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Market, State, and CommunityTheoretical Foundations of Market Socialism$
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David Miller

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198278641

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198278640.001.0001

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Alienation and Communism

Alienation and Communism

Chapter:
(p.200) 8 Alienation and Communism
Source:
Market, State, and Community
Author(s):

David Miller (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198278640.003.0009

Socialists have attacked market economies on the grounds that they create personal relationships that are alienating rather than communal. Taking Marx's theory of alienation as its main point of reference, the chapter explores various possible sources of alienation, isolating those that are specific to the market. However, Marx also praised capitalism for freeing individuals from the social engulfment they had experienced in pre‐capitalist societies. The challenge for those who follow him is to show how individuality can be preserved in a communist society. In market socialism, economic relations can take on a double character—instrumental, competitive, and spontaneous at one level, ‘human’, co‐operative, and planned at the second—and thus overcome alienation.

Keywords:   alienation, capitalism, communism, individuality, market socialism, Karl Marx

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