled "in the name of the people", just like the czar, although there
were some admirable material reforms. Here, we are talking about the
difference between a *social* rebellion vs. a *political* revolution. The
former is the people themselves rising up spontaneously of their own
accord, while the later is the reliance on a new revolutionary "elite" to
do the work for them. The latter case always ends in oppression. As Peter
Kropotkin once said, "Where there is Authority, there is no Freedom".   
--
The people have the power
To redeem the work of fools
Upon the meek the graces shower
It's decreed the people rule		- Patti Smith



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