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Letter: Socialism: Behind but making a comeback

What seems to have bitten the dust along with the demise of the oppressive regimes of Eastern Europe is any faith in the ability of a centralised state to deliver the goods to a grateful passive population. But a less comfortable thought is still standing.

This is the idea that if people want to live in a non-hierarchical world where resources are used as a common inheritance, they must themselves co-operate to produce it, working out viable institutional forms suitable for ordinary people rather than trusting their fate to dictators or politicians.

That demanding idea, articulated by Marx in the 19th century but ignored in favour of seductive short-cuts in the 20th century, is still available for adoption in the 21st. Any takers?

Keith Graham

University of Bristol