MD Old socialists never die - they just fade a bit

From: Jonathan B. Marder (
Date: Wed May 30 2001 - 16:50:24 BST

Hi Roger and all,

Roger, I know that you kicked off the thread with the subject line:
 "MD In Defense Of Socialism?
I'm not really sure who lit the fuse though!

Anyway, it's been a great discussion, even if it is doomed to never reach

I confess, that I too am a socialist - I've been that way inclined for as long
as I can remember. I'm not going to even try and give all the logical
arguments in support (plenty of those in posts from others), because I
recognise that it is largely an "emotional" thing.

I value ideals like equal opportunity, equal rights etc., and I detest
disparity of rights and opportunity. As far as I am concerned, the free market
is fine as long as it doesn't produce too much disparity - AND THE SAME THING
GOES FOR SOCIALISM. I also value the ideals of MAXIMIZING opportunity and
rights - any economic system that stifles them is BAD in my book.

Now, much in the same way that I recognise my own emotional attachment to the
principals of socialism, I note that US-educated people often have a similar
emotional attachment to the principals of the free market. This is extremely
evident in our own discussion. I suppose this is from the brainwashing we all
went through in primary school (my own primary education was in England of the
1960s, at the time of Harold Wilson's first Labour Government).

I bring this up not to say that either world view is superior, or that Pirsig
leans in any particular direction, but to point out that our own bias on the
socialism/capitalism issue runs much deeper that anything we read as adults.
I have no trouble in finding plenty of support in ZAMM and Lila for my
pro-socialist bias. Roger, Platt and others have demonstrated that Pirsig's
ideas can also coexist with their own socioeconomic views.

I think that Pirsig's comments on Soviet Russia are close to the mark, but I
don't think that makes him anti-socialist. The MoQ gives several reasons why
Russia's socialist economy collapsed, but it also explains why Russia's new
capitalist economy is disintegrating even faster!!!

It's a pity that Diana has left us, because she made a very short penetrating
statement on the very issue that has generated all these recent posts.

So in her absence, I'll let Diana have the last word:

Subject: MD Communism and capitalism
From: Diana McPartlin (
Date: Tue Nov 10 1998 - 21:31:26 GMT
Dear squad

On communism and capitalism.

There is room for Dynamic quality in both systems if they are practised with care. . . .

(archive refererence ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --

Take care,


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