An attempt is made to ask some basic questions with respect to the 20th Century Socialist experiments and see what it holds for the socialism of the present century. This note is organised in the following format. It begins with posing two theoretical questions viz. the stage-theory interpretation of Marxism and the principle of democratic centralism, both of which have had effects on the current praxis of certain communist parties. To draw a contrast with this theoretical understanding of Marxism and the consequent praxis, of which China is an apt example, we present the case of alternative forms of socialist experiments being tried in the Third World, particularly in Latin America. To locate them in a historical context, a brief overview of the neoliberal model and its devastating impact on these countries is presented to show where they first derived their strength from. Following this overview, a somewhat detailed political-economic analysis is made of the countries which could be a starting point for the road map for the 21st Century Socialism.
Pragoti republishes two articles on the "New Left" in Latin America. The first is an article published in The Marxist, written by Prof. Steve Ellner, Universidad de Oriente, Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela that describes the experiences of the socialist parties in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador - their achievements, the challenges they face in building what they call, "21st century socialism" etc. The second is an article by Prof.