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I do advocate a planned economy, which cannot, however, be carried out in all workplaces.In this sense I am a socialist.” Similar wild-eyed accusations of radicalism were floated after the Second World War.I am certain that once we show why these criticisms fail, There’s incredible amounts of slippage in DSA messaging between “we should have an integrated national health care system like all other rich democracies” and “we should eliminate profit unlike any other rich democracy.” A lot of people profess confusion about socialism: Is it a radical call for the total transformation of society or a push for social democratic reforms like those already existing in many European countries?
The banner title read: “Dupes and Fellow Travelers Dress up Communist Fronts.” Thus were assertions of political unreliability readily paired with claims of naïveté.
While accusations from the right are easy to dismiss, claims made by those sympathetic to Einstein’s political leanings should also be held up to scrutiny. ” published in the inaugural issue (May 1949) of it becomes apparent that Einstein’s powerful indictment of “the oligarchy of private capital” serves not so much to advance socialism as an economic system per se but to advocate a planned economy as a significant instrument for achieving desirable social-ethical ends.
One is a deep dissatisfaction with the existing state of economic life, and a rejection of standard arguments for why it’s acceptable or just to have capital concentrated in the hands of a small number of rich people.
Socialists believe that there ought to be a radically different distribution of wealth and power across society.
Nor should it be accepted simply because so many of the greatest intellects and humanitarians of the last century were socialists or anti-capitalists (including Bertrand Russell, Helen Keller, Nelson Mandela, George Orwell, Malala Yousafzai, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Mohandas Gandhi, Noam Chomsky, and Oscar Wilde).
Socialism should be examined carefully, like any political proposition, and its proponents should defend their ideas carefully and rigorously.For those of us who identify as socialists, this is encouraging news!Others, however, are horrified, and think this tendency is extremely worrying.makes sense and should be implemented (I think it should), we need to clear away a few glib critiques of socialism that pop up over and over.They are: (1) it’s vague and cagey (2) it’s a recipe for calamity, and (3) it’s hypocritical.For some, like myself, the answer is “both”: There’s a utopian element and a pragmatic element, and while in the long term I’d like to live in a stateless society in which the means of production are democratically controlled, in the immediate future I think socialists have to devise and pursue attainable, useful goals like guaranteed healthcare, de-militarizing the police, and creating a humane immigration policy. Cole notes in his The impossibility of defining Socialism has often been emphasized, and sometimes regarded as reproach.The reason there isn’t an obvious answer to the question, though, is that it’s a tension within socialism that has existed throughout its history. But neither in Politics nor in Morals is any important idea or system ever capable of being exactly defined.Lacking any exposure to the working-class movement in the waning decades of the German Empire, Einstein had been wary of the mass organizations of the left which sprang up or developed a new lease on life in the Weimar republic, while expressing his solidarity with some of their goals.Though he demonstrated philosophical sympathy for socialism with a human face, including many of its economic principles,he did not identify with the intellectual tradition of the European labor movement or the Marxist legacy.The era of the loyalty oath and the security-clearance boards had arrived.Given Einstein’s propensity to speak his mind and his fearless association with organizations under suspicion he presented a tempting target for those who viewed expressions of sympathy for the wartime Russian ally, however measured, as treasonable.