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What is scientific socialism, and what can it teach us about the fight for socialist change today? Labour’s left leadership failed to fight for the urgent political and democratic reforms needed in the party - a missed opportunity for working-class political representation. In politics, mistakes in tactics begin with mistakes in ideas. That’s why Marxists take ideas so seriously. As Karl Marx himself said: “Practice without theory is blind, theory without practice is sterile.” In fact, the original name for Marxism was ‘scientific socialism’. In 1880, Marx’s collaborator Friedrich Engels produced ‘Socialism: Utopian and Scientific’, explaining the difference between those two trends in socialist thought. It was an introduction to some key scientific socialist ideas, from dialectical materialism to Marxist economics. Socialist struggle today could learn much from the mistakes of utopian socialism, old and new, and the rigour of scientific socialism. The Socialist Party’s publishing house, Socialist Books, republished this classic last year, available from This episode of Socialism, one of our most popular from 2019, is a re-run of episode 18 - Socialism: Utopian and Scientific. Further reading The renewed relevance of Engels' classic, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific: Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (Friedrich Engels): 'Socialism: Utopian and Scientific' questions and resources: The Masses Arise: The Great French Revolution 1789-1815 (Peter Taaffe): Value, Price and Profit (Karl Marx): An Introduction to the Logic of Marxism (George Novack):

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