Socialism or Barbarism: Reflections on Global Disorder


An interview with David North

Socialism or Barbarism: Reflections on Global Disorder

6 February 2018

In October 2017, David North delivered a lecture on the centenary of the October Revolution at St. Andrews College in Scotland. Prior to the lecture, he was interviewed by Adam Stromme, the editor-in-chief of the The St Andrews Economist, the official publication of the St Andrews Economics Society.

We reprint below the transcript of the interview, which was published on the journal’s website [] on November 26, 2017. 


This week, Editor-in-Chief Adam Stromme sits down with David North, a visiting Marxist scholar, active revolutionary socialist, and Chairman of the Socialist Equality Party in the United States.


Adam Stromme: Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you first become involved in socialist politics.

David North: I am part of a generation that was politically radicalized during the 1960s. My generation was, of course, deeply affected by the on-going Vietnam war.  But, at a more fundamental level, the radicalization was a response to the horrors of fascism and the Second World War. The tens of millions killed, the genocidal extermination of the Jews, and the dropping of two atomic bombs by the United States on defenseless cities, weighed heavily upon us.

This recent history had a powerful impact on how we responded to contemporary events.

Within this historical context, the brutal war waged by the United States against Vietnam completely discredited liberal anti-communism. The claims that the United States was defending the “free world” lost all credibility among broad sections of student youth. Young people began looking for an alternative to capitalism and imperialism, and socialism became increasingly…

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