Sunday, January 3, 2010

Making a case for socialism

At this time when life is overwhelmed with capitalism in all hues, the mention of socialism can at best be considered rhetoric. But not for political philosopher Prof. G A Cohen who thinks there are times in our lives when we all behave like socialists. Socialism is indeed desirable, else why on a camping trip the spirit of understanding ensures that there are no inequalities to which anyone could mount a principled objection? Someone plays, someone cooks and others do washing up - each in the spirit of equality and reciprocity.

Amazingly, it works as equality of opportunity removes obstacles to opportunity on a camping trip. Cohen, emeritus fellow at All Souls College at the University of Oxford, brilliantly captures the essence of communal reciprocity in a market-dominated society. Communal reciprocity is when I serve you not because of what I can get in return by doing so but because you need or want my service, and you, for the same reason, serve me....more

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