A book from Workers’ Liberty which makes the case for socialism. Published in a time when socialism is the most searched word on the Merriam-Webster dictionary website, and more and more people call themselves socialists, this book explores what socialism means, whether it can rise again, how, and why.
It answers questions such as: What about Stalin? Are revolutions democratic? How can we have a planned economy? And is socialism still relevant?
The first section is formatted as an argumentative dialogue between a socialist and an anti-socialist critique. The other sections are collections of essays and real-world debates by a variety of authors.
The economic crisis of 2008 and its aftershocked cracked the mystique which the world capitalist system had built in the two decades after the collapse of Russian and European Stalinism. But socialism is in eclipse, still largely buried under the ruins of Stalinism.
Since the 2019 general election, the left has been again knocked back in the UK, in part by its failure to offer and convince people of such an unabridged socialism, and the continued legacy of Stalinism. As ecological crises and the nationalist hard right grow, the need to fight for genuine socialism is stronger than ever.
Table of Contents
§ A. Socialism in the 21st Century?
- Can Socialism Make Sense? An Unfriendly Dialogue — Sean Matgamna
- Part 1: Socialism and Stalinism
- Part 2: The Working Class
- Part 3: Democracy
- Part 4: Socialism and Human Nature
- Part 5: And Whats in it For Me?
- Underdogs and Elites — Debate between Sean Matgamna and Roger Scruton
- Capitalism Versus Human Life — Martin Thomas
§ B. October 1917: The Workers' Revolution
- An eyewitness account of the October Revolution — Hal Draper
- 1917 was a democratic revolution — Max Shachtman
- Stalinism and Bolshevism
- Stalinism and Bolshevism — Leon Trotsky
- Their morals and ours — Leon Trotsky
§ C. Bedrock socialism
- Socialism, utopian and scientific — Frederick Engels
- Manifesto of the Socialist League — Ernest Belford Bax and William Morris
- State socialists and social democrats — Henry Hyndman
- Industrial unionism — Eugene Debs
- The socialist ideal — Paul Lafargue
- Why socialism? — Albert Einstein
- What is German Bolshevism? — Rosa Luxemburg
- Repealing the anti-homosexual laws — August Bebel 34
- The women's struggle and socialism — Clara Zetkin
- Socialism and democracy
- The metaphysics of democracy — Leon Trotsky
- Democracy and class rule — Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
- Fighting for a more generous democracy — Leon Trotsky
§ D. What socialists do, and why we do it — Sean Matgamna
§ E. As We Were Saying
- Fifteen lies against socialism answered — Sean Matgamna
- Is socialism utopian? — Debate between Sean Matgamna and Kenneth Minogue
- Planning: what, how, whose? — Debate between David Marsland and Martin Thomas