This outstanding collection defines the concept, provides competing models, and explores the relationship of socialism to a wide range of fundamental human concerns: freedom, equality (including gender and race), democracy, community, art, culture, religion, ecology, science, and technology. The aim of this study is to provide scholars and students a sample of socialism’s diverse meanings and to show both its continuing relevance and vitality. Although some important classic texts are included, the articles brought together in this volume are intended less as an anthology than as a contemporary assessment of socialism by scholars sympathetic to yet not uncritical of the socialist cause: specifically, what it has meant, what conclusions can be drawn from the failed experiments in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, what its future may be, and how it can be justified.
Among the topics considered are: models of market socialism vs. nonmarket participatory planned socialism, the importance of feminism to socialism, socialism and ecology, the relationship of socialism to religion and culture, and more. Michael Howard’s introductory essay draws out the themes of and connections among the essays and situates them in the context of the history of socialism and current debates.
This excellent text will be a valuable resource for courses on social justice, Marxism, political theory, critical theory, comparative economic systems, and related courses in philosophy, the humanities, and social sciences.