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Mr. Balter is raising, in his own confused way, the question of "how do you tell fake socialism or communism from the real thing?".   And he acknowledges, at least implicitly, that mere labels do not help you here.   What he has not yet done is recognize that the issue of revisionism, Marxism which has been revised at its core to expunge revolutionary politics, is key here.   This is connected to his stance as a "left anti-communist" which provided no room for exploring this issue.    But if he took up the politics of anti-revisionist Marxism, he would see that there is a way out of his quandry, and I would hope he could recognize that.    Genuine socialism (as opposed to the social-democracy practiced by the European parties which are socialist in name only, and capitalist in practice, with a "human face" that is becoming increasingly downcast in the last few years), rests on building a revolutionary party that practices the politics of class struggle, and has as its goal the ultimate transition to communism.    This path was aborted by the Stalinists, and their fellow revisionists in the Trotskyist and Maoist camps have persisted in this erroneous path for the entire 20th century and up to the present day.    So what needs to be done here is to repudiate the bankrupt politics of the social-democrats of Europe (who also have followers in the USA among left-wing Democrats, Greens, and other groups), and the modern revisionists (also including Castroists and the faux socialists of Latin America such as Chavez and Morales).    The Augean stables must be cleansed of this filth of the past century, and anti-revisionism is the only way to go about this.

David Westman

On 5/15/2011 12:38 AM, Michael Balter wrote:
[log in to unmask]" type="cite">Larry asked yesterday about the situation in countries that are "socialist" rather than Communist, if indeed any such exist. Last night the leading presumed candidate for president on the French "Socialist Party" ticket, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel maid. DSK, as he is known, is also head of the very capitalist I.M.F.

So yes, we need a democratic socialism of the type Larry refers to, one that suffers neither from the authoritarianism/totalitarianism of so-called "Communist" states and parties, nor the "capitalism with a human face" outlook of the so-called socialist parties one finds in Europe. 

MB

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Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
New York University

Email:  [log in to unmask]
Web:    michaelbalter.com
NYU:    journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/michael-balter/
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“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
                                                  --John Kenneth Galbraith