The World After the Collapse of the Soviet Union
Prof. Randhir Singh’sCrisis of Socialism – Notes in Defence of a Commitment, dealingwith the why and how of the collapse of Soviet Union’s ‘actually existing socialism’, itsimplications and the question of socialism in our time and recognised as a pioneeringwork – ‘One of the most important, if notthemost important book we have read’, ‘a keyto all that is going on in our world today’, ‘if there were a required reading list for theU.S. left, this should be on it’, and so on – is now being published in six separatevolumes.
This volume, dealing with the situation in the world (particularly in the third and firstworld parts of it) following the collapse and disappearance of the Soviet Union, isessentially a theoretical exercise focused on the question of socialism in our times. Theissues dealt with include socialism in one country, the world-system theory, post-colonialnational projects, the current long-term crisis of capitalism (a ‘depressed continuum’Meszaros has called it), globalisation, welfare capitalism, the role of the state, thenecessity and possibility of a socialist transcendence of capitalism, etc. There is a detaileddiscussion of globalisation, both as a response to the current crisis of capitalism and as aconcept that has come up to present the international expansion and domination ofcapitalism in a favourable light, an alternative to Marxist vocabulary with its concepts ofcapitalism, imperialism, etc. Its specificities (including the ‘Information Revolution’) asalso the opposition to it, are noted and analysed.
Of the former second world, the chapter on Russia is focused on the beginnings ofcapitalist restoration in the country, and that on China on the country’s road tocapitalism. The author sees Cuba as ‘a hopeful legacy’: ‘In the midst of the worldwide“crisis of socialism”, with the former communist regimes and parties succumbing oneafter another to the lure or power of the market, Cuba has stood almost alone and defiant,so far, against the global offensive of capitalism. Cuba remains the one society which hasretained a revolutionary commitment although having to make concessions to globalcapitalism. Even as it retreats in some spheres of life, it has come to lead the world inothers – for example, in the vision of an ecological society and development of socialistdemocracy’.