'Socialism or Barbarism' today: the centrality of self-emancipation

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"Socialism or Barbary" to-day : the centrality of self-emancipation. "Transitional strategy" and “Permanent revolution” in contemporary capitalism Lessons from the past and from new struggles Catherine Samary http://csamary.free.fr


I - Why “socialism or barbary” to-day ? The impact of the “soviet century” - and its end – on capitalist “policies” and institutions, behind economic dimensions, “long waves” and crisis.

I will put emphasis on political and geo-stratgical dimensions behind the crisis of the 1970s as crisis of the capitalist world order – and coubter-revolutionary answers

• Therefore dual strategic crisis of social-democracy (SD) and of communist parties

• Gramci = the Old world is dyning ; the new (progressive) one is not yet born

• Rosa Luxemburg : Socialism or barbarism

Key words and names

IMF (International Monetary Fond / FMI) ; WB World Bank BM) ; GATT and GATS (trade and service General Agreements and negociations) – WTO (World Trade Organisation / OMC)


Mehdi Ben Barka 65 ; Malcolm X 65 ; Che Guevara 67) Martin Luther King 68

-Pinochet Coup against Allende Chile 1973

Margaret Thatcher (There Is No Alternative = TINA) 1980

Yeltsin Putin

II- Back on “Socialism” and “communism” : what do we mean ? Lessons from the past and present struggles ; updating notions and debates.

The notion of “transitional society between capitalism and socialism”

capitalism as “world-system” (“systeme-monde” = Wallerstein concept) : Core and (semi) peripheral countries / Pays du centre et de la (semi) périphérie

Trotsky's thesis on “uneven and combined development” (and Permanent revolution) to Lenin's April's Thesis = what (world and Russian) “socialist revolution”

Debates on plan/market in industry and agriculture (the “law of value” ?) in post capitalist “transition to socialism” (Bukharin / Preobrajensky...)

Tito (Yugoslav revolution) – 1948 Tito/Stalin split. Statism. Paris Commune. Self-management (autogestion/autogouvernement)

Self managing communities, organised around specific services + self-management planning + political “Chambers” (Councils)

Karl Polanyi 'The Great Transformation' (1944)

III- What “transitional strategy” to-day ? At what level ? What fundamental demands ?

Notion of transition program or logics. Bridge between reforms and revolution

Global justice movement / Mouvement altermondialiste

WHO World Health Organisation/ OMS/Organisation mondiale de la santé , World Labor Organization / OMT Organisation ondiale du Travail, (UNESCO) UN Organisation for Education, science and culture

Chavez's questions on “Socialism of the XXIst century” - Michael Lebowicz

Reading materials

1) David Harvey on the commons [1]

2) CADTM Women, debt and Micro-credit . Final Declaration of CADTM African women's seminar, Bamako, 15-19 November 2017 [2]

3) Via Campesina [3] (3) Who are we? What are we fighting for? What are we fighting against? Media and Publications)

Building alternatives [4]

UN Declaration on peasants’ rights [5]

4) Michael Lebowitz : The Spectre of Socialism in the XXIst Century : Build it NOW ! [6]