New Socialisms: Futures beyond Globalization

New Socialisms: Futures beyond Globalization

New Socialisms: Futures beyond Globalization

New Socialisms: Futures beyond Globalization

Synopsis

As neo-liberal globalization pushes us further toward global inequality, poverty, war and militarism diverse movements are arising to voice their concerns. These movements have in common a lack of credible alternatives and this book is a contribution to a more positive debate.

Excerpt

The intellectual impetus for this volume has been the longstanding interest of the editors in grappling in new and creative ways with what has certainly been one of the most influential, controversial, and maligned ideas in the modern world - the idea of socialism. Inspired by "freedom, equality and fraternity," the modern socialist tradition has been the main source of theories and practices that have spurred workers of all stripes to fight for a more just world. Yet, today, faced with the "fall of the Wall" and the unceremonious collapse of the Soviet Union, it is more commonplace to hear workers and progressive-minded people speak in terms of the "TINA factor," that there is no alternative to current neo-liberalism and corporate globalization, with the version of social justice these offer; and that all future-directed thinking about human society and social change must necessarily unfold within the narrow bounds of what "the market" purportedly renders possible or "rational."

However, it is paramount that the tina factor be vigorously resisted. On the one hand, it has to be acknowledged that if the former Soviet Union and its satellites were imbued with much socialist substance, then the unraveling of the social orders there and subsequent turn towards capitalism would have involved a far more drawn-out process than what literally amounted to a mere few months' upheaval. What such societies actually represented were efforts to establish a very one-sided kind of socialism in underdeveloped countries, with weak traditions of the rule of law and democracy, under circumstances in which survival dictated the development of a large military establishment and an all-out effort to develop the heavy industry needed to support such an enterprise. in other words, the failures of the "soviet-style" experiments with social change should not be viewed as confirming the exhaustion of all possibilities for building a genuine socialist future.

On the other hand, polemicists for "free" markets over soviet-style centralized planning, such as Hayek and Friedman, present extremely one-sided and simplistic characterizations of the options confronting us. They offer up false choices between the extremes of top-down centralized state planning and bottom-up free markets, state property and private property, and totalitarianism

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