In 1989, from East Berlin to Budapest and Bucharest to Moscow, communism was falling. The walls were coming down and the world was being changed in ways that seemed entirely new. The conflict of ideas and ideals that began with the French Revolution of 1789 culminated in these revolutions, which raised the prospects of the "return to Europe" of East and Central European nations, the "restarting of their history," even, for some, the "end of history." What such assertions and aspirations meant, and what the larger events that inspired them mean-not just for the world of history and politics, but for our very understanding of that world-are the questions Krishan Kumar explores in 1989.
A well-known and widely respected scholar, Kumar places these revolutions of 1989 in the broadest framework of political and social thought, helping us see how certain ideas, traditions, and ideological developments influenced or accompanied these movements-and how they might continue to play out. Asking questions about some of the central dilemmas facing modern society in the new century, Kumar offers critical insight into how these questions might be answered and how political, social, and historical ideas and ideals can shape our destiny.
The Italian Enlightenment, no less than the Scottish, was central to the emergence of political economy and creation of market societies. Sophus Reinert turns to Milan in the late 1700s to recover early socialists’ preoccupations with the often lethal tension among states, markets, and human welfare, and the policies these ideas informed.
The problems of capitalism have been studied from Karl Marx to Thomas Piketty. The latter has recently confirmed that the system of capital is deeply bound up in ever-growing inequality without challenging the continuance of that system. Against Capital in the Twenty-First Century presents a diversity of analyses and visions opposed to the idea that capital should have yet another century to govern human and non-human resources in the interest of profit and accumulation. The editors and contributors to this timely volume present alternatives to the whole liberal litany of administered economies, tax policy recommendations, and half-measures. They undermine and reject the logic of capital, and the foregone conclusion that the twenty-first century should be given over to capital just as the previous two centuries were.
Providing a deep critique of capitalism, based on assessment from a wide range of cultural, social, political, and ecological thinking, Against Capital in the Twenty-First Century insists that transformative, revolutionary, and abolitionist responses to capital are even more necessary in the twenty-first century than they ever were.
American Socialist Triptych: The Literary-Political Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Upton Sinclair, and W. E. B. Du Bois explores the contributions of three writers to the development of American socialism over a fifty--year period and asserts the vitality of socialism in modern American literature and culture.
Drawing upon a wide range of texts including archival sources, Mark W. Van Wienen demonstrates the influence of reform-oriented, democratic socialism both in the careers of these writers and in U.S. politics between 1890 and 1940. While offering unprecedented in-depth analysis of modern American socialist literature, this book charts the path by which the supposedly impossible, dangerous ideals of a cooperative commonwealth were realized, in part, by the New Deal.
American Socialist Triptych provides in-depth, innovative readings of the featured writers and their engagement with socialist thought and action. Upton Sinclair represents the movement's most visible manifestation, the Socialist Party of America, founded in 1901; Charlotte Perkins Gilman reflects the socialist elements in both feminism and 1890s reform movements, and W. E. B. Du Bois illuminates social democratic aspirations within the NAACP. Van Wienen's book seeks to re-energize studies of Sinclair by treating him as a serious cultural figure whose career peaked not in the early success of The Jungle but in his nearly successful 1934 run for the California governorship. It also demonstrates as never before the centrality of socialism throughout Gilman's and Du Bois's literary and political careers.
More broadly, American Socialist Triptych challenges previous scholarship on American radical literature, which has focused almost exclusively on the 1930s and Communist writers. Van Wienen argues that radical democracy was not the phenomenon of a decade or of a single group but a sustained tradition dispersed within the culture, providing a useful genealogical explanation for how socialist ideas were actually implemented through the New Deal.
American Socialist Triptych also revises modern American literary history, arguing for the endurance of realist and utopian literary modes at the height of modernist literary experimentation and showing the importance of socialism not only to the three featured writers but also to their peers, including Edward Bellamy, Hamlin Garland, Jack London, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Claude McKay. Further, by demonstrating the importance of social democratic thought to feminist and African American campaigns for equality, the book dialogues with recent theories of radical egalitarianism. Readers interested in American literature, U.S. history, political theory, and race, gender, and class studies will all find in American Socialist Triptych a valuable and provocative resource.
Today, Bernie Sanders is a household name, a wildly popular presidential candidate and an icon for progressive Democrats in the United States. But back in the 1980s, this “democratic socialist”—though some folks would prefer the term “social democrat”—was mayor of Burlington, Vermont, where his administration attempted radical reforms. Some efforts were successful, but when a waterfront deal failed, it was not due to Sanders' efforts; he would rather compromise and have a net gain than be an ideological purist.
In his preface to this reissue of the 1990 book, Challenging the Boundaries of Reform, W. J. Conroy reflects on the recent legacy of Sanders, his Agenda for America, and his appeal to young voters. His book then looks back to identify Sanders’ experience in Burlington by examining several case studies that unfolded amidst a conservative trend nationally, an unsympathetic state government, and a hostile city council.
Ultimately, Conroy asks what lessons can be drawn from the case of Burlington that would aid the American left in its struggle to capture both government and civil society?
This stunning book represents the most comprehensive analysis to date of the complex relationships between black political thought and black political identity and behavior. Ranging from Frederick Douglass to rap artist Ice Cube, Michael C. Dawson brilliantly illuminates the history and current role of black political thought in shaping political debate in America.
Capital and Ideology
Thomas Piketty Harvard University Press, 2020 Library of Congress HM821.P5513 2020 | Dewey Decimal 305
Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century showed that capitalism, left to itself, generates deepening inequality. In this audacious follow-up, he challenges us to revolutionize how we think about ideology and history, exposing the ideas that have sustained inequality since premodern times and outlining a fairer economic system.
The Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs) were the largest political party in Russia in the crucial revolutionary year of 1917. Heirs to the legacy of the People’s Will movement, the SRs were unabashed proponents of peasant rebellion and revolutionary terror, emphasizing the socialist transformation of the countryside and a democratic system of government as their political goals. They offered a compelling, but still socialist, alternative to the Bolsheviks, yet by the early 1920s their party was shattered and its members were branded as enemies of the revolution. In 1922, the SR leaders became the first fellow socialists to be condemned by the Bolsheviks as “counter-revolutionaries” in the prototypical Soviet show trial.
In Captives of the Revolution, Scott B. Smith presents both a convincing account of the defeat of the SRs and a deeper analysis of the significance of the political dynamics of the Civil War for subsequent Soviet history. Once the SRs decided to openly fight the Bolsheviks in 1918, they faced a series of nearly impossible political dilemmas. At the same time, the Bolsheviks fatally undermined the revolutionary credentials of the SRs by successfully appropriating the rhetoric of class struggle, painting a simplistic picture of Reds versus Whites in the Civil War, a rhetorical dominance that they converted into victory over the SRs and any left-wing alternative to Bolshevik dictatorship. In this narrative, the SRs became a bona fide threat to national security and enemies of the people—a characterization that proved so successful that it became an archetype to be used repeatedly by the Soviet leadership against any political opponents, even those from within the Bolshevik party itself.
In this groundbreaking study, Smith reveals a more complex and nuanced picture of the postrevolutionary struggle for power in Russia than we have ever seen before and demonstrates that the Civil War—and in particular the struggle with the SRs—was the formative experience of the Bolshevik party and the Soviet state.
