After the fall of the Berlin Wall, there was a widespread sense that liberal capitalism had triumphed in the battle of ideas, and that socialism as a plausible alternative was pretty much dead. But the many crises of contemporary capitalism – obscene levels of economic inequality, looming ecological disaster, the rise of the racist and anti democratic populist right, the new threats of surveillance capitalism and the surveillance state – threaten dystopia, an unbearable future. In response, the idea of socialism has been re-discovered by a layer of activists struggling for radical change, especially young people.
But what is socialism? If we are against capitalism, what are we for? Is the socialism we have in mind a more robust version of social democracy, despite its past accommodations to a capitalist economy, or a renewal of past visions of a post capitalist economy and society, of utopia? These questions are being debated in recent books and left journals which will help shape contemporary progressive politics.