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Heimann, 1934. Social Research 1(3):301-318

Socialism and Democracy
Eduard Heimann

Social Research: An International Quarterly

Volume 1, No. 3 (Fall 1934): 301-318

"Through the greater part of the history of socialistic thought, a real democracy has been conceived of as the essential goal of socialism. If socialistic leaders occasionally spoke scornfully of 'democracy,' what they had in mind was the hollow form of a political democracy in which the masses remained dependent and unfree. Latterly the conviction has gained currency that a sharp antithesis must be drawn between socialism and democracy. It is asserted that the experience of Russia has proved that the objects of socialism are incompatible with those of democracy, at least for the transitional period; that all practical socialistic movements must follow the precedent of Russia in rejecting democracy. The case of Russia is indeed instructive. As we shall see, it exhibits the relationship of socialism and democracy in two sharply contrasting phases. Still more important, the development of the relation in Russia is plainly bound up with special economic and social conditions peculiar to Russia. Accordingly it is neither scientifically justified nor politically sound for socialists to lean too heavily on the Russian precedent. Indeed, the international repercussions of the Russian policy have presented grave problems to the progress even of a socialistic movement which holds aloof from the Russian scheme. The problem of the relations of democracy and socialism is therefore not one that can be disposed of by mere reference to Russia. It must be examined in the light of socialist doctrine and history."
Stock number:SRJ-ART-013-0301 Price:$15.00

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