Socialism: Crisis and Renewal

Socialism: Crisis and Renewal

Socialism: Crisis and Renewal

Socialism: Crisis and Renewal

Synopsis

This collection of original essays offers a defense of socialism in the face of its recent collapse. The volume provides both an overview and a critical inquiry into the essential aspects of the crisis and fall of socialism. It also, however, assesses the prospects for the renewal of the socialist project by addressing long-neglected issues in socialist thinking and writing. Recent developments in Russia, Cuba, and China, combined with theoretical expositions of the crisis and fall of socialism, are used to assess some of the strengths and weaknesses of socialist regimes. Critical essays on specific issues---such as the environment, feminism, law, and Marxist theory---point the way, the authors hope, toward a renewal and re-energizing of socialism.

Excerpt

The collection of chapters included in this volume stems from the current crisis of socialism and the fall of the socialist bloc. The project was conceived shortly after the collapse of socialist regimes in Eastern Europe in late 1989, and it began to take concrete form and shape after the toppling of communism in the Soviet Union. In putting this volume together, we felt that there was an urgent need for socialist scholars and activists to assess critically some of the major conditions and developments behind the crisis and the fall of socialism and the prospects for its renewal. Although it is virtually impossible to address in a single volume all of the dimensions of the crisis and fall of socialism and explore the various theoretical aspects of the socialist project, we hope that the chapters that have been selected for this book provide both a valuable overview of and a critical inquiry into the essential aspects of the reality and theory of socialism. The individuals who have contributed identify themselves, broadly speaking, with the socialist tradition. All of us included in this volume feel that the vision of socialism remains as vital as ever (the future of humanity does not, cannot, lie with "actually existing capitalism"), although certain lessons need to be drawn from the experience of "really existing socialism" and much work needs to be done for the future development of socialism. Our hope is that socialist intellectuals will continue to play an active role in the long, historic struggle for a just and rational society and not give in to ideological confusion and despair because of the recent developments in the former socialist world. The socialist camp is indeed experiencing its greatest crisis ever, but it has a long and illustrious history with substantial achievements and possesses . . .

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