Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Cosimo, Inc.
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In the medi]val stage of evolution of the production of commodities, the question as to the owner of the product of labour could not arise. The individual producer, as a rule, had, from raw material belonging to himself, and generally his own handiwork, produced it with his own tools, by the labour of his own hands or of his family. There was no need for him to appropriate the new product. It belonged wholly to him, as a matter of course. His property was, therefore, based upon his own labour. from Chapter III In 1875, Dr. Eugene Duehring, a professor at Berlin University, proclaimed himself converted to Socialism, and even went so far as to promulgate his own theories on the philosophy. German philosopher FRIEDRICH ENGELS (18201895), who had coauthored The Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx in 1848, was not pleased, and set out to refute Duehring in a highly charged work 1878 book called Anti-Duehring. In 1880, Engels excerpted three vital chapters from Anti-Duehring, which became this pamphlet, the most popular distillation of Marx and Engels philosophies after the Manifesto itself. This primer on Marxism is an excellent introduction to concepts of socialism from one of its originators.
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About the author

Friedrich Engels is perhaps best remembered as the confidant, colleague, and benefactor of Karl Marx. Engels was born into a Calvinist family on November 28, 1820. The family owned fabric mills in the Rhineland and had business interests in Manchester, England, Engels joined the family business at age 16; he never had a formal university education. Despite his family's industrial background, Engels was sympathetic to the poverty of the working masses. At age 18 he published an attack on industrial poverty, and later joined the Hegelian movement that so influenced Marx and bothered conservative Prussian authorities. Engels first met Marx in 1842, while Marx was editor of a radical newspaper in Cologne. However, they did not establish their lifelong friendship until they met again in Paris two years later. Engels published several works related to economics, the first of which, Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy (1844), attempted to reconcile Hegelian philosophy with the principles of political economy. His second book, The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845), was a damning description and condemnation of the poverty generated by the Industrial Revolution. Engels also co-authored three major works with Marx, the most important being the Communist Manifesto (1948). Engels also wrote several historical works, which are more important to historians than to economists. These include The Peasant War in Germany (1850), Germany: Revolution and Counter-Revolution (1851), and The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884). In general, these works are more descriptive than theoretical, and they closely parallel Marx's views on industrialization and class struggle. In addition to being a friend of Marx, Engels was his prime benefactor for a number of years. During their early years in London, beginning in 1849, the Marx family was nearly destitute, and it was only through the generosity of Engels that they prevailed. Engels was also responsible for the publication of Marx's Das Kapital. Before his death, Marx was only able to complete the first volume of this work, and so Engels edited and arranged for the publication of the last two volumes after Marx's death. Engels was an engaging and thoughtful writer. It was perhaps his great fortune and misfortune that he was connected so closely to Marx. On the one hand, he was responsible for bringing much of Marx's work to fruition in his role as benefactor and editor. On the other hand, the shadow of Marx eclipsed some of the exposure that Engels's own ideas and contributions might have had. Engels died of throat cancer in London, 1895. Following cremation at Woking Crematorium, his ashes were scattered off Beachy Head, near Eastbourne as he had requested.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Cosimo, Inc.
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Published on
Dec 1, 2008
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Pages
98
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ISBN
9781605203836
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Library & Information Science / General
Philosophy / Political
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Communism, Post-Communism & Socialism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Over five hundred years since it was named, utopia remains a vital concept for understanding and challenging the world(s) we inhabit, even in – or rather because of – the condition of ‘post-utopianism’ that supposedly permeates them. In Rethinking Utopia David M. Bell offers a diagnosis of the present through the lens of utopia and then, by rethinking the concept through engagement with utopian studies, a variety of ‘radical’ theories and the need for decolonizing praxis, shows how utopianism might work within, against and beyond that which exists in order to provide us with hope for a better future.

