Routes to socialism 2: Understanding Marx; Utopian Socialism: Co-Operatives; The British Road to Socialism.

Room: 
Room A, City Hall
Time Slot: 
Monday 26th March 16:15 - 17:45
Panel Chair: 
  • Dr David Bates (Canterbury Christ Church University)
Panel Members: 
  • Dr Robin Jervis (University of Brighton)
  • Awaiting details of this person
  • Mr KAI-LI CHENG (University of Warwick)

The revolutionary road to socialism pioneered by the October Revolution of 1917 is now widely seen to have failed in the long term. Only Cuba and, possibly, North Korea, have retained the commitment to a fully planned economy. Other communist states, notably those of the USSR and Eastern Europe, have reverted to capitalism; and China and Vietnam have increasingly large and thriving capitalist sectors. The papers given in this panel analyse various issues to do with moving from a capitalist society to a socialist society.

 

Road to Socialism.

Convenors: Mark Cowling (Teesside University, retired); Dr David Bates (Christchurch Canterbury University).

The revolutionary road to socialism pioneered by the October Revolution of 1917 is now widely seen to have failed in the long term.  Only Cuba and, possibly, North Korea, have retained the commitment to a fully planned economy.  Other communist states, notably those of the USSR and Eastern Europe, have reverted to capitalism; and China and Vietnam have increasingly large and thriving capitalist sectors.

The papers given in this panel analyse various issues to do with moving from a capitalist society to a socialist society.

Ling Fei Xia Institute of Marxist Philosophy and Chinese Modernization, Department of Philosophy and Research Center of Practical Philosophy, Sun Yat-sen University.

Two Paradigms of Studying Marx among Western Scholars:

Isaiah Berlin's Hedgehog Mode and David McLellan's Fox Mode

 

 

[Abstract] Next year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Marx. The proper way to commemorate him as a thinker is not only to study his ideas, but also to reflect on the research paradigms of him. Berlin divides thinkers into hedgehogs that advocate monism and foxes that advocate pluralism, and Marx is classified as a hedgehog. According to this division, the research paradigms can also be divided into hedgehog modes and fox modes, the former trying to highlight the specific nature of the object while the latter attempting as far as possible to show the various characteristics of the object. In the study of Marx by Western scholars, Berlin’s study is the representative of the hedgehog mode. He attributed Marx's thoughts to a monistic view of history. McLellan's study was the fox mode. He took into account almost all aspects of Marx's life and thoughts. Both Berlin and McLellan studied Marx because of Marx's hedgehog mode, but Berlin used the hedgehog mode while being against the hedgehog mode; yet McLellan displayed the fox mode while admiring the hedgehog mode. Taking their own theoretical positions or not, is the main reason why they use different modes to study Marx and even the history of thoughts. In fact, these two modes have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the purpose of reflection is to determine their respective scope of application, and to provide reference for the research on Marx for Chinese scholars.

[Keywords] Marx, Hedgehog Mode, Fox Mode, Isaiah Berlin, David McLellan

 

Cheng, Kai-Li, University of Warwick: ‘Scientific and Utopian Socialism’.

(Abstract to follow).

Dr. Robin Jervis, School of Applied Social Science, University of Brighton: “Co-operatives, Worker Ownership and Marxist Theory: An Alternative Perspective”

r.jervis@brighton.ac.uk

This paper is in two sections. The first section presents a review of Marxist thought on the role of the workers’ co-operative in capitalism and its role in transitions to alternative modes of production. It locates two primary strands in the literature: the role co-operatives play in ameliorating the exploitation and alienation of capitalist work, acting as emancipatory institutions (or “islands of socialism”), and a second strand which critiques the co-operative as lacking revolutionary potential and re-legitimising capitalist social relations, both through its attempts to sanitise capitalist wage labour, and through its commitment to an exclusionary form of common property.

This paper adopts a different approach, using the insights of the autonomist Marxist tradition and the CSE approach to identify co-operatives as spaces of everyday resistance, and identifies the dealienating aspects of workplace ownership as a challenge to the wage-mediated, atomised class struggle of post-Fordist neoliberal society.

 

Dr Paul Wetherly, Leeds Beckett University: “The British Road to Socialism Revisited”.

Abstract

The British Road to Socialism Revisited, or Whatever happened to ‘Eurocommunism’? The British Communist Party (CPGB) issued the 5th version of its programme, The British Road to Socialism (BRS), in 1978. From just around this time the world has arguably been changed utterly by, inter alia,  globalisation, neoliberalisation, the roll back of the postwar consensus, the collapse of communism  and the crisis of the left. This paper critically reviews the BRS in terms of its understanding of socialist principles or values, analysis of contemporary capitalism, and conception of socialist strategy. What, if anything, remains relevant in the BRS and Eurocommunism 40 years on?

 

Dr. Marcel Lamoureux, Director, Policy and Governance Research, Institute, Tampa, Florida – email: Dr.Marcel.Lamoureux@outlook.com

 

 

Abstract:

 

Paper Title: Marxism as an Ideology or Science?  – Seen Through the Lens of a Philosophy of Liberation

 

The purpose of the paper is to clarify the current disposition of some of the primary tenets of the Philosophy of Liberation by casting a light of inquiry on a theoretical (enabling) progenitor: Marx and his refocusing and redefining of power, dependency and change.  Of most importance is to rediscover the significance of Marx to a Philosophy of Liberation as especially experienced in countries (or internal spheres) outside of the centralized power of continental Europe and North America – namely, to partly answer the question whether Marxism is more destined to become a philosophical – ideological sublate, or face an intellectual - practical reinvigoration as an incremental, radical ‘scientific discovery’ with the effect of nomologically decentering the dominate systems of economy and politics (ontologically, forcing a permanent, radical redefinition of the tenets of reason in the sphere of political economy).

 

The research underpinning the findings in this paper investigated Marx’s writings and a set of major scholars in the Philosophy of Liberation, however, most of the critique focuses on the works of Enrique Dussel.  This paper provides an overview of liberation thought with relation to politics, economics, science and praxis ‘in the world of the poor and periphery’ - but overlaid with analysis derived from and connected to Marx’s writings.  

 

The scope of this critique is primarily addressed to the condition and viability of the Philosophy of Liberation today as a set of concepts and praxes and the importance of determining the strength or weakness of Marxist thought underlying it.  That is, whether Marxism simply exists (or is ultimately destined to exist) as a conceptual ideology derived from an Althusserian understanding of ideology juxtaposed with a scientific movement, i.e., the framework of Marxism.  

 

Although this is a working paper, the author has, however, identified reasons to believe that Marxism currently exists as both a sublated ideology found categorically as remnants within a ‘new global idealism,’ and a possible renewable science attributable to a framework of ‘in-the-world’ orientation and grounding for a Philosophy of Liberation.  The Philosophy of Liberation, the author concludes, is less contingent on extant theory, even Marxism, and more on being contingent to the world – a defining praxis of peoples enabling reassessment and reassertion of the poor and culture outside of the spheres of economic and political dominance, and even political and economic significance.  

 

Dr. Marcel Lamoureux

10565 Villa View Circle

Tampa, Florida, USA

 

1-813-557-0540

http://www.drmarcellamoureux.com/