Why Not Socialism?

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Princeton University Press, 2009 M08 24 - 96 páginas

A compelling case for why it's time for socialism

Is socialism desirable? Is it even possible? In this concise book, one of the world's leading political philosophers presents with clarity and wit a compelling moral case for socialism and argues that the obstacles in its way are exaggerated.

There are times, G. A. Cohen notes, when we all behave like socialists. On a camping trip, for example, campers wouldn't dream of charging each other to use a soccer ball or for fish that they happened to catch. Campers do not give merely to get, but relate to each other in a spirit of equality and community. Would such socialist norms be desirable across society as a whole? Why not? Whole societies may differ from camping trips, but it is still attractive when people treat each other with the equal regard that such trips exhibit.

But, however desirable it may be, many claim that socialism is impossible. Cohen writes that the biggest obstacle to socialism isn't, as often argued, intractable human selfishness—it's rather the lack of obvious means to harness the human generosity that is there. Lacking those means, we rely on the market. But there are many ways of confining the sway of the market: there are desirable changes that can move us toward a socialist society in which, to quote Albert Einstein, humanity has "overcome and advanced beyond the predatory stage of human development."

 

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LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - stillatim - LibraryThing

How many analytic philosophical journal articles deserve to be sold on their own as a book? None, not even this one. On the other hand, it's a beautiful little object, and Cohen was such a wonderful ... Leer comentario completo

Review: Why Not Socialism?

Crítica de los usuarios  - Alex Diaz - Goodreads

Short, not terribly informative, and frankly unnecessary. Leer comentario completo

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Contenido

The Camping Trip
3
The Principles Realized on the Camping Trip
12
Is the Ideal Desirable?
46
Is the Ideal Feasible? Are the Obstacles to It Human Selfishness or Poor Social Technology?
53
Coda
80
Acknowledgment
83
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Acerca del autor (2009)

G. A. Cohen (1941-2009) was emeritus fellow of All Souls College, University of Oxford. His books include Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence (Princeton), If You're an Egalitarian, How Come You're So Rich?, and Rescuing Justice and Equality.

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