“Marx is dead, and I am not”

Jan Marijnissen, leader of a resurgent Dutch Socialist Party which current holds 25 of the 150 seats in Parliament, writes on the future for Socialism. Though the party was essentially born of Moaism it is clear from Marijnissen’s piece they possess an optimistic and modern Socialist voice.

Socialism has a past and a future

Only when we are aware that humanity is more than a ‘homo economicus’, and thus also understand that humanity is more than a consumer or producer, only then does it become more logical to adapt the structure of society to the demands of new times. That is why socialism has not only a past, but certainly also a future. In the Netherlands, in Flanders – and anywhere.

I am profoundly convinced that we place far more value on Gross Domestic Happiness than on the Gross Domestic Product that politicians and economists put on a pedestal. As you know, GDP includes the fattening of pigs, but not the raising of children.

Of course, the Netherlands isn’t the only place to see a revival in Socialism; it has firmly re-established itself in many countries on the America continent: from the radical socialism of Venezuela to a more market based approach in Brazil. The German left, now reorganised as Die Linke gaining an unprecedented 54 places in the last Bundestag election is another example of how socialism can retain a toe hold and start to thrive where it was recently written off and Cyprus through AKEL consistently returns a large left vote.

So is resurgent, modern, vibrant, Socialism possible in Ireland? Do any of the larger ‘left leaning’ parties have the ability to remould themselves and capture the public’s imagination like the Dutch Socialists? Could the popularisation of a traditional Irish political view, Socialism, come from elsewhere? Or is Socialism a struggle to be advanced elsewhere but not here?

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