Socialism Revised and Modernized: The Case for Pragmatic Market Socialism

Socialism Revised and Modernized: The Case for Pragmatic Market Socialism

Socialism Revised and Modernized: The Case for Pragmatic Market Socialism

Socialism Revised and Modernized: The Case for Pragmatic Market Socialism

Synopsis

This timely volume advocates pragmatic market socialism and offers a penetrating critique of the entire range of capitalist apologetics. As Yunker envisions it, market socialism would virtually duplicate the everyday economic functions of market capitalist economies, such as the United States', but with public ownership of large, established corporations, profits being distributed among the entire labor force. Pragmatic market socialism would be a means of enhancing economic justice and fairness without sacrificing the efficiency advantages of free enterprise and the market economy.

Excerpt

During the winter of 1961-1962, I was a freshman economics major at Fordham University in the Bronx. For no particular reason, I happened to read C. Wright Mills The Power Elite. This book had a decisive catalytic impact on my thinking, attitudes, and judgments. Within six months, I had firmly concluded that the various well-known and widely accepted economic, political, and moral justifications for contemporary capitalism, justifications which I had hitherto accepted without question, were almost assuredly devoid of legitimacy. These justifications were almost assuredly invalid because of the availability of various democratic market socialist alternatives to capitalism. Within two years, after additional study of economics and related matters, I had settled upon the "pragmatic" form of democratic market socialism as the most satisfactory of these alternatives. In my senior year at Fordham (1964-1965), I received the annual economics essay award for a paper which sketched out and briefly evaluated the plan of pragmatic market socialism which is the subject of this book.

More than twenty-five years have intervened between that initial awakening and the writing of Socialism Revised and Modernized. A large proportion of my time and energy during this period has been devoted to the study of the pragmatic market socialist alternative, and to what I have come to think of as "capitalist apologetics" in the light of that alternative. My dissertation at Northwestern University, completed in 1971, was on a topic in market socialism, and a substantial proportion of my subsequent published writing between 1974 and the present time has centered specifically on pragmatic market socialism. Although I have had the opportunity, through a number of articles in professional periodicals, of presenting a large proportion of the case for pragmatic market socialism, I have always recognized the need for a substantial book on the subject. Not only are there severe length constraints on professionally oriented articles, but in each particular article the author must maintain a very tight and narrow focus on one specific problem or issue. According to the proverb, if you look too closely at the trees, you will lose sight of the forest.

I first commenced serious work on a book on pragmatic market socialism in the early 1980s, and devoted the better part of the decade to it. The idea . . .

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