Rather than contributing to the long-standing discussion about the characteristics of the society that socialism proposes to establish, this Routledge Revival, initially published in 1976, aims to explore the impact of the ‘living utopia’ of socialism on the development of modern society. It begins with an analysis of the role of utopia in general, and of the socialist utopia in particular; Bauman considers the opposition between ‘utopian’ and ‘scientific’ social thought; He presents socialism as the ‘counter-culture’ of capitalist society; The book finally examines the reasons for the failure of socialism in its application to the peasant revolution in Russia. It then explores some possible forms that the socialist utopia might take in the industrial societies of the late twentieth century. Professor Bauman writes for those who want to understand the logic of the historical fate of socialism in the present century, who are concerned about the validity and vitality of socialist ideas on the development of modern society, and who are interested, and perhaps confused, by the cultural and ideological conflicts of the last few decades.
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