Critical Response Essay

618 WordsJul 11, 20133 Pages
“Why Not Socialism?” is not a paper to convince you to become a socialist; however, G.A. Cohen gives various examples on how socialism works, while also discussing why Socialism does not work as of now. Cohen uses a camping trip example where everyone participating in the trip pulls their own weight, creating equality among the campers on the trip. Cohen then changes the scenario of the first example; to everyone participating in the trip proclaims ownership on items and skills that they possess themselves, which then creates market exchange and creates inequality among the campers. He uses other examples as well for a better understanding of Socialist behavior compared to other behaviors. Cohen, later in the writing, explains whether the idea of Socialism is actually feasible or even desirable. He says that, “thoughts of unselfishness and cooperation are desired by most people, but could not actually work at a large scale because people have the right to make their own choices even if it creates an inequality.” There are two points he makes about the argument on feasibility; they are human motivation and social technology. Cohen says that, “generosity and selfishness are naturally in everyone and our problem is that we do not know how to capture it and create an economic system that works off generosity rather than selfishness.” The socialist way of thinking is easily appealing to everyone. Peace and tranquility, where everyone is equal and there is no fuss over what you have compared to others, sound like bliss. However, like Cohen points out, there are many factors as to why socialism cannot work. There are also certain things about socialism that Cohen did not mention, for example, a Socialist believes in common ownership, which means the resources are owned in a common ownership by the whole population. This excludes things like clothing and

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