Communities of Discourse
Robert Wuthnow Harvard University Press, 1989 Library of Congress HN13.W88 1989 | Dewey Decimal 303.372
Sociologist Robert Wuthnow notes remarkable similarities in the social conditions surrounding three of the greatest challenges to the status quo in the development of modern society—the Protestant Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the rise of Marxist socialism.
Confronting American Labor traces the development of the American left, from the Depression era through the Cold War, by examining four representative intellectuals who grappled with the difficult question of labor’s role in society. Since the time of Marx, leftists have raised over and over the question of how an intelligentsia might participate in a movement carried out by the working class. Their modus operandi was to champion those who suffered injustice at the hands of the powerful. From the late nineteenth through much of the twentieth century, this meant a focus on the industrial worker.
The Great Depression was a time of remarkable consensus among leftist intellectuals, who often interpreted worker militancy as the harbinger of impending radical change. While most Americans waited out the crisis, listening to the assurances of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Marxian left was convinced that the crisis was systemic. Intellectuals who came of age during the Depression developed the view that the labor movement in America was to be the organizing base for a proletariat. Moreover, many came from working-class backgrounds that contributed to their support of labor.
World War II and the resultant economic recovery shattered this coherence on the left. How did radicals opposed to capitalism deal with a labor movement that was very successful in terms of membership and power but clearly capitalist in its orientation? Coker describes the marked ambivalence and confusion of the intellectual left in the postwar years—a period of frustration brought on by a misreading of labor militancy during the 1930s and an unsuccessful search for a radical proletarian movement. The result was a politically and intellectually weakened left for decades to come.
Confronting American Labor examines four individuals who represent a cross section of postwar radicalism. Each came of age on the socialist left, expecting that an anticapitalist movement would emerge from the ranks of labor. Seymour Martin Lipset and C. Wright Mills were professional sociologists. Sidney Lens spent his early life working within the labor movement before becoming a political commentator for a variety of leftist magazines and journals in the postwar era. Historian Herbert Gutman helped to create a “new labor history” that reflected broader transformations within the intellectual left. In tracing their various approaches to the problem of labor, Confronting American Labor explores the diverse nature of the postwar left. This important work will be of value to anyone interested in labor, class, and American thought.
Conquering Nature provides the only book-length analysis of the environmental situation in Cuba after four decades of socialist rule, based on extensive examination of secondary sources, informed by the study of development and environmental trends in former socialist countries as well as in the developing world. It approaches the issue comprehensively and from interdisciplinary, comparative, and historical perspectives. Based on the Cuban example, Díaz-Briquets and Pérez-López challenge the concept that environmental disruption was not supposed to occur under socialism since it was alleged that guided by scientific policies, socialism could only beget environmentally benign economic development. In reality, the socialist environmental record proved to be far different from the utopian view.
Between the early 1960s and the late 1980s the environmental situation worsened despite Cuba’s achieving one of the lowest population growth rates in the world and having eliminated extreme living standard differentials in rural areas, two of the primary reasons often blamed for environmental deterioration in developing countries. The government’s approach was to “conquer nature” and under its central planning approach, it did not take local circumstances into consideration. This disregard for the environmental consequences of development projects continues to this day despite official allegations to the contrary—as the country pursues an economic survival strategy based on the crash development of the tourist sector and exploitation of natural resources. An underlying conclusion of the book is that the environmental legacy of socialism will present serious challenges to future Cuban generations.
Conquering Nature provides, for the first time, a relevant analysis of socialist environmental policies of a developing country. It will be of interest to students and scholars of Cuba and those interested in environmental issues in developing countries.
The revolutions in Eastern Europe and the recasting of socialism in Western Europe since 1989 have given rise to intense debate over the origins, character, and implications of the “crisis” of socialism. Is socialism in ideological, electoral, or organizational decline? Is the decline inevitable or can socialism be revitalized? This volume draws together historians and political scientists of Eastern and Western European politics to address these questions. The collection begins with an historical overview of socialism in Western Europe and moves toward the suggestion of a framework for a post-socialist discourse. Among the topics covered are: the birth and death of communism and a regime type in Eastern Europe; how different forms of national communism were smothered by Sovietization in the postwar period; the origins of revolutions in Eastern Europe; the potential for social democracy in Hungary; the role of the Left in a reunified German; and directions for the Left in general.
Contributors. Geoff Eley, Konrad Jarausch, Herbert Kitschelt, Christiane Lemke, Andrei Markovits, Gary Marks, Wolfgang Merkel, Norman Naimark, Iván and Szonja Szelénya, Sharon Wolchik
Critical Theories of the State is a clear and accessible survey of radical perspectives on the modern state. By focusing on Marxist theory and its variations, particularly as applied to advanced industrial societies and contemporary welfare states, Clyde W. Barrow provides a more extensive and thorough treatment than is available in any other work.
Barrow divides the methodological assumptions and key hypotheses of Marxist, Neo-Marxist, and Post-Marxist theories into five distinct approaches: instrumentalist, structuralist, derivationist, systems-analytic, and organizational realist. He categorizes the many theorists discussed in the book, including such thinkers as Elmer Altvater, G. William Domhoff, Fred Block, Claus Offe, and Theda Skocpol according to their concepts of the state’s relationship to capital and their methodological approach to the state. Based on this survey, Barrow elaborates a compelling typology of radical state theories that identifies with remarkable clarity crucial points of overlap and divergence among the various theories.
Scholars conducting research within the rubric of state theory, political development, and policy history will find Critical Theories of the State an immensely valuable review of the literature. Moreover, Barrow’s work will make an excellent textbook for undergraduate and graduate courses in political science and sociology, and can also be used by those teaching theory courses in international relations, history, and political economy.
In this intellectual history of British cultural Marxism, Dennis Dworkin explores one of the most influential bodies of contemporary thought. Tracing its development from beginnings in postwar Britain, through its various transformations in the 1960s and 1970s, to the emergence of British cultural studies at Birmingham, and up to the advent of Thatcherism, Dworkin shows this history to be one of a coherent intellectual tradition, a tradition that represents an implicit and explicit theoretical effort to resolve the crisis of the postwar British Left. Limited to neither a single discipline nor a particular intellectual figure, this book comprehensively views British cultural Marxism in terms of the dialogue between historians and the originators of cultural studies and in its relationship to the new left and feminist movements. From the contributions of Eric Hobsbawm, Christopher Hill, Rodney Hilton, Sheila Rowbotham, Catherine Hall, and E. P. Thompson to those of Perry Anderson, Barbara Taylor, Raymond Williams, Dick Hebdige, and Stuart Hall, Dworkin examines the debates over issues of culture and society, structure and agency, experience and ideology, and theory and practice. The rise, demise, and reorganization of journals such as The Reasoner, The New Reasoner, Universities and Left Review, New Left Review, Past and Present, are also part of the history told in this volume. In every instance, the focus of Dworkin’s attention is the intellectual work seen in its political context. Cultural Marxism in Postwar Britain captures the excitement and commitment that more than one generation of historians, literary critics, art historians, philosophers, and cultural theorists have felt about an unorthodox and critical tradition of Marxist theory.
The Cultural Revolution began from above, yet it was students and workers at the grassroots who advanced the movement's radical possibilities by acting and thinking for themselves. Resolving to suppress the resulting crisis, Mao set events in motion in 1968 that left out in the cold those rebels who had taken it most seriously, Yiching Wu shows.
