The Death of Socialism

The Irrelevance of the Traditional Left and the Call for a Progressive Politics of Universal Humanity

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Author: Robert Corfe

Publisher: Arena books

ISBN: 1906791163

Category: Political Science

Page: 173

View: 743

Socialism and the mindset of the traditional left have outlived their purpose. A new political philosophy is needed in the cause of creating a fair and egalitarian society for the peoples of our planet. This is a startling yet profound book which strikes at the foundations of established politics in the West. The author s conclusions are drawn from two directions: an analysis of the consequences of the transformation of society over the past 60 years in industrialised economies; and personal experiences as an activist, both locally and nationally, after 14 years within the Labour party. It is demonstrated that both the Labour party, and socialism in the wider world, is now counter-productive to its given purpose: i.e. it hinders rather than promotes the progress of the less fortunate people in our midst. The left is hampered by two great faults in its thinking and policy: its idolatrous commitment to collectivism, poisoning its good intentions; and its blind spot to the psychological need for the productive business instinct, described by the author as the missing gene of socialism. The author describes his attempts to modernise the Labour party and initiate free discussion, followed by the horrific experience of his public denunciation by an old stalwart for writing without the authority of the party leadership. This led to his resignation in 2008. Modern men and women are dependent on the promotion of a healthy individualism for personal success and certainly in maintaining a free society. It is shown how political ideas need to follow in the wake of social and technological progress, and not vice versa. When ideologies outgrow their purpose society regresses. The future calls for a new progressive politics of universal humanity; a repudiation of class conflict which compounds rather than resolves substantive issues; the syncretising of political interests of relevance to all humanity; and a return to the Enlightenment values of a former age. This is a book with a refreshing insight in brushing away the political cobwebs of the past.

The Future of Politics

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Author: Robert Corfe

Publisher: Arena books

ISBN: 1906791465

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 188

View: 5640

The left/right confrontational system is coming to an end, since it is failing to further promote the interests of majorities worldwide. For 200 years it has acted as the linchpin of democracy, and politics is almost unthinkable without referring to the concepts of the Left or the Right. This book describes how the old confrontational system has fulfilled a vital function for the progress of humanity, but how in advanced industrial economies everywhere, it is now reaching the end of its useful purpose. This is not only reflected in the collapse of party memberships globally, but in the tendency of legislation and the executive to compound rather than resolve the issues of our age. Meanwhile, a new class is emerging in the advanced industrial world, which the author describes as the middle-middle 90%+ majority. Because contemporary parties are trapped in a time-warp of the past, they are unable to represent the interests of this new majority. The most urgent political issue of our time - heightened by the debt-fuelled financial crisis - is the need to make the banking and corporate sectors socially responsible. This book outlines a practical strategy towards this end. Only when that is achieved will it be possible to address effectively such pressing issues as climate change. Over the past 60 years society and the world of work have been transformed out of all recognition. Whilst the world of actuality has raced ahead, political thought has lagged behind - unable to keep apace with the significance of real events. In the light of this situation, the author points to the necessity for a fresh approach to political thought in breaking the existing mould. New and more effective democratic mechanisms are needed to ensure a socially just and equitable society for a better future. Hence the now malign left/right concepts of the past must be repudiated forever.

The Democratic Imperative

The Reality of Power Relationships in the Nation State

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Author: Robert Corfe

Publisher: Arena books

ISBN: 1909421146

Category: Political Science

Page: 234

View: 7070

Democracy understood as people power, which is the only proper definition of the word, is put forward in this book as the panacea for resolving the most pressing issues of our time. But democracy as a practicable system hinges on many conditions which are seldom appreciated by our world leaders, international institutions, or relevant bodies of learning. The evolution of democracy as a system of government and way of life, and the problems to which the former gives rise is broadly discussed by the author. Of most significance are those situations, in both East and West, when democracy is ideologically used as a cover for ulterior purposes. It is powerfully argued that the left/right divide which for 200 years has served as the rationale for advancing social progress in sustaining democracy is now destroying it, as partly witnessed through the collapse of both party memberships and voting figures in most advanced industrial economies. This has occurred through the transformation of society and the world of work over the past 60 years, and has left our parliamentary representatives trapped in a time-warp of the past in their inability to meet the actuality of contemporary issues. It is clearly shown, through a variety of reasons, that democracy as an all-inclusive system of government is only workable within the nation state. This partly explains the crises of the EU, and the shortcomings of the UN's Security Council. The greatest threat to democracy, since it limits the power of the nation state to carry through electoral promises, is international finance and transnational corporations, which are unaccountable to any responsible authority and liable to bring economic catastrophe in their wake. This is a book which seeks to empower our national politicians, irrespective of party, so they may more effectively represent the interests of their electorates. A way must be found for our politicians to resolve their predicament, even though it may entail a shift in their attitudes and ideals.

