After the successful Venezuelan speaking tour the English language edition of Reformism or Revolution, Marxism and Socialism of the 21st Century - Reply to Heinz Dieterich is now available for order. This new book by Alan Woods, in the form of a polemic against the reformist ideas of Heinz Dieterich, reiterates all the fundamental ideas of Marxism and points the way forward for the Venezuelan and world revolution.
This new book by Alan Woods is a polemic against a well-known (in Latin American terms) intellectual Heinz Dieterich. Dieterich claims to have invented a new "Socialism of the 21st Century" and much else into the bargain. He offers a great deal of advice to those involved in the Venezuelan Revolution dressed up in all manner of revolutionary rhetoric. However, when you clear away all the verbiage that surrounds his "new" socialist philosophy, there remains nothing new at all, simply a rehash of stale petty-bourgeois ideas of the past.
The author of "Reformism or Revolution" seeks to answer Dieterich's extravagant claims and in doing so defends the real ideas of Marxism on a whole host of questions and in particular the way forward for the Venezuelan and world revolution. "We have no alternative but to answer him point-by-point, page-by-page, galaxy-by-galaxy, and millennium-by-millennium", states the author.
"As to the 'new and original' ideas of the 21st Century I will say only this: that to this day, despite all the noise and fuss, among all the vast literary production of the Dieterichs of this world, I have yet to read a single solitary genuinely new idea. What I have found is many old and antiquated notions that have been fished out of the dustbin of history - unscientific and utopian ideas that were long ago answered by Marx, Engels and Lenin, ideas that belong to the prehistory of the workers' movement. These old and tired ideas of pre-Marxian, utopian socialism have been dusted down and presented as 21st Century Socialism. And there are even some simple souls who take this seriously."
All this chattering about "entirely new and original ideas" seems superficially attractive. However, for our part, we do not believe there is any need to reinvent socialism, just as we do not need to reinvent the wheel. Of course, it will be necessary to introduce this or that modification, but what is really remarkable is how few adjustments we have to make to the ideas that were worked out by Marx and Engels in the 19th century and developed and enriched by Lenin and Trotsky in the 20th century. We may make this or that change, but in all the fundamentals the basic ideas retain all their vigour and actuality. It is, of course, very good to debate the ideas of socialism and we will participate in this debate with the greatest enthusiasm. What is not so good is that Heinz Dieterich and others claim the right to a monopoly of the interpretation of 21st century socialism. What is even worse, as we shall see, is that this interpretation of "socialism" turns out to be exactly the same as... capitalism.
Heinz Dieterich appears on the international stage as a friend of the Bolivarian Revolution. But there are friends and friends. The unfortunate Job in the Bible had cause to regret the consolation offered to him by his friends in his moments of greatest need. And we have no doubt that the revolutionaries of Venezuela will have even greater cause to regret it if they accept as good coin the advice given to them so generously by their friends like Heinz Dieterich.
This book should serve to disabuse them of these notions and is offered as a weapon in the fight for a successful socialist revolution in Venezuela and throughout the world.
Order your copy now!
£12.00 post free
From Wellred Books, PO BOX 50525, Poplar, London E14 6WG (cheques made payable to Wellred) or order online
Order US edition from Wellred USA
- Alan Woods' speaking tour in Venezuela:
- Venezuela: More than 800 people attend meetings of Alan Woods in Barinas by CMR (July 7, 2008)
- Alan Woods invited by president Chavez to a caravan with the revolutionary people in Nueva Esparta by CMR (July 4, 2008)
- Adán Chavez: “These are the ideas the Bolivarian revolution must be based upon” by CMR (July 3, 2008)
- “The PSUV is a mighty force and with the ideas and programme of Marxism it will be invincible” by CMR (July 2, 2008)
- “Alan gives voice to what peasants and workers think” - enthusiastic meeting in Táchira (Venezuela) by CMR (July 1, 2008)
- “Yes we can!” - great enthusiasm for the ideas of Marxism in Zulia (Venezuela) by CMR (June 30, 2008)