Socialist Economic Systems : 21st Century Pathways book cover
1st Edition

Socialist Economic Systems
21st Century Pathways

  • Available for pre-order on June 8, 2023. Item will ship after June 29, 2023
ISBN 9781032443164
June 29, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
320 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations

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USD $170.00

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Book Description

Bernie Sanders’ socialist advocacy in the United States, communist China’s economic successes and a Marxist revival are inspiring many to muse about improved strategies for building superior socialist futures. Socialist Economic Systems provides an objective record of socialism’s promises and performance 1820-2022, identifies a feasible path forward and provides a rigorous analytic framework for the comparison of economic systems.

The book opens by surveying pre-industrial utopias from Plato to Thomas More, and libertarian communal designs for superior living. It plumbs all aspects of the revolutionary and democratic socialist political movements that emerged after 1870 and considers the comparative economic, political and social performance of the USSR and others from the Bolshevik Revolution onwards. The book also provides case studies for all revolutionary Marxist-Leninist regimes, and supplementary discussions of Mondragon cooperatives, Israeli kibbutzim, Nordic corporatism, and European democratic socialism. It investigates the theoretical and practical complexities of command-planning, reform communism, market communism, worker economic management and egalitarianism. It examines communism as an engine of economic growth, and a mechanism for improving people’s quality of existence, including living standards, labor self-governance, egalitarianism, social justice, and prevention of crimes against humanity before addressing the perennial question of what needs to be done next. A suggested path forward is elaborated drawing lessons from the warts-and-all historical performance of socialist economies 1917-2022 and failed socialist prophesy. The evidence indicates that the key to 21st century socialism success lies in empowering workers of all descriptions to govern democratically for their mutual protection and welfare without the extraneous imposition of priorities imposed by other movements.

The book is essential reading for anyone interested in Socialism, political economy, comparative economic systems and political and social history.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables



Executive Summary



Part I Socialist Cross Currents 1820-1920

Chapter 1 Utopia

Chapter 2 Libertarian Socialism

Chapter 3 Socialist Utopian Fiction

Chapter 4 Marxist-Leninism

Part II Marxist-Leninism 1917-1991

Chapter 5 Bolshevik Revolution

Chapter 6 Planning

Chapter 7 Perestroika

Chapter 8 Worker Self-Management

Chapter 9 Maoism

Chapter 10 Castroism

Chapter 11 Reform Communism

Chapter 12 World Communism

Chapter 13 Dystopian Socialist Fiction

Chapter 14 Crimes against Humanity

Chapter 15 Oblivion

Part III Post Command Planning

Chapter 16 Chinese Market Communism

Chapter 17 Democratic Socialism

Chapter 18 Anarcho-Socialism

Chapter 19 New Age Planning

Chapter 20 Egalitarian Socialism

Chapter 21 Japanese Communalism

Chapter 22 Twenty-first Century Socialism


Appendix 1 Bergson’s Systems Function

Appendix 2 Marx, Lenin and Stalin

Appendix 3 Marxist Economics

Appendix 4 Perfect Competitive Benchmark

Appendix 5 Soviet Statistics


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Steven Rosefielde is Professor of Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.