By Gabriel Kolko

ISBN-10: 0415395909

ISBN-13: 9780415395908

Does socialism have a destiny on this planet of the twenty-first century? If no longer, what's the destiny for revolutionary politics?

This is a huge contribution to modern social and political notion written by way of one of many world's top serious historians. Gabriel Kolko ask the tricky questions on the place the left can move in a post-Cold battle international the place neoliberal guidelines seem to have triumphed in either the West and the previous Soviet bloc. In attempting to solution this, he interrogates either the origins and improvement of socialist principles and the modern dynamics of the globalized economic climate ruled through American army, cultural and political might.

While keeping off the enticements of both pessimism or utopianism, Kolko bargains an unique and functional answer in regards to the future of a liberal politics.

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Extra resources for After Socialism: Reconstructing Critical Social Thought

Sample text

The outcome was superhuman: purely economic factors relate to each other and become a sufficient explanation of the future of world history. Marx worked through the stages of economics to reach the general law of capitalist accumulation, which embodies a host of propositions regarding the composition of capital – constant and variable – the tendency of profit, the concentration of capital, and much else. ” At such crucial points, as with transubstantiation in the Catholic Eucharist, Hegel’s dialectics were often both utilized and cited as confirmation that such qualitative changes occur.

Growth, above all in Germany, made the formidable problems of ideology and analysis seem not only superfluous but even dangerous insofar as successful conventional wisdom was concerned. There was always an inherent tension between socialism’s organizational and intellectual tasks but its explanation and responses to contemporary crises were to prove fatal when World War One broke out in 1914. The difficulty was that European politics could not be understood on the basis of Capital. Marx’s causal assumptions were clear, and his claim to omniscience meant that any further clarity that was required would have to be found within Marx and Engels’ abundant but very dense and diverse writings – ranging from unfinished manuscripts, short essays on everything from current affairs to Balzac, letters, and the like.

But the details of SPD’s platform at this time and its political strategy embodied assumptions that went far beyond anything 38 The legacies of socialism: successes and failures Marx and Engels ever wrote about after the mid-1850s, by which time both had largely discarded the apocalyptic romanticism that had inspired their youthful 1848 Communist Manifesto. 1 It is a much greater error to overemphasize the role of ideas within the SPD than to dismiss them entirely, and the animated discussions of issues within the SPD before 1914 were far less significant than the social and political environment from which they emerged and in which they functioned, a context that often determined which doctrines were selected, and why.

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After Socialism: Reconstructing Critical Social Thought by Gabriel Kolko


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