Socialism and human labor

“Indeed, the creation of socialism as a new mode of production can properly be compared to the moral equivalent of war—war against the old order, in this case—and will need to amass and apply the power commensurate with the requirements of a massive war. This need not entail the exercise of command in an arbitrary or dictatorial fashion, but certainly it requires the curtailment of the central economic freedom of bourgeois society, namely, the right of individuals to own, and therefore to withhold if they wish, the means of production, including their own labor. The full preservation of this bourgeois freedom would place the attainment of socialism at the mercy of property owners who could threaten to deny their services to society—and again I refer to their labor, not just to material resources—if their terms were not met….” Robert Heilbroner, Marxism Far and Against (NY: WW Norton, 1980), p. 157.

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