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