“The Alternative to Capitalism” (paperback) Adam Buick and John Crump OUT NOW

July 2024 Forums Events and announcements “The Alternative to Capitalism” (paperback) Adam Buick and John Crump OUT NOW

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    First paperback release from my 'Theory and Practice' project:

    Also available via createspace:


    And in good radical bookshops soon..

    Contact me for bulk orders or review copies etc.


    Reviewed here on the site of our US companion party:http://wspus.org/2013/05/book-review-the-alternative-to-capitalism/We have ordered 50 copies for sale to members and others. These have not yet arrived but you can order your copy now by contacting us at our email address: spgb [at] worldsocialism.orgThe price will be about £5 including postage.


    Stefan has a point: why do we call ourselves "impossiblists"? I know the historical reason (label applied to us by the "possiblists", ie those who said the workers' movement should aim to get reforms that are "possible"), but surely it is those who think that capitalism can be reformed to work in the interest of the rest of us who are the real impossiblists?


    I always thought it was one of those sarcastic "in" jokes. Like the bolshevik/menshevik thing. The menshiviks calling themselves the minority while they were still in the majority of the RSDP as a sort of middle finger to the bolsheviks who falsely claimed to be the majority. Unless I've got that mixed up. The term possibilists appears to be much older than impossiblists as Engels speaks very negatively of them on several occasions.Here's one example of Engels writing to Lafargue about what to call the opposition to possibilists.

    My dear Lafargue,We have never called you anything but ‘the so-called Marxists’ and I would not know how else to describe you. Should you have some other, equally succinct name, let us know and we shall duly and gladly apply it to you. But we cannot say ‘aggregate’, which no one here would understand, or anti-Possibilists, which you would find just as objectionable and which would not be accurate, being too all-embracing.

    http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1889/letters/89_05_11.htmI think the term impossibilists gives out the wrong impression to the uninformed. Better is the term used by the Japanese guy (I forget his name) of Anglo-Marxism. But the problem with that is it gives the impression of a cultural or worse ethnic movement rather than a world-wide one. Probably best just to call ourselves scientific socialists. Labels like possibilist/impossibilist Leninist/Stalinist/Maoist etc, etc, all strongly suggest ideology and dogma. Something which any scientific socialist must reject.


    Chushichi Tsuzuki.There are some accurate problems highlighted here with the label impossibilist, but as a (very) shorthand explanation I think it has some positives especially when differentiating ourselves from usurpers of 'socialism'.


    "Anti-Possibilist" is better as it's the same as anti-Reformist. The trouble is that the term "possibilist" is not used by anyone today. When the German Green Party had a similar discussion they were divided into "Realos" ("Realists" who wanted to pursue what Green measures were considered achievable within the system) and "Fundis" ("Fundamentalists" who wanted to give priority to campaigning for a Green society). The Realos won and this is now the approach not just of the German party but of all Green parties. But we can't call ourselves "Socialist fundamentalists", can we (even if we are)?


    Social Democracy is another description of ourselves that has become a "dirty" word.No matter how we try to qualify it …Commonwealth too has been corrupted into meaning the ex- British Empire."Real existing socialism" is now a description used by those who believed what they had in the  Eastern Bloc was socialism."True socialism" is what Marx and Engels attacked in the communist manifesto.One ex-Edinburgh branch member thought up the name Whoopee Party to describe his celebratory-style politics.

    J Surman

    Please make sure some are sent to the summer school at Birmingham. I, for one, would like one. Thanks.


    We are not sure that they will arrive in time for Summer School as the last day by which they are supposed to arrive is 17 July. If they do arrive before 12 July then some will be available in Birmingham.

    J Surman

    Thanks – if they don't arrive in time i'll arrange to have one sent to me.


    The 50 copies we ordered arrived at Head Office on Wednesday and so the book will be available for members and visitors to look at and/or buy at Summer School as well as at other meetings.

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