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Letter on Socialization Versus Nationalization

Unanswered Letter by Punkerslut to Brian Moore, the Socialist Party Candidate


Socialist Party USA
Image: Socialist Party USA, Critique by Punkerslut

Start Date: October 19, 2008
Finish Date: October 19, 2008

Date: 10/19/2008
Subject: Information: Socialization Versus Nationalization


     I watched your debate on the Fox News network with Neil Cavuto. The primary difficulty I noticed was that you equate Nationalization of the industries with Socialism. Nationalization means, more specifically, the control of the industries by the nation's most economically, socially, and politically empowered. It is bureaucratic, state control, by politicians, by political parties, by lobbyists, by judges, by police officers, by intelligence agencies, by government departments, and so on, and so on. Socialism is about workers' power and workers' control -- the system of Nationalization, on the other hand, is about granting control of the industries to a small, minority of elites.

     How ridiculous it is, that a resident from California should have a vote in the wages, the working conditions, and the hours of oil rig workers off the coast of Florida. The philosophy of Socialism is that the worker operates the means of production and are the wisest at this task, which has become their livelihood. Our greatest industrial inventions have been made by the workers themselves, from the spinning jenny, the spinning mule, and automatic cylinders in engines. But these were workers applying the wisdom and experience of their own labors directly to their own means of production. It was not the wisdom of all the common workers in ruling over technology, but from only those workers themselves who labored upon their own devices.

     But of course a citizen from California would have no idea about what needs to be done for the workers in other states and industries. So they need to elect a master, who will organize departments to survey the conditions and the workers, and then to implement the conclusions they make from their findings. They will have masters of their city, of their county, of their state, of their region, and of their nation. They are the new managerial class, certainly biased to rewarding themselves with high wages, to expanding their power, to repressing political opponents, to rigging elections, to diverting community wealth towards private ends of state power, with so many other abuses. Their isolated control and possession and ability to direct the means of productions means recreating de facto capitalism.

     The only argument brought against the inviolability of human nature is that we must have enlightened Socialist masters. We must choose men and women with great honor, immense education, and overflowing rivers of compassion. What an impossible theory. Even when this policy was chosen with Liberal parties and their electorate, their dreams of peace and prosperity never entered reality. If you expect the electors to choose a perfect, brilliant candidate, who had their true interests at heart, then you are abandoning the Socialist ideal. The entire premise of reconstructing the economy on the principles of workers' control is based on one precept: that we must change the social environment if we are to change the social nature of the individual; we are not here to change people so they can help the world, we are here to change the world so that it can help the people. That is true Socialism. To believe that freedom and tranquility are just a vote away is to think that a change in people, and not in environment, will save us; it is very counterintuitive to theory of Socialism.

     We are socialists -- we do not only hate Capitalism; we hate Feudalism, we hate slavery, we hate the caste system. Essentially, the premise of Socialism is that we oppose all other systems that grant the means of production to an isolated minority. Necessarily, as Socialists, we must regard Nationalization not as a form of true workers power and control, but as a new shape of domination, exploitation, and oppression. Nationalization, as a Socialist implementation, cannot create workers' control. It will only create a burdensome bureaucracy and a significantly expanded middle and ruling class.

     If the Socialist Party wants to create true workers power, then its platform should be the Socialization of all industries, and not their Nationalization. Some people do not understand or appreciate the difference of these two words -- Socialization and Nationalization -- but they are two, completely opposite ideas. Socialization is to make society the master of the industries, not the nation. It is direct workers' control. The laborers of each business should be given complete, direct control and ownership of their firms, much in the style of the cooperative, or even yet, the syndicate. Each business, worker-owned, should be regarded as a self-governing, autonomous commune of producers and consumers. This should be your program -- Socialization, not Nationalization. Do not create new masters; just disempower the old ones!

     There were some other minor points of disagreement with your debate with Cavuto. When he asks, "And you don't indict all CEOs for the funny business of just a few?" you respond, "Well, not all of them." And you state that a "significant number" of them can be blamed. I disagree entirely. Every CEO's wages are paid for with the surplus value created by their sweatshop factories and forced labor camps in third world countries -- and if they're not directly contracting with those sweating houses, then they're cooperating with and assisting those who are massively engaged in the Third World exploitation. Every CEO is guilty. Every manager, every boss, every stock trader, every capitalist, and every one their high-paid lackeys. Everyone who is a Capitalist is indictable. If you want to complain about the excesses and abuses of only "a significant number," then why not just vote Liberal or Conservative?

     Another small point of argument would be when you were asked "Are you getting what you want with the economic bailout plan?" and you responded, "Partially." How anti-socialist! These businesses did not poison enough of my rivers, they did not pollute enough of my air, they did not create a racist enough atmosphere in employment, they did not break up enough unions, and they did not fund enough projects for exploitation and economic abuse. "Do not let them teeter and totter, as they're about to come crashing into the ground!" you cry. Give them the peoples' painfully extracted tax dollars, so that they can continue in these practices uninterrupted. Forty percent of my wages go to the federal government, and now I should be happy that this will go up, so that I can help support those poor, downtrodden, underdog capitalists -- why don't I just inflate my hours and not report injuries or dangerous conditions to my floorman? If I'm all about sacrificing my hours, my time, and my wealth to the support of my own economic slavery, then I'm certainly not a Socialist -- and I could never see a Socialist supporting state-sponsored support of the Capitalist system. But you are not about Socialism, you are about making your party appeal to the most broadest base, which means supporting what some have called a Socialist project; it is, in fact, Capitalist welfare. Your support for it stems from seeking mastery of the political party, even if the casualty is increased workers' power.

     In another part, you were asked, "Do you trust the government more than you trust the companies?" and your response was, "Well yes, very much so." This is perhaps because you want to be the president, the king of all, and any person who thinks of the perfect monarch always immediately picks themselves. So, it is more that you trust yourself, more than you trust other companies, and the rest of the nation will have to be left to its various degrees of doubt. But even beyond that, it is interesting, that as a Socialist discussing with a Nationalist, the question was about government control versus capitalist control, and nobody brought up the concept of workers' control. Whether it is managed by the stockholders, the individual capitalists, or the government, it is private management of the industries that Socialists must oppose -- we seek public management, which can only be translated to the workers of the industries managing the equipment they work. I do not trust a Capitalist whether they are a stockholder or a government bureaucrat or a congressional lobbyist -- I only trust the workers themselves. And that is true Socialism.

     If you want to understand Socialism as a genuine philosophy of workers' power, then I would recommend the books "Marxism, Freedom, and the State" by Mikhail Bakunin, "Living My Life" by Emma Goldman, and "The ABC's of Anarchist-Communism" by Alexander Berkman.

     Thank you, and a reply of some type would be appreciated.

Andy Carloff

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