What Would Socialism Look Like

Socialism 2017

August 15, 2017

Marx didn’t spend a lot of time talking about what socialism would be like. His precursors, the utopian socialists, did. But these were speculative blueprints. Marx stressed that a new society would emerge from the struggles of ordinary workers and oppressed peoples themselves. That doesn't mean socialists have had nothing to say on the topic. As Marx once noted, between the overthrow of capitalism and the classless society lies a period of transition under workers’ power. We do not as yet have experience of full socialism. But we do have the experience of a few years of socialist revolution in Russia, and of numerous near misses—the workers’ revolutions that failed like those in Spain 1936 or Hungary 1956—which contained the seeds of socialism. From these we can draw rich lessons as to what a future socialist society might look like.

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