Bureaucratic collectivism

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A new particularly modern form of class society (some similarities to state capitalism) in which the state owns the means of production and "the elite party bureaucracy owns the state." Michael Harrington says, "By totalitarian means it is able to extract a surplus from the direct producers and to invest it in industrial modernization and its own class privileges. It does these things in the name of 'socialism,' and yet it is based on the continuing expropriation of the political power of the workers and the peasants." Harrington also reminds us that such a society does not require Communist sponsorship but is rather a structural tendency of modern life. It seems to be a definite historical possibility in all countries, in those searching for non- and anti-capitalist methods of modernization as well as in developed capitalist economies (i.e., a "tax" for the common good). - From Michael Harrington, Socialism (New York: Saturday Review Press, 1972), p. 169.


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