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Issue #1931      September 7, 2020


Dear Editor,

David Matters proposes a new model in his article “Marxism and Socialism in the 21st Century” (Guardian #1928). This model is to differ from socialism of the 20th century, specifically socialism in the Soviet Union which he critically examines in his article.

What is the new model? The main feature David Matters puts forward is the “independence” of the socialist movements in capitalist states and of countries building socialism. He takes “independence” so far as to place reservations on Marx’s slogan, “Workers of the world unite!”.

Of course, each communist party acts according to its own national conditions – Marx never denied this. But is it valid to see “independence” as the key factor in the shortcomings of socialism in the 20th century and as the vital factor for the future?

Moreover, the “independence” of socialist movements is not sufficient on its own to characterise the type of society we should be aiming for.

Apart from “independence” what constitutes the 21st century model? Will socialism be characterised by an end to labour exploitation and the abolition of a wealthy class? Will the working-class play the leading role? Will socialism be seen as a step towards communism, with the communist parties undertaking the ideological work in preparing for communism? Will it entail the socialisation of industries and financial institutions, and an end to private sector involvement in health and education? Will there be an end to unemployment? Will there be any solidarity between working class movements in different countries?

Dorothy Costa
Member of the CC of the CPA

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