Michel Beaud believes that the whole socialist project needs redefinition. What is Socialism? Planning as opposed to Market? State intervention? Surely not. The socialist tradition hoped for a withering away of the state, and collective appropriation allows domination by a privileged class over the producers. The word 'socialism' has been increasingly identified with regimes with few socialist characteristics or traditions: the former USSR and its satellites in Eastern Europe, China, and their Third-World clients. In this book, Beaud examines the problem of that mislabelling and provides a balanced view of the transformations taking place in these rapidly changing societies and addresses the question of why reality drifted away from the original project. It is particularly valuable for its combination of historical and economic analysis.
Michel Beaud is Professor of Economics at the University of Paris VIII.