Thursday, August 14, 2008

Have there been any Socialistic Successes?


You are making a lot of assertions, but I don’t see the evidence. Perhaps you think I’ve done something similar, but I have quoted a few sources I’m sure. The arguments of mine that you dismiss are widely accepted in Europe. European Liberalism is rethinking itself in more places than France, by the way, because of the failure of Russian Socialism. After the Vichy, France embraced Socialism and was especially attracted to the USSR as the embodiment of the Socialistic ideal. They put the best light on everything the USSR did. But with successive Communist failures and abuses, the French admiration of the USSR weakened. There was a crisis in this regard in the sixties and all but the most dedicated Communist diehards abandoned all regard for the USSR after its fall in 1989. France connects Socialism with the USSR, and other Western European nations do as well.

You assert that there have been socialistic successes, but you don’t say what they are . . . unless you are saying that the USSR was really a success after all. Such an argument would be very difficult to prove. What you have offered are excuses for why the USSR failed, not proof that it was a success. And then you add that Communism wasn’t really socialistic after all but Keynsian? It certainly wasn’t the wasting-away Socialism of Marx, but neither does it fit the Keynsian economics that I’ve read about. Keynes didn’t advocate State Control in any dictatorial sense but altering the effects of the State’s largest employer, purchaser, etc to avoid the Marxist peaks and valleys. Keynes modified and perhaps saved Capitalism.

I’m not familiar with any Socialistic government that has been a success. Most collapsed in a relatively short period of time. The few holdouts such as Cuba, North Korea, are relics and not successes by anyone’s standards. Some Middle Eastern nations such as Syria claim to be Socialistic, but it would be difficult to hold them up as successes.

In France Luc Ferry and Alain Renault’s French Philosophy of the Sixties fell like a bombshell in 1985: In the preface we read: “For what is now in fact forty years, two critiques of the democratic world have always been competing: the Marxist one, conducted in the name of an ideal future, and the Heideggerian one, depending more openly on traditions dating from before the advent of the modern world (for example, on the Greeks). Since the (recent) collapse of the Marxist dream of a radiant future, it is the neoconservative critique of the Heideggerian type that is in turn being politically compromised. That the two major critiques of modern humanism have been linked with totalitarian adventures is most significant; Whether conducted in the name of a radiant future or a traditionalist reaction, the total critique of the modern world, because it is necessarily an antihumanism that leads inevitably to seeing in the democratic project, for example in human rights, the prototype of ideology or of the metaphysical illusion, is structurally incapable of taking up, except insincerely and seemingly in spite of itself, the promises that are also those of modernity. . .”

A host of books have followed Luc Ferry and Alain Renault’s lead and Liberal-Democracy is making a dramatic comeback in France as well as in other parts of Europe.


No comments: