Socialism Unbound first appeared in 1990. The Berlin Wall had just fallen and the Soviet Union was in a crisis that soon would turn into its death throes. Mikhail Gorbachev was still in power and, incredibly, it seemed as if his sclerotic communist state might yet make way for a new form of socialism with democratic political foundations. Movements committed to liberal constitutionalism, whose dynamics still remain theoretically undeveloped, were taking to the streets almost everywhere in Eastern Europe. Hopes on the left were high. In the popular imagination, however, the final collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 seemed to vindicate the policies of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Laissez-faire became the rallyingcry for most former dissidents and the new party professionals in Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, in the West, attempts to temper market excesses were condemned as anachronistic. Left politics suddenly stood discredited. Indeed, soon enough, the attack on "socialism" would turn into an attack on welfare liberalism and the values associated with the 1960s.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments -- Preface to the Second Edition -- Preface to the First Edition -- 1 The Democratic Legacy of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels -- 2 Karl Kautsky: The Rise and Fall of Orthodox Marxism -- 3 Eduard Bernstein and the Logic of Revisionism -- 4 Leninism and Beyond -- 5 A Bridge to the Present: Rosa Luxemburg and the Underground Tradition -- 6 Recasting the Project: Prologue for a Critical Theory of Socialism -- Notes – Index.
Stephen Eric Bronner