In this highly readable and thought-provoking work, Nick Dyer-Witheford assesses the relevance of Marxism in our time and demonstrates how the information age, far from transcending the historic conflict between capital and its laboring subjects, constitutes the latest battleground in their encounter.
Dyer-Witheford maps the dynamics of modern capitalism, showing how capital depends for its operations not just on exploitation in the immediate workplace, but on the continuous integration of a whole series of social sites and activities, from public health and maternity to natural resource allocation and the geographical reorganization of labor power. He also shows how these sites and activities may become focal points of subversion and insurgency, as new means of communication vital for the smooth flow of capital also permit otherwise isolated and dispersed points of resistance to connect and combine with one another.
Cutting through the smokescreen of high-tech propaganda, Dyer-Witheford predicts the advent of a reinvented, "autonomist" Marxism that will rediscover the possibility of a collective, communist transformation of society. Refuting the utopian promises of the information revolution, he discloses the real potentialities for a new social order in the form of a twenty-first-century communism based on the common sharing of wealth.
The devastation of World War II left the Yugoslavian capital of Belgrade in ruins. Communist Party leader Josip Broz Tito saw this as a golden opportunity to recreate the city through his own vision of socialism. In Designing Tito’s Capital, Brigitte Le Normand analyzes the unprecedented planning process called for by the new leader, and the determination of planners to create an urban environment that would benefit all citizens.
Led first by architect Nikola Dobrovic and later by Miloš Somborski, planners blended the predominant school of European modernism and the socialist principles of efficient construction and space usage to produce a model for housing, green space, and working environments for the masses. A major influence was modernist Le Corbusier and his Athens Charter published in 1943, which called for the total reconstruction of European cities, transforming them into compact and verdant vertical cities unfettered by slumlords, private interests, and traffic congestion. As Yugoslavia transitioned toward self-management and market socialism, the functionalist district of New Belgrade and its modern living were lauded as the model city of socialist man.
The glow of the utopian ideal would fade by the 1960s, when market socialism had raised expectations for living standards and the government was eager for inhabitants to finance their own housing. By 1972, a new master plan emerged under Aleksandar Ðordevic, fashioned with the assistance of American experts. Espousing current theories about systems and rational process planning and using cutting edge computer technology, the new plan left behind the dream for a functionalist Belgrade and instead focused on managing growth trends. While the public resisted aspects of the new planning approach that seemed contrary to socialist values, it embraced the idea of a decentralized city connected by mass transit.
Through extensive archival research and personal interviews with participants in the planning process, Le Normand’s comprehensive study documents the evolution of ‘New Belgrade’ and its adoption and ultimate rejection of modernist principles, while also situating it within larger continental and global contexts of politics, economics, and urban planning.
An investigation into the politics of consumerism in East Germany during the years between the Berlin Blockade of 1948-49 and the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961, Dictatorship and Demand shows how the issue of consumption constituted a crucial battleground in the larger Cold War struggle.
This cross-disciplinary special issue focuses on economic knowledge in social countries during the second half of the twentieth century. Through a series of historical case studies, the issue embraces a wide variety of perspectives on the ways economy and society were conceptualized behind the Iron Curtain. Contributors explored the entanglement of ideology and economic discourse, the political dimensions of cybernetic technocracy, and the various faces of Cold War rationality of socialism.
Contributors. Oleg Ananyin, Johanna Bockman, Ivan Boldyrev, Till Düppe, Richard Ericson, Yakov Feygin, Olessia Kirtchik, Martha Lampland, Adam Leeds, Denis Melnik, Chris Miller, György Peteri, Eglė Rindzevičiūtė, Vítězslav Sommer, Joachim Zweynert
The End of the Cold War was first published in 1990. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Against the backdrop of unprecedented change in the world political and social order, Bogdan Denitch charts the unique opportunities and potential pitfalls that accompany the increased economic and political integration of the European Community. Historically, any move toward unification has had broad ramifications. This, coming as it does in the wake of recent democratic upheavals in Europe, will bring to a close an entire era -- an era of a world dominated by superpowers and the cold war that defined there confrontations.
Hayek gives the main arguments for the free-market case and presents his manifesto on the "errors of socialism." Hayek argues that socialism has, from its origins, been mistaken on factual, and even on logical, grounds and that its repeated failures in the many different practical applications of socialist ideas that this century has witnessed were the direct outcome of these errors. He labels as the "fatal conceit" the idea that "man is able to shape the world around him according to his wishes."
"The achievement of The Fatal Conceit is that it freshly shows why socialism must be refuted rather than merely dismissed—then refutes it again."—David R. Henderson, Fortune.
"Fascinating. . . . The energy and precision with which Mr. Hayek sweeps away his opposition is impressive."—Edward H. Crane, Wall Street Journal
F. A. Hayek is considered a pioneer in monetary theory, the preeminent proponent of the libertarian philosophy, and the ideological mentor of the Reagan and Thatcher "revolutions."
A Future for Socialism
John E. Roemer Harvard University Press, 1994 Library of Congress HX73.R625 1994 | Dewey Decimal 335
Gay Cuban Nation
Emilio Bejel University of Chicago Press, 2001 Library of Congress HQ76.3.C9B45 2001 | Dewey Decimal 306.766097291
With Gay Cuban Nation, Emilio Bejel looks at Cuba's markedly homoerotic culture through writings about homosexuality, placing them in the social and political contexts that led up to the Cuban Revolution. By reading against the grain of a wide variety of novels, short stories, autobiographies, newspaper articles, and films, Bejel maps out a fascinating argument about the way in which different attitudes toward power and nationalism struggle for an authoritative stance on homosexual issues. Through close readings of writers such as José Martí, Alfonso Hernández-Catá, Carlos Montenegro, José Lezama Lima, Leonardo Padura Fuentes, and Reinaldo Arenas, whose heartbreaking autobiography, Before Night Falls, has enjoyed renewed popularity, Gay Cuban Nation shows that the category of homosexuality is always lurking, ghostlike, in the shadows of nationalist discourse. The book stakes out Cuba's sexual battlefield, and will challenge the homophobia of both Castro's revolutionaries and Cuban exiles in the States.
A Herzen Reader
Alexander Herzen, Kathleen Parthe Northwestern University Press, 2012 Library of Congress DK189.H42 2012 | Dewey Decimal 947.073
A Herzen Reader presents in English for the first time one hundred essays and editorials by the radical Russian thinker Alexander Herzen (1812–1870). Herzen wrote most of these pieces for The Bell, a revolutionary newspaper he launched with the poet Nikolai Ogaryov in London in 1857. Smugglers secretly carried copies of The Bell into Russia, where it influenced debates over the emancipation of the serfs and other reforms. With his characteristic irony, Herzen addressed such issues as freedom of speech, a nonviolent path to socialism, and corruption and paranoia at the highest levels of government. He discussed what he saw as the inability of even a liberator like Czar Alexander II to commit to change. A Herzen Reader stands on its own for its fascinating glimpse into Russian intellectual life of the 1850s and 1860s. It also provides invaluable context for understanding Herzen’s contemporaries, including Fyodor Dostoevsky and Ivan Turgenev.
Utah, now one of the most conservative states, has a long tradition of left-wing radicalism. Early Mormon settlers set a precedent with the United Order and other experiments with a socialistic economy. The tradition continued into the more recent past with New Left, anti-apartheid, and other radicals. Throughout, Utah radicalism usually reflected national and international developments. Recounting its long history, McCormick and Sillito focus especially on the Socialist Party of America, which reached a peak of political influence in the first two decades of the twentieth century—in Utah and across the nation.
At least 115 Socialists in over two dozen Utah towns and cities were elected to office in that period, and on seven occasions they controlled governments, of five different municipalities. This is a little-known story worth a closer look. Histories of Socialism in the United States have tended to forsake attention to details, to specific, local cases and situations, in favor of broader overviews of the movement. By looking closely at Utah's experience, this book helps unravel how American Socialism briefly flowered and rapidly withered in the early twentieth century. It also broadens conventional understanding of Utah history.
Intellectuals, Socialism, and Dissent was first published in 1995. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Once the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the people of East Germany had little use for the dissident intellectuals who had helped bring it down. Intellectuals, Socialism, and Dissent offers a penetrating look into the circumstances of this fall from grace, unique among the former Communist states.
John Torpey traces the dissident intellectuals' fate to the peculiar situation of the East German regime, which sought to build "socialism in a quarter of a country" on the anti-fascist foundations of Communist opposition to Nazism. He shows how the regime's unusual history and subnational status helped sustain the East German intelligentsia's conviction that socialism could be reformed and humane-that there was a "third way" between Soviet-style socialism and the capitalism that took root in West Germany. How the pursuit of this third way both supported and undermined the regime, and both galvanized and alienated the East German people, becomes clear in Torpey's nuanced analysis. His book makes a powerful contribution to our understanding of the politics of intellectuals during one of the most painful chapters in modern German history.
John C. Torpey is currently a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence.
Bryan D. Palmer's award-winning study of James P. Cannon's early years (1890-1928) details how the life of a Wobbly hobo agitator gave way to leadership in the emerging communist underground of the 1919 era. This historical drama unfolds alongside the life experiences of a native son of United States radicalism, the narrative moving from Rosedale, Kansas to Chicago, New York, and Moscow. Written with panache, Palmer's richly detailed book situates American communism's formative decade of the 1920s in the dynamics of a specific political and economic context. Our understanding of the indigenous currents of the American revolutionary left is widened, just as appreciation of the complex nature of its interaction with international forces is deepened.
Jan Waclaw Machajski's (1866-1926) political doctrine, known as Makhaevism, was a synthesis of several revolutionary theories in Western and Eastern Europe: Marxism, anarchism, and syndicalism. His criticism of the intelligentsia and theory of a “new class” were influential to Communism and helped to create a hostility that culminated in Stalin's Great Purge of the 1930s.
The first major study of Karl Kautsky, considered the most influential Marxian theoretician in the world, from 1895 to 1914. Outside of Friedrich Engels, Kautsky did more to popularize Marism than any other person. An entire generation of Marxists, including Lenin and Trotsky, learned the doctrine in large part from Kautsky.
The political and economic turmoil that followed our most recent financial crisis has sparked a huge resurgence of interest in the work of Karl Polanyi (1886–1964), famous anthropologist, economist, and social philosopher. Polanyi’s 1944 masterpiece, The Great Transformation, spoke of dangerous increasing dominance of the market and the resulting counter-movements, a prediction that has been borne out by current international grassroots resistance to austerity, alienation, and environmental upheaval of our world.
In Karl Polanyi’s Vision of a Socialist Transformation, German social and economic philosophers Michael Brie and Claus Thomasberger bring together central figures in in the field—including Gareth Dale, Nancy Fraser, and Kari Polanyi Levitt—to provide an essential anthology on the contemporary importance of Polanyi’s thought. This book is centered around Polanyi's ideas on freedom and community in a complex socialist society based on a completely transformed economy. It also includes five 1920s essays by Polanyi recently discovered in the Montreal Polanyi archive and translated into English for the first time, including his lecture “On Freedom”, which is central to his unique understanding of socialism.
In the early 1980s both the British Labour Party and the West German Social Democrats (SPD), confronted with serious internal challenges from the political left, experienced an erosion of support that resulted in the emergence of new political parties—the British Social Democratic Party and the West German Green Party. Explicitly comparative, this study presents a theoretically innovative analysis while offering a sophisticated understanding of the political confrontations between social democrats, the new left, traditional socialists, and trade unionists in both Britain and West Germany. By focusing on the established parties rather than on external developments, Koelble departs from conventional methodology regarding the fortunes of political parties. In examining the fundamental processes of decision making and coalition building within the SPD and the Labour Party, he argues that it is the organizational structures within parties that shape political results by setting limits, creating opportunities, and determining strategies.
Left-leaning political parties play an important role as representatives of the poor and disempowered. They once did so by promising protections from the forces of capital and the market’s tendencies to produce inequality. But in the 1990s they gave up on protection, asking voters to adapt to a market-driven world. Meanwhile, new, extreme parties began to promise economic protections of their own—albeit in an angry, anti-immigrant tone.
To better understand today’s strange new political world, Stephanie L. Mudge’s Leftism Reinvented analyzes the history of the Swedish and German Social Democrats, the British Labour Party, and the American Democratic Party. Breaking with an assumption that parties simply respond to forces beyond their control, Mudgeargues that left parties’ changing promises expressed the worldviews of different kinds of experts. To understand how left parties speak, we have to understand the people who speak for them.
Leftism Reinvented shows how Keynesian economists came to speak for left parties by the early 1960s. These economists saw their task in terms of discretionary, politically-sensitive economic management. But in the 1980s a new kind of economist, who viewed the advancement of markets as left parties’ main task, came to the fore. Meanwhile, as voters’ loyalties to left parties waned, professional strategists were called upon to “spin” party messages. Ultimately, left parties undermined themselves, leaving a representative vacuum in their wake. Leftism Reinvented raises new questions about the roles and responsibilities of left parties—and their experts—in politics today.
Lenin Reloaded is a rallying call by some of the world’s leading Marxist intellectuals for renewed attention to the significance of Vladimir Lenin. The volume’s editors explain that it was Lenin who made Karl Marx’s thought explicitly political, who extended it beyond the confines of Europe, who put it into practice. They contend that a focus on Lenin is urgently needed now, when global capitalism appears to be the only game in town, the liberal-democratic system seems to have been settled on as the optimal political organization of society, and it has become easier to imagine the end of the world than a modest change in the mode of production. Lenin retooled Marx’s thought for specific historical conditions in 1914, and Lenin Reloaded urges a reinvention of the revolutionary project for the present. Such a project would be Leninist in its commitment to action based on truth and its acceptance of the consequences that follow from action.
These essays, some of which are appearing in English for the first time, bring Lenin face-to-face with the problems of today, including war, imperialism, the imperative to build an intelligentsia of wage earners, the need to embrace the achievements of bourgeois society and modernity, and the widespread failure of social democracy. Lenin Reloaded demonstrates that truth and partisanship are not mutually exclusive as is often suggested. Quite the opposite—in the present, truth can be articulated only from a thoroughly partisan position.
