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The Mormon Worker - Issue 4 - Jul 08

The Mormon Worker - Issue 4 - Jul 08

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Published by SyncOrSwim
■ The Soviet Union Versus Socialism by Noam Chomsky
■ National “Flagophilia” by Ron Madson
■ Why an Economic Boycott of Israel is Justified by Norman G. Finkelstein
■ The Soviet Union Versus Socialism by Noam Chomsky
■ National “Flagophilia” by Ron Madson
■ Why an Economic Boycott of Israel is Justified by Norman G. Finkelstein

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Published by: SyncOrSwim on Nov 23, 2010
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The Soviet Union Versus Socialism
by Noam Chomsky
When the world’s two great propaganda systems agree on
some doctrine, it requires some intellectual eort to escape
its shackles. One such doctrine is that the society created
by Lenin and Trotsky and molded urther by Stalin and hissuccessors has some relation to socialism in some meaning-
ul or historically accurate sense o this concept. In act, i there is a relation, it is the relation o contradiction.
It is clear enough why both major propaganda systems
insist upon this antasy. Since its origins, the Soviet Statehas attempted to harness the energies o its own popula-
tion and oppressed people elsewhere in the service o 
the men who took ad vantage o the popular erment in
Russia in 1917 to seize State power. One major ideologi-
cal weapon employed to this end has been the claim thatthe State managers are leading their own society and theworld towards the socialist ideal; an impossibility, as any
“I Teach Them Correct Principles and They Govern Themselves” –
Issue 4July 2008
by Noam Chomsky
by Ron Madson
by Norman G. Finkelstein
Interviewed by Joshua Madson for The Mormon Worker 
by Spencer Kingman
by Abdullah Mulhim
by Jeremy Cloward
by Cory Bushman
by Gregory Van Wagenen
by Stephen Wellington
by Emily Bushman
by William Van Wagenen
Review by Jason Brown
Hold your mouse cursor on the name o an author to seea brie bio and an introduction to his or her article
Click on the name o an article to go there
The Mormon Worker 
Issue 4
socialist—surely any serious Marxist—should have under-
stood at once (many did), and a lie o mammoth propor-tions as history has revealed since the earliest days o the
Bolshevik regime. The taskmasters have attempted to gain
legitimacy and support by exploiting the aura o socialist
ideals and the respect that is rightly accorded them, to
conceal their own ritual practice as they destroyed everyvestige o socialism.
As or the world’s second major propaganda system, as-sociation o socialism with the Soviet Union and its clients
serves as a powerul ideological weapon to enorce con-ormity and obedience to the State capitalist institutions,to ensure that the necessity to rent onesel to the owners
and managers o these institutions will be regarded as
virtually a natural law, the only alternative to the ‘social-ist’ dungeon. The Soviet leadership thus portrays itsel as
socialist to protect its right to wield the club, and Western
ideologists adopt the same pretense in order to orestallthe threat o a more ree and just society. This joint attackon socialism has been highly eective in undermining itin the modern period.One may take note o another device used eectively
by State capitalist ideologists in their service to exist-
ing power and privilege. The ritual denunciation o the
so-called ‘socialist’ States is replete with distortions andoten outright lies. Nothing is easier than to denounce theocial enemy and to attribute to it any crime: there is noneed to be burdened by the demands o evidence or logicas one marches in the parade. Critics o Western violence
A Note to Our Readers
The Mormon Worker is an independent newspaper/jour-nal devoted to Mormonism and radical politics. It is pub-lished by members o the LDS Church. The paper is mod-eled ater the legendary Catholic Worker which has beenin publication or over seventy years.The primary objective o The Mormon Worker is to mean-ingully connect core ideas o Mormon theology with ahost o political, economic, ecological, philosophical, andsocial topics.Although most contributors o The Mormon Worker aremembers o the LDS church, some are not, and we acceptsubmissions rom people o varying secular and religiousbackgrounds.The opinions in The Mormon Worker are not the ocialview o The Church o Jesus Christ o Latter-day Saints.In solidarity,The Mormon Worker
140 West Oak CircleWoodland Hills, UT 84653Subscribe to our print edition:www.themormonworker.orgthemormonworker@gmail.comhttp://themormonworker.wordpress.com
The Soviet Union Versus Socialism
The Mormon Worker 
Issue 4
and atrocities oten try to set the record straight, recog-
nizing the criminal atrocities and repression that exist
while exposing the tales that are concocted in the service
o Western violence. With predictable regularity, these
steps are at once interpreted as apologetics or the empire
o evil and its minions. Thus the crucial Right to Lie in theService o the State is preserved, and the critique o Stateviolence and atrocities is undermined.
It is also worth noting the great appeal o Leninist
doctrine to the modern intelligentsia in periods o confict
and upheaval. This doctrine aords the ‘radical intellectu-als’ the right to hold State power and to impose the harshrule o the ‘Red Bureaucracy,’ the ‘new class,’ in the terms
o Bakunin’s prescient analysis a century ago. As in theBonapartist State denounced by Marx, they become the
‘State priests,’ and “parasitical excrescence upon civil so-ciety” that rules it with an iron hand.
In periods when there is little challenge to State capital-
ist institutions, the same undamental commitments leadthe ‘new class’ to serve as State managers and ideologists,“beating the people with the people’s stick,” in Bakunin’swords. It is small wonder that intellectuals nd the transi-
tion rom ‘revolutionary Communism’ to ‘celebration o theWest’ such an easy one, replaying a script that has evolvedrom tragedy to arce over the past hal century. In essence,all that has changed is the assessment o where power lies.Lenin’s dictum that “socialism is nothing but state capitalistmonopoly made to benet the whole people,” who must o course trust the benevolence o their leaders, expresses the
perversion o ‘socialism’ to the needs o the State priests,
and allows us to comprehend the rapid transition between
positions that supercially seem diametric opposites, butin act are quite close.
The terminology o political and social discourse is
vague and imprecise, and constantly debased by the contri-
butions o ideologists o one or another stripe. Still, theseterms have at least some residue o meaning. Since its ori-
gins, socialism has meant the liberation o working people
rom exploitation. As the Marxist theoretician Anton Pan-nekoek observed, “this goal is not reached and cannot bereached by a new directing and governing class substitut-
ing itsel or the bourgeoisie,” but can only be “realized
by the workers themselves being master over production.”
Mastery over production by the producers is the essenceo socialism, and means to achieve this end have regularlybeen devised in periods o revolutionary struggle, againstthe bitter opposition o the traditional ruling classes and
the ‘revolutionary intellectuals’ guided by the commonprinciples o Leninism and Western managerialism, as
adapted to changing circumstances. But the essential ele-
ment o the socialist ideal remains: to convert the means o production into the property o reely associated producers
and thus the social property o people who have liberatedthemselves rom exploitation by their master, as a unda-mental step towards a broader realm o human reedom.
The Leninist intelligentsia have a dierent agenda. They
t Marx’s description o the ‘conspirators’ who “preempt
the developing revolutionary process” and distort it to their
The Soviet Union Versus Socialism

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