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Whose Millennium? Theirs Or Ours? / Edition 1

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Overview

Written with droll wit and lyrical elegance, this visionary book challenges the chorus of resignation-the notion that there is no alternative, that profit is the best relationship between people, and that the market guarantees democracy. Daniel Singer insists that a more free and egalitarian society can be won, and he predicts that the new millennium will be an age of confrontation, not consensus, with Western Europe as a probable first battlefield.

In social criticism of rare scope and insight, Singer probes the outcome of the Russian Revolution and Russia's post-1989 turmoil, the transformation of the Polish trade union movement Solidarity into a reactionary and clerical force, the failure of social democracy in Western Europe, the emergence of an unbalanced world after the collapse of one superpower, and the massive 1995 strikes and demonstrations in France-which, Singer argues, were the first revolt against the prevailing idea that there is no alternative to market stringency.

As alternative, Singer calls for "realistic utopia": a politics engaged with present-day possibilities but daring to pursue a world beyond capitalism, one that would put into consistent practice the ideals of democracy and equality.

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Editorial Reviews

Jane Slaughter
Singer's sophisticated analysis is easy to absorb because of his clear and often poetic writing style....[He] takes the long view. This book is a way to understand "capitalism not as an eternity, but as a historical phase with a distant beginning and a possibly proximate end," he writes.
The Progressive
Library Journal
To many people, the end of the Soviet Union marked the death of socialism and the victory of capitalism. Not to Singer, European correspondent for the Nation. Instead, he presents a revised version of socialism as an alternative to present conditions. Part 1 recounts the disasters of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, along with the problems these areas encountered on the road to liberal capitalism. Next, Singer uses the 1996 Russian presidential elections and the sad shift of Poland's Solidarity movement from liberation to reaction as examples of corrupt idealism. However, Singer sees light in the darkness. The 1995 worker strikes in France stand as a spark of resistance to unchecked capitalism. This leads to Part 3, which presents an embryonic vision of a worldwide Socialist and democratic society as a "realistic utopia." However, the questionable Socialist examples of China, North Korea, and Cuba are not discussed in this otherwise engaging work. Interesting reading for individuals seeking alternatives as the world enters the 21st century.--Stephen L. Hupp, Swedenborg Memorial Lib., Urbana Univ., OH Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Singer, the European correspondent for , views the coming millennium as an opportunity to move beyond capitalism and toward a more free and egalitarian society. He discusses the outcome of the Russian Revolution and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the transformation of the Polish trade union movement Solidarity into a reactionary and clerical force, the failure of social democracy in Western Europe, the imbalance of the present one-superpower world climate, and the massive 1995 strikes and demonstrations in France, which, Singer argues, are a portent of a coming popular struggle against market stringency. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
Jane Slaughter
Singer's sophisticated analysis is easy to absorb because of his clear and often poetic writing style....[He] takes the long view. This book is a way to understand "capitalism not as an eternity, but as a historical phase with a distant beginning and a possibly proximate end," he writes.
The Progressive
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780853459460
  • Publisher: Monthly Review Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1999
  • Series: Politics/History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 302
  • Sales rank: 1,016,585
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Singer is the European correspondent for The Nation.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Their Future or Ours? 1
Pt. 1 The Heritage
Introduction to Part One: 1989 And All That 12
1 A Marxist Tragedy 15
2 The Road to Capitalism 29
3 The World after the Fall 44
4 Requiem for Social Democracy 58
Pt. 2 Changing Europe
Introduction to Part Two: Ex Occidente Lux? 70
5 Russia's Miracle at the Polls 72
6 The Sad Saga of Solidarity 104
7 French Winter of Discontent 129
Pt. 3 In Search of an Alternative
Introduction to Part Three: Mastering Our Fate 152
8 Beyond Labor and Leisure 155
9 Internationalism Versus Globalization 184
10 A Society of Equals 214
11 Reinventing Democracy 235
12 Realistic Utopia 258
Index 280
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