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The Philosophy and Economics of Market SocialismA Critical Study$
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N. Scott Arnold

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780195088274

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195088274.001.0001

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Capitalism Versus Socialism: An Analytical Perspective

Capitalism Versus Socialism: An Analytical Perspective

(p.3) 1 Capitalism Versus Socialism: An Analytical Perspective
The Philosophy and Economics of Market Socialism

N. Scott Arnold

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins by giving a definition of the terms capitalist economic system and socialist economic system. The former is defined using the concept of a free enterprise system, a system where most of the means of production are privately owned and where people are free to sell their labor in the market. The latter is harder to construct but in identifying the most common denominators among socialist systems, this chapter comes out with a system that prohibits most private ownership of the means of production and which mandates social control of the same. Dispute arises as to which system most approximates the concept of a good society. However, the complete theory of the good society is something which is rare to find and thus leads to issues in the criticism and defense of both economic systems. This chapter lays down the philosophical framework underlying the debate between capitalism and socialism.

Keywords:   socialist economic system, capitalist economic system, alienation, exploitation, good society

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