Land of the Olympians

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Author: Robert Corfe

Publisher: Arena books

ISBN: 1906791171

Category: History

Page: 264

View: 1785

This is a penetrating study of many aspects of life, thought, and everyday existence in Scandinavia, as experienced through the author s 9-year residence in the enlightened far north in the 1960s. Robert Corfe is primarily known as a thought-provoking writer of books published in the 21st century, but this work comprises a selection of his articles published in the Finnish press, popular magazines, and learned journals in the 1960s. The collected articles are put into context for a contemporary readership by a lively introductory chapter entitled, Seeing The Future Through The Past, which describes how Scandinavia was 50 years in advance of Britain in terms of political thinking and social development. And now Britain has caught up and shares in the benefits and also the dis-benefits of a modernised technological society. Of considerable interest are the articles on British society and its problems, as viewed through the eyes of a British resident acclimatised to the cultural environment of Finnish life. The articles reflect clearly the development of the author s political ideas on the need for a classless society in more effectively contributing to communal prosperity and internal harmony. The Scandinavians enviable policy of neutrality and disengagement from the conflicts of the great power blocs in achieving national security is highlighted as contributing to the happiness of their people. In view of an impending new Cold War between Russia and the West, the arguments developed are perhaps of greater significance today than when they were formulated more than 40 years ago. Many of these ideas were to be given greater depth in the author s major works published many years later in the 21st century. Perhaps most entertaining in this collection is the delicious satirical story, What The Watchdog Saw, a savage attack on the absurdities of the British far left as well as those of the far right. As a percipient introduction to the mindset of the enlightened Scandinavian people, based on both scholarship and personal experience, this book could hardly be bettered for such a purpose.

This Was My England

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Author: Robert Corfe

Publisher: Arena books

ISBN: 1906791732

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 357

View: 4849

Few books evoke the private life of an era, as it was in England between 1935 and 1954, with such clarity as this autobiography, based on the author's detailed journal and diaries which were recovered from an attic and read for the first time after a period of 60 years.

Socialism - An Economic and Sociological Analysis

The Economist

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Author: Ludwig von Mises

Publisher: VM eBooks

ISBN: N.A

Category: Business & Economics

Page: N.A

View: 8983

Socialism is the watchword and the catchword of our day. The socialist idea dominates the modem spirit. The masses approve of it. It expresses the thoughts and feelings of all; it has set its seal upon our time. When history comes to tell our story it will write above the chapter “The Epoch of Socialism.” As yet, it is true, Socialism has not created a society which can be said to represent its ideal. But for more than a generation the policies of civilized nations have been directed towards nothing less than a gradual realization of Socialism.17 In recent years the movement has grown noticeably in vigour and tenacity. Some nations have sought to achieve Socialism, in its fullest sense, at a single stroke. Before our eyes Russian Bolshevism has already accomplished something which, whatever we believe to be its significance, must by the very magnitude of its design be regarded as one of the most remarkable achievements known to world history. Elsewhere no one has yet achieved so much. But with other peoples only the inner contradictions of Socialism itself and the fact that it cannot be completely realized have frustrated socialist triumph. They also have gone as far as they could under the given circumstances. Opposition in principle to Socialism there is none. Today no influential party would dare openly to advocate Private Property in the Means of Production. The word “Capitalism” expresses, for our age, the sum of all evil. Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas. In seeking to combat Socialism from the standpoint of their special class interest these opponents—the parties which particularly call themselves “bourgeois” or “peasant”—admit indirectly the validity of all the essentials of socialist thought. For if it is only possible to argue against the socialist programme that it endangers the particular interests of one part of humanity, one has really affirmed Socialism. If one complains that the system of economic and social organization which is based on private property in the means of production does not sufficiently consider the interests of the community, that it serves only the purposes of single strata, and that it limits productivity; and if therefore one demands with the supporters of the various “social-political” and “social-reform” movements, state interference in all fields of economic life, then one has fundamentally accepted the principle of the socialist programme. Or again, if one can only argue against socialism that the imperfections of human nature make its realization impossible, or that it is inexpedient under existing economic conditions to proceed at once to socialization, then one merely confesses that one has capitulated to socialist ideas. The nationalist, too, affirms socialism, and objects only to its Internationalism. He wishes to combine Socialism with the ideas of Imperialism and the struggle against foreign nations. He is a national, not an international socialist; but he, also, approves of the essential principles of Socialism.