Contributors. Kevin B. Anderson, Alain Badiou, Etienne Balibar, Daniel Bensaïd, Sebastian Budgen, Alex Callinicos, Terry Eagleton, Fredric Jameson, Stathis Kouvelakis, Georges Labica, Sylvain Lazarus, Jean-Jacques Lecercle, Lars T. Lih, Domenico Losurdo, Savas Michael-Matsas, Antonio Negri, Alan Shandro, Slavoj Žižek
Limits and Possibilities was first published in 1990. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The nature of the Eastern European Socialist state and its potential for transformation without sacrificing its specific identity is the subject of extensive current debate. Limits and Possibilities is the first book to be written that deals conceptually and historically with the myriad kinds of change a state might undergo. Bogdon Denitch has chosen the Yugoslavian model to frame his analysis because it initiated these "modernizing" changes in the 1960s and can therefore provide a case study of the limits of reforms possible in Communist regimes. In using the Yugoslav case paradigmatically, the volume addresses in a more general sense the issues of decentralization, autonomy for nonparty and nonstate institutions, multi-ethnicity, new social movements, including the "greens," and the role of women and women's movements.
Lithuanian Social Democracy in Perspective is the first book in any Western language on Lithuanian Social Democracy. In this work Leonas Sabaliunas studies the conflict between and convergence of socialism and nationalism in pre-1914 Lithuania. He analyzes the interplay of ideological priorities by observing the operations of Marxist political parties, emphasizing the origins, development, and achievements of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania. But Sabaliunas also considers such partners and rivals as the Jewish Bund, the Polish Socialist Party, the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania, and the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party. He focuses on the appearance of socialist parties at the local level, the politics of assertive behavior during the Russian Revolution of 1905–1906, the nature of interparty relations, and efforts to promote party unity. In particular, he investigates the projected relationship between Russia and its subject nationalities—a cardinal concern today as the Baltic peoples attempt to distance themselves from their Russian neighbors. Sabaliunas clarifies current massive Lithuanian opposition to Moscow and to its version of socialism. He stresses that in Lithuania the socialist movement from the beginning not only sought solutions to social and economic problems but also addressed issues of ethnic and national interest, especially the question of national sovereignty.
In Living Ideology in Cuba, Katherine Gordy demonstrates how the Cuban state and its people engage in an ongoing negotiation that produces a “living ideology.” In contrast to official slogans and fiats, Cuba’s living ideology is a decentralized phenomenon, continually adapting, informing, and responding to daily life, without losing sight of the fundamental national principles of socioeconomic equality, unified leadership, and inclusive nationalism.
Tracing Cuba’s ideological history, Gordy first looks at the ways in which the 19th century wars of independence and the 1959 revolution were used as the basis for both challenging and legitimizing Cuban socialism. Following the embrace of a pure socialist ideology in the 1960s, state policies of the 1970s became more accommodating of market imperatives, while still holding on to the principles articulated by Che Guevara and Karl Marx. In the 1990s, the Cuban people themselves pushed back against further economic reforms, reasserting the value of socioeconomic equality. Gordy also examines ideological debates among intellectuals, from the controversy sparked by Fidel Castro’s “Words to the Intellectuals” speech to the demand in the 1990s for a separation between academia and the state—not to safeguard academia from politics, but to ensure that academics as such could contribute to the political dialogue.
Eastern European prefabricated housing blocks are often vilified as the visible manifestations of everything that was wrong with state socialism. For many inside and outside the region, the uniformity of these buildings became symbols of the dullness and drudgery of everyday life. Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity complicates this common perception. Analyzing the cultural, intellectual, and professional debates surrounding the construction of mass housing in early postwar Czechoslovakia, Zarecor shows that these housing blocks served an essential function in the planned economy and reflected an interwar aesthetic, derived from constructivism and functionalism, that carried forward into the 1950s.
With a focus on prefabricated and standardized housing built from 1945 to 1960, Zarecor offers broad and innovative insights into the country’s transition from capitalism to state socialism. She demonstrates that during this shift, architects and engineers consistently strove to meet the needs of Czechs and Slovaks despite challenging economic conditions, a lack of material resources, and manufacturing and technological limitations. In the process, architects were asked to put aside their individual creative aspirations and transform themselves into technicians and industrial producers. Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity is the first comprehensive history of architectural practice and the emergence of prefabricated housing in the Eastern Bloc. Through discussions of individual architects and projects, as well as building typologies, professional associations, and institutional organization, it opens a rare window into the cultural and economic life of Eastern Europe during the early postwar period.
New Asian Marxisms
Tani E. Barlow, ed. Duke University Press, 2002 Library of Congress HX376.A6N48 2002 | Dewey Decimal 335.4098
Displaying the particular vitality of the global traditions of Marxism and neomarxism at the beginning of the twenty-first century, New AsianMarxisms collects essays by a diverse group of scholars—historians, political scientists, literary scholars, and sociologists—who offer a range of studies of the Marxist heritage focusing on Korea, Japan, India, and China.
While some of these essays take up key thinkers in Marxist history or draw attention to outstanding problematics, others focus on national literature and discourse in North and South Korea, the "Mao Zedong Fever" of the 1990s, the implications of Li Dazhao's poetry, and the Indian Naxalite movement. Illustrating the importance of central analytical categories like exploitation, alienation, and violence to studies on the politics of knowledge, contributors confront prevailing global consumerist fantasies with accounts of political struggle, cultural displacement, and theoretical strategies.
Contributors. Tani E. Barlow, Dai Jinhua, Michael Dutton, D. R. Howland, Marshall Johnson, Liu Kang, You-me Park, William Pietz, Claudia Pozzana, Alessandro Russo, Sanjay Seth, Gi-Wook Shin, Sugiyama Mitsunobu, Jing Wang
Not One Man Not One Penny
Gary P. Steenson University of Pittsburgh Press, 1981 Library of Congress HX273.S786 | Dewey Decimal 324.24307209
The German social democratic movement was the first mass, working-class party in world history, and a prototype for one of the major features of twentieth-century politics. Gary P. Steenson presents an introduction to the origins and development of German social democracy up to the First World War, by drawing upon protocols of the German Social Democratic Party, the party press, correspondence of leading figures, and scholarly research. Steenson also offers biographical sketches of prominent party officials, and translations of party programs and bylaws in the appendix.
In 1949 construction of the planned town of Nowa Huta began on the outskirts of Kraków, Poland. Its centerpiece, the Lenin Steelworks, promised a secure future for workers and their families. By the 1980s, however, the rise of the Solidarity movement and the ensuing shock therapy program of the early 1990s rapidly transitioned the country from socialism to a market-based economy, and Nowa Huta fell on hard times.
Kinga Pozniak shows how the remarkable political, economic, and social upheavals since the end of the Second World War have profoundly shaped the historical memory of these events in the minds of the people who lived through them. Through extensive interviews, she finds three distinct, generationally based framings of the past. Those who built the town recall the might of local industry and plentiful jobs. The following generation experienced the uprisings of the 1980s and remembers the repression and dysfunction of the socialist system and their resistance to it. Today’s generation has no direct experience with either socialism or Solidarity, yet as residents of Nowa Huta they suffer the stigma of lower-class stereotyping and marginalization from other Poles.
Pozniak examines the factors that lead to the rewriting of history and the formation of memory, and the use of history to sustain current political and economic agendas. She finds that despite attempts to create a single, hegemonic vision of the past and a path for the future, these discourses are always contested—a dynamic that, for the residents of Nowa Huta, allows them to adapt as their personal experience tells them.
