The World After Communism: An Exchange

The World After Communism: An Exchange

Dear X

This is a letter to help clear my head with respect to the ideas we chatted about last night. I am eager to pursue them as far as they lead, although I am not at all easy about their implications.

I start with the premises you are familiar with. There has been a massive collapse of the framework of centrally planned socialism and an equally
unmistakable, although not so dramatic, falling away of the magnetic appeal of “socialism” in the capitalist world. Socialism as an organizing
idea is still powerful in the backward areas of the world—Peru has its Shining Path and China may face another Mao-like regime—but in the materially more advanced nations, “socialism” as a distinct social objective has disappeared. Nothing is left of it but a better run capitalism.