World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Why Socialism?

Article Id: WHEBN0028229396
Reproduction Date:

Title: Why Socialism?  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Albert Einstein, Einstein, Einstein family, The World as I See It (book), Einstein–Infeld–Hoffmann equations
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Why Socialism?

"Why Socialism?"[1] is an article written by Albert Einstein in May 1949 which appeared in the first issue of the socialist journal Monthly Review.[2]


According to Einstein, the profit motive of a capitalist society, in conjunction with competition among capitalists, leads to unnecessary cycles of booms and depressions, and ultimately encourages selfishness instead of cooperation.[3] In addition, the educational system of such a society would be severely undermined because people will educate themselves only to advance their careers. This results in the "crippling of individuals" and the erosion of human creativity.[3] Unrestrained competition in a capitalist society leads to a huge waste of labor and causes economic anarchy, which Einstein denounces as the real source of capitalism's "evil":

Einstein predicted that under such a capitalist society, political parties and politicians would be corrupted by financial contributions made by owners of large capital amounts,[3] and the system "cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society".[1] The essay concludes with Einstein's analysis on how to solve these problems, namely through a non-bureaucratic planned economy:

Einstein asserts that a planned economy that adjusts