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Socialism as a Secular Creed

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Dr. Znamenski offers a sweeping look at various contexts where socialism has been tried and inevitably failed, a must-read!
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Andrei Znamenski argues that socialism arose out of activities of secularized apocalyptic sects, the Enlightenment tradition, and dislocations produced by the Industrial Revolution. He examines how, by the 1850s, Marx and Engels made the socialist creed “scientific” by linking it to “history laws” and inventing the proletariat—the “chosen people” that were to redeem the world from oppression. Focusing on the fractions between social democracy and communism, Znamenski explores why, historically, socialism became associated with social engineering and centralized planning. He explains the rise of the New Left in the 1960s and its role in fostering the cultural left that came to privilege race and identity over class. Exploring the global retreat of the left in the 1980s–1990s and the “great neoliberalism scare,” Znamenski also analyzes the subsequent renaissance of socialism in wake of the 2007–2008 crisis.

Andrei Znamenski, who experienced socialism firsthand, recalls the murder, mayhem, ethnic cleansing, arbitrary detentions, corruption, starvation, labor camps, warfare, forced disappearances, and famine that resulted from Marxism and its various iterations and offshoots. Socialism as a Secular Creed meticulously traces the concrete consequences of the spread of these ideologies, which, he suggests, displaced traditional expressions of religion and established secular eschatologies. His rigorously researched account is not to be missed.

-- Allen Mendenhall, Troy University



Andrei Znamenski, formerly a resident scholar at the Library of Congress and then a visiting professor at Hokkaido University in Japan, has taught at the University of Toledo,the University of Memphis, and Alabama State University. Znamenski’s major fields of interests include the history of Western occult and magic, Russian/Soviet history, indigenous religions of Siberia and North America, including Shamanism and Tibetan Buddhism. Znamenski published five books in these fileds, including The Beauty of the Primitive: Shamanism and Western Imagination (2007). He has lived and traveled extensively in Alaska, Siberia, and Japan.

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ISBN 9781498557306
Publisher Rowman and Littlefield
Publication Date 01/29/2021
Binding HB
Page Length 494
Dimensions 6x9