Socialism Revised and Modernized: The Case for Pragmatic Market Socialism

By James A. Yunker | Go to book overview

market socialism. Pragmatic market socialism embodies the core socialist principle, and its implementation in the West would deliver the extremely significant consolatory message that the West does not deem the entire Communist experience to have been a completely misguided and malevolent episode in human history.

This is simply to say that ideological convergence is a more promising scenario of future development than the ideological capitulation scenario currently envisioned by many in the Western capitalist world. Expectations that the Communist world will throw aside every aspect of Communist ideology, even the most central and sacred, may well be disappointed. On the other hand, if both East and West arrive, by mutual consent and free volition, at the common ground of democratic market socialism, then both sides will have made ideological concessions and accommodations. History demonstrates that peaceful conflict resolution almost always requires some degree of concession by both parties. Where human psychology and sensibilities are involved, such tangible expressions of mutual respect and esteem are almost always vitally necessary.

Therefore it is argued here that despite the turmoil and uncertainty presently prevailing throughout the Communist world, this is still a good time for the West to adopt pragmatic market socialism. In fact, this may be more than a good time--it may be the best time. We do not know whether the opportunities which presently exist for the amelioration of international tension and hostility will persist very much longer. The progressive elements in the Communist nations could all too easily be quickly overthrown and eliminated. They are more likely to suffer this fate if the West continues to stand by doing nothing, smugly and patiently awaiting total ideological capitulation by the East. Therefore pragmatic market socialism still offers the possibility of strengthening and accelerating the positive tendencies toward peace which have lately emerged. Pragmatic market socialism may still be an important instrumentality toward the final and definitive termination of a nightmarish condition in which human civilization labors under the daily peril of nuclear devastation. 6


NOTES
1.
The author's 1982 article in Co-Existence ( "Ideological Harmonization as a Means of Promoting Authentic Detente: A False Hope?") contains a somewhat more detailed statement of the argument developed here. An updating of the argument is scheduled to appear in the same journal in 1992.
2.
The situation is sufficiently familiar that elaborate scholarly apparatus is not required. The following official statement is typical. In the words of the Office of

-273-

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Socialism Revised and Modernized: The Case for Pragmatic Market Socialism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Title Page ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - A New Perspective on Socialism 1
  • 2 - The Pragmatic Market Socialist Proposal 29
  • Notes 58
  • 3 - Pragmatic Market Socialism: Pro and Con 67
  • Notes 92
  • 4 97
  • Notes 140
  • 6 - Investment, Growth, and Entrepreneurship 175
  • Notes 199
  • 7 - People's Capitalism 205
  • Notes 234
  • 8 - Capitalism and Democracy 241
  • Notes 257
  • 9 - Capitalism and History 259
  • Notes 273
  • 10 - Prospects for Change? 277
  • ANALYTICAL APPENDIX 291
  • References 307
  • SUBJECT INDEX 325
  • NAME INDEX 333
  • About the Author 338
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