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The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  54 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
“A good society,” Michael Lebowitz tells us, “is one that permits the full development of human potential.” In this slim, lucid, and insightful book, he argues persuasively that such a society is possible. That capitalism fails his definition of a good society is evident from even a cursory examination of its main features. What comes first in capitalism is not human devel ...more
Hardcover, 191 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Monthly Review Press (first published 2010)
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Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: socialism
This is one of those rare books on revolutionary leftist thought that is written in clear and fully accessible language. And yet, Lebowitz avoids the kind of speculative thinking that dooms so many similar books to the real of fantasy. Lebowitz basis his analyses on years of observations of actual on-the-ground socialist experiments in the Americas. As a result, he is compelled to contend with how those experiments figure within a larger praxis of socialist transition -- the great conundrum of n ...more
Aug 13, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1.5 stars.

This is a philosophical book about the importance of ideas like "full development of human potential", "human development as the core of socialism", "the necessicity for worker and community management", "expansion of the commons", "socialist mode of regulation" etc. If stuff like this sounds new and interesting to you, maybe you will find this book is for you. Myself, I was looking for answers to more practical questions, and none of them can be found here.

For example, Lebowitz doesn'
Daniel Morgan
A few things:

1. Did you roll out of bed today and say to yourself, "Boy oh boy, I want to read a dense 166 page philosophical treatise on bottom-up socialism"? If your answer is no, then do not pick up this book. I originally got this book because I thought it would be a sort of accessible, popular introduction to contemporary socialism, but to be honest it was really hard for me to understand. Granted, I do not have a strong background in economics or philosophy so maybe this book wasn't meant
"Building a solidarian society means going beyond our own
particular interests—or, more accurately, understanding that our
particular interest is that we live in a society in which everyone has
the right to full human development. It means that our premise is
the concept of a human community. As in the example of the vertically
integrated production chain, only when our activity is conscious
activity for others can we go beyond the infection of self-interest,
exchange relations, and inequality "
Katie Sommers
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a socialist so it's good reading to me.
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