Cover

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Title Page, About the Series, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

The essays collected in this book cover twenty years of my life and the recent history of socialism. It is wonderful to publish an essay, to put a message in a bottle at all; to see this writing have a second life and a new and different audience is even more warming. ...

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Introduction: From Socialism to Modernity, via Americanism

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pp. ix-xx

Over my lifetime the discourse of radicalism has shifted from socialism to modernity, from marxism to critical theory or whatever comes after. This volume gathers essays that cover a twenty-year span. Across that period there has been a significant historical shift and a conceptual semantic shift that reflects it. ...

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1. Socialism: Modern Hopes, Postmodern Shadows

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pp. 1-16

Today, socialism may seem to be part of the past; perhaps this is necessarily so. To begin to consider the arguments involved across various socialisms as social theory already means to begin to break up these firm, if imaginary, distinctions between past, present, and future. ...

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2. Socialism by the Back Door

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pp. 17-26

“The story is one of the oldest forms of communication. It does not aim at transmitting the pure in-itself of the event, but anchors the event in the life of the person reporting, in order to pass it on as experience to those listening.” Thus said Walter Benjamin.1 Or, as the maxim sets it, Geschichte ist Geschichte—history is stories. ...

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3. The Life and Times of Social Democracy

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pp. 27-41

Social democracy remains a major political current of modernity. Contrary to postmodernists and to certain marxists, modernity is not all about flux. We remain firmly stuck within modernity, and hence within social democracy. Recent events in Eastern Europe would seem to confirm rather than to deny this. ...

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4. The Fabian Imagination

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pp. 42-49

Why discuss Fabianism today? If socialism is over, the problems to which it was a response persist. Socialisms are traditions, and we are all, still, creatures of tradition. Ours, of course, is a moment in world history when to speak of socialism is to risk looking distinctly dated, if not downright unfashionable. So be it. ...

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5. The Australian Left: Beyond Laborism?

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pp. 50-71

A decade ago it was popular to argue that the two major parties in Australia were no more different than Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. This kind of thinking, if it can be so called, fed on a traditional refusal among those on the Australian left to take seriously the problem of laborism. ...

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6. Australian Laborism, Social Democracy, and Social Justice

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pp. 72-86

The experience of the Australian labor movement, from the outside, has always seemed different from labor movements elsewhere. Since its inception, Australian labor has been happy to promote the image of its own exceptionalism. ...

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7. The End of Australian Communism

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pp. 87-94

In 1952 a young man named Frank Hardy published his second major book. Still surrounded by the controversy over Power without Glory, he titled his new venture Journey into the Future. It was, of course, a defense of the workers’ paradise. Hardy claimed that most of the stories told about the Soviet experience were bourgeois lies, and probably they were; ...

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8. Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity

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pp. 95-106

What is between totalitarianism and postmodernity, and what comes after? The two terms refer to significant markers or symbols of our times, even if they are of different types. From most perspectives, the collapse of communism between 1989 and 1991 had a radical effect on Western culture. ...

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9. Socialism after Communism: Liberalism?

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pp. 107-115

What is left of socialism after the collapse of communism? That seems obvious: liberalism. Certainly there are strong indications of this, as in the redefinition of socialism as “democracy” or “civil society.” If we look at social democracy, its own politics were and are often indistinguishable from liberalism: notions of rights, social justice, ...

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10. Socialism in Europe—after the Fall

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pp. 116-141

One hundred years of socialism . . . these words, which make up the title of Donald Sassoon’s recent book,1 resonate, as if spoken by a lonely, Magrittelike voice in the solitude of an empty room. Not a hundred years of socialism, or a hundred years of struggle, but one hundred years of socialism, ...

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11. Intellectuals and Utopians

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pp. 142-166

Sociology, the textbooks tell us, depends on self-reflexivity; for we sociologists seem to have a characteristic knack of knowing what is wrong in what other people do, but never in what we do. Zygmunt Bauman’s sociology is persistently self-reflexive; his view is that we, too, are part of the problem, indeed that we as intellectuals or legislators aspirant have been a big part of the problem of modernity. ...

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12. Modernity and Communism: Zygmunt Bauman and the Other Totalitarianism

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pp. 167-178

Zygmunt Bauman’s most influential work is without doubt Modernity and the Holocaust.1 There is no companion in his work to Modernity and the Holocaust, no Modernity and Communism, or perhaps it should be Communism and Modernity. For his life’s commitment, in political terms, was to the left, to socialism, to utopia, or, differently, to Polish reconstruction after the devastation of the war. ...

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13. Looking Back: Marx and Bellamy

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pp. 179-188

No two images of socialism or utopia were more influential a century ago than those of Karl Marx and Edward Bellamy. Marx and Friedrich Engels famously denied the utopian dimension of their own project; Bellamy celebrated it, at least in the formal sense. Bellamy’s utopia was as public as Marx’s was practically invisible. ...

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14. Socialism and America

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pp. 189-200

Why is there no socialism in the United States? Werner Sombart’s question is famous; less well known is the answer. First published in the Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik in 1905, the famous if clichéd answer had to do with the American working class’s selling out socialism for reefs of roast beef and mountains of apple pie. ...

Notes

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pp. 201-220

Publication History

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pp. 221-222

Index

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pp. 223-226

Other Works in the Series, About the Author

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