ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Leninism, Socialist Democracy, Contemporary Problems

The historic impact of 1989 cannot be minimised. The very project of socialism is being questioned as never before. Disillusionment about the desirability and feasibility of a socialist alternative has never been greater. What is required today is not so much the forging of the instruments of revolution but the rehabilitation of the very idea, possibility and necessity of a socialist alternative itself AFTER 1989 there are few socialists who will doubt that any hopes for reviving the socialist project rest in large part on constructing a vision or model of socialist democracy that is both feasible and inspirational. It is a task made all the more difficult by the very nature of the revolutionary upheavals of 1980 and its aftermath in the former second world was the first such concatenation of upheavals that was not guided by a futuristic vision or by ideals yet to be institutionalised but by the ideals of the past. It was 1789 taking revenge on 1917 in 1989. The near universal sentiment of those who carried out or supported these upheavals was the establishment of a "'normal society" by which was meant capitalist prosperity and liberal democracy. Just as universal was the belief that their societies should be subjected to "no more experiments." Socialism, and the era inaugurated by 1917, was seen as just such an experiment, one on which history had now pronounced its final verdict of failure. For socialists the recovery of hopes for building a socialist future are indissociably linked to a recovery of our socialist past, even if a lot more than historical recovery is required. What are the goals, concepts, methods, practices and models that we must preserve? What are those we must reject? What are those we must borrow? What are those we must invent or reshape?

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