Skip to Content

Alexander Bogdanov

What is Socialism?

Extract from a Socialist Party contribution to a panel on the subject organised by the Platypus Society on 23 March.

In 1893 in Britain William Morris took the initiative for the publication of a Manifesto of English Socialists which declared:

'Our aim, one and all, is to obtain for the whole community complete ownership and control of the means of transport, the means of manufacture, the mines and the land. Thus we look to put an end forever to the wage-system, to sweep away all distinctions of class, and eventually to establish national and international communism on a sound basis.'

That this was signed by such non-Marxists as GB Shaw and Sidney Webb shows that, at that time, the difference between reformists and revolutionaries, possibilists and impossibilists, was not so much over what the aim was as over how to get there.

Bogdanov, technocracy and socialism

Alexander Bogdanov was a non-Leninist Bolshevik who also wrote science-fiction.

The terms “Bolshevism” and “Leninism” are usually treated as synonyms. In view of Lenin’s enormous influence over the Bolshevik party, that might seem fair enough. But in fact Lenin did have political and intellectual rivals inside his own party. The most important of these non-Leninist Bolsheviks was Alexander Bogdanov (1873-1928).

Syndicate content