A Note on "Market Socialism"


  • Harry Magdoff




Marxism, Political Economy


What follows was motivated by a special request to review a recently issued book: Why Market Socialism?, edited by Frank Roosevelt and David Belkin (Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1994, 392 pp. Hardcover $52.00, paperback, $21.00). The book is a collection of articles published in Dissent as part of a series devoted to the search for a vision of a workable democratic socialism. After some consideration, we decided that a review was not practical. The book contains contributions by twenty-one authors with a variety of views. A serious discussion of the content of even a selection of the articles would go far beyond the size limits we set for book reviews in the limited space available. There was also another obstacle. Our perspective on the issues raised in the book is so different from that of the contributors that a proper treatment of the subject would require the kind of major essay we are not able to undertake at this time. We gave our reasons for not complying in a letter to our friend and co-author of the book, who had invited a review. Among other things, the letter contained some observations on how differently we view the "market socialism" issue. That portion of the letter (slightly edited) is presented here on the assumption that it might interest MR readers. —The Editors