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Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy

Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy CAPITALISM, SOCIALISM AND DEMOCRACY MICHAEL LESSNOFF University of Glusgo w C A PIT A L IS M and socialism are generally taken to be irreconcilable opposites, and the conflict between their adherents has seemed so intense as to threaten the survival of the human species. In practice, no doubt, all sorts of compromises, accommodations and mixtures of the two are possible, but conceptually, considered as blueprints for the organization of society, capitalist and socialist ownership of the means of production appear mutually exclysive. I shall argue that this is by no means the case-that capitalism and socialism are, in fact, conceptually quite compatible; that a society be at the same time capitalist and socialist (by that I do not refer to a 'mixed economy') involves no contradiction. For it turns out, on closer examination than the matter usually receives, that capitalism and socialism are features of different parts of the social structure, and are therefore not necessarily in competition or conflict with one another-at least, not conceptually (whether they could in practice coexist with one another is a different and empirical question, which is raised by, for example, 'functionalist' theories of social structure'). In brief, while capitalism is a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Science SAGE

Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy

Political Science , Volume 27 (4): 9 – Dec 1, 1979

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References (11)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 1979 Political Studies Association
ISSN
0032-3187
eISSN
2041-0611
DOI
10.1111/j.1467-9248.1979.tb01226.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

CAPITALISM, SOCIALISM AND DEMOCRACY MICHAEL LESSNOFF University of Glusgo w C A PIT A L IS M and socialism are generally taken to be irreconcilable opposites, and the conflict between their adherents has seemed so intense as to threaten the survival of the human species. In practice, no doubt, all sorts of compromises, accommodations and mixtures of the two are possible, but conceptually, considered as blueprints for the organization of society, capitalist and socialist ownership of the means of production appear mutually exclysive. I shall argue that this is by no means the case-that capitalism and socialism are, in fact, conceptually quite compatible; that a society be at the same time capitalist and socialist (by that I do not refer to a 'mixed economy') involves no contradiction. For it turns out, on closer examination than the matter usually receives, that capitalism and socialism are features of different parts of the social structure, and are therefore not necessarily in competition or conflict with one another-at least, not conceptually (whether they could in practice coexist with one another is a different and empirical question, which is raised by, for example, 'functionalist' theories of social structure'). In brief, while capitalism is a

Journal

Political ScienceSAGE

Published: Dec 1, 1979

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