G. A. Cohen. The question that forms the title of this short book is not intended of promoting socialism’s principles not in the mere small, within the confined. Is socialism desirable? Is it even G. A. Cohen Socialists therefore face two distinct questions, which are often not treated as distinctly as they should be. Defending socialism is a tall order these days, so it is a bit surprising to see an unabashed attempt. The late G. A. Cohen was a distinguished political.

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Cohen, like Einstein, looks forward to moving beyond that long history.

Although inequalities [of the sort just mentioned] are not condemned by justice, they are nevertheless repugnant to socialists when they obtain on a sufficiently large scale, because they contradict community: Perhaps, given our moral and cognitive failings, capitalism delivers the goods.

No one free rides. He takes some comfort in how many Western nations have managed to work out socialized healthcare, and so changes might occur in the future. Even if he could demonstrate that socialism is a morally superior system to capitalism, it might turn ought that socialism is impossible to establish.

He does this by opening with an example of a camping trip. No trivia or quizzes yet. Cohen’s criticism of greed and fear as immediate motives on the market is coheb, but it downplays the role that other factors play in economic decisions even in a market economy.

It also failed to motivate people to work hard. The problem for him is feasibility.


Cohen then is another leftist who wants change but self-aware enough to realize that we really don’t know the way forward. Preview — Why Not Socialism? There is the welfare state which skims profit and creates the welfare net, and the proposal for universal basic income.


And, as is usual on camping trips, we avail ourselves of those facilities collectively: More like pity or fellow-feeling. Which one would be a better trip? That he brings up these practical considerations makes the book feel as though it bites off more than it can chew, soccialism.

For the average person, this book is not great. It is refreshing that Cohen he confesses his “agnosticism” about the feasibility of overcoming “the system of predation” as Einstein and Cohen call capitalism. Then argues that clearly socialism is the nature way of life, and this analogy proves that the idea that free market capitalism is in any way the ‘natural state of things’ is not correct.

There are times, G. View the discussion thread. The books one shortcoming is its short length, which prevents really in-depth discussion about the more complicated issues involved in equality of opportunity and freedom of choice. We tolerate capitalism only because we think we must.

This writing style though Because there were missing explanations and concepts not explained fully or in a simple way. Wny from Why Not Socialism? While acknowledging that these emotions are not going to disappear any time soon, Cohen focuses on other emotions, like devotion and compassion, which can whg us to a different kind of economic system, one which doesn’t privilege a few at the expense of many.

Why Not Socialism?, by G.A. Cohen | Mises Institute

The book then ironically fails to answer the question in the title. Cohen says there are two main questions about socialism. I don’t know what the camping environment is like, and what was decided in terms of food, delegating tasks, etc.


Mar 10, Colette rated it it was sicialism. If there is a way forward, it will be for people very different from, and given that the status quo seems unbearable, he urges that the right conclusion for us right now can’t be to just give up.

Cohen admits his own doubts as to possible alternatives: Community is likely to reduce further the range of inequality outcomes that would be tolerated even by socialist equality of opportunity. Sommaire – Document suivant. But let us put this to one side. If he does not, his socialism is doomed on economic grounds to fail. May 03, Janet Bufton rated it it was ok. The technology for using base motives to productive economic effect is reasonably well understood.

He very briefly goes through some proposals from the 80s and 90s.

Cohen’s Why Not Socialism? – Bleeding Heart Libertarians

The upside is, in few words, and clear writing, Cohen gives a stellar defense of socialist values over capitalist values and practice.

But for a sort of American progressive type that is intrigued by socialist ideas if not totally won over, I can imagine this being a transformative text. However, Sylvia did find the apples and should get something for that. The issue between the socialist and the supporter of the free market then becomes whether you should be forced to regard everyone else as your “friend,” with a claim on your resources, even if you do not value so extended and demanding a community.