[Marxism] Werner Sombart "Why is there no Socialism in the U.S.?" 1906

Mark Lause markalause at gmail.com
Tue Sep 11 07:48:56 MDT 2012

I believe that Sombart's work was translated earlier than that, but
don't have solid information at my fingertips on it.

Sombart addressed points that American radicals had been discussing
for some time, though he did so in a much more deterministic fashion.
His essay has been the subject for many discussions and became a sort
of inspiration for the hefty volume,  _Failure of a Dream? Essays in
the History of American Socialism_ put together by John H. M. Laslett,
Seymour The revised edition is University of California Press from,
appropriately enough,1984.  It builds on Sombart's essay to explain
the "failure" of socialism and socilaist politics in the conditions of
the U.S..

There was much more to say on the subject, not the least by those who
may see the subject a bit less open-and-shut.

All of the issues Sombart and others raised about the peculiarities of
American conditions and the rigidly capitalist nature of the dominant
ideologies fails to take into acocunt the contradictory nature of
those peculiarities.  The other day, a liberal friend of mine gave me
his usual election year lecture on the pointlessness of socialist
politics in a society committed to constitutional government,
individual rights, rule of law, due process, etc. It seems obvious to
me that, if such values were that important, they would cause much
more friction with U.S. policies and the administration my friend is
insistent on reelecting.

There seems to be a tipping point, though, when socialist movements
and organizations are cut to a size where they become subject to a
different set of considerations.


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