Is socialism morally preferable to free market capitalism? G. A. Cohen (2009) has argued that even when the economic inequalities produced by free markets are not the result of injustice, they nevertheless ought to be avoided because they are community undermining. As free markets inevitably lead to economic inequalities and Socialism does not, Socialism is morally preferable. This argument has been the subject of recent criticism. Chad Van Schoelandt (2014) argues that it depends on a conception of (...) community that is incompatible with pluralism while Richard Miller (2010) argues that it rules out individualistic pursuits. I will show that both of these objections rest upon a misreading of Cohen’s argument. (shrink)
Is “liberal socialism” an oxymoron? Not quite, but I will demonstrate here that it is a much more unstable and uncommon hybrid than scholars had previously thought and that almost all liberals should reject socialism, even in its most attractive form. More specifically, I will show that three leading varieties of liberalism—neutralist, plural-perfectionist, and deliberative-democratic—are incompatible with even a moderate form of socialism, viz., associational market socialism. My paper will also cast grave doubt on Rawls’s belief (...) that justice as fairness is consistent with liberal socialism. (shrink)
This paper offers an exploration of the socialist principle “From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.” The Abilities/Needs Principle is arguably the ethical heart of socialism but, surprisingly, has received almost no attention by political philosophers. I propose an interpretation of the principle and argue that it involves appealing ideas of solidarity, fair reciprocity, recognition of individual differences, and meaningful work. The paper proceeds as follows. First, I analyze Marx’s formulation of the Abilities/Needs Principle. (...) Second, I identify the principle’s initial plausibility, but show that it faces serious problems that cannot be addressed without developing a fresh interpretation of it. Third, I provide an interpretation of the principle that highlights demands concerning opportunities for self-realization in work, positive duties of solidarity, sensitivity to individual differences, and mechanisms of fair reciprocity. Fourth, I discuss a possible institutional implementation of the Abilities/Needs Principle. Finally, I identify some normative puzzles about the transition from capitalism to socialism, and suggest how the Abilities/Needs Principle might gain motivational traction by mobilizing the powerful idea of human dignity. (shrink)
The study draws attention to the transfer of management theories and practices from traditional capitalist countries such as the USA and UK to post-socialist countries that are currently experiencing radical change as they seek to introduce market reforms. It is highlighted that the efficacy of this transfer of management theories and practices is, in part, dependent upon the extent to which work-related attitudes and values vary between traditional capitalist and former socialist contexts. We highlight that practices such as Human Resource (...) Management (HRM) and Organization Development (OD) are inextricably associated with conceptions surrounding culture and society, as well as to variables such as job satisfaction and organisational commitment. The main aim of this study is to compare various attitudes and values of employees in traditional capitalist countries and post-socialist countries. On the basis of the findings of an attitudinal survey of (N = 5914) workers in 15 countries we conclude that certain aspects of the attitudes and values of workers in post-socialist countries and traditional capitalist countries differ significantly. Specifically, these differences were found in respect of context-related and job-related attitudes, and also in relation to the importance that the respondents attached to the subject of ethics more generally. The implications of the study are discussed particularly in relation to the transfer of management theory and practices between traditional capitalist and post-socialist contexts. (shrink)
The paper highlights the dependence of the level of organizational trust on work ethic and aims to show that development of trust in organizations can be␣stimulated by raising the level of work ethic with organizational practices. Based on the framework by Kanungo, R. N. and A. M. Jaeger (1990, ‘Introduction: The Need for Indigenous Management In Developing Countries’, in A. M. Jaeger and R. N. Kanungo (eds.), Management in Developing Countries (Routledge, London), pp. 1–23), historical–cultural analysis of the Lithuanian context (...) is carried out. The country is chosen as an example of a post-socialist context where work ethic and trust in the society tended to be rather low. The authors discuss organizational practices, particularly the ones related to people management, which can facilitate development of work ethic, and thus, trust in organizations operating in a post-socialist context. The importance of a processual approach to the development of organizational trust and the ethical content of organizational practices, which are aimed at developing organizational trust is highlighted. Directions for further research are indicated. (shrink)
