Why Socialism?


  • Albert Einstein




Socialism, Marxism


What Shakespeare has Mark Antony say of Brutus can surely be said with infinitely greater truth of Albert Einstein: His life was gentle, and the elements So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up And say to all the world, "This was a man!" His death impoverishes the human race, and those of us who, more than perhaps we knew, revered his example and relied on his wisdom and courage are the special losers. Monthly Review owes an extra debt of gratitude to Dr. Einstein. He wrote an article for our first number, in May 1949, and we know that many of our early subscribers came to us because they wanted to lend their support to an undertaking in which Dr. Einstein had showed so marked a degree of confidence. Now that he has gone, we can think of no more fitting tribute to him than to reprint this warm and vibrant declaration of faith in human potentiality, and in socialism as the necessary means to its realization. Those who have read this article before, once or twice or many times, will benefit from reading it again. Those who have never read it—and there must be many among the thousands of new subscribers of the last six years—have an unforgettable experience before them. Albert Einstein was more than a great scientist and a great man. He saw the problems of the human race with a clear and steady eye; he held fast to the great rationalist tradition of faith in the efficacy of social action; he believed that the brotherhood of man is an attainable goal here on earth. In other words, he was also a great socialist, and we are confident that historians of the future will honor him as such. When that time comes, this article from Volume One, Number One of Monthly Review will be generally recognized as the classic that it is. —The Editors