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Tuesday, 19 November 2002

Ken MacLeod

Via The Culture, an interview with Ken MacLeod:

SFR: Which culture will assimilate which? Communism, Capitalism, or Islam?

Ken: Capitalism will assimilate everything that exists in the world today, no question. The interesting question is what happens then. Professor Meghnad Desai of the London Schoolo of Economics has recently written an interesting book called Marx's Revenge, in which he argues that what happens then is that capitalism begins to press hard against its limits, and socialism comes on the agenda for the first time.

Ken: Islam is a religion, not a mode of production, and is not counterposed to capitalism. Communism is a potential mode of production which, in the words of Lenin, 'requires the joint efforts of several advanced countries, which do not include Russia'. Well, today Russia is arguably an advanced country, but it could only reach socialism through joint efforts with other advanced countries. Stalin's 'socialism in one country' was always a utopia, and a reactionary one at that. There was never the slightest chance of the Stalinist states assimilating the capitalist countries. Nor is there the slightest chance now of the Islamic countries assimilating or overwhelming the largely secular West. [more]

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