Socialism for Realists

Forty years ago, Margaret Thatcher declared that “there is no alternative.” State socialism was dying and capitalism, restructured as neoliberalism, was ascendant. The collapse of state socialism in 1991 seemed to hammer the last nail into socialism’s coffin and vindicate Thatcher’s prophecy. Fast forward to today—socialism is back. However, the road to socialism is not easy. Today’s socialists cannot simply be dreamers. They must also be realists. To get an idea of what socialists want, I talked to Sam Gindin about the need for socialists to establish popular confidence in the feasibility of a socialist society and the pragmatic steps we can take to get there.


Sam Gindin has spent most of his working life as research director of the Canadian Autoworkers (now UNIFOR). After leaving the union he was the Packer Chair in Social Justice at York University. He’s co-author, with Leo Panitch, of The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of Empire published by Verso. And most recently, also with Panitch with Steve Maher, The Socialist Challenge Today: Syriza, Corbyn, Sanders published by Haymarket Books.

Read “Socialism for Realists” in Catalyst.


Public Image Ltd., “Socialist,” Second Edition, 1979.