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Economic Update: From The Old Socialisms To The New

On this week’s Economic Update, the entire program is devoted to how old socialism's rapid growth and global spread in the 19th and 20th centuries entailed a focus on the state. Key issues were: (1) would the socialist state limit itself to regulating capitalist enterprises and the market (as in many Western European nations) to enhance the well-being of the employee class or would the state itself own and operate enterprises and replace the market with state planning (as in the USSR), and (2) would the socialist strategy to acquire state power be reformist and electoral or revolutionary and armed. Concrete experiences in and with both kinds of old (i.e. state-focused) socialism led to self-criticisms from which a new socialism has emerged for the 21st century. The new socialism criticizes the state-focus of the old and prioritizes the transformation of the workplace over the social positioning of the state in and for the socialist vision and strategy.

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