ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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validity, it reflects the current mood of triumphalism on the Right and pessimism on the Left. As we have seen, the Soviet system was a travesty of the socialist ideal which envisions a radically democratic polity, a highly productive and rationally managed economy, and an egalitarian social order. In this perspective, the demise of the pseudo-socialist Soviet regime could be seen as a blessing in disguise. However, the matter is a good deal more complicated than that. A large number of socialists who had no illusions about the Soviet Union, nevertheless, viewed it as a strategically significant entity; 'The Soviet Union needed to be there as a defective model so that, with one eye on it, we could construct a better one. It created a non- capitalist space in which to think about socialism" [Cohen 1992, p 5]. It is the loss of a viable alternative to capitalism, however inadequate it might have been, which induces pessimism.

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