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New Left Review I/36, March-April 1966

Monty Johnstone

Socialism, Democracy and the State

Few problems have been more fiercely debated on the left than that of democracy in a socialist state—and few are so lacking in studies in depth. In a book that appeared in France last year [1] Jean Dru, De l’Etat Socialiste, l’expérience soviétique. René Julliard, Paris, 1965. a group of dissident members of the French Communist Party under the pseudonym Jean Dru attempt to develop a Marxist approach to this problem that takes into account the experiences of the last 50 years. Though the authors do not claim originality and many socialists will find some of their conclusions extremely unsatisfactory, they do a worthwhile job in drawing attention to the many real problems that have so often been obscured for the major body of marxists by ritual language and formulas.

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Monty Johnstone, ‘Socialism, Democracy and the State’, NLR I/36: £3

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