The Socialist Manifesto
The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality
A "razor-sharp" introduction to this political and economic ideology makes a galvanizing argument for modern socialism (Naomi Klein) -- and explains how its core tenets could effect positive change in America and worldwide.
In The Socialist Manifesto, Bhaskar Sunkara explores socialism's history since the mid-1800s and presents a realistic vision for its future. With the stunning popularity of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Americans are embracing the class politics of socialism. But what, exactly, is socialism? And what would a socialist system in America look like? The editor of Jacobin magazine, Sunkara shows that socialism, though often seen primarily as an economic system, in fact offers the means to fight all forms of oppression, including racism and sexism. The ultimate goal is not Soviet-style planning, but to win rights to healthcare, education, and housing, and to create new democratic institutions in workplaces and communities. A primer on socialism for the 21st century, this is a book for anyone seeking an end to the vast inequities of our age.
In this erudite call to action, Sunkara, publisher of Jacobin magazine, draws lessons from the history of various socialist movements to imagine how socialism could rise in the U.S. Sunkara begins by asking the reader to imagine life as a worker in a factory owned by Jon Bon Jovi, then lays out what life would look like if a peaceful uprising resulted in a socialist system. The whimsy fades away, however, in the second section: a history of socialist and communist movements in Germany, Russia, Sweden, China, and the U.S. Sunkara spends a chapter on the sudden popularity of Bernie Sanders and British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn before laying out a road map for today's socialists to build a movement in the U.S. Ultimately, he argues, social democracy of the type seen in Scandinavia is not enough, for without avenues for people to make choices and hold their leaders accountable, "any postcapitalist society risks creating a new class of oppressors." Sunkara does not attempt to seem unbiased; he draws more positives out of the socialist-turned-authoritarian movements in Russia and China than most history textbooks do. Still, his recommendations for today's socialists are logical and well-informed.