Marxist and non-Marxist concepts of socialism today

BY:Joe Sims| October 11, 2017
Marxist and non-Marxist concepts of socialism today

Socialism, Utopian and Scientific
by Karl Marx’s dear friend, comrade and collaborator Frederick Engels, is a Marxist classic. A discussion of its relevance for today’s struggles will take place on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (7:00 p.m. CST, 6:00 p.m. MST, 5:00 p.m. PST). The conversation will be hosted by the CPUSA Education Department.  Click here to register.Engels’ essay is devoted to a critique of pre-Marxist concepts of socialism. Engels labeled them “utopian” for their schematic concepts of socialism divorced from the level of economic and political development of the times.

Despite these weaknesses, Marx and Engels highly valued the utopian socialists for their original thinking and role in popularizing the concepts of equality, justice and the socialist ideal. In the 19th century, the utopian socialist Robert Owen addressed the U.S. Congress  and had much influence. His followers established socialist communities modeled on his views across the country.

Utopian socialist concepts in today’s world no longer have much influence. Sunday’s seminar will therefore discuss Engels concept of socialism in relation to the CPUSA’s model of “Bill of Rights Socialism,” comparing it to other non-Marxist socialist currents, including social democracy, along with Bernie Sanders’ notion of “democratic socialism.”

What does working-class rule mean in today’s economy, dominated by corporations like Apple, Microsoft, Time Warner and Uber? What forms of socialist property and ownership are applicable to an economy dominated by service industries and financial institutions? How will these decisions be made in a governing multi-party socialist coalition envisioned by the Communist Party? These questions and more will be examined in Sunday’s seminar. Those unable to attend who register prior to the seminar will be able to access an archive of the discussion.

Portrait of Engels: Farshaad Razmjouie



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