Heidegger's connection with Nazism is well known and has been exhaustively debated. But we need to understand better why Heidegger believed National Socialism to be the best cure for the ills of modern society. In this book Christopher Rickey examines the internal logic of Heidegger's ideas to explain how they led him to become a powerful critic of liberalism and a Nazi supporter. Key to Rickey's interpretation is the radically antinomian conception of religiosity he finds at the core of (...) Heidegger's challenge to modernity. Heidegger responds to the crisis of modernity with a philosophy attuned to the fundamental need for humans to live with the proper stance toward the divine. Inspired by Lutheran and mystical theology, Heidegger outlines an essentially religious conception of authentic human being. Like his radical Lutheran forerunners, Heidegger politicizes the radical strains of Luther's theology to create a potent revolutionary brew: the revolution of the saints. Rickey traces out the ways in which these currents fundamentally shape Heidegger's thought: the Lutheran background to his critique of modern science and the technological rationality it spawns; his transformation of Aristotle's prudential conception of practical wisdom into the total revelation of being that lays the basis for revolutionary political action; and his mystical and sectarian understanding of authentic community. Rickey shows how this political-theological vision forms the basis of Heidegger's concrete political action, and concludes with an analysis of the fundamental problems this vision poses to our political thinking today. (shrink)
This is a short, critical introduction to Cohen's book and argument: that socialism is justified on several grounds contrary to common opinion. I present Cohen's arguments together with some potential problems as well as responses to them.
In 1933 the philosopher Martin Heidegger declared his allegiance to Hitler. Ever since, scholars have asked to what extent his work is implicated in Nazism. To address this question properly involves neither conflating Nazism and the continuing philosophical project that is Heidegger's legacy, nor absolving Heidegger and, in the process, turning a deaf ear to what he himself called the philosophical motivations for his political engagement. It is important to establish the terms on which Heidegger aligned himself with National (...) class='Hi'>Socialism. On the basis of an untimely but by no means unprecedented understanding of the mission of the German people, the philosopher first joined but then also criticized the movement. An exposition of Heidegger's conception of Volk hence can and must treat its merits and deficiencies as a response to the enduring impasse in contemporary political philosophy of the dilemma between liberalism and authoritarianism. (shrink)
This essay is an attempt to piece together the elements of G. A. Cohen's thought on the theory of socialism during his long intellectual voyage from Marxism to political philosophy. It begins from his theory of the maldistribution of freedom under capitalism, moves onto his critique of libertarian property rights, to his diagnosis of the “deep inegalitarian” structure of John Rawls' theory and concludes with his rejection of the “cheap” fraternity promulgated by liberal egalitarianism. The paper's exegetical contention is (...) that Cohen's work in political philosophy is best understood in the background of lifelong commitment to a form of democratic, non-market, socialism realizing the values of freedom, equality and community, as he conceived them. The first part of the essay is therefore an attempt to retrieve core socialism-related arguments by chronologically examining the development of Cohen's views, using his books as thematic signposts. The second part brings these arguments together with an eye to reconstructing his vision of socialism. It turns out that Cohen's political philosophy offers a rich conception of objective and subjective freedom, an original understanding of justice as satisfaction of genuine need, and a substantive ideal of fraternity as justificatory community with others. If properly united, these values can suggest a full-bloodied account of the just polity, and give us a glimpse into what it means, for Cohen, to treat people as equals. (shrink)
In his book Why Not Socialism? , G.A. Cohen described several kinds of inequality that would be acceptable under socialism, yet nonetheless harmful to community. I describe another kind of inequality with this property, deriving from the legitimate transmission of preferences and values from parents to children. In the same book, Cohen proposes that the designing of a socialist allocation mechanism is a key problem for socialist theory. I maintain this is less of a problem than he believes. (...) Finally, some thoughts on the “law of motion of socialist ethos ” are offered. (shrink)
Modern socialist economic reforms which center on the establishment of a commodity based economic system, demand a reconsideration of human nature. Marxism and human sociobiology give different answers to questions about human nature, but neither is complete in itself. It seems timely, therefore, to suggest that a combination of biological understanding with a Marxist-based social understanding would produce a more adequate notion of human nature, thereby helping us to resolve a number of problems posed by reforms currently taking place in (...) socialist countries. We might also hope to face new challenges posed in the future. (shrink)
