BTS 12/22/08: Sounds Like Socialism - Greek Revolt; Crisis in Auto; What Is Socialism?

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Happy Holidays – and in these last hectic days of the year we’re going to slow down and return to our "Sounds Like Socialism" series.

First we'll have an update from Greece on the revolt, now two weeks and going strong, from Savas Michael Matsas - and we’ll ask him to consider the politics of the protest – it is anti-capitalist, but is it socialist?

We then talk to Jerry Tucker and Jack Rasmus about the future of the auto industry, now that President Bush ignored the Southern Republican Hooverite class warriors in the Senate and gave the auto industry $14.5 billion, this time to be micromanaged with conditions. There's no transparency for the taxpayer's bail-out of the financial sector, but very strict control for the auto industry. The UAW has already conceded on healthcare and Jack Rasmus thinks the automakers now want to scrap the pension system.

Finally, we'll talk to Richard Lichtman about socialism – what it is and what it isn't. With the press wondering whether the government bailouts spell the end of the free market, we’ll examine the limits of social democratic solutions, ask whether bail-outs mean nationalization, and if it sounds like socialism, is it?

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Savas Michael Matsas is an MD, philosopher, writer, and activist with the Greek Workers Revolutionary Party. He has written many books and articles, in English you can find his writing in Lenin Reloaded: Toward a Politics of Truth (Verso).

2. Jerry Tucker is a long time U.S. union activist and former Executive Board Member of the United Auto Workers union. He was a founder of the UAW New Directions Movement. He is a co-founder of the Center for Labor Renewal, and is currently Director of the Healthcare Justice Education Fund.

3. Jack Rasmus currently teaches Economics and Politics at St. Mary’s College in California. He is the author of the 2006 book, The War at Home: The Corporate Offensive From Ronald Reagan To George W. Bush, and he has two books in the works: Epic Recession and Global Financial Crisis, and The Trillion Dollar Income Shift. Jack writes widely on U.S. economic and domestic policy topics, in "Z" magazine, Critique, In These Times, Amandla, Against the Current, the Dispatcher, and other periodicals. His published articles are available at his website,

4. Richard Lichtman is author of a book on Marx and Freud, The Production of Desire, and the Director of new innovative program in Critical Theory (for more info, email: He specializes in the relationship between the social and psychological dimensions of human life. His other books include Essays in Critical Social Theory, Dying in America, and An Outline of Marxism.