Illusion of the Epoch: Twentieth-Century Socialism

  • Paresh Chattopadhyay
Part of the Marx, Engels, and Marxisms book series (MAENMA)


Today, there is a curious convergence of views between the Right and the dominant Left on the meaning of socialism. Put more concretely, for both the Right and the dominant Left, socialism refers to the system which came into being with the conquest of political power by the Bolsheviks in Russia in 1917, and signifies a society governed by a single political party—basically the communist party—where the means of production are owned predominantly by the state, and the economy is directed by central planning. The two most important points stressed by both sides for this socialism are the existence of a single central authority exercising political power and the institution of “public property”—signifying the replacement of private property in the means of production predominantly by state property. Needless to add, the Right looks at this “socialism” negatively while the (dominant) Left considers it positively. Both these tendencies, again, find the origin of this socialism in the ideas of Marx.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Paresh Chattopadhyay
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Quebec in MontrealWestmountCanada

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