Introductory Education Programme

soviet berlin

SECTION EIGHT: Socialism or barbarism


‘If the capitalist mode of production can ensure the boundless expansion of the productive forces, of economic progress, it is invincible indeed. The most objective argument in support of socialist theory breaks down; socialist political action and the ideological import of the proletarian class struggle cease to reflect economic events and socialism no longer appears an historical necessity.’ (Rosa Luxemburg, The Accumulation of Capital, p325)

Marx’s great contribution in applying his historical method to the study of the capitalist mode of production was to demonstrate that it would be superseded by socialism, a more advanced social system. He showed two things: first, that socialism was possible - the preconditions for socialism were already present in his time; second, that socialism was necessary - for the working class and other oppressed masses. The Russian Revolution of October 1917 made socialism a reality. At once imperialism reacted: imperialist powers rushed to the aid of the counter-revolution, with the British in the lead. Although defeated for the moment, for the next 70 years, imperialism continued to deploy every means it could to destroy the gains of the October revolution. Its victory in 1991 has exacted a terrible price from the peoples of the former Soviet Union.

Today the Cuban revolution is in the vanguard of the anti-imperialist struggle and in the construction of socialism. Across Latin America new forces for change are in the ascendency, in the Middle East the battle against imperialism intensifies.  This section will discuss the historical and present need for socialism to be built if we are to avoid barbarism.

Primary Reading: ‘Taking the side of socialism’ – Trevor Rayne – FRFI 211 Oct/Nov 2009

 

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