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Why I am a socialist

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The principles of an ethical socialism for the twenty-first century are already present in William Morris's critique of capitalism. Those principles are a commitment to substantive equality; an interrogation of what counts as wealth; an emphasis on the nature of work and its implications for the kinds of people we are able to be; the protection of the environment, the importance of art and culture. These principles are discussed in terms of current levels of inequality and the concentration of wealth in private hands; the pressures of climate change; the need for new measures of productivity and growth; and Richard Sennett's recent discussion of craftsmanship and its implications for work, and human development. The problem for socialists now is not really a need to reinvent ethical socialism. It is rather to consider how assets now in private hands can be returned to collective ownership and control, and how we might develop a general structure of feeling conducive to socialism, enabling us to reconnect discontent and critique with hope for an alternative.


Document Type: Review Article


Publication date: 2010-08-11

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