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Easy socialism in a time of capitalism

The Idea of ​​Socialism
Forfatter: Axel Honneth
Forlag: Polity Books
There is still a lot of gold in socialism, says philosopher Axel Honneth, who still does not hesitate to discard the left-wing revolutionary romance. 

Socialism has earned an undeserved reputation, says Axel Honneth, who belongs to the fourth generation of Frankfurt philosophers. In this little book – originally a lecture series – Honneth draws on a clear-cut and simple variant of the socialist tradition. It may not be to everyone's taste, since the radical romance has been purged, but for those who are concerned with the viability and relevance of socialism, it is required reading.

Greater inequality. The reason for the scourge of socialism today is unsuccessful attempts to realize it throughout history, the German philosopher points out. These are hardly views that will arouse attention, but it does not hurt to show that even though practice (history) shadows theory, it does not necessarily mean that theory was wrong in the first place. In addition, he cites the much-talked about normalization of capitalism as a universal solution, as Francis Fukuyama, in a herostratic way, before him in The End of History and the Last Man. Honneth does not claim that it is impossible to think past the liberal capitalist model, but shows how it is still a horizon from which we have difficulty detaching.

Honneth focuses on socialism's lack of contact with people's actual desires and ideology's poor understanding of history.

The problem is simply that both political and social realities have become so complex that it is difficult to spot social contradictions that can anchor the utopian thought in an alternative: Classes are less clearly defined, and oppression is no longer something that booklets by stable social. . .

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Kjetil Røed
Freelance writer.

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