Transition to Socialism

  • Robert Albritton


A principle concern of historical materialism has always been the transition to socialism. In this chapter I want to argue that the demise of capitalism does not automatically lead to socialism and that socialism is only one of the possible post-capitalist formations. Since socialism is not produced by any sort of objective laws, the subjective factor becomes crucial. In other words, the achievement of socialism depends very much on what men and women do around the world, which in turn depends to some extent on what they understand by ‘capitalism’ and ‘socialism’. A clear grasp of ‘capitalism’ and ‘socialism’ will expedite the strategic thinking of how to move from one to the other. In this chapter I want to argue for the importance of grounding our strategic thinking in the dialectic of capital because it presents a clear and precise conception of ‘capital’, and because such a conception is the basis for gaining clarity on the ‘negation’ of capital or socialism.


Capitalist Society Current Crisis Historical Materialism Democratic Socialism Military Spending 
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  1. 4.
    No single Marxian text fully analyses the dynamics of the debt economy, but a number of texts make important contributions. In particular see Cheryl Payer, The Debt Trap (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1974) and The World Bank (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1982);Google Scholar
  2. A. Sampson, The Money-Lenders (London: Coronet, 1981); Block, Origins of International Economic Disorder. Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    Karl Popper, The Poverty of Historicism (New York: Harper & Row, 1964).Google Scholar
  4. 13.
    E. Laclau, Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory (London: New Left Books, 1977).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Robert Albritton 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Albritton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceYork UniversityCanada

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