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Re: [DC-DSA] Who is a Marxist? Do you agree with me?

From: Andy F.
Sent on: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 10:43 PM
As far as I know, nobody in DSA is talking about "communism" or about "proletarian dictatorship."  Democratic Socialists of America several decades ago grew out of a leftwing political movement in the USA that specifically rejected the notion of "communism" and the notion of "proletarian dictatorship."
Also, these concepts have been unpopular in the United States since the start of the US - Soviet Cold War in the late 1940s.  There once was a middling-size Communist Party in the US, but its members were severely repressed during the McCarthy era in the 1950s, and many members of the Communist Party who tried to stay loyal despite the political reppression of the 1950s soon dropped out of the party afterwards in response to Kruschev's expose of Stalin's crimes in 1954.  Many Communists who stayed with the CP even then were shocked when the Soviet Union invaded and occupied Hungary in 1956.
Therefore, because of all of this, I don't think the question of "proletarian dictatorship" and "communism" has any practical relevance in the United States in 2010.  Just trying to build an effective democratic left in the USA is difficult enough as it is, without dragging in the bogeyman of "communism."  I think the only people who still believe in the possibility of "communism" in the US are either members of tiny sectarian parties of -- more commonly -- fans of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.
However, if you're suggesting that socialism itself would be bad for the USA - and that like Poland, we would be better off if we just experienced another 50 years of capitalist development, resembling the last 50 years of capitalist development -- well, you may be correct, but then why do you want to belong to a democratic socialist organization?
I think the challenge for DSA members today is not to resurrect "communist" dreams of an earthly paradise, since it's not going to happen, but it's also not to propose a capitalist way forward for the people of the United States.  If we're just in favor of the continued rule of capitalism, we probably should all belong to some other organization.

--- On Wed, 11/17/10, Ludwik Kowalski <[address removed]> wrote:

From: Ludwik Kowalski <[address removed]>
Subject: Re: [DC-DSA] Who is a Marxist? Do you agree with me?
To: [address removed]
Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 9:50 PM

Peter Bolton and Andy Feeney posted valuable comments. The major 
problem here is that different people assign different meanings to the 
same words. Physical scientists, by contrast, define topics before 
debates. All of them, for example, know that force, work, power and 
energy are different words; they do not interchange them. Yes, I am a 

Some people define communism as "paradise on earth;" others define it 
as "hell on earth." The first definition is often used to seduce--all 
problems will easily be solved after our next proletarian revolution, 
according to Marxists. The second definition is a description of what 
actually happened in the Soviet Union. And now again Marxists promise 
that problems like exploitation, wars, poverty, alcoholism, anti-
semitism, racism, and all other forms of injustice will disappear in 
classless society.

But what about pollution, limited natural resources, overpopulation of 
the planet, global warming, etc.? Would they also disappear 
automatically in a classless society? If not then communism will not 
be a paradise on earth. The Soviet Union, by the way, probably became 
more polluted than the US. I am thinking about the sea of Azov 
disaster, and about Siberian rivers carrying radioactive waste to the 
Polar seas.

What evidence do we have that Russians benefitted from proletarian 
dictatorship? They would probably be better off today if Russia had 
been allowed to develop like other Western-European countries. So much 
suffering for nothing ...

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Ludwik Kowalski, a retired nuclear scientist and the author of a free 
ON-LINE  book entitled ���Diary of a Former Communist: Thoughts, 
Feelings, Reality.���

It  is an autobiography illustrating my evolution from one extreme to 
another--from a devoted Stalinist to an active anti-communist. This 
testimony is based on a diary I kept between 1946 and 2004 (in the 
USSR, Poland, France and the USA).

Why am I distributing these books on-line, instead of selling them for 
profit? Because I want to share what I know and think about communism. 
The more people know about proletarian dictatorship less likely will 
they experience is. Please share the above link with those who might 
be interested, especially with young people, and with potential 
reviewers. Unfortunately, no one helps me to promote this book. A 
review, either good or bad, would be better than silence. Thank you in 

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