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A History of Socialism

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Item Code: NAL304
Publisher: Publications Division University Of Calicut
Author: Subrata Mukherjee & Dr.Sushila Ramaswamy
Language: English
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 9788123018638
Pages: 450
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 10.0 inch X 6.0 inch
Weight 850 gm
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Book Description
About The Book

This book traces the history of socialism from the 19th century onwards. Socialism arose as a critique of the capitalist system and promised to rectify its maladies. Over the major part of 20th century, socialism was a concept that guided the state policy in many countries of the world. The book provides a critical appraisal of various strands of socialism and their manifestations in different political settings.


About The Author

Prof. Subrata Mukherjee and Dr. Sushila Ramaswamy are reputed scholars who have done extensive research on the subject. Dr. Mukherjee, former Head of the Department, Political Science, Delhi University has a number of books and essays to his credit. Dr. Ramaswamy an Associate Professor, Political Science, Delhi University has authored books on liberty, equality and social justice.



Socialism is a modern ideology but has its roots in antiquity. It has many strands but common to all is a commitment to equality, solidarity, absence of exploitation and socialised humanity. Modern socialism arises as a critique of capitalism by highlighting its wastefulness, injustice, exploitation and inequality and providing a vision of organizing the industrial society as humane, equal, free and democratic one.

The collapse of communism and with it the Marxist Leninist ideology on which it was based does not mean the end of socialism. On the contrary, it is all the more imperative that the ideals of socialism and democracy are enmeshed more robustly to keep alive the moral and libertarian ideals for realising individual and minority rights, equity and social justice within a framework of non-violent gradual and evolutionary change.

This book explores the various theories and dominant schools within socialism thematically. The different controversies within socialism, namely, the tensions between equity and efficiency, dynamics of globalized markets and the challenges for the state and the nature and extent of desirable level of state action have been analysed critically. There is also a detailed analysis of the non- western strands of socialism, namely African, Indian and Latin American variants. The socialist perception of the woman's question has also been critically dissected.

In writing this book we have incurred many debts. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Librarian and staff of the South Campus Library, University of Delhi, Jesus and Mary College, American Centre, New Delhi, British Council, New Delhi, Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi and Central Library of the University of Delhi. We would like to express our gratitude to our students and colleagues and friends for their encouragement and appreciation. Special thanks to Mr Tarapada Chatterjee, who by profession is a scientist but always inspired us by his commitment and in depth study of socialism. We would like to express our sincere thanks to Ms Nitima Shiv Charan and the editorial team at the Publications Division, We alone, however, are responsible for all the errors and shortcomings.

The book is dedicated to the memory of Shri Ashok Mehta and General Renee Schneider Chereau (1913-70), the Commander in Chief of the Army in Chile. Ashok Mehta was a lifelong socialist attracted to the nationalist cause at the call given by Mahatma Gandhi and was an active member of the Congress Socialist party (CSP). After independence, he continued to be an activist theoretician pointing to the compulsions of a developing economy and warned the country from dangers posed by communalism and communism. He resigned from the Union Cabinet in protest against the Soviet invasion of Czechslovakia in 1968. During the Janata Government, he prepared the important document on Panchayati Raj which is relevant till date. Schneider Chereau was consicious of the long uninterrupted democratic traditions of Chile which he did not want to disrupt by use of force. He showed rare courage to uphold the social democratic experiment in Chile. During the 1970 Chilean presidential election there was a plot, covertly supported by the US, to kidnap Schneider as he opposed any intervention by the armed forces to block Allende's election. He was assassinated subsequently and that triggered a national outrage.




Socialism : Origins And Issues 1-15
Response to Industrial Revolution  
Anarchism and Marxism  
Socialism and Utopia  
The Forerunners  
The Early Socialists 16-48
Saint Simon  
Saint Simonism  
Robert Owen  
Charles Fourier  
Marx and the Early Socialists  
1.S. Mill  
Rise of Capitalism and Marxism 49-100
Dialectical Materialism and History  
Economic Determinism  
Analysis and Assessment of Capitalism  
Class Struggle and Revolutionary Social Change  
Theory of the State  
Dictatorship of the Proletariat  
Marx-Engels Relationship  
The Asiatic Mode of Production  
On India  
Reform or Revolution? 101 - 153
Ferdinand Lassalle  
The Erfurt Programme of 1891  
Revisionism and Eduard Bernstein  
Impact of Revisionism  
Karl Kautsky's support for Orthodoxy  
Rosa Luxemburg's Critique  
Georges Sorel's Critique  
Individualism Vs Collectivism: British Socialism 154 - 176
William Morris  
Fabians and Guild Socialists  
Communism and its Critics 177 - 243
From Populism to Marxism  
Georgii Plekhanov  
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin  
Critics of Leninism: Martov, Kautsky and Luxemburg  
Leon Trotsky  
Nikolai Bukharin  
Twentieth Century Marxism 244 - 281
Antonio Gramsci  
Herbert Marcuse  
End of Ideology to Eurocommunism  
East European Marxism  
Socialism in the Non-European World 282 - 324
Mao Zedong  
Fanon, Cabral and Debray  
African Socialism  
Dependency Theory and its Refutation  
Liberation Theology  
Indian Socialism 325 - 370
Bankim's Samya  
Two Streams of Socialism in India  
M.N. Roy and the Communists  
Indian Marxists and Gandhi  
Tagore on Russia  
Rise of Congress Socialist Party  
Acharya Narendra Deva  
Ram Manohar Lohia  
Jayaprakash Narayan  
Women and Family in Socialism 371 - 402
Early Socialists  
Marx and Engels  
Lassalle and German Social Democrats  
Bebel's Analysis  
Revolutionary and Revisionist Perceptions of Zetkin and Braun  
The Communist Perspective of Kollantai  
An Assessment  
Conclusion 403 - 415
Social Democracy and its Legacy  
Reasons for the Collapse of Communism  
Post Communist Phase  
References 416 - 429
Index 430 - 450
Sample Pages


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