Aufheben 7 (Autumn 1998)

Social Democracy: No Future?
Introduction to Articles on the Retreat of Social Democracy

Social democracy is in retreat. That its institutions continue to be the focus of struggles raises the question of what we want and how we should fight. But to answer such questions requires a proper understanding of the nature of social democracy. In this, the Introduction to a series of articles on the current retreat of social democracy, we unravel the essence of this dominant form of political mediation of working class needs.

State of the Unions: Recent US Labour Struggles in Perspective
In the USA, the recent resurgence of workplace struggles and their mediation through unions indicate a possible future for the UK and Europe: will social democracy be reborn from its ashes, perhaps in a more radical form, through the initiative of rank-and-file militants? In the first major article in our new series on the retreat of social democracy, we trace the background and explore the peculiarities of the class struggle and its forms of mediation in the USA. We also draw out some implications the American situation may have for Britain and the rest of the world.

What was the USSR?
Towards a Theory of the Deformation of Value under State Capitalism Part II: Russia as a Non-mode of Production

Having disposed of the theory of the USSR as a 'degenerated workers' state', Ticktin's theory presents itself as the most persuasive alternative to the understanding of the USSR as capitalist. Its strength is its attention to the empirical reality of the USSR and its consideration of the specific forms of class struggle it was subject to. However, while we acknowledge that the USSR must be understood as a malfunctioning system, we argue that, because Ticktin doesn't relate his categories of 'political economy' to the class struggle, he fails to grasp the capitalist nature of the USSR

Intakes: 'Fascism/Anti-fascism' - 'Barrot' replies
'Jean Barrot' responds to our review of his influential text Fascism/Anti-fascism: 'The proletariat is not weak because it's divided: its weaknesses breed division.'