New paths require a new culture on the left

Marta Harnecker
Marta Harnecker and Nicolas Maduro

Do you remember when this socialism collapsed and there was all this talk about the death of socialism and the death of Marxism? At the time, Eduardo Galeano, a Uruguayan writer that all of you know, said that they had invited us to a funeral we did not belong at. The socialism that died was not the socialist project we had fought for. What happened in reality had little to do with the kind of society Marx and Engel envisaged would replace capitalism. For them, socialism was impossible without popular participation.


Marx and Engel’s original ideas were not only distorted by the actions of the Soviet regime and the Marxist literature disseminated by this country among the left; they were also downplayed or simply ignored in those countries outside of the Soviet orbit, given the opposition generated by the model that came to be associated with the name of socialism.


It is not commonly known that, according to Marx and Engels, the future society they called communist would facilitate the integral development of all the potentialities of human beings, a development that could only be achieved through revolutionary practice. People would not develop by magic, they would develop because they struggle, they transform (in transforming circumstances, the person transforms themselves).