In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the talk of “the death of socialism” has ceased and instead an alternative to capitalism is being sought, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat said here on Tuesday, adding that socialism in the 21st century will have to take a different form.

“In the world today, no more is there a talk about the death of socialism and Marxism. In fact, what is in the dock today is the future of capitalism,” Mr. Karat said emphatically adding that the only alternative to capitalism is socialism.

Confident that “out of this prolonged capitalist crisis, new contradictions will develop,” Mr. Karat said that there was a tremendous “scope for developing a revolutionary movement” in this period utilising all the contradictions between the interests of the ruling classes and the working classes that will emerge.

Mr. Karat, who is in town to attend the crucial session of the party's Central Committee which is likely to finalise the draft ideological resolution, was speaking at a seminar on the “Challenges of the times and the role of the Left” during the North 24 Parganas district conference of the CPI(M).

Citing success stories in Latin America, Mr. Karat said that Venezuela was leading the way in the “re-nationalisation” of certain sectors, including power, telecom and oil and natural gas.

Similarly, Bolivia had witnessed the reallocation of one crore acres of land in land reforms. “We have to go through different phases of developing socialism,” Mr. Karat said.

However, he said that after the experiences of socialism in the 20 century, corrections would have to be made such as the inclusion of a role of the market within a planned economy.

“There will be central planning, but market will not be eliminated. The market will be utilised, incorporated within the central planning. Because without the market we cannot get correct indicators in a modern economy of how much is to be produced, what is to be produced and how can you price that product,” Mr. Karat said.

Mr. Karat said that countries such as China, Vietnam and Cuba have already adopted the market within a planned economy.