Sps's Reviews > Why Not Socialism?

Why Not Socialism? by G. A. Cohen
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Mar 09, 12

bookshelves: 300s, language
Read in March, 2012

A brief and well-argued work of political philosophy. I liked that Cohen was clear about what we do and don't know about how people behave and what motivates them. (The basic microeconomics I learned in school irritated me with its smug predictions about how and why people will act.)

"In my view, the principal problem that faces the socialist ideal is that we do not know how to design the machinery that would make it run. Our problem is not, primarily, human selfishness, but our lack of a suitable organizational technology: our problem is a problem of design. It may be an insoluble design problem, and it is a design problem that is undoubtedly exacerbated by our selfish propensities, but a design problem, so I think, is what we've got." (57-58)

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