A Brief Comment on Ruyle's Contribution: Or, Why I am a Communist Who Does not

Sat, 7 Mar 1998 17:10:55 -0600
John Bandy (jbandy@connecti.com)

Hi Martha:

Would you please critique this comment before I send it on to the CM
seminar? This a summary of a lecture I give to undergraduates and I'm
worried that there may be some obvious holes in the argument. Also it
seems to be a departure from the topics being discussed so I am thinking
that it might be more productive in a different context. Please take just
a moment to look at it and let me know what you think?

Thanks much for your help, John Bandy

I was especially interested in Eugene Ruyle's contribution to the seminar.
On the basis of what we know of modern extant hunting and gathering
societies, the communist modes of production and exchange were probably
hegemonic worldwide until about 20,000 or 30,000 years ago. For millions
of years all human relations took place in small (presumably) stateless and
classless (with the exceptions, perhaps of gender and age) societies based
on sharing. By comparison, the hegemony of the modern capitalist
world-system is but a moment in time.

Nevertheless, I am also reminded of Michael Crichton's novel, Jurrasic
Park. Scientists cloned dinosaur DNA, but with catastrophic results.
Taken out of their natural context, Tyrannosaurus Rexs were rampaging
across the countryside, not to mention the ravages of Velacoraptors!

To what extent is communism not also a dinosaur? Perhaps communism was a
wonderful adaptation to the environments of the old stone age, but in
today's more populated world it is (re., Lenin's Soviet Union, Mao Zedong's
China, etc.?) very dangerous. Perhaps we should be devoting our energies
to discovering new paradigms for human interaction, rather than dwelling on
the pre-historic past.

Peace, John Bandy

John D. Bandy Ph.D.
or Matilde Bandy Owner/Manager,
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