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An all-star cast of radical intellectuals discuss the continued importance of communist principles In 2009 Slavoj Žižek brought together an acclaimed group of intellectuals to discuss the continued relevance of communism. Unexpectedly the conference attracted an audience of over 1,000 people. The discussion has continued across the world and this book gathers responses from the conference in Seoul. It includes the interventions of regular contributors Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek, as well as work from across Asia, notably from Chinese scholar Wang Hui, offering regional perspectives on communism in an era of global economic crisis and political upheaval. From the Trade Paperback edition.
An examination of communism's origin, development and implementation, supported by summaries and discussion questions. Coverage ranges from Marx's conception of the idea and Gorbachev's reforms to the ideology's future throughout the communist world.
Responding to Alain Badiouʹs "communist hypothesis", the leading political philosophers of the Left convened in London in 2009 to take part in a landmark conference to discuss the perpetual, persistent notion that, in a truly emancipated society, all things should be owned in common. This volume brings together their discussions on the philosophical and political import of the communist idea, highlighting both its continuing significance and the need to reconfigure the concept within a world marked by havoc and crisis. -- vol 1. back cover.
November 9, 2009 will mark 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the monumental event that signaled the beginning of the end of Communism in the former Soviet Union. Yet, why was this collapse of Communism considered final, but the many failures of capitalism are considered temporary and episodic? In The Idea of Communism, Tariq Ali addresses this very question. The idea of Communism, argues Ali, was simple and noble. The Communist Manifesto, which advocated the creation of a society based on the principle of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” rather than a system based on greed and profit, appealed to millions all over the globe. However, Ali argues that the vision of society adumbrated by the founders of Communism was a far cry from what became known as actually existing socialism in the Soviet Union and China. The Communist system that developed ignored Engels’s belief that a workers’ movement and its victory were inconceivable without freedom of the press and assembly. This freedom, Engels insisted, “is the air it needs to breathe. Here, in a thought-provoking re-evaluation, Ali argues that a new form of socialism and global planning is vital to save the planet from capitalist and environmental degradation.
This book is a history of the ideological passions that have fueled and characterized the modern era. It serves as an effort to revise the understanding of the 20th century at the "fin de siecle".
Responding to Alain Badiouʹs "communist hypothesis", the leading political philosophers of the Left convened in London in 2009 to take part in a landmark conference to discuss the perpetual, persistent notion that, in a truly emancipated society, all things should be owned in common. This volume brings together their discussions on the philosophical and political import of the communist idea, highlighting both its continuing significance and the need to reconfigure the concept within a world marked by havoc and crisis. -- vol 1. back cover.
The idea of socialism has given normative grounding and orientation to the outrage over capitalism for more than 150 years, and yet today it seems to have lost much of its appeal. Despite growing discontent, many would hesitate to invoke socialism when it comes to envisioning life beyond capitalism. How can we explain the rapid decline of this once powerful idea? And what must we do to renew it for the twenty-first century? In this lucid, political-philosophical essay, Axel Honneth argues that the idea of socialism has lost its luster because its theoretical assumptions stem from the industrial era and are no longer convincing in our contemporary post-industrial societies. Only if we manage to replace these assumptions with a concept of history and society that corresponds to our current experiences will we be able to restore confidence in a project whose fundamental idea remains as relevant today as it was a century ago – the idea of an economy that realizes freedom in solidarity. The Idea of Socialism was awarded the Bruno Kreisky Prize for the Political Book of 2015.

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