ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Paradox Confronting Marxism

Union of Free Individuals or Political Despotism?

Marx’s Associated Mode of Production: A Critique of Marxism by Paresh Chattopadhyay, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016; pp xii+259, ¤109.99.

One hundred years after the Bolshevik revolution, a century and half after the publication of Karl Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, and two-and-a-half decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, one needs a critical understanding of the so-called “socialist experiment” which took place between 1917 and 1991. One also needs a rethinking of Marx’s original critique of political economy and the philosophy of human emancipation, against the backdrop of Marx’s 200th birth anniversary.

While one knows of Leon Trotsky’s critique of Stalinism as a Bonapartist bureaucratic coup against revolutionary Marxism, followed by Raya Dunayevskaya, Kevin Anderson and Peter Hudis’s understanding of the Soviet Union as state capitalism, a more precise and scientific understanding of this “experiment,” which led to the rise and consequent fall of “hitherto existing socialism” has not
yet been unearthed in detail. Even Isaac Deutscher’s Trotsky trilogy and biography of Stalin, Alexander Rabinowitch’s The Bolsheviks Come to Power and Simon Pirani’s The Russian Revolution in Retreat have been unable to explain the mechanisms and paradoxes of 20th century’s “hitherto existing socialism.”

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Updated On : 9th May, 2018

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