Spencer's evolutionary philosophy is usually identified with right-wing doctrines such as individualism, laissez-faire liberalism and even conservatism. Since he himself defended similar positions, it is perhaps not surprising that the study of the political interpretations of his ideas has drawn relatively little attention. In this article I propose to examine a rather atypical reading of Spencer's organic analogy, though definitely not a marginal one: Enrico Ferri's Marxist doctrine of Scientific Socialism. Ferri is not a figure unknown to scholars interested (...) in the political aspects of the evolutionary debate. Nonetheless, the relation between his theory and Spencer's biosociology -- notably the complex dialectic of themes such as "the struggle for existence" versus "class struggle," or "evolution" versus "revolution" -- has not yet received full-length analysis. In my study I investigate the diffusion of Spencer's ideas in Italy and their impact on the new "positivist" sciences of psychology and sociology inasmuch as these questions are essential to understanding Ferri's position. Throughout, I stress the importance of the intellectual and political context in the process of appropriation of ideas that led to this unexpected shift in meaning. (shrink)
Socialists believe that equality, community, and economic democracy can only be achieved by a system of joint ownership in the means of production. These property rights do not, as such, pass judgment as to what rights individuals have to their own person. Libertarians believe that individual liberty and autonomy are only coextensive with a set of stringent rights to the person and its powers. These property rights do not, as such, pass judgment as to what rights individuals have to the (...) external world. Bringing libertarianism and socialism together is therefore, in principle, possible. This paper takes this further step, by sketching a constituiton that reconciles individual autonomy with radical equality of condition. To those libertarians drawn to socialist values (such as the pioneers of nineteenth-century anarchism), the paper offers a reconciliation that is arguably more true to these values than left-libertarianism. To those socialists drawn to libertarian values, it offers an alternative to left-libertarianism that avoids the pitfalls of statism. (shrink)
During the British socialist revival of the 1880s competing theories of evolution were central to disagreements about strategy for social change. In News from Nowhere (1891), William Morris had portrayed socialism as the result of Lamarckian processes, and imagined a non-Malthusian future. H.G. Wells, an enthusiastic admirer of Morris in the early days of the movement, became disillusioned as a result of the Malthusianism he learnt from Huxley and his subsequent rejection of Lamarckism in light of Weismann's experiments on (...) mice. This brought him into conflict with his fellow Fabian, George Bernard Shaw, who rejected neo-Darwinism in favour of a Lamarckian conception of change he called "creative evolution.". (shrink)
Making use of capital to develop China’s socialist market economy requires China not only to fully recognize the tendency of capital civilization but also to realize its intrinsic limitations and to seek conditions and a path for overcoming contradictions in the mode of capitalist production. Karl Marx’s theory of capital provides us with a key to understanding and dealing properly with problems of capital. At the same time we should also pay heed to Western research on, experience with, and lessons (...) from capitalist economies developed over the past four centuries summarized in the field of “business ethics”. (shrink)
Scholarly debates on sustainable consumption have generally overlooked alternative agro-food networks in the economies outside of Western Europe and North America. Building on practice-based theories, this article focuses on informal raw milk markets in post-socialist Lithuania to examine how such alternative systems emerge and operate in the changing political, social, and economic contexts. It makes two contributions to the scholarship on sustainable consumption. In considering semi-subsistence practices and poverty-driven consumption, this article argues for a richer, more critical, and inclusive theory (...) of sustainability that takes into consideration vernacular forms of exchange and approaches poor consumers as subjects of global history. Second, it revisits practice theories and infrastructures of consumption approaches to consider ruptures, discontinuities, and historical change in infrastructures as a way to account for inequalities and experiences of marginalization. (shrink)
Until 1917 Lenin and Trotsky believed that an isolated revolutionary Russia would have no chance of survival. However, from 1917 to 1923 Lenin's standpoint on this matter underwent a complete reversal. First he came to the conclusion that socialism could be built in an isolated Russia, although it would remain incomplete in the absence of the world revolution. By 1923 he was abandoning that latter qualification too. The standpoint of Stalin and Bukharin in the debate on socialism in (...) one country of 1925–26 was more orthodox-Leninist than the position taken by Trotsky, who had at first also embraced the notion of incomplete socialism, but subsequently returned to the old concept, abandoned by Lenin, that the restoration of capitalism was inevitable in the absence of the world revolution. (shrink)
