Socialist envy -Reply

Mon Apr 3 13:13:42 MDT 1995

James Lawler Forwarded:
>ON SOCIALIST ENVY David Schweickart (d.schweickart at
>Let us come back to envy.  If my basic claim is true, that a viable
>socialism must be a market socialism, then it follows that socialism
must >tolerate inequalities that would seem to have no "rational"
justification. >The market does not reward "rationally."  Hard work
matters, but so does >luck.  Enterprises must take risks.  Some risks
pay off, but some do not. >Customers can be fickle.  Tastes can
change.  Managers can mismanage. >Promising technologies can fail.
Under such circumstances, some firms >prosper, but others do not
Some even go bankrupt.

Doug Henwood asked:
What is "the market"? I hear people of all persuasions throw around
the term as if its definition were self-evident. To me it's anything
but self-evident. There's a labor market, which is very different
from the stock market, which is very different from the markets in
microprocessors and exotic mushrooms.. The organization of markets in
Japan is very different from that in the U.S. or Tunisia. More
precision, please.


I think it refers to a generalized, capitalist market system.  It is
the unequal distribution of income which usually results from the
workings of "the market" that Schweickart was discussing as a cause
of "envy".

That's my impression,
Lisa Rogers, UofU

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