By Alex Callinicos
For more than a hundred years, people have looked to socialism to find a way out of a world bedevilled by poverty, unemployment, crisis and war. Two traditions have carried their hopes and have led today to defeat and disillusion. In the East a new despotism rules in a hideous parody of socialism. In the West the parliamentary road' has proved a dead-end, with Labour parties administering and ultimately defending the system that exploits and oppresses their own working-class supporters.
Both stand for 'socialism from above'. 'Leave it to us', they say. Let MPS, trade union leaders, party bureaucrats have your vote and your support, 'we will do it for you.'
But there is a third tradition that stands apart from these failures and betrayals: 'socialism from below', a tradition that looks to the power of the working class itself to transform society, that seeks to use our collective, creative strength to build a new world.
This is the revolutionary road to socialism. The way ahead stands open.