This contribution discusses the philosophical meaning of the Martin Heidegger’s Rectoral address. First of all, Heidegger’s philosophical basic experience is sketched as the background of his Rectoral address; the being-historical concept of “Anfang”. Then, the philosophical question of the Rectoral address is discussed. It is shown, that Die Selbstbehauptung der deutschen Universität is asking for the identity of human being there (Dasein) in connection with the question about dem Eigenen (the Germans) and dem Fremden (the Greeks). This opposition structuralizes the (...) confrontation with the beginning of philosophical thinking in the Rectoral address. When read against the philosophical background sustaining the Rectoral address, words appearing therein such as “Kampf”, “Macht”, “Volk” and “Marsch” have nothing in common with the same words as used by the Nazis. It is shown that the Rectoral address is an extremely ambiguous text, because it claims a transformation of human being there (Dasein). Although Heidegger’s view on National Socialism is distinguished from Nazis ideology, it is clear that he made a mistake about Hitler. This article makes clear how Heidegger later changed his mind and vocabulary, and in what way this kind of mistakes and changes of mind are inherent to philosophical empiricism. (shrink)
In histories of Serbian painting Sreten Marić is listed among the protagonists of socialist realism, and that on the basis of a single article - his criticism of an exhibition staged by the Association of Visual Artists of Serbia to the benefit of wounded veterans . Without denying the historical basis for this judgment, the author of the present paper pleads for a more nuance approach and propounds the thesis that socialist realism was primarily a complex pattern of social relations, (...) and only in the second place a substantively defined doctrine. On the basis of an insight into the relevant sources it is argued that Marić was not a theorist of socialist realism; on the other hand, an ideologue of social painting he was indeed, believing in a synthesis of Art and Revolution. By way of comparison, the figures of Miroslav Krleža and Georg Lukács are referred to: neither of the two was a protagonist of socialist realism, though both belonged firmly to the so-called leftist thought. (shrink)
Eroticism seems to be the essence of individuation and the freedom that brings Otherness into being. For this reason eroticism had to be disguised and softened by a mechanism of control within the society of any monolithic communist power. There- fore, one of the images that were altered was that of the woman. This was done under the pretext of a project of emancipation, initiated by the Communist party, which made claims in women’s name but utilized women’s organizations for socialist-communist (...) propaganda. The article analyzes this manipulative politics and it’s effects on the social imagery: it created the image of a New woman - the aggressive woman with the profile of a communist warrior and a masculine body in a carnival-like movement that was biased, restrictive, and gender-blind. (shrink)
Social life is changing very fast. People are trying to find out reasons of living in a safe society and understand their role in it. The ‘wrong’ and ‘right‘ models of the social life, state and law systems are appearing. In the XXth century, one of them – socialism – made suggestion how to solve social problems, determinated of capitalism. This work deals with the situation of Lithuanian social thought in the Republic of Lithuania (1900-1940). In the article, the (...) standpoint of catholics of socialism is reflected. Catholics displayed socialism as a system, which accumulated many distorted images about human nature, motivations of human behavior, society and its functionating. Considering the society being an organic totality of individuals, but not a faceless mass, and an individual being a personality having natural rights to be respected, but not considered as a little screw without any rights in the state machine, with whom any experiments may be performed, they disclosed Utopia of the idea, proposed by socialists, of the possibility of a perfect society creation by the only preliminarily arranged correct plan,. For this purpose to be achieved, they constructed a model of socialist economy and then destroyed it, demonstrating economical unefficiency of this system. In this manner, intellectuals warned Lithuania and its people about the destructiveness of the realization of such an experiment. In spite of criticism of socialism, some intellectuals, such as A. Maceina, S. Šultė and S. Šalkauskis, appeared to be rather respective to the new social ideas and did not distinguish any social economic system as the best and only one. They thought that all the world, including Lithuania, has to create a new social life and take as a base the progressive ideas of socialism and capitalism. According to the opinion of the catholics, the most reliable way to a safe sočiety and economical welfare passes through the cooperation of individuals and state’s duty to create right laws. Ideological spirit was the main obstacle for the intellectuals to recognize trends of socialism by their aims and methods. That is the reason, why socialism was identified as bolsevism. However, the expression of the intellectuals’ opinion about socialism, its ideological herritage and perspectives enriches the research of the Lithuanian legal phylosophical and political thought and allows to understand better the ideological development of socialism and to define its competence and limits of validity in the contemporary world. Valuable ideas may be fruitfully used in creating a democratic society, social state and the rule of law. (shrink)
