Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sat, 10/22, Study Group, "The Two Souls of Socialism"

Two Souls of Socialism
10/22 Saturday 10am-11am
South Station above the Food Court

Available at http://www.marxists.org/archive/draper/1966/twosouls/

Hal Draper wrote Two Souls of Socialism as an argument to 60s radicals about the differences between the socialism from below advocated by Karl Marx and the history of socialism from above whose roots lie in other competing political ideologies.  From his introduction:
Socialism’s crisis today is a crisis in the meaning of socialism. For the first time in the history of the world, very likely a majority of its people label themselves “socialist” in one sense or another; but there has never been a time when the label was less informative. The nearest thing to a common content of the various “socialisms” is a negative: anti-capitalism. On the positive side, the range of conflicting and incompatible ideas that call themselves socialist is wider than the spread of ideas within the bourgeois world...
There have always been different “kinds of socialism,” and they have customarily been divided into reformist or revolutionary, peaceful or violent, democratic or authoritarian, etc. These divisions exist, but the underlying division is something else. Throughout the history of socialist movements and ideas, the fundamental divide is between Socialism-from-Above and Socialism-from-Below.