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Friday, May 22, 2009

Socialism, Opposition and Democracy.

There is nothing bad or wrong with socialism, but I will accept that in the past cases it has failed. But in every single case there has been a common factor. Opposition. "The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism." - Marx.

Soviet Russia is a classic example. From day one there was opposition to the Bolshevik regime. The civil war, the threat from Nazi Germany, the cold war. It meant that government policy was always based around survival. The methods introduced during the civil war were key in ensuring victory, but these very meas corrupted the end. The goal was to build a socialist paradise, but by repressing the people, the only way they thought that this was achievable due to the threat from the opposition, they destroyed that very aim. "Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please." - Marx.

And what was the cause of the opposition in the first place? The undemocratic nature through which the Bolsheviks came to power.
"Democracy is the road to socialism." - Marx.

All this highlights the essential role that democracy must play in establishing socialism. Socialism is only as bad as it's advocates. "Socialism's only weakness is it's supporters." - Orwell.

“Democracy is the wholesome and pure air without which a socialist public organization cannot live a full-blooded life.” - Mikhail Gorbachev

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