He proposes paying a ‘subversive fidelity’ to utopia, in which its three constituent terms: ‘good’ (eu), ‘place’ (topos), and ‘no’ (ou) are rethought to assert the importance of immanent, affective relations. The volume engages with a variety of practices and forms to articulate such a utopianism, including popular education/critical pedagogy; musical improvisation; and utopian literature. The problems as well as the possibilities of this utopianism are explored, although the problems are often revealed to be possibilities, provided they are subject to material challenge.

Rethinking Utopia

offers a way of thinking about (and perhaps realising) utopia that helps overcome some of the binary oppositions structuring much thinking about the topic. It allows utopia to be thought in terms of place and process; affirmation and negation; and the real and the not-yet. It engages with the spatial and affective turns in the social sciences without ever uncritically being subsumed by them; and seeks to make connections to indigenous cosmologies. It is a cautious, careful, critical work punctuated by both pessimism and hope; and a refusal to accept the finality of this or any world.
After visiting Russia in 1921, the journalist Lincoln Steffens famously declared, "I have seen the future, and it works." Steffens referred to the social experiment of technological utopianism he found in the Soviet Union, where subway cars and farm tractors would carry the worker and peasant—figuratively and literally—into the twentieth century. Believing that socialism and technology together created a brave new world, Boleslaw Bierut of Poland and Kim Il Sung of North Korea—and other leaders—joined Russia’s Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky in embracing big technology with a verve and conviction that rivaled the western world's.

Paul R. Josephson here explores these utopian visions of technology—and their unanticipated human and environmental costs. He examines the role of technology in communist plans and policies and the interplay between ideology and technological development. He shows that while technology was a symbol of regime legitimacy and an engine of progress, the changes it spurred were not unequivocally positive. Instead of achieving a worker’s paradise, socialist technologies exposed the proletariat to dangerous machinery and deadly pollution; rather than freeing women from exploitation in family and labor, they paradoxically created for them the dual—and exhausting—burdens of mother and worker. The future did not work.

The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 marked the end of communism’s self-proclaimed glorious quest to "reach and surpass" the West. Josephson’s intriguing study of how technology both helped and hindered this effort asks new and important questions about the crucial issues inextricably linked with the development and diffusion of technology in any sociopolitical system.

The concept of utopia is generally attributed to Thomas More, whose fictional work, Utopia (1516), presents a place that is at once ideal and imaginary. The term means both a good place and no place, and More's work has inspired numerous political philosophers, religious leaders, and literary figures for nearly five centuries. Utopian ventures are worth close attention to help understand why some fail and others succeed, and they offer hope for an improved life on earth. This reference book is a comprehensive guide to utopian communities and their founders. While other volumes look at literary utopias or examine utopias in only one country, this work examines utopias from antiquity to the present and surveys utopian efforts around the world. Multidisciplinary in nature, the book draws on anthropology, religion, philosophy, political science, history, sociology, and literature.

Included are more than 600 alphabetically arranged entries. Roughly half are short descriptions of utopian ventures and the rest are brief biographical sketches of individuals who were involved. Each entry is followed by a list of sources, and the volume concludes with a selected, general bibliography. The entries draw on a wide range of activities and institutions: from abodes of love to conservation groups; from hippie communes and fantastic entertainments to caravans and residential settlements; from garden cities to children's schools; from business schemes to spiritual encampments; from religious communities to unrealizable schemes. Entries were chosen for their illustrative value and origin and include several dystopias, literary and real, which provide an additional context for the utopian communities.

A recent poll showed 43% of Americans think more socialism would be a good thing. What do these people not know?

Socialism has killed millions, but it’s now the ideology du jour on American college campuses and among many leftists. Reintroduced by leaders such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the ideology manifests itself in starry-eyed calls for free-spending policies like Medicare-for-all and student loan forgiveness.

In The Case Against Socialism, Rand Paul outlines the history of socialism, from Stalin’s gulags to the current famine in Venezuela. He tackles common misconceptions about the “utopia” of socialist Europe. As it turns out, Scandinavian countries love capitalism as much as Americans, and have, for decades, been cutting back on the things Bernie loves the most.

