Central to Einstein’s acceptance of a socialist system was his expectation that “under socialism there was a greater possibility of attaining the maximum degree of individual freedom compatible with the public welfare than under any other system known to man.” Yet he was quick to point out that “socialism as such cannot be considered the solution to all social problems but merely as a framework within which such a solution is possible.” Unlike many of his contemporaries, he carefully weighed the benefits of a planned economy against the danger that an all-powerful and overweening bureaucracy might encroach upon the rights of the individual and overwhelm the classical liberal ideal of intellectual freedom.
But disputes over the extent to which socialism should be reformist or revolutionary do not make the word meaningless. Who can satisfactorily define democracy, or liberty, or virtue, or happiness, or the State, or, for that matter, individualism any more than Socialism?
There are, however, important common elements among nearly all socialists, just as there are among conservatives or liberals (terms whose definitions are just as debated as socialism).
I do advocate a planned economy, which cannot, however, be carried out in all workplaces.
In this sense I am a socialist.” Similar wild-eyed accusations of radicalism were floated after the Second World War.
The founder of Home Depot, Ken Langone, has written a book called in an effort to convince youngsters not to tinker with the system that made American great and Ken Langone stinking rich.
(It may easier to love capitalism if you’re the billionaire in charge of Home Depot than if you’re But socialism should not be accepted just because it’s cool now, even if it happens to be very cool indeed.
Claims that he was an extremist had been levied against Einstein early in his career.
In response to the charge in 1919 that he was “a Communist and anarchist,” he declared in an interview that “nothing is farther from my mind than anarchist ideas.
Infuriated, for example, by Einstein’s call to break relations in late 1945with Spanish leader Francisco Franco, an erstwhile ally of Hitler’s Germany, Rep.
John Rankin of Mississippi attacked Einstein on the floor of Congress as a “foreign-born agitator” who sought “to further the spread of Communism throughout the world.” magazine presented a powerful visual display of Einstein’s questionable loyalties by situating him prominently in a rogue’s gallery of photos.