On the Economic Theory of Socialism was first published in 1938. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.Is socialism workable on economic grounds? “No,” say the chief European critics of socialism – von Mises, Robbins, and von Hayek. “Yes,” say Lange and Taylor in these two papers – the first refutation in English of the objections of these economists.There has been consistent demand for this book since it went out of print in 1944. This reprint is in response to that demand.
Previously available only in an out-of-print Swedish edition published in 1955, Henry Bengston's firsthand account deals with what historian Dag Blanck calls the "other Swedish America."
Swedish immigrants in general were conservative, but Bengston and others—most notably Joe Hill—joined the working-class labor movement on the left, primarily as Debsian socialists, although their ranks included other socialists, communists, and anarchists. Involved in the radical labor movement on many fronts, Bengston was the editor of Svenska Socialisten from 1912 until he dropped out of the Scandinavian Socialist Federation in 1920. Even after 1920, however, his sympathies remained with the movement he had once strongly espoused.
Reclaims Marx for today through a fundamental reconsideration of how his works should be read.
Why-and how-does Marx speak to our day? Seeking to reestablish the link between Marx, socialism, and the Left, this book negotiates the common ground between orthodox marxism and postmarxism to show how a reading of Marx elaborates the present. More than a claim about how Marx might be read for relevance, this book is also a forceful statement about how theory relates to political project and organization.
What, Randy Martin asks, does Marx have to say to the discourses of radical democracy, postmodernism, and globalization-all of which purport to solve problems that emerge in Marx's writings? A reading of Marx can in fact disclose the limitations of the contemporary modes of criticism, identifying the difficult conceptual problems that cannot be avoided or overcome.
Using readings of Marx to restage contemporary political discussions, On Your Marx reengages orthodox and postmarxist understandings in a critical and constructive conversation. In doing so, the book points to powerful new alliances between cultural and political theorists and activists, opening new possibilities for mobilization and social justice.
Randy Martin is associate dean of faculty and interdisciplinary programs and professor of art and public policy at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. He is also the coeditor of the journal Social Text.
Much has been written about the workings of communist governments in the USSR and the Soviet bloc, yet there is still a great deal to explore regarding their relationship to the everyday lives of the citizens living under them. This third volume builds on the editors’ Style and Socialism and Socialist Spaces, showing how the rise of consumer culture took a unique form in these countries.
Essays from top scholars address topics ranging from fashion and game shows to smoking and camping. The authors of the essays in this collection investigate the ways in which pleasurable activities, like many other facets of daily life, were both a space in which these communist governments tried to insinuate themselves and thereby further expand the reach of their authority,
and also an opportunity for people to assert their individuality.
The Jewish experience on Polish lands is often viewed backwards through the lens of the Holocaust and the ethnic rivalries that escalated in the period between the two world wars. Critical to the history of Polish-Jewish relations, however, is the period prior to World War I when the emergence of mass electoral politics in Czarist Russia led to the consolidation of modern political parties. Using sources published in Polish, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Russian, Joshua D. Zimmerman has compiled a full-length English-language study of the relations between the two dominant progressive movements in Russian Poland. He examines the Polish Socialist Party (PPS), which sought social emancipation and equal civil rights for minority nationalities, including Jews, under a democratic Polish republic, and the Jewish Labor Bund, which declared that Jews were a nation distinct from Poles and Russians and advocated cultural autonomy. By 1905, the PPS abandoned its call for Jewish assimilation, and recognized Jews as a separate nationality. Zimmerman demonstrates persuasively that Polish history in Czarist Russia cannot be fully understood without studying the Jewish influence and that Jewish history was equally infused with the Polish influence.
What does the durability of political institutions have to do with how actors form knowledge about them? Andreas Glaeser investigates this question in the context of a fascinating historical case: socialist East Germany’s unexpected self-dissolution in 1989. His analysis builds on extensive in-depth interviews with former secret police officers and the dissidents they tried to control as well as research into the documents both groups produced. In particular, Glaeser analyzes how these two opposing factions’ understanding of the socialist project came to change in response to countless everyday experiences. These investigations culminate in answers to two questions: why did the officers not defend socialism by force? And how was the formation of dissident understandings possible in a state that monopolized mass communication and group formation? He also explores why the Stasi, although always well informed about dissident activities, never developed a realistic understanding of the phenomenon of dissidence.
Out of this ambitious study, Glaeser extracts two distinct lines of thought. On the one hand he offers an epistemic account of socialism’s failure that differs markedly from existing explanations. On the other hand he develops a theory—a sociology of understanding—that shows us how knowledge can appear validated while it is at the same time completely misleading.
In The Problem with Work, Kathi Weeks boldly challenges the presupposition that work, or waged labor, is inherently a social and political good. While progressive political movements, including the Marxist and feminist movements, have fought for equal pay, better work conditions, and the recognition of unpaid work as a valued form of labor, even they have tended to accept work as a naturalized or inevitable activity. Weeks argues that in taking work as a given, we have “depoliticized” it, or removed it from the realm of political critique. Employment is now largely privatized, and work-based activism in the United States has atrophied. We have accepted waged work as the primary mechanism for income distribution, as an ethical obligation, and as a means of defining ourselves and others as social and political subjects. Taking up Marxist and feminist critiques, Weeks proposes a postwork society that would allow people to be productive and creative rather than relentlessly bound to the employment relation. Work, she contends, is a legitimate, even crucial, subject for political theory.
The Red Coast is a lively and readable informal history of the labor, left-wing, and progressive activists who lived, worked, and organized in southwest Washington State from the late nineteenth century until World War II. The book serves as a hidden history for a region frequently identified with conservatism, rescuing these working-class activists from obscurity and placing them at the center of southwest Washington’s history.
With a focus on socialists, militant unionists, Wobblies, “Red” Finns, and Communists, The Red Coast covers the people, places, and events that made history—well-known events like the 1919 Armistice Day Tragedy in Centralia and the murders of labor activists William McKay and Laura Law in Aberdeen as well as lesser-known events that have been lost to posterity until now.
The Red Coast also delves deep into the lives and work of the region’s anti-radical forces, examining the collective efforts of employers, news editors, and vigilantes to combat working-class organization. Topics include the Wobblies, the labor wars of the 1910s and 1930s, and the lumber and maritime industries. Labor historians, scholars, and general readers with interest in the working-class history of the Pacific Northwest will welcome this comprehensive and accessible account.
The Reification of Desire takes two critical perspectives rarely analyzed together—formative arguments for Marxism and those that have been the basis for queer theory—and productively scrutinizes these ideas both with and against each other to put forth a new theoretical connection between Marxism and queer studies.
Kevin Floyd brings queer critique to bear on the Marxian categories of reification and totality and considers the dialectic that frames the work of Georg Lukács, Herbert Marcuse, and Fredric Jameson. Reading the work of these theorists together with influential queer work by such figures as Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, and alongside reconsiderations of such texts as The Sun Also Rises and Midnight Cowboy, Floyd reformulates these two central categories that have been inseparable from a key strand of Marxist thought and have marked both its explanatory power and its limitations. Floyd theorizes a dissociation of sexuality from gender at the beginning of the twentieth century in terms of reification to claim that this dissociation is one aspect of a larger dynamic of social reification enforced by capitalism.
Developing a queer examination of reification and totality, Kevin Floyd ultimately argues that the insights of queer theory require a fundamental rethinking of both.