The Interpretation of Cultures

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Author: Clifford Geertz

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465093566

Category: Social Science

Page: 576

View: 7371

In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.

Islamic Exceptionalism

How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World

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Author: Shadi Hamid

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1466866721

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 2073

In Islamic Exceptionalism, Brookings Institution scholar and acclaimed author Shadi Hamid offers a novel and provocative argument on how Islam is, in fact, "exceptional" in how it relates to politics, with profound implications for how we understand the future of the Middle East. Divides among citizens aren't just about power but are products of fundamental disagreements over the very nature and purpose of the modern nation state—and the vexing problem of religion’s role in public life. Hamid argues for a new understanding of how Islam and Islamism shape politics by examining different models of reckoning with the problem of religion and state, including the terrifying—and alarmingly successful—example of ISIS. With unprecedented access to Islamist activists and leaders across the region, Hamid offers a panoramic and ambitious interpretation of the region's descent into violence. Islamic Exceptionalism is a vital contribution to our understanding of Islam's past and present, and its outsized role in modern politics. We don't have to like it, but we have to understand it—because Islam, as a religion and as an idea, will continue to be a force that shapes not just the region, but the West as well in the decades to come.

The Listeners

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Author: James Gunn

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1497629322

Category: Fiction

Page: 216

View: 3426

Nebula Award Finalist After fifty-one long years of patient waiting, the message has finally arrived. They have dedicated their lives to trying to decipher the eerie silence that resounds from space and now there is finally a sound after decades of quiet. In the beginning there is a hail of celebration--the Project has finally produced results--but then the questions begin. What does the message mean? Could it be 'We come in peace' or 'Get ready for world domination'? The message baffles Earth. Only one man has the power to make the decision and it could mean intergalactic warfare if he makes the wrong choice. Director MacDonald holds in his hands the fate of Earth, the universe and the Project, which is dedicated to answering questions that have plagued humanity for centuries. Will he make the correct choice?

How to Change the World

Reflections on Marx and Marxism

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Author: Eric Hobsbawm

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300176163

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 470

View: 6771

A penetrating reassessment of Marxist thought and its relevance today, by a world-renowned historian of Marxism

Althusser and the Renewal of Marxist Social Theory

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Author: Robert Paul Resch

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780520060821

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 436

View: 3727

The writings of the French Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser and his associates have figured prominently in the development of contemporary social theory. The Althusserian school of Structural Marxism is a startlingly original synthesis of Marxism and Modernism, which has produced a large body of work that extends across the human sciences and the humanities to engage a wide variety of cultures, theoretical problems, and political issues. Despite the fact that Althusser himself is widely recognized as a major figure, the breadth, coherence, and achievements of Structural Marxism as a whole have gone largely unrecognized. In this, the most systematic and wide-ranging assessment of Structural Marxism in any language, Resch provides a comprehensive and thematic introduction to the work of Althusser, Nicos Poulantzas, Pierre Macherey, Etienne Balibar, Emmanuel Terray, Terry Eagleton, G�ran Therborn, Ren�e Balibar, Perry Anderson, Pierre-Philippe Rey, Michel P�chaux, Guy Bois, and others. Resch's sympathetic and critical study demonstrates the enormous significance of Althusser's modernist renewal of Marxist social theory and its ongoing challenge to post-Marxist movements such as postmodernism and neo-liberalism.

Homo Deus

A Brief History of Tomorrow

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Author: Yuval Noah Harari

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062464353

Category: Science

Page: 464

View: 2339

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods. Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda. What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus. With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.

