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The End of Socialism


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Highlights

  • ISBN13:9781107017313
  • ISBN10:1107017319
  • Publisher:Cambridge University Press
  • Language:English
  • Author:James Otteson
  • Binding:Hardback
  • SUPC: SDL426222587

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Description

Brief Description

The End of Socialism explores the difficulties socialism faces and examines the extent to which its moral ideals can guide policy.

Learn More about the Book

Is socialism morally superior to other systems of political economy, even if it faces practical difficulties? In The End of Socialism, James R. Otteson explores socialism as a system of political economy that is, from the perspectives of both moral philosophy and economic theory. He examines the exact nature of the practical difficulties socialism faces, which turn out to be greater than one might initially suppose, and then asks whether the moral ideals it champions equality, fairness, and community are important enough to warrant attempts to overcome these difficulties nonetheless, especially in light of the alleged moral failings of capitalism. The result is an examination of the end of socialism, both in the sense of the moral goals it proposes and in the results of its unfolding logic."

About the Author

James R. Otteson specializes in political philosophy, the history of economic thought, and political economy. He is the author of Adam Smith's Marketplace of Life (Cambridge, 2002) and Actual Ethics (Cambridge, 2006), the latter of which won the 2007 Templeton Enterprise Award. He is also the editor of The Levellers: Overton, Walwyn, and Lilburne, five volumes (2003). His most recent book is Adam Smith (2013). Otteson is Executive Director and Teaching Professor in the School of Business at Wake Forest University, Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy and in the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom at the University of Arizona, and Senior Scholar at the Fund for American Studies in Washington, DC.

Review Quotes

1. "Distinguishing between what socialism has meant in principle and what it has meant in practice, James Otteson deftly dissects the key claims that underlie the resurgent reliance on the state in society. In doing so, he harks back to a pre-Marxist conception of socialism, finessing a narrow focus on state-owned enterprise. This debate - the real debate - over socialism is as old as Plato, and as new as tomorrow s newspaper. A serious treatment of a serious subject."
Michael Munger, Director, PPE Program, Duke University"

2. "Distinguishing between what socialism has meant 'in principle' and what it has meant in practice, James Otteson deftly dissects the key claims that underlie the resurgent reliance on the state in society. In doing so, he harks back to a pre-Marxist conception of socialism, finessing a narrow focus on state-owned enterprise. This debate - the real debate - over socialism is as old as Plato, and as new as tomorrow s newspaper. A serious treatment of a serious subject."
Michael Munger, Duke University"

3. "James Otteson is a very rare beast: he combines profound understanding with crystal-clear writing. This book is a devastating elucidation of the practical and theoretical difficulties that have caused the repeated failure of all systems of centralized planning, and socialism in particular."
Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist

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