The Arab Revolutions that began in 2011 reignited interest in the question of theory and practice, imbuing it with a burning political urgency. In Revolution and Disenchantment Fadi A. Bardawil redescribes for our present how an earlier generation of revolutionaries, the 1960s Arab New Left, addressed this question. Bardawil excavates the long-lost archive of the Marxist organization Socialist Lebanon and its main theorist, Waddah Charara, who articulated answers in their political practice to fundamental issues confronting revolutionaries worldwide: intellectuals as vectors of revolutionary theory; political organizations as mediators of theory and praxis; and nonemancipatory attachments as impediments to revolutionary practice. Drawing on historical and ethnographic methods and moving beyond familiar reception narratives of Marxist thought in the postcolony, Bardawil engages in "fieldwork in theory" that analyzes how theory seduces intellectuals, cultivates sensibilities, and authorizes political practice. Throughout, Bardawil underscores the resonances and tensions between Arab intellectual traditions and Western critical theory and postcolonial theory, deftly placing intellectuals from those traditions into a much-needed conversation.
The Social Democratic Moment
Sheri BERMAN Harvard University Press, 1998 Library of Congress JN7995.S86B47 1998 | Dewey Decimal 324.248507209042
In addition to revising our view of the interwar period and the building of European democracies, this book cuts against the grain of most current theorizing in political science by explicitly discussing when and how ideas influence political behavior. Even though German and Swedish Social Democrats belonged to the same transnational political movement and faced similar political and social conditions in their respective countries before and after World War I, they responded very differently to the challenges of democratization and the Great Depression--with crucial consequences for the fates of their countries and the world at large.
Explaining why these two social democratic parties acted so differently is the primary task of this book. Berman's answer is that they had very different ideas about politics and economics--what she calls their programmatic beliefs. The Swedish Social Democrats placed themselves at the forefront of the drive for democratization; a decade later they responded to the Depression with a bold new economic program and used it to build a long period of political hegemony. The German Social Democrats, on the other hand, had democracy thrust upon them and then dithered when faced with economic crisis; their haplessness cleared the way for a bolder and more skillful political actor--Adolf Hitler.
This provocative book will be of interest to anyone concerned with twentieth-century European history, the transition to democracy problem, or the role of ideas in politics.
Socialism and Modernity
Peter Beilharz University of Minnesota Press, 2009 Library of Congress HX45.B45 2009 | Dewey Decimal 335
This first collection of Peter Beilharz's highly influential thought traces the themes and problems, manifestations, and trajectories of socialism and modernity as they connect and shift over a twenty-year period. Woven throughout Beilharz's analysis is the urgent question of modern utopia: how do we imagine freedom and equality in modernity?
The essays in this volume explore the relationship between socialism and modernity across the United States, Europe, and Australia from the mid-1980s to the turn of the twenty-first century, a time that witnessed the global triumph of capitalism and the dramatic turn away from Marxism and socialism to modernity as the dominant perspective. According to Beilharz, we have seen the expansion of a kind of Weberian Marxism, with the concept of revolution giving way to the idea of pluralized forms of power and the idea of rupture giving way to the postmodern sense of difference. These changes come together with the discourse of modernism, both aesthetic and technological.
Socialism and modernity, Beilharz argues, are fundamentally interrelated. In correcting the conflation of Marxism, Bolshevism, and socialism that occludes contemporary political thinking, he reopens a space for discussion of what socialist politics might look like now-in the postcommunist-postcolonial-postmodern moment.
Throughout the twentieth century socialism and war were intimately connected. The unprecedented upheavals wrought by the two world wars and the Great Depression provided both opportunity and impetus for a variety of socialist experiments. This volume in The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek documents the evolution of Hayek's thought on socialism and war during the dark decades of the 1930s and 1940s.
Opening with Hayek's arguments against market socialism, the volume continues with his writings on the economics of war, many in response to the proposals made in John Maynard Keynes's famous pamphlet, How to Pay for the War. The last section presents articles that anticipated The Road to Serfdom, Hayek's classic meditation on the dangers of collectivism. An appendix contains a number of topical book reviews written by Hayek during this crucial period, and a masterful introduction by the volume editor, Bruce Caldwell, sets Hayek's work in context.
Socialism and War will interest not just fans of The Road to Serfdom, but anyone concerned with the ongoing debates over the propriety of government intervention in the economy.
"When he wrote The Road to Serfdom, [Hayek's] was a voice in the wilderness. Now the fight [has] been taken up by people all over the world, by institutions and movements, and the ideas that seemed so strange to many in 1944 can be found from scholarly journals to television programs."—Thomas Sowell, Forbes
"Intellectually [Hayek] towers like a giant oak in a forest of saplings."—Chicago Tribune
"Each new addition to The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, the University of Chicago's painstaking series of reissues and collections, is a gem."—Liberty on Volume IX of The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek
Most narratives depict Soviet Cold War cultural activities and youth groups as drab and dreary, militant and politicized. In this study Gleb Tsipursky challenges these stereotypes in a revealing portrayal of Soviet youth and state-sponsored popular culture.
The primary local venues for Soviet culture were the tens of thousands of klubs where young people found entertainment, leisure, social life, and romance. Here sports, dance, film, theater, music, lectures, and political meetings became vehicles to disseminate a socialist version of modernity. The Soviet way of life was dutifully presented and perceived as the most progressive and advanced, in an attempt to stave off Western influences. In effect, socialist fun became very serious business. As Tsipursky shows, however, Western culture did infiltrate these activities, particularly at local levels, where participants and organizers deceptively cloaked their offerings to appeal to their own audiences. Thus, Soviet modernity evolved as a complex and multivalent ideological device.
Tsipursky provides a fresh and original examination of the Kremlin’s paramount effort to shape young lives, consumption, popular culture, and to build an emotional community—all against the backdrop of Cold War struggles to win hearts and minds both at home and abroad.
From 1918 to 1968, Czechoslovak auto manufacturing was marked by the growing influence of the American model of mass production and by the Sovietization of Czechoslovak society and industry. In this book, Valentina Fava examines how the stratification of foreign technical and organizational knowledge shaped Czechoslovak car production practices, contributing to the formation of a specific technical and organizational culture. This book studies and raises questions typical of company cases in business history and relative to Škoda corporate structure, performance, production processes, and product quality.
The Turkestano-Siberian Railroad, or Turksib, was one of the great construction projects of the Soviet Union’s First Five-Year Plan. As the major icon to ending the economic "backwardness" of the USSR’s minority republics, it stood apart from similar efforts as one of the most potent metaphors for the creation of a unified socialist nation.
Built between December 1926 and January 1931 by nearly 50,000 workers and at a cost of more 161 million rubles, Turksib embodied the Bolsheviks’ commitment to end ethnic inequality and promote cultural revolution in one the far-flung corners of the old Tsarist Empire, Kazakhstan. Trumpeted as the "forge of the Kazakh proletariat," the railroad was to create a native working class, bringing not only trains to the steppes, but also the Revolution.
In the first in-depth study of this grand project, Matthew Payne explores the transformation of its builders in Turksib’s crucible of class war, race riots, state purges, and the brutal struggle of everyday life. In the battle for the souls of the nation’s engineers, as well as the racial and ethnic conflicts that swirled, far from Moscow, around Stalin’s vast campaign of industrialization, he finds a microcosm of the early Soviet Union.
