Sunday, March 8, 2015

(Updated Re-Post ) "The End of Socialism"

Updated re-post:  In the wake of his recent book release, discussed below in the superb EconTalk episode that constitutes the original material for this thread, Otteson has hit the interview airwaves to promote his text.  Among the best of these is a 20-minute interview with the Cato Instititue that I thought might be more appetizing for some of my OLS readers than the longer, more wonky, and more technical, original EconTalk episode.  So here's the link to that, along with my strongest suggestion that if you didn't go the original Econtalk route with this, definitely carve out 25 minutes and listen to the Cato interview.

Original post 12/10/14: Let's hope philosopher and author of a new book with the above title, James Otteson, is right. Otteson was the most recent guest of Russ Roberts on EconTalk and their subject was Otteson's latest book and the case he makes for his assertion that socialism is dead (or at least dying).  It's a highly educational, highly informative, and highly entertaining hour.  Here's the synopsis of the episode from EconTalk's website:
James Otteson of Wake Forest University talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new book, The End of Socialism. Otteson argues that socialism (including what he calls the "socialist inclination") is morally and practically inferior to capitalism. Otteson contrasts socialism and capitalism through the views of G. A. Cohen and Adam Smith. Otteson emphasizes the importance of moral agency and respect for the individual in his defense of capitalism. The conversation also includes a discussion of the deep appeal of the tenets of socialism such as equality and the impulse for top-down planning.
It's definitely worth the hour.