A Better World in Birth
The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now

Baker, Karin
Date Written:  2017-01-01
Publisher:  Against the Current
Year Published:  2017
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21521

Book review of Michael A. Lebowitz' The Socialist Imperative: From Gotha to Now.



When he considers socialisms past and future, Lebowitz often refers to what he calls the logic of capitalism, the logic of "the vanguard" (as operated in the Soviet Union), and the logic of the working class.

As Lebowitz points out, Marx argued that when capitalism is thoroughly established it produces a working class that "sees capital's logic as self-evident natural laws." Some of what appears self-evident includes capitalist ownership of the means of production, in spite of the fact that the means of production is a social product, the embodiment of the efforts of many human beings over many generations.

Other elements of capitalist logic include the idea of exchange equivalencies, whether labor power for a wage, or medical treatment for a given payment. In contrast, the logic of the working class includes solidarity, a focus on communal needs, and a "gift economy," where people are given what they need, as opposed to an earned equivalency.
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