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Saturday, August 31, 2019

It is time to get rid of the ridiculous label of “state capitalism.”

By SJ Otto
I have been keeping up on comments by leftists on line (mostly Facebook) about Nicolás  Maduro. I realize that in a perfect world Maduro is not a real socialist. But he has met the needs of a lot of poor people in his country. He may not be a true socialist—but the US and our idiot President Donald Trump are trying to overthrow him. He is not supporting a true capitalist system. But what ever he is doing, the US and our idiot leader Trump are trying to stop him.
I have grown sick of the term “state capitalist.” What is that suppose to mean? I remember being a Maoist during the years of the Soviet Union. We didn’t like that country (USSR). It lacked democracy.  It lacked freedom. It ran a massive empire.  But was it really fair to call that country “state capitalism?”

For an example of such arguments against the Madluro Regime on Facebook:

Isaac Peachey Socialism is the workers’ ownership of the means of production and the abolition of private property. Since most of Venezuela’s economy, while regulated, is privately owned, it cannot be Socialism. By that definition, Bolivia wouldn’t be Socialist either.

Joseph Behrens Isaac Peachey who is it privately owned by?do you see how this falls into “ that wasn’t real socialism”?

Isaac Peachey You want an answer that assumes Venezuela is Socialist, but that is problematic because it isn’t Socialist.

Michael Goozee Joseph Behrens to date, if you believe the propaganda, the DPRK claims that workers own the means of production.

Isaac Peachey No, but that’s irrelevant. Venezuela is not even Socialist by the standards of major countries that claimed they were (USSR, Cuba, etc).

Joseph Behrens Michael Goozee me and you both know that’s bs

This summer I went to Cuba and studied its system. There were positive things and less positive things. There ere some stark differences between Cuba and the capitalist US. The biggest thing I noticed was a lack of advertising. In the US it is everywhere. Where ever I go in the US, watching TV, going on the internet, or just answering my phone, advertizing is everywhere. It is in our face. It is pervasive. It is everywhere. It is a fundamental part of capitalism. It is a major part of US culture. People are always trying to sell us something. This may not be important to some people, but to me it as a very important thing.
Instead of capitalist commercials, we saw lots of monuments, posters and museums to the revolution and revolutionary heroes. Sure, in the US we have the Washington monument and other heroes of the regime, but once again, we saw a part of the Cuban culture and it included the history and heroes of the revolution. 
So if people are going to accuse ANY country of being “state capitalist,” there needs to be some cultural evidence that such a system actually exists. I have lived under a capitalist country—The USA—and I am familiar with the system and its culture. I feel I know what capitalism looks like. Maybe I can’t recognize socialism in its true dimensions.
But I do know capitalism and I know what it looks like. So call Cuba anything that is desired. But don’t call it “state capitalism.” What ever we want to call another country’s economic system, let’s be more accurate than “state capitalism.”
Such labels are easy to throw around. That is especially true for countries we really don’t respect as socialism. But such labels can be juvenile and misleading. People who throw those labels around discredit themselves and whatever it is they think they are promoting.
It is stupid—it is childish. What ever people think they accomplish by using this label, they are just being juvenile and it shows.

The Beatles - Back In The U.S.S.R.

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