It isn’t something that a lot of people lose sleep about, and that includes me. But it bothers me when I see someone assert that the retreat of the working class, social democratic, communist, and people’s movement in recent decades began with the implosion of the Soviet Union. Perhaps at first glance this seems reasonable, but with a bit of reflection it quickly becomes an untenable claim. It strikes me as an ideological construction to fit someone’s political disposition rather than serious analysis.
The reconfiguring of global power to the advantage of the imperialist states and transnational corporations and the retreat of the above-mentioned movements that followed was well on its way by the time things went south in the socialist world in the late 1980s. Even a quick glance at the facts locates the beginnings of this offensive in the mid 1970s. That’s more than a decade before the Soviet Union went belly up.