Can the ideals of socialism survive the collapse of “actually existing socialism” and the current discrediting of the historic struggles against inequality? The very idea of social justice is threatened by the new anticollectivism, and the project of economic democracy increasingly appears as the relic of a bygone age, dominated by the rhetoric of class struggle.
The recognition of the virtues of pluralism is indeed an important achievement, but it would be a serious setback in the fight for democracy if we were to accept “actually existing (capitalist, liberal) democracies” as the “end of history.” There are still numerous social arenas and relationships where democratization is critically needed. The task for the left today is to describe how this can be achieved in a way that is compatible with the existence of a liberal democratic regime.
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