Marx After a Century of “Real Socialism”
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This chapter begins by explaining why Marxian thought is relevant today, focusing on what has changed in the century since the Russian Revolution. Attention is paid to advances in technology, to the increasing centrality of the environmental crisis, and to the lessons learned from earlier revolutionary experience. Also considered are political contrasts between the current leading powers and the sites of socialist revolution in the early to mid-twentieth century. The experience of specific revolutions (Russian, Chinese, Cuban) is briefly discussed. Also addressed are Marx’s own activism and the history of the US Left. A final topic is the interplay between democratic structures and vanguard-type leadership.