Twelve Theses on the Crisis of "Really Existing Socialism"


  • Michael Löwy



History, Marxism


1. One cannot die before being born. Communism is not dead, it is not yet born. The same applies to socialism. What the Western media call "the Communist States" and the Eastern official ideology "really existing socialism" were neither. At best, one could call them "non-capitalist societies," where private property in the main means of production had been abolished. But they were very far from socialism—a form of society where the associated producers are the masters of the process of production, a society based on the largest economic, social, and political democracy, a commonwealth liberated from all class, ethnic, and gender exploitation and oppression. Whatever their economic and social achievements or failures, these "really existing" societies had one basic common shortcoming: the lack of democracy, the exclusion of the workers, of the majority of the people, from political power.

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