M. Soltysik, one of the leaders of SPUSA (Socialist Party of the USA), was recently interviewed by M. Bonanno, as reported in an OpEdNews article:
After briefly commenting on that interview, I wrote my own PoEdNews article:
What follows is a summary of my article.
1) M.S. wants us to discuss socialism without linking it with the USSR, the first socialist country in the world. I objected to this. I think Stalinism must be studied in order to avoid Soviet mistakes and Soviet crimes.
2) Referring to capitalists, M.S. said “fat cats have had fun at the expense of the working class for way too long.” What should be done with them? Are all fat cats parasitic? Was Henry Ford parasitic? Is Bill Gates parasitic? What fraction of “his” billions is invested in “our” economy, rather than consumed? What fraction is used in scientific research? I suspect that private consumption is below 1%, including luxury homes, private jets, etc.
Why was the Soviet agricultural system, based on collective farms, much much less productive than our own system? What should be done with American agricultural capitalists? Should they be treated as kulaks were in the Soviet Union? Who will run our airline companies, our TV stations, our restaurants and our barber shops? Why is the SPUSA program silent on this? Do you agree that the Soviet experience should not be ignored in answering such questions?
3) The program of SPUSA, at www.socialistparty-usa.org
, displays the party emblem. It calls for unity of proletarians of the world. I know this slogan very well; it was always displayed on the first page of the main Stalinist newspaper, Prawda, till 1942. What is wrong in my suspecting that the SPUSA is a Marxist-Leninist party in disguise?
4) The party program contains this statement: “The Socialist Party is committed to full freedom of speech, assembly, press, and religion, and to a multi-party system." How can anyone dislike such proclamations? The question is how to proceed without creating something that is much worse than what we already have in America. Similar promises were made by Lenin, in 1917, and we know what happened. How to avoid similar disasters?
5) The program also states that “socialists struggle for the full freedom of women and men to control their own bodies and reproductive systems and to determine their own sexual orientation." That is good. Will this struggle be easier under socialism? Those who oppose abortions will still exist. Yes, I am thinking about “freedom of speech, assembly, press, and religion” mentioned in point 4 above.
6) What do the SPUSA leaders mean by “democratic revolution”? Speculating about the future, and trying to turn dreams into reality, are attractive but sooner or later, as before, idealists will be pushed aside, by revolutionary leaders, due to “practical necessity.” Soldiers do not win wars by discussing orders; they win by obeying orders. In my opinion evolutionary social reforms are more desirable than revolutions. Do you agree? I do not wish anyone to experience another proletarian dictatorship.
7) Socialism as a vision of paradise on earth? Yes indeed. But not via proletarian dictatorship! My father was a communist. But he died in Kolyma, the worst corner of GULAG, at the age of 36, about two years after being arrested in Moscow. His two letters from Kolyma, to my mother and me, are in this free ON-LINE autobiography:
This short book is based on diaries I kept between 1946 and 2004 (In the USSR, Poland, France, and the USA).