In this collection, twelve philosophers, historians, and political philosophers-scholars with a diverse set of disciplinary and political leanings-assess aspects of socialism in light of its recent reversals. Some of the essays consider what made the socialist project seem compelling to its advocates, examining the moral and political values that made socialism appealing to intellectuals. Others evaluate whether there are aspects of socialism that ought to be preserved, such as its quest for equality and community. Some essays examine whether free-market systems need to be further modified in response to ongoing socialist critiques. Several others argue for the continuing validity of socialism in its social democratic incarnation, suggesting ways in which socialism may still have a productive future. Still others condemn the socialist project as inherently misguided in theory, while also portraying 'really existing socialism' as cataclysmic in practice.
1. Can there be an 'after socialism' Alan Charles Kors; 2. The cultural contradictions of socialism Chandran Kukathas; 3. The idol of history James W. Ceaser; 4. Backwards into the future: neorepublicanism as a postsocialist critique of market society Gerald F. Gaus; 5. What's left of the welfare state? David Miller; 6. The roots and rationale of social democracy Sheri Berman; 7. An interpretation and defense of the socialist principle of distribution Joseph H. Carens; 8. Some feasible alternatives to conventional capitalism Norman Barry; 9. After socialism: mutualism and a progressive market strategy William A. Galston; 10. Sovereignty, commerce, and cosmopolitanism: lessons from early America for the future of the world John Tomasi; 11. Beyond fear and greed? Jeremy Shearmur; 12. Liberalism's divide, after socialism and before Jacob T. Levy.