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New Questions for Socialist Thinkers: A 1950s View of Socialism and Capitalism on the Modern US Economy

(This essay was originally presented Monthly Review for publication, but their review department is unresponsive.)

A review and modern interpretation of socialist works from the 1920s to 1950s.

Paul M. Sweezy, a founding editor of The Monthly Review, wrote The Present as History in 1953 to collect and analyze many angles of socialist thought. The book includes writing by several authors across the 1920s to 1950s. This essay reviews themes from this book and compares how they specifically apply to 2016 -- the year with the most populist, nationalist, and socialist discourse.

The Present as History compiles a good variety of essays to review economic ills of the United States and considers if a proletariat revolution (socialism) is inevitable or desirable. Conflicting views on the economy and how to improve it have been a major deciding factor in elections and regime change across the world for centuries. But in 2016 a United States socialist presidential candidate came further than any…