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Labour's Utopias Revisited

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Abstract:

This paper revisits a book I published twenty years ago, under the aegis of the conference theme of utopias. Labour’s Utopias – Bolshevism, Fabianism, Social Democracy (Routledge 1992) began from the proposition that utopia was a ubiquitous figure in Western political and social thinking. On the Left the commonsense has often been that reform and evolution are but different proposed roads to the same utopian end. Labour’s Utopias shows that this is not the case: Bolshevism, Fabianism and Social Democracy actually embody different ends. Revisiting the text years later, my sense is that its most interesting and significant weakness lies not in its diagnosis of utopia, but in its failure to differentiate significantly between labour and its intellectual representatives. I hint at the issue of ‘social’ or ‘socialist ventriloquism’, but fail to follow it through.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

utopia (74), labour (57), social (40), marx (22), work (19), fabian (13), imag (13), might (12), movement (12), year (12), intellectu (12), democraci (11), bolshev (11), also (10), lenin (10), would (10), like (10), rather (9), idea (9), polit (9), book (9),
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Name: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.asanet.org


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MLA Citation:

Beilharz, Peter. "Labour's Utopias Revisited" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Colorado Convention Center and Hyatt Regency, Denver, CO, Aug 16, 2012 <Not Available>. 2014-12-12 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p563777_index.html>

APA Citation:

Beilharz, P. , 2012-08-16 "Labour's Utopias Revisited" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Colorado Convention Center and Hyatt Regency, Denver, CO Online <PDF>. 2014-12-12 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p563777_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper revisits a book I published twenty years ago, under the aegis of the conference theme of utopias. Labour’s Utopias – Bolshevism, Fabianism, Social Democracy (Routledge 1992) began from the proposition that utopia was a ubiquitous figure in Western political and social thinking. On the Left the commonsense has often been that reform and evolution are but different proposed roads to the same utopian end. Labour’s Utopias shows that this is not the case: Bolshevism, Fabianism and Social Democracy actually embody different ends. Revisiting the text years later, my sense is that its most interesting and significant weakness lies not in its diagnosis of utopia, but in its failure to differentiate significantly between labour and its intellectual representatives. I hint at the issue of ‘social’ or ‘socialist ventriloquism’, but fail to follow it through.


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