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By Erik Olin Wright

ISBN-10: 184467617X

ISBN-13: 9781844676170

ISBN-10: 1844676188

ISBN-13: 9781844676187

A number one sociologist proposes a brand new framework for a socialist alternative.Rising inequality of source of revenue and tool, in addition to contemporary convulsions within the finance area, have made the quest for possible choices to unbridled capitalism extra pressing than ever. but few try this task—most analysts argue that any try and reconsider our social and monetary kin is utopian. Erik Olin Wright’s significant new paintings is a entire attack at the quietism of latest social concept. a scientific reconstruction of the middle values and possible objectives for Left theorists and political actors, Envisioning actual Utopias lays the principles for a collection of concrete, emancipatory choices to the capitalist procedure. usually rigorous and fascinating, this can turn into a landmark of social concept for the twenty-first century.

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Once full compensation for brute luck has been done, then everyone effectively has the same opportunity, and all remaining inequalities are the result of choices for which a person has moral responsibility. Capitalism is fundamentally incompatible with this strong notion of equality of opportunity. The private accumulation of wealth and the large disparities in earnings in capitalism give some people inherent, unfair advantages over others. This is particularly the case with respect to children.

The freedom of individuals to quit their jobs, however, provides only an illusory escape from such domination since without ownership of means of production or access to basic necessities of life, workers must seek work in capitalist firms or state organizations, and in all of these they must surrender autonomy. The second way in which capitalism undermines the ideal of individual freedom and autonomy centers on the large massive inequalities of wealth and income which capitalism generates. Such inequality implies, as Philippe van Parijs has forcefully argued, that there is a significant inequality in “real freedom” across persons.

I could, if I wanted to, sell my personal right to breathe clean air for a price. Capitalist firms would then decide whether it was cheaper to prevent the pollution or pay these costs. If the firm decides to pollute the air this would simply be a voluntary exchange between those who breathe the pollution and the firm. The same idea could apply to all other kinds of negative externalities: the decline in the value of homes when a large firm moves production to a new location; the unpleasant noise generated by airplane traffic; and so on.

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Envisioning Real Utopias by Erik Olin Wright


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Categories: Political Freedom