Vision and Reality
About The Author
Hyman Frankel was a lifelong Marxist, scholar, and scientist. He was born in the Jewish East End of London in 1918.
During World War II he worked as a technician at the Cavendish Laboratories in Cambridge and as a volunteer miner in the South Yorkshire coalfields. His subsequent professional life alternated between trade union work and teaching. He finished his working career as Secretary to the Corporation of London Staff Association.
He is also the author of three other important scholarly works which are listed opposite the title page of this book. Socialism Vision and Reality explains what socialism is and traces its different forms through history. It discusses the Soviet model and the reasons for its failure, and suggests prospects for the future in Britain and elsewhere. The book is aimed both at those who are seeking an alternative to capitalism and those already committed to the sturggle for socialism.
About The Book
It is aimed at those, especially young people, who have just become involved politically, as well as those engaged in single issue movements, having come across the word 'socialism' and want to know more about it. It is not a detailed text book on the subject. The author was a full-time trade union official most of his working life (he is now retired) and was also involved politically on the left, so is able to write with some experience and knowledge on the subject.
The book opens with an attempt to describe capitalism as it is now, then deals with the basic ideas of socialism. It then takes the reader more deeply into the politics and economics of socialism from a Marxist standpoint. The remaining chapters deal with various social problems of today, including the growing gap between rich and poor and between rich and poor nations, feminism, racism, democracy, freedom and liberty under socialism, etc. It considers the road to socialism in the light of past attempts to set up socialist regimes, e.g. the Paris Commune of 1870-71 and the Russian Revolution from 1917 to the collapse of the Soviet system in 1989-91.
It has a chapter on the history of the idea of socialism-communism in Britain and Europe. It also deals with the present and the future of the several new Latin American left-wing regimes and concludes with a discussion of the situation in Britain today in the light of the 'New' Labour government's swing to the right. It arrives at a conclusion that the future of socialism in Britain “if it has a future at all“ lies with ordinary people and their battle for political and economic democracy, peace, liberty and justice.