Book Announcement: Marxism, Socialism, Indian Politics

Randhir Singh, Marxism, Socialism, Indian Politics: A View From the Left, Aakar Books, New Delhi, 2008. ISBN(HB): 978-81-89833-55-8, Price: Rs: 650 Contact: aakarbooks@gmail.com

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The collapse of Soviet Union and its ‘actually existing socialism’ has had the consequence of further disorienting the already much disoriented communist movement in the country. There is a continuing aversion to a Marxist understanding of this collapse, and the socialist project itself stands abandoned. Ritualistic noises apart, there is a refusal to think in Marxist terms, which is a prerequisite of principled revolutionary politics and fruitful tactical resilience. The lack of a revolutionary strategic orientation has meant reformist, pragmatic or opportunistic practices on the terrain of bourgeois politics. These are among the issues of major concern in Prof. Randhir Singh’s writings put together in this volume. He writes of the need ‘to think as Marx would have thought in your place’ (Engels), to recover the ‘Marxism of Karl Marx’ and its concept of socialism. It is his argument that its failure in the Soviet Union notwithstanding, the socialist project remains necessary and possible, and viewed as an epochal transition, what is on the agenda in the present day ‘underdeveloped’, ‘over-developed’ or ‘developing’ societies is better visualized as ‘socialism-oriented development’.

Randhir Singh, a distinguished teacher and former Professor of Political Theory, University of Delhi is the author of Crisis of Socialism – Notes in Defense of a Commitment; Reason, Revolution and Political Theory, Five Lectures in Marxist Mode and Of Marxism and Indian Politics. He has been associated with the communist movement since 1939. Of this writings, Harry Magdoff, editor, Monthly Review, has said: ‘I admire the solidity of your analysis as well as the firmness of your commitment’

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