Instead of the numerous common interpretations of Stalinism, the author makes a historical analysis and comes to the conclusion: that it is the radical and one-sided realisation of replacing, non-market mechanisms that emerged on the ground of capitalism, and that Stalinism can be regarded as a modernisation dead end of the capitalist society.
Description and criticism of the analysis of present day capitalism by Claus Offe. Explanation for the ability of capitalism to renew; crisis averting mechanisms; specific features of modern capitalism that make it different from earlier ones. It discusses the issue of how much can capitalism be harmonised with democracy and to what extent is the thesis on their basic incompatibility still valid today.
The author lists three arguments in favour of socialism. These are social equality which guarantees the well-being more than competition for goods; reduction of working time ending the expropriation of the worker's time; and social solidarity and cooperation which may prove to be a more efficient attitude than competition.
The study provides a historical reconstruction of statements and views of Martov, Dan and the official social democratic menshevik party between 1917 and 1922 on the basis of documents found in the archives of the Hoover Institute (Stanford). As it turns out – in theoretical questions – the differences between the bolsheviks and mensheviks are significantly smaller than what has been presented until now by history writing.