On Tue, Jun 17, 2003 at 07:41:45PM -0400, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
> Socialism developed in the early and mid-19th century as a rejection of
> classical liberalism,
Wrong. You seem to confuse the concept of socialism with the word socialism.
Just like classical liberalism can be traced back to chinese taoists or
to greek stoicists, socialism can be traced back to chinese legists or greek
platonists. Plato's much praised "The Republic" is your typical
national-socialist utopia.

So yes, the word "socialism" appeared and became popular in the early
nineteenth century, some time after the word "liberalism",
to denote the opposite trend in ideology. But both concepts or traditions
seem to be as old as society itself.

> What they all have in common, rather, is the subordination of the individual 
> to some sort of higher collective, whether, as in the case of communism, the 
> international working class, or, as in the case of national socialism, the 
> nation (the people of a particular ethnicity), or, as in the case of liberal 
> socialism, "democracy" or "the People" (a vague notion not necessarily 
> incorporating a particular notion of ethnicity).  In practice many of these types of 
> socialism (of which I've listed only a few) overlapped, and we see, as I mentioned 
> in an earlier email, when the German Marxists allied themselves with the 
> monarchists to pass government-mandated "pensions" over the opposition of German 
> liberals.  
> While most forms of socialism have been statist, not all statism has been 
> socialistic.  The primary statist ideology prior to classical liberalism, 
> classical conservatism, took as its justification not the subordination of the 
> individual to some higher collective, but the divine right of kings to rule (one 
> might say subordination of the individual to God through God's alleged 
> representative on earth, the king).
> The post-modern left, for that matter, has to some degree moved beyond 
> socialism anyway.  The environmentalist movement in particular has shifted from 
> conservation for the sake of future generations of humans to "protecting the 
> environment" for its own sake.  Even more than socialism, environmentalism harks 
> back to medieval calls for subordination of the individual to a non-human higher 
> good.
> David

[ François-René ÐVB Rideau | Reflection&Cybernethics | http://fare.tunes.org ]
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