My central argument in this article is that the collapse of Roman civilisation provides us with clues as to what is likely to happen if capitalism collapses and is not replaced by something better on a global scale. Rosa Luxemburg’s argument that ‘capitalist society faces a dilemma, either an advance to socialism or a reversion to barbarism’ is more relevant today that it was when she wrote these words in 1915 while serving time in prison for her opposition to the war (WWI). We must learn from the past in order to collectively make a better future. The alternative to a qualitatively better long-term future is almost unimaginably bleak.
This article was published in New Zealand Sociology (Vol.27, Issue 1), 2012 (pp.74-87).
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