The Guardian

Twenty-First Century Socialism by Jeremy Gilbert review – an optimistic vision

The Guardian Despondent lefties need not despair – a modern manifesto to expand the non‑capitalist space bit by bit

Early 2020 is either a very good or a very bad time to publish a book about why socialism is the answer to the world’s problems. Bad for reasons that, if you’re British, don’t need rehearsing; good because with every awful news cycle capitalism looks less and less able to provide most people with a decent, sustainable life. Also, as even arch-capitalist publications such as the Economist acknowledge, there has been a recent upsurge of fresh thinking on the left, particularly in Britain and the US. The problem for socialists is not a lack of exciting ideas, such as the green new deal, but how to persuade voters that they are relevant and practical.

Gilbert’s daringly short book is an attempt to rectify that. In half a dozen quick chapters, with lightly sketched examples and a minimum of jargon, it covers three huge topics: how capitalism came into being, and what’s wrong with it; how socialism developed during the 19th and 20th centuries as an alternative way of organising society; and how an updated, contemporary version could be drawn together, successfully presented during and between elections, and then put into practice.

Continue reading… February 6, 2020 at 01:15PM Andy Beckett

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *