Friday, April 14, 2006

The Left Needs More Socialism
By Ronald Aronson

Published on Friday, March 31, 2006 by The Nation

It's time to break a taboo and place the word "socialism" across the top of the page...


The reigning economic system will continue to generate opposition as long as it speaks of equality (which it must) yet continues to be unequal and undemocratic (which it must); as long as it incites dreams of a better life (which it must) but deforms social, cultural and political life according to its bottom line (which it must); as long as its rampant abuse of the environment and pillage of natural resources continue (also inevitable). ...

What will individuals and groups demanding equality, democracy, respect for the environment and freedom from the market call themselves as they try to coalesce around increasingly global demands and on behalf of increasingly global alternatives? We need not be timid about naming this "socialism." What else is it? What a new progressive movement needs can be simply stated: more socialism. ...

Whatever language people use, socialist ideas, experience, models, aspirations and analyses will help form the heart and soul of the alternative-in-the-making, or there will be no alternative. ...

On the road to shaping an alternative, the left might respond with a time-honored socialist insight, namely that "I" only exists within a "we," and that unless we look out for everyone, no one is secure.

To say this confidently means accepting that we stand for a clear alternative and embody decisively different values and traditions than those on the right. This means getting friendly again with socialism.

Ronald Aronson is the author of
The Dialectics of Disaster, After Marxism and, most recently, Camus and Sartre: The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel That Ended It. He teaches at Wayne State University.

For the complete article, click here:
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0331-22.htm

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