Titel: Equality, Community, and Diversity in Cohen’s Socialist Ideal
Autor: Jason Brennan
The `community principle´ is crucial to G. A. Cohen’s argument for socialism, because it is the best independent argument he has adduced for his strongly egalitarian conclusions. Cohen argues that even small differences in wealth ought to be prohibited because they bring us out of community with one another. In this paper, I show that his underlying premises lead to some repugnant conclusions, and thus should be rejected. If Cohen is right that even small differences in wealth can upset community, then, by the very psychological mechanisms he identifies, we should think that other differences, such as differences in religion, conceptions of the good, race, or taste, should also upset community. Cohen is thus caught in a trap: the more strongly egalitarian his community principle is, the more it not only prohibits differences of wealth, but diversity of any kind, including the forms of diversity we should celebrate rather than reject.
The Normative Turn from Marxism
2015 (37) Heft 1
Marxism, both as a Western political movement and an intellectual focus of dispute, lost its academic appeal during the 1970s and 80s, foreshadowing the collapse of `actually existing´ socialism in the early 90s. Within what after the Second World War was called `Western Marxism´, there had been growing awareness of Marx’s early philosophy with its suggestive, if somewhat vague, ideas of a universally productive life and an ideal productive society. In contrast, the stock of (not only offici...