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Opinions of Friday, 20 February 2009

Columnist: Tamakloe, Kojo

Danquah-Busia Dinosaur 111, The Volta virus and Confusion

The anti thesis to Capitalism is socialism. As capitalists , acquire the means of production they begin to feel like gods and omni potent. They get drunk on their wealth and possessions and so became corrupt, greedy and autocratic . The masses are left uneducated and with no rights .The Holy book puts it this way, ‘It is easier for a camel to pass through the needles eye , than a rich person to get to heaven’ Perhaps we can see some parallels of what is happening today . The Obama victory can be termed a ‘democratic revolution’ . The suffering masses turning on the ruling class . It was not bloody but as we have seen there are casualties .One can safely attribute the Kenyan scene as a mass revolt couched in tribal tones. All over Africa the lack of developmental progress can be mostly attributed due to the IMF and World Bank models unsuited for the continent .Of course we cannot ignore the corrupt leadership and ineptitude of our administrators and managers . Congo at independence had only 0ne person in the country with a diploma qualification Patrice Lumumba, who was murdered and then replaced by our rather acceptable and malleable Gen Mobutu Sese Seko ‘ the cock that spares no hen’, a very ill equipped leader . Finally there are the production factors , we have land and labor but no capital and enterprise . It is because of these I bring out the other model , socialism . My request is to separate it from political dictatorship. I wish you to note the violent end of some of the capitalistic regimes and their replacement by viscous and brutal dictatorships . I bring these out so we do not make the same mistakes , but at the same time begin to make adjustments for development. One can also see the progress made under Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah using this model Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating public or state ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equal opportunities for all individuals, with a fair or egalitarian method of compensation. Modern socialism originated in the late 19th-century working class political movement, and in an intellectual movement that criticized the effects of industrialization and private ownership on society. Karl Marx postulated that socialism would be achieved via class struggle and a proletarian revolution and would represent a transitional stage between capitalism and communism

The first actual socialists were utopian socialists, many of whom, like Robert Owen, tried to found socialist factories and other structures within a capitalist society. Later in the 19th century, Marxist socialism became more dominant. The first socialists predicted a world improved by harnessing technology and combining it with better social organization, and many contemporary socialists share this belief. Socialists mainly share the belief that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital, creates an unequal society, and does not provide equal opportunities for everyone in society. Therefore socialists advocate the creation of a society in which wealth and power are distributed more evenly based on the amount of work expended, although there is considerable disagreement among socialists over how, and to what extent this could be achieved.

Socialism is not a concrete philosophy of fixed doctrine and program; its branches advocate a degree of social interventionism and economic rationalization, sometimes opposing each other. Another dividing feature of the socialist movement is the split between reformists and the revolutionaries on how a socialist economy should be established. Some socialists advocate complete nationalization of the means of production, distribution, and exchange; others advocate state control of capital within the framework of a market economy. Socialists inspired by the Soviet model of economic development have advocated the creation of centrally planned economies directed by a state that owns all the means of production. Others, including Yugoslavian, Hungarian, Polish and Chinese Communists in the 1970s and 1980s, instituted various forms of market socialism, combining co-operative and state ownership models with the free market exchange and free price system.. Social democrats propose selective nationalization of key national industries in mixed economies and tax-funded welfare programs and the regulation of markets. Libertarian socialism (including social anarchism and libertarian Marxism rejects state control and ownership of the economy altogether and advocates direct collective ownership of the means of production via co-operative workers' councils and workplace democracy

Revolutions of 1917–1923 ? ? Vladimir Lenin (background) and Joseph Stalin. By the year 1917, the patriotism propelling the First World War metamorphosed to political radicalism in most of Europe, the United States (cf. Socialism in the United States), and Australia. In February, popular revolution exploded in Russia when workers, soldiers, and peasants established 'soviets (councils) wielding executive power in a Provisional Government valid until convocation of a Constituent Assembly. In April, Lenin arrived in Russia from Switzerland, calling for "All power to the soviets." In October, his party (the Bolsheviks) won support of most soviets while he and Trotsky simultaneously led the October Revolution. On 25 October 1917, at the Petrograd Soviet, Lenin declared "Long live the world socialist revolution!"[

On 26 October, the day after assuming executive power, Lenin wrote Draft Regulations on Workers' Control, which granted workers control of businesses with more than five workers and office employees, and access to all books, documents, and stocks, and whose decisions were to be "binding upon the owners of the enterprises". Immediately, the Bolshevik Government nationalised banks, most industry, and disavowed the national debts of the deposed Romanov royal régime; it governed via elected soviets; and it sued for peace and withdrew from the First World War. Despite that, the peasant Socialist-Revolutionary (SR) Party won the Constituent Assembly against the Bolshevik Party, who then acted resolutely the next day.

The Constituent Assembly convened for 13 hours (16.00 hrs 5 Jan – 4.40 hrs 6 Jan 1918). Socialist-revolutionary leader Victor Chernov was elected President of a Russian republic and the next day, the Bolsheviks dissolved the Constituent Assembly The Bolshevik Russian Revolution of October 1917 engendered Communist parties worldwide, and their concomitant revolutions of 1917-23 Few Communists doubted that the Russian success of socialism depended upon successful, working-class socialist revolutions effected in developed capitalist-economy countries In 1919, Lenin and Trotsky organized the world's Communist parties into a new international association of workers – the Communist International, (Comintern), also denominated the Third International. In November 1918, the German Revolution deposed the monarchy; as in Russia, the councils of workers and soldiers were comprised mostly of SPD and USPD (Independent Social Democrats) revolutionaries installed to office as the Weimar republic; the SPD were in power, led by Friedrich Ebert. In January 1919. the left-wing Spartacist Putsch challenged the SPD government, and President Ebert ordered the army and Freikorps mercenaries to violently suppress the workers' and soldiers' councils. Communist leaders Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg were captured and summarily executed. Also that year, in Bavaria, the Communist régime of Kurt Eisner was suppressed. In Hungary, Béla Kun briefly headed a Hungarian Communist government. Throughout, popular socialist revolutions in Vienna, Italy's northern industrial cities, the German Ruhr (1920) and Saxony (1923) all failed in spreading revolutionary socialism to Europe's advanced, capitalist countries

"Socialism cannot exist without a change in consciousness resulting in a new fraternal attitude toward humanity, both at an individual level, within the societies where socialism is being built or has been built, and on a world scale, with regard to all peoples suffering from imperialist oppression." Che Guevara

Kojo Tamakloe

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