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Adam Buick

Cuba: No ‘New Man’

Seen in its most favourable light (and not just as a theory of political dictatorship that it is), Leninism can be seen as the view that the way to socialism is for a minority of socialists to seize power at the head of a discontented but non-socialist working class and then using this power to educate this majority into becoming socialists.

This accepts that socialism is a classless, stateless, wageless, moneyless society based on common ownership and with voluntary work and free access to goods and services, and also that such a society can only function with majority support and participation. (Leninists call it ‘communism’, confusingly reserving the word ‘socialism’ to describe the state-capitalist regimes they establish when they come to power.)

What Would a Real Socialist Revolution Look Like?

In the socialist tradition a socialist revolution is one that results in a change in the basis of society carried out by and in the interest of the immense majority.

“All previous historical movements were movements of minorities, or in the interest of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority.” (Marx and Engels, 'The Communist Manifesto', 1848)

Book Review: Money worship

Hayek and the Market. By Jim Tomlinson, Pluto Press, £24.95.

 Hayek has been a notorious life-long opponent of socialism, and not just of socialism but even of relatively mild reformist and trade union attempts to improve working class conditions within capitalism.

 After the publication of his book The Road to Serfdom in 1944 nothing much more was heard of him until he re-emerged in the 1970s to provide intellectual ammunition for the Thatcherite wing of the Tory party. So Tomlinson’s short, readable but expensive book can serve a purpose on the principle of “know thine enemy".

Analysing an Economic System

One criticism of Marx’s Capital is that, written 150 years ago, it is describing conditions in mid-century Victorian Britain which have long since disappeared. It does do this, but this is to miss the point. Marx was analysing an economic system, not the particular political, sociological and historical conditions under which it happened to operate in his day. It was written not, or not just, as a criticism of conditions in mid-Victorian Britain but as an analysis of capitalism in general, of the capitalist economic system as such irrespective of the conditions in which it operated.

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