Socialism’s return is only possible because many Americans have forgotten the true dangers of the twentieth-century’s deadliest ideology. Paul reveals the devastating truth: for every college student sporting a Che Guevara T-shirt, there’s a Venezuelan child dying of starvation. Desperate refugees flee communist Cuba to escape oppressive censorship, rationed food and squalid hospitals, not “free” healthcare. Socialist dictatorships like the People’s Republic of China crush freedom of speech and run massive surveillance states while masquerading as enlightened modern nations. Far from providing economic freedom, socialist governments enslave their citizens. They offer illusory promises of safety and equality while restricting personal liberty, tightening state power, sapping human enterprise and making citizens dependent on the dole.

If socialism takes hold in America, it will imperil the fate of the world’s freest nation, unleashing a plague of oppressive government control. The Case Against Socialism is a timely response to that threat and a call to action against the forces menacing American liberty.

Instant New York Times bestseller
“Howard Zinn on acid or some bullsh*t like that.” —Tim Heidecker

The creators of the cult-hit podcast Chapo Trap House deliver a manifesto for everyone who feels orphaned and alienated—politically, culturally, and economically—by the lanyard-wearing Wall Street centrism of the left and the lizard-brained atavism of the right: there is a better way, the Chapo Way.

In a guide that reads like “a weirder, smarter, and deliciously meaner version of The Daily Show’s 2004 America (The Book)” (Paste), Chapo Trap House shows you that you don’t have to side with either sinking ships. These self-described “assholes from the internet” offer a fully ironic ideology for all who feel politically hopeless and prefer broadsides and tirades to reasoned debate.

Learn the “secret” history of the world, politics, media, and everything in-between that THEY don’t want you to know and chart a course from our wretched present to a utopian future where one can post in the morning, game in the afternoon, and podcast after dinner without ever becoming a poster, gamer, or podcaster.

A book that’s “as intellectually serious and analytically original as it is irreverent and funny” (Glenn Greenwald, New York Times bestselling author of No Place to Hide) The Chapo Guide to Revolution features illustrated taxonomies of contemporary liberal and conservative characters, biographies of important thought leaders, “never before seen” drafts of Aaron Sorkin’s Newsroom manga, and the ten new laws that govern Chapo Year Zero (everyone gets a dog, billionaires are turned into Soylent, and logic is outlawed). If you’re a fan of sacred cows, prisoners being taken, and holds being barred, then this book is NOT for you. However, if you feel disenfranchised from the political and cultural nightmare we’re in, then Chapo, let’s go…
Andrei Lankov has gone where few outsiders have ever been. A native of the former Soviet Union, he lived as an exchange student in North Korea in the 1980s. He has studied it for his entire career, using his fluency in Korean and personal contacts to build a rich, nuanced understanding. In The Real North Korea, Lankov substitutes cold, clear analysis for the overheated rhetoric surrounding this opaque police state. After providing an accessible history of the nation, he turns his focus to what North Korea is, what its leadership thinks, and how its people cope with living in such an oppressive and poor place. He argues that North Korea is not irrational, and nothing shows this better than its continuing survival against all odds. A living political fossil, it clings to existence in the face of limited resources and a zombie economy, manipulating great powers despite its weakness. Its leaders are not ideological zealots or madmen, but perhaps the best practitioners of Machiavellian politics that can be found in the modern world. Even though they preside over a failed state, they have successfully used diplomacy-including nuclear threats-to extract support from other nations. But while the people in charge have been ruthless and successful in holding on to power, Lankov goes on to argue that this cannot continue forever, since the old system is slowly falling apart. In the long run, with or without reform, the regime is unsustainable. Lankov contends that reforms, if attempted, will trigger a dramatic implosion of the regime. They will not prolong its existence. Based on vast expertise, this book reveals how average North Koreans live, how their leaders rule, and how both survive.
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