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state capitalism

Rewriting Marx

We are used to various Leninist regimes distorting the views of Karl Marx to try to bring some kind of spurious legitimacy to their vile social systems. A recent, almost breathtaking, example occurred in the Beijing Review (no. 34, 23-29 August). An article by one Ed Rothberg, who is apparently a professor from New York, defends the changes in the Chinese economy over the last twelve years or so as being in line with Marx's views. From a centrally-planned economy, China has changed to one where prices and wages are controlled by the market; this is allegedly all within a Socialist system, whereas in fact it is a change from state capitalism to a mix of state and private capitalism.

Book Reviews: 'Poor Man's Heaven' & 'State Capitalism and World Revolution'

Dreaming of the future

Poor Man's Heaven: The Land of Cokaygne and Other Utopian Visions by Omasius Gorgut, Past Tense, 2012. 134 pages.

‘Surplus Theory’ versus Marxian Theory

The work of Richard Wolff and Stephen Resnick contains some insights for socialists but it is not Marxian economics and is not socialist.

Hugo Chavez: ‘21st Century Socialist’ or Populist Strongman?

The formula ‘socialism of the 21st century’ encapsulates the hopes that many leftists throughout the world placed in President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and his so-called ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ or ‘Bolivarian Process.’ (‘Bolivarian’ refers to Simon Bolivar, commander of the army that defeated the Spaniards in 1821 and won independence for Venezuela and other Spanish colonies in the north-western part of South America.)

The term ‘21st century socialism’ was coined by Mexican sociologist Heinz Dieterich Steffan, who served as an adviser to Chavez for several years but fell out with him in 2011. It conveys the idea that Venezuela is pioneering a new and exciting ‘socialism’ for the new century, based on grassroots participation, in contrast to the stodgy bureaucratic ‘socialism’ (what we call state capitalism) of the 20th century.

Defying the Yanquis

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