What is perhaps most remarkable in regard to both Socialism and Anarchism is the association of a widespread popular movement with ideals for a better world. The ideals have been elaborated, in the first instance, by solitary writers of books, and yet powerful sections of the wage-earning classes have accepted them as their guide in the practical affairs of the world. In regard to Socialism this is evident; but in regard to Anarchism it is only true with some (...) qualification. Anarchism as such has never been a widespread creed, it is only in the modified form of Syndicalism that it has achieved popularity. Unlike Socialism and Anarchism, Syndicalism is primarily the outcome, not of an idea, but of an organization: the fact of Trade Union organization came first, and the ideas of Syndicalism are those which seemed appropriate to this organization in the opinion of the more advanced French Trade Unions. But the ideas are, in the main, derived from Anarchism, and the men who gained acceptance for them were, for the most part, Anarchists. Thus we may regard Syndicalism as the Anarchism of the market-place as opposed to the Anarchism of isolated individuals which had preserved a precarious life throughout the previous decades. Taking this view, we find in Anarchist-Syndicalism the same combination of ideal and organization as we find in Socialist political parties. It is from this standpoint that our study of these movements will be undertaken. (shrink)
For most of nineteenth-century socialists, whose writings are examined in the scope of this paper, women’s equality with men was understood mainly in terms of their equal participation in the working collective. However, this concept of equality left unexamined the sexual division of labor by which men are central to production and women are central to reproduction. In the process of change towards a new socialist society, women were given the additional role of workers, but the bases of the unequal (...) gender order were never contested. (shrink)
This paper presents Walzer’s pluralist approach to justice as contrasted with standard egalitarian liberalist accounts such as Rawls’s. Walzer’s notion of “complex equality” is discussed in order to see whether by defending the sort of socialism attached to it, he can be still situated within the liberal tradition of thought, or the so-called “socialism of o liberal kind”, as he likes to term it, means a moving away from the basic liberal principles. In my view, since Walzer’s conventionalist (...) and contextualist account of justice is inextricably linked to some philosophical, metatheoretical suppositions, revealing them could be useful to illuminate such a problem. (shrink)
The socialist project is burdened by a history of brutal failures. The authors of the papers collected in this volume are convinced that a democratic and humane socialism is both desirable and possible. They lay out their view of different aspects of this new socialism in this book. Anatole Anton and Richard Schmitt are both the editors and contributors to this book. -/- Select chapters translated into Spanish have appeared in a volume in Barcelona, Spain.
Toward a New Socialism offers a critical analysis of capitalism's failings and the imminent need for socialism as an alternative form of government. Dr. Richard Schmitt joins with Dr. Anatole Anton to compile a volume of essays exploring the benefits and consequences of a socialist system as an avenue of increased human solidarity and ethical principle.
Liberal Socialism exposes false ideas of justice behind neo-liberal capitalism and combines Rawls's ideas on justice and Marx's views on capitalism to make a plausible case for the alternative social ideal of liberal socialism. A fixed social structure gives equal weight to all competing claims for rights, liberties, and shares of the burdens and benefits of social cooperation, while allowing a democratic majority vote for liberal socialism.
Since 1972, the journal Radical Philosophy has provided a forum for the discussion of radical and critical ideas in philosophy. This anthology reprints some of the best articles to have appeared in the journal during the past five years. It covers topics in social and moral philosophy which are central to current controversies on the left, focusing on theoretical issues raised by socialist, feminist, and environmental movements. The articles engage with contemporary issues in critical terms, and represent the best of (...) recent philosophical work on the left. (shrink)
This paper aims to analyze the social structure of the society in Teutonic state (1226-1525), which was distinct from structure of estate societies. The author put hypothesis that Teutonic Knight monopolised in their state political, economical and spiritual power. In the light of this thesis certain trends from history of the state of Teutonic Order are explained.