Re: Slave state

From Jonathan Lassen <>
Date Fri, 15 Oct 2004 12:04:49 -0500
In-reply-to <>
References <>
User-agent Mozilla Thunderbird 0.6 (Windows/20040502)

Brian wrote:

 > In what way is the US, Europe, or Japan not "free"?

Are you referring to the states themselves, some abstract concept of the 
'population', or particular classes within those nation-states? The 
answer depends on how you define the question.

But in general, there are various levels at which groups and classes are 
unfree even in bourgeois democracies. Oppression and exploitation based 
on race, gender, sexuality, etc. Oh, and the kicker: the continued 
exploitation of labor under capital.

 > He enthusiastically welcomed
 > their expansion in Europe as a triumph for the working class, even when
 > NOT accompanied by social justice reforms.

Marx was writing when capital was in its youth and still engaged in 
struggle against non-/pre-capitalist (choose your telelogy) modes of 
production. We're in a bit of a different situation.

And in the situation of China the spectrum of bourgeois freedoms were 
(formally) adopted and actually (formally) superceeded during its 
revolution. They've *already* spread to China. There's still lots of 
revolutionary traction to be gained (I think) from exploited and 
oppressed classes using the rhetoric of bourgeois freedoms to advance 
their own aims. But you'll hear nothing but sneer and sarcasm when I 
hear 'freedom' ring from the lips of Ann Coulter or Bush. To conflate 
the two is to make a devastating error, IMHO.

Also, Marx emphatically did not think that bourgeois freedoms were 
'prerequisties for justice.' Please show me where Marx talks about justice.

Contrary, he argued tirelessly against ‘a whole gang of half-mature 
students and super-wise diplomaed doctors who want to give socialism a 
“higher, idealistic” orientation, that is to say, to replace its 
materialistic basis (which demands serious objective study from anyone 
who tries to use it) by modern mythology with its goddesses of justice, 
Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity’. (Marx, letter of 1877)


‘Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and 
its cultural development conditioned thereby’ (‘Critique of the Gotha 



brian turner wrote:
> Re: Coulter's rhetoric, it is not generally representative of the 
> right-wing in the US.  She makes her living by making provocative 
> statements (and a good one).   William F. Buckley or Christopher 
> Caldwell, to pick two examples, do not talk and write this way.
> Her comment about racism is partly right.  Those calling for special 
> treatment of races other than African Americans is usually considered 
> racist, and not unjustly in most circumstances.  Her over the top 
> comment is a shot back at those who insinuate the Republican Party is 
> racist because it's against affirmative action.
>> it's one of the funnier rhetorical devices used in american politics,
>> reference to slave state where workers change their jobs faster than you
>> can blink an eye...go figure.
> She meant slaves of the state, not a particular employer.  Of course the 
> statement is nonsense.  Some rightists haven't gotten the memo that the 
> PRC is a pro-big business center-right powerful state now, and they can 
> adore it like they did and still do re: Pinochet era Chile.
>> > The AFL-CIO's case that China is
>> > engaging in unfair trade is also the absence of bourgeious
>> > freedoms in China, and  you hear stuff like this ad nauseum in the 
>> press of
>> > the 'free world.'
> In what way is the US, Europe, or Japan not "free"?  I think the 
> sarcastic quotes blurs the line between social justice and freedom.  
> They are different, and not always present in tandem.  Marx was 
> insistent throughout his writings that "bourgeois" freedoms mocked by 
> Lenin so forcefully were absolutely essential prerequisties for justice, 
> just not sufficient in and of themselves.  He enthusiastically welcomed 
> their expansion in Europe as a triumph for the working class, even when 
> NOT accompanied by social justice reforms.
> _________________________________________________________________
> Check out Election 2004 for up-to-date election news, plus voter tools 
> and more!