June 30, 2012
What’s a Socialist?
By STEVEN ERLANGER, The New York Times
SUGGESTED BY GLORIA STEVENSON
Bubbly enthusiasm in France upon Hollande’s election. Suckers apparently abound in every nation, not just in America.
Editor’s Note: This is a good piece in terms of defining what “socialism” has become in modern Europe, and although Erlanger is quite accurate in equating today’s Eurosocialists with America’s Democrats, he is too polite and too bourgeois to say aloud that much of the “socialist” parties’ decline is owed primarily to their own eagerness to become managers of the welfare capitalist state, and lately, pliant shills and willing partners for a fervid “neconservative” strain of capitalism. It is indeed this kind of shameless class collaboration that has left the working classes defenseless and subject to the allure of rightwing sirens. The Kautsky-Bersteian formula of a gradual socialism—eventually conquering capitalism from within in stages and without the need of social revolution in the Leninist sense—has thus stalled. In the 21st century the choice still remains: [real] socialism or barbarism. That is degenerate capitalist barbarism, perhaps a new-minted type of fascism, and not Henri-Levy’s slanderous barbarism supposedly induced by the arrival of authentic socialism. But then, again, we know who Bernard Henri-Levy is, even if the New York Times, Charlie Rose, and platoons of bourgeois admirers on both sides of the Atlantic pretend not to see the obvious.—P. Greanville
FRANCE has elected its first Socialist president since 1988 and then given the Socialist Party and its closest allies a whopping majority in Parliament. But how Socialist is François Hollande? And what does it mean to be a Socialist these days, anyway? Continue reading »
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