Symposium  

Now that the suffocating mortgage of communism has finally been lifted, opportunities for the democratic and socialist left in both East and West may have a second chance. Yet, by a curious twist of the zeitgeist many of our friends …



Remembering Irving Howe  

Lionel Trilling once told how he had been looking for an appropriate word to characterize George Orwell, whom he wished to eulogize. It finally seemed to him that a very old-fashioned word was most appropriate, the word virtue. This word …



Joseph Buttinger 1906-1992  

Joseph Buttinger was one of the last of a now almost extinct species, a self-educated worker- intellectual. He was born in a provincial Austrian town into a working-class family. His father was a highway builder and his mother a servant. …



Left Paternalism  

RED VIENNA: EXPERIMENT IN WORKING CLASS CULTURE, by Helmut Gruber. Oxford University Press. Most historical work on Austrian socialism in the interwar years is inclined to praise it, often somewhat over-enthusiastically. Helmut Gruber’s intention in this book, however, is to …



From Sweden to Socialism  

The term “scientific socialism” is an oxymoron. Science pertains to the study of what is, whereas socialism is a vision of what can or should be. To deny scientific status to socialism is not to denigrate its central importance. It …



The Intellectuals of Soviet Reform  

We bring together here several short comments on the remarkable events in Eastern Europe. As usual, each writer expresses an individual opinio—Eds. In one of the earliest issues of Dissent (Summer 1954) we published an essay by Isaac Deutscher on …



From a Heroic Past  

Carlo Tresca’s life was exciting and romantic, the stuff of legends. The anarcho-syndicalist Italian-born labor agitator, journalist, and fierce foe of capitalism, Stalinism, and fascism was a stormy figure on the American left. He was so flamboyant in the American …





Remembering the Spanish Revolution  

On July 17, 1936, the Spanish army under General Franco revolted against the Spanish Republic. Franco envisaged only a short resistance on the part of the Republic and expected to be installed in power within a few days. His expectations …



Mitterrand’s Technocratic Socialism  

Last May I attended a lecture by Laurent Fabius, then minister of industry and now prime minister, at one of the fairly exclusive left-wing private political clubs in Paris. The audience consisted largely of academics, civil servants, and political journalists. …





At First Glance  

When Voltaire was asked why he kept a Bible on his night table, he replied: “You have to know your enemies.” I subscribe to Commentary on this Voltairean principle. As a result I got onto the mailing list of Midge …