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Hindsights for the new socialism
Juan Carlos Monedo (centre) with Venezuela's former Vice President José Vicente Rangel (right)
1) Without Soviet pressure, the European social state would not have been conceivable, and
Historical and political explanations of the Soviet Revolution, especially regarding the distortion of the enlightening socialist process, are numerous, placing the emphasis on what each one understands as the most essential elements a society must have. Therefore we find the following explanations: a lack of popular participation; the failure to convert the state into an authentic civil society (the enemy of the state became an enemy of the people), bureaucracy and corruption, a lack of social control, statism, errors in planning, a failure to create incentives, pressure from capitalist countries... On the whole, a sort of mixture of all these reasons turned the existing socialism into a regime which the peoples of these countries were not prepared to fight for when, after some slips, they started to fall.
The European socialist parties tried to construct a democratic socialism which incorporated socialism’s egalitarian discourse, and which differed from the Soviets’ disrespect of formal democracy. But social-democracy, whilst playing within the rules of capitalism, could only reproduce its errors: prolongation of exploitation, participation in neo-colonial or imperialist wars in search of international surplus, deterioration of the environment, mutation of the social and democratic state based on the rule of law to a state at the service of the global interests of big companies.
Other attempts at building socialist experiences around the world in the 20th century have also encountered varying stages of success and failure. For a variety of reasons, all attempts at socialism were forced to draw new paths based on the evolution of history. The enormous pressure applied by the western world and especially by the
The socialist countries of Europe and the
Nevertheless, it is evident that only the pressure from the Soviet Revolution made social-democratic reformism possible. The European dominant classes, pressured by the Soviet example, had to yield to and negotiate with their workers. The current dismantling of the welfare state, even in countries like
For all the reasons outlined, it is not possible to construct socialism in this new century unless a critical distancing from the socialisms of the 20th Century takes place.
Extracted from the book Social Production Companies. An instrument for
21st Century Socialism. The book can be downloaded in Spanish here: