CRISIS IN COMMUNISM: The Turning Point of Socialism by Roger Garaudy

CRISIS IN COMMUNISM: The Turning Point of Socialism

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Before his recent expulsion from the French Communist Party, Garaudy was regarded as one of its intellectual luminaries and a spokesman for its right wing. The central point of this book is his advocacy of the Yugoslav model of democratic socialism. He has picked an inconvenient time to do so, but he says the Yugoslavs' current difficulties cast no adverse light on the model. To ""state ownership"" Garaudy counterposes ""workers' control,"" which he forthrightly presents as a marketplace economy with each little unit chipping into decision-making on the basis of its own self-interested profit motive. In one of the few intellectual flourishes in the book, Garaudy denounces Laplacean determinism and Leibnitzian harmony, counterposing the good old Invisible Hand of Adam Smith. Though Garaudy still invokes the icons of Marx and Lenin, his proposals have nothing to do with either. He justifies his usual call for Christian-Communist collaboration with the philistine view that philosophy and politics can and must be separated. He thinks the Party should not only join popular fronts but dissolve itself into one. The trouble with the American Socialist Party was that it was too dogmatic, and the trouble with Marx is that he didn't really understand ""science and technology,"" whereas Galbraith has the modern scene pegged. At the same time, he thinks that under Lenin there was ""socialist democracy""! A more intelligent and appealing espousal of ""the Yugoslav model"" may be found in Robert Dahl's After the Revolution (1970). This book has significance only for cartographers of the French Left.

Pub Date: April 5th, 1972
Publisher: Grove Press--dist. by Random House