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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why not indeed?
The late great thinker G.A. Cohen advocates again, this time in only 82 pages, for a better society in which the principle of community can temper the principle of equality, avoiding the inequalities that the last one always produces in the outcome. It is beautifully written, though sometimes not a very easy read. But this is a profound philosophical essay, not another...
Published on 31 Aug 2010 by Bartolome Mesa Gil

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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK...
This book raises many questions, but fails to answer any. Cohen offers a few stimulating ideas, but drowns them in over-explaining. I get the impression the author has conviction in his beliefs but lacks the talent to successfully put his case across in writing. Cohen attempts to use over-simplified analogies to justify his political opinion (and fails). The book is OK...
Published on 24 Jan 2011 by Dale


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why not indeed?, 31 Aug 2010
This review is from: Why Not Socialism? (Hardcover)
The late great thinker G.A. Cohen advocates again, this time in only 82 pages, for a better society in which the principle of community can temper the principle of equality, avoiding the inequalities that the last one always produces in the outcome. It is beautifully written, though sometimes not a very easy read. But this is a profound philosophical essay, not another silly little self-help book. I found it illuminating, wise and, above all, very moving.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars stimulating but ultimately vague, 14 Jan 2010
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Graham R. Hill (Ilkley) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Why Not Socialism? (Hardcover)
The author provides much to think about: definitions of both socialism and the terms in which that definition is couched, a well thought through allegory of socialism in action, and a critique of what is wrong with the market economy.

The book's argument is essentially that the answer to the titular question lies in the practical aspects of implementation rather than the desirability of the outcome. However the best that Cohen can offer here is the observation that just because we don't know how to do something now doesn't prove that we shall never know. True of course, but doesn't take one much further forward.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK..., 24 Jan 2011
This review is from: Why Not Socialism? (Hardcover)
This book raises many questions, but fails to answer any. Cohen offers a few stimulating ideas, but drowns them in over-explaining. I get the impression the author has conviction in his beliefs but lacks the talent to successfully put his case across in writing. Cohen attempts to use over-simplified analogies to justify his political opinion (and fails). The book is OK... but it is just that.

And to add context to this review, I am a self-defined socialist.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars got it, 29 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Why Not Socialism? (Hardcover)
got it and not read it but i dowt that it a bad read cos am sure my friend will like it.
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24 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful little book, 31 Oct 2009
This review is from: Why Not Socialism? (Hardcover)
A timely look at how we can improve everyone's lives, well maybe not the bankers and the politicians who seem to be doing just fine.
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10 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Over-priced and unnecessary, 17 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Why Not Socialism? (Hardcover)
Very brief, occasionally descends into the kind of language that philosophers seem to like (lots of lists of alternatives, heavy stacks for qualifiers and double negatives), not very impressive. I can't imagine who this is designed to convince - it certainly wouldn't have much impact on any opponents of socialism, or on an unaligned but open young person.

And at this price for about seventy tiny pages of actual text, it seems to answer its own question - because capitalism offers such fabulous opportunities to exploit the gullible.
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7 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Illogical and dishonest, 19 Oct 2010
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Oskari (Helsinki, Finland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Why Not Socialism? (Hardcover)
This is an incredible book - incredibly illogical and dishonest. The basic argument is that people are capable of altruism and generosity - therefore we should adopt socialism.

The fundamental basis of the argument is voluntary generosity in small communities. The author shows how people behave voluntarily "like socialists" when they share things on camping trips and the like. But somehow he seems incapable of seeing the difference between voluntary generosity in a small community such as friendship and family, and coerced sharing of everything under political authority. The argument is emotionally appealing but intellectually absurd.

The book is also deeply dishonest, because the author pretends that socialism has never been tried, as if it were just a nice theory that was never put into practice. Cohn does not even attempt to show that Soviet Union, DDR, Communist China, North Korea, Cuba, and many other disastrous and inhumane "experiments" did not conform to his own vision of socialism. He simply does not mention them at all.

Was the book really written in 2009? Did the author live through the 20th century? This stuff is not uplifting, it is disgusting.
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Why Not Socialism?
Why Not Socialism? by G. A. Cohen (Hardcover - 13 Sep 2009)
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