The Left at War

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Author: Michael Bérubé

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814799841

Category: History

Page: 341

View: 7647

2013 Book Award Winner from the International Research Society in Children's Literature 2012 Outstanding Book Award Winner from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education 2012 Winner of the Lois P. Rudnick Book Prize presented by the New England American Studies Association 2012 Runner-Up, John Hope Franklin Publication Prize presented by the American Studies Association 2012 Honorable Mention, Distinguished Book Award presented by the Society for the Study of American Women Writers Part of the American Literatures Initiative Series Beginning in the mid nineteenth century in America, childhood became synonymous with innocence—a reversal of the previously-dominant Calvinist belief that children were depraved, sinful creatures. As the idea of childhood innocence took hold, it became racialized: popular culture constructed white children as innocent and vulnerable while excluding black youth from these qualities. Actors, writers, and visual artists then began pairing white children with African American adults and children, thus transferring the quality of innocence to a variety of racial-political projects—a dynamic that Robin Bernstein calls “racial innocence.” This phenomenon informed racial formation from the mid nineteenth century through the early twentieth. Racial Innocence takes up a rich archive including books, toys, theatrical props, and domestic knickknacks which Bernstein analyzes as “scriptive things” that invite or prompt historically-located practices while allowing for resistance and social improvisation. Integrating performance studies with literary and visual analysis, Bernstein offers singular readings of theatrical productions from blackface minstrelsy to Uncle Tom’s Cabin to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; literary works by Joel Chandler Harris, Harriet Wilson, and Frances Hodgson Burnett; material culture including Topsy pincushions, Uncle Tom and Little Eva handkerchiefs, and Raggedy Ann dolls; and visual texts ranging from fine portraiture to advertisements for lard substitute. Throughout, Bernstein shows how “innocence” gradually became the exclusive province of white children—until the Civil Rights Movement succeeded not only in legally desegregating public spaces, but in culturally desegregating the concept of childhood itself. Check out the author's blog for the book here.

Capital as Power

A Study of Order and Creorder

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Author: Jonathan Nitzan,Shimshon Bichler

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134022298

Category: Political Science

Page: 464

View: 9021

Conventional theories of capitalism are mired in a deep crisis: after centuries of debate, they are still unable to tell us what capital is. Liberals and Marxists both think of capital as an ‘economic’ entity that they count in universal units of ‘utils’ or ‘abstract labour’, respectively. But these units are totally fictitious. Nobody has ever been able to observe or measure them, and for a good reason: they don’t exist. Since liberalism and Marxism depend on these non-existing units, their theories hang in suspension. They cannot explain the process that matters most – the accumulation of capital. This book offers a radical alternative. According to the authors, capital is not a narrow economic entity, but a symbolic quantification of power. It has little to do with utility or abstract labour, and it extends far beyond machines and production lines. Capital, the authors claim, represents the organized power of dominant capital groups to reshape – or creorder – their society. Written in simple language, accessible to lay readers and experts alike, the book develops a novel political economy. It takes the reader through the history, assumptions and limitations of mainstream economics and its associated theories of politics. It examines the evolution of Marxist thinking on accumulation and the state. And it articulates an innovative theory of ‘capital as power’ and a new history of the ‘capitalist mode of power’.

Arguments for Socialism

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Author: Paul Cockshott,David Zachariah

Publisher: Lulu.com

ISBN: 1471658945

Category: Socialism

Page: 225

View: 4546

Life as Jamie Knows it

An Exceptional Child Grows Up

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Author: Michael Berube

Publisher: Beacon Press

ISBN: 0807062308

Category: Children with mental disabilities

Page: 232

View: 4858

Tells the story of Jamie Bérubé's journey to adulthood and a meditation on disability in American life. Bérubé chronicles his son's growth and his growing love of the world, writing as both a disability studies scholar and as a father. He follows Jamie through the transitions within his family and home life, through his school years, through the complicated process of entering the workforce with a disability. In a book that joins memoir and philosophical inquiry, Bérubé guides us through the labyrinth of ethical issues surrounding how we approach disability and uses Jamie's story to argue for a deeper understanding of disability that challenges us to move toward a more just, more inclusive society. --From publisher description.

My Conflict with a Soviet Spy

The Story of the Ron Evans Spy Case

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Author: Eddie Miller

Publisher: Arena books

ISBN: 9780953846030

Category: Espionage, Soviet

Page: 261

View: 5811

Ron Evans was probably the most notoroius Soviet spy of British nationality working out of Scandinavia in the post-war period. This is the full story of the Ron Evans spy case, told in all its drama and excitement as it occurred in the 1960s.

Sustaining Civil Society

Economic Change, Democracy, and the Social Construction of Citizenship in Latin America

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Author: Philip Oxhorn

Publisher: Penn State Press

ISBN: 0271048948

Category: Political Science

Page: 282

View: 1911

"Devoting particular emphasis to Bolivia, Chile, and Mexico, proposes a theory of civil society to explain the economic and political challenges for continuing democratization in Latin America"--Provided by publisher.

The Two Marxisms

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Author: Alvin Ward Gouldner

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: Political Science

Page: 397

View: 674