Bailing out the System: Reformist Socialism in Western Europe 1944-1985

Bailing out the System: Reformist Socialism in Western Europe 1944-1985

Ian Birchall

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By Ian Birchall

The idea of socialism is making a welcome comeback, as the world is ravaged by crises in the environment, public health, and the economy. Yet the starting point for many on the left is to believe that social change occurs primarily through the election of left parties into government.

But as this copiously researched book shows, the labour parties, the social democrats, and even many of those claiming to be “Socialists” or “Communists” have worked harder to save the capitalist system than to destroy it. Time and time again they have defused working class struggle whenever it has threatened to bring about radical change.

Presenting a narrative that encompasses Britain, Southern Europe, the Scandinavian states and more, Ian Birchall reveals a history that is all too often forgotten. Today, as a new socialist movement grows, this history points to the need for revolutionary politics and organisation in the fight to fundamentally change society.