The Strange Death of Marxism seeks to refute certain misconceptions about the current European Left and its relation to Marxist and Marxist-Leninist parties that existed in the recent past. Among the misconceptions that the book treats critically and in detail is that the Post-Marxist Left (a term the book uses to describe this phenomenon) springs from a distinctly Marxist tradition of thought and that it represents an unqualified rejection of American capitalist values and practices.
Three distinctive features of the book are the attempts to dissociate the present European Left from Marxism, the presentation of this Left as something that developed independently of the fall of the Soviet empire, and the emphasis on the specifically American roots of the European Left. Gottfried examines the multicultural orientation of this Left and concludes that it has little or nothing to do with Marxism as an economic-historical theory. It does, however, owe a great deal to American social engineering and pluralist ideology and to the spread of American thought and political culture to Europe.
American culture and American political reform have foreshadowed related developments in Europe by years or even whole decades. Contrary to the impression that the United States has taken antibourgeois attitudes from Europeans, the author argues exactly the opposite. Since the end of World War II, Europe has lived in the shadow of an American empire that has affected the Old World, including its self-described anti-Americans. Gottfried believes that this influence goes back to who reads or watches whom more than to economic and military disparities. It is the awareness of American cultural as well as material dominance that fuels the anti-Americanism that is particularly strong on the European Left. That part of the European spectrum has, however, reproduced in a more extreme form what began as an American leap into multiculturalism. Hostility toward America, however, can be transformed quickly into extreme affection for the United States, which occurred during the Clinton administration and during the international efforts to bring a multicultural society to the Balkans.
Clearly written and well conceived, The Strange Death of Marxism will be of special interest to political scientists, historians of contemporary Europe, and those critical of multicultural trends, particularly among Euro-American conservatives.
In this significant contribution to both political theory and China studies, Lin Chun provides a critical assessment of the scope and limits of socialist experiments in China, analyzing their development since the victory of the Chinese communist revolution in 1949 and reflecting on the country’s likely paths into the future. Lin suggests that China’s twentieth-century trajectory be grasped in terms of the collective search by its people for a modern alternative to colonial modernity, bureaucratic socialism, and capitalist subordination. Evaluating contending interpretations of the formation and transformation of Chinese socialism in the contemporary conditions of global capitalism, Lin argues that the post-Mao reform model must be remade.
Anikó Imre Duke University Press, 2016 Library of Congress PN1992.3.E8I47 2016
In TV Socialism, Anikó Imre provides an innovative history of television in socialist Europe during and after the Cold War. Rather than uniform propaganda programming, Imre finds rich evidence of hybrid aesthetic and economic practices, including frequent exchanges within the region and with Western media, a steady production of varied genre entertainment, elements of European public service broadcasting, and transcultural, multi-lingual reception practices. These televisual practices challenge conventional understandings of culture under socialism, divisions between East and West, and the divide between socialism and postsocialism. Taking a broad regional perspective encompassing Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, Imre foregrounds continuities between socialist television and the region’s shared imperial histories, including the programming trends, distribution patterns, and reception practices that extended into postsocialism. Television, she argues, is key to understanding European socialist cultures and to making sense of developments after the end of the Cold War and the enduring global legacy of socialism.
In six months bridging 1989 and 1990, the German Democratic Republic underwent a transformation that took the world almost completely by surprise. Yet unlike the revolution in Poland a decade earlier, only a small percentage of workers played apolitically active role in the fall of socialism in Germany.
In this unprecedented study, Linda Fuller sets out to explain why the working class was largely missing from the 1989-90 revolution. Drawing on pre- and post-revolutionary visits to East German work sites and dozens of interviews, Fuller documents workers' day-to-day experience of the labor process, workplace union politics, and class. She shows how all three factors led most workers to withdraw from politics, even while prompting a handful to become actively involved in the struggle.
Kay Ann Johnson provides much-needed information about women and gender equality under Communist leadership. She contends that, although the Chinese Communist Party has always ostensibly favored women's rights and family reform, it has rarely pushed for such reforms. In reality, its policies often have reinforced the traditional role of women to further the Party's predominant economic and military aims.
Johnson's primary focus is on reforms of marriage and family because traditional marriage, family, and kinship practices have had the greatest influence in defining and shaping women's place in Chinese society. Conversant with current theory in political science, anthropology, and Marxist and feminist analysis, Johnson writes with clarity and discernment free of dogma. Her discussions of family reform ultimately provide insights into the Chinese government's concern with decreasing the national birth rate, which has become a top priority. Johnson's predictions of a coming crisis in population control are borne out by the recent increase in female infanticide and the government abortion campaign.
Working Class Radicals: The Socialist Party in West Virginia, 1898-1920 examines the rise and fall of organized socialism in West Virginia through an exploration of the demographics of membership, oral interview material gathered in the 1960s from party members, and the collapse of the party in the wake of the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek coal-mining strike of 1912. The first local branch of the West Virginia Socialist Party was established in Wheeling in 1901 and by 1914 several thousand West Virginians were dues-paying members of local branches. By 1910 local Socialists began to elect candidates to office and in 1912 more than 15,000 West Virginian voters cast their ballots for Socialist presidential candidate Eugene Debs. The progress that West Virginia socialists achieved on the electoral front was a reflection of the party’s strategy of increasing class-consciousness by working with existing unions to build the power of the labor movement. The party appealed to a fairly broad cross section of wage earners and its steady growth also owed much to the fact that many members of the middle class were attracted to the cause. Several factors combined to send the party into rapid decline, most importantly deep fissures between class and craft factions of the party and 1915 legislation making third party political participation difficult. Working Class Radicals offers insight into the various internal and external forces that doomed the party and serves as a cautionary tale to contemporary political leaders and organizers.
The Left is in crisis. Despite global economic turbulence, left-wing political parties in many countries have failed to make progress in part because they have grown too ideologically fragmented. Today, the term Left is associated with state intervention and public ownership, but this has little in common with the original meaning of the term. What caused what we mean by the Left to change, and how has that hindered progress?
With Wrong-Turnings, Geoffrey M. Hodgson tracks changes in the meaning of the Left and offers suggestions for how the Left might reclaim some of its core values. The term Left originated during the French Revolution, when revolutionaries sought to abolish the monarchy and privilege and to introduce a new society based on liberty, equality, fraternity, and universal rights. Over time, however, the meaning radically changed, especially through the influence of socialism and collectivism. Hodgson argues that the Left must rediscover its roots in the Enlightenment and readopt Enlightenment values it has abandoned, such as those concerning democracy and universal human rights. Only then will it be prepared to address contemporary problems of inequality and the survival of democracy. Possible measures could include enhanced educational provisions, a guaranteed basic income, and a viable mechanism for fair distribution of wealth.
Wrong-Turnings is a truly pathbreaking work from one of our most prolific and respected institutional theorists. It will change our understanding of how the left got lost.
Among the least-chronicled aspects of post-World War II European intellectual and cultural history is the story of the Russian intelligentsia after Stalin. Vladislav Zubok turns a compelling subject into a portrait as intimate as it is provocative. Zhivago's children, the spiritual heirs of Boris Pasternak's noble doctor, were the last of their kind - an intellectual and artistic community committed to a civic, cultural, and moral mission.