The New Socialism: Moving Beyond Concentrated State Power

(Photo: Susannah Kay / The New York Times)

This article originally appeared at Truthout.org

Capitalism as a system is now increasingly challenged. Critics proliferate and steadily deepen their opposition (alongside, of course, the persistence of capitalism's defenders). Yet capitalism's traditional "other" -- namely, socialism -- has also been widely devalued. It has lost its position as the goal (however variously interpreted) for anti-capitalist social movements. When not simply ignored, socialism (and even more its derivative "communism") is often treated as utterly passé. When taken seriously, it is mostly a vague rhetorical gesture expressing criticism of the capitalist status quo, not advocacy of a concrete alternative. Socialist parties now mainly support capitalism but with a human face -- i.e. with the social supports and safety nets that their "conservative" counterparts disdain. 

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