Socialism or Barbarism

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This article is about the 2001 book. For the French socialist group, see Socialisme ou Barbarie. For other uses, see Socialism or Barbarism (disambiguation).
Socialism or Barbarism - From the "American Century" to the Crossroads
Socialism or Barbarism.jpg
Cover of the first edition
Author István Mészáros
Published 2001 (Monthly Review Press)
Media type Print
Pages 126
ISBN 1-58367-052-1
OCLC 46671181
335 21
LC Class HB501 .M6225 2001

Socialism or Barbarism is a book about globalism, U.S. socialism and capitalist systems by Hungarian Marxist philosopher and Professor Emeritus István Mészáros. It was published in 2001 and is composed of two parts, the first part is an expanded version of an essay of the same title originally published in 2000;[1] the second part consists of an interview conducted in 1998.[2]


Mészáros' is convinced that the future of socialism will be decided in the U.S. and sees its main obstacle to be the globalization of Keynesian neo-liberalism. He reckons that the 21st century will coincide with the third stage of capitalism which Mészáros characterizes as the barbarous global competition for domination between a plurality of free-market capitalist systems.[3] His examination of the history of American capitalism predicts several eminent ramifications to this struggle: imperialist driven territorial expansion in the Middle East, the continuation and increase of NATO aggression,[4] increased infrastructure weakening with major degradation in the quality of life for the lower class,[5] and eventually a proxy war with China via U.S.'s defense treaties with Japan.[5]

Much of the book is devoted to applying Marx's nineteenth century theories to current events, such as the environment:

What Mészáros prescribes is a labor union socialist solution, specifically the syndicalist form of socialism that Samuel Gompers had abandoned when the AFL provided the a workforce for the U.S. involvement in World War I. He advocates a Marxist form of socialism:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ OYTOPIA (no.39 March–April 2000)
  2. ^ Naghd (no. 25, Spring 1999)/ Science and Society, 63:3 (Fall 1999)
  3. ^ Mészáros (2001, 81)
  4. ^ Mészáros (2001, 44)
  5. ^ a b Mészáros (2001, 42)
  6. ^ Mészáros (2001, 99)
  7. ^ Mészáros (2001, 86)


  • Mészáros, István 2007. Socialism or Barbarism?: Monthly Review Press ISBN 0-7456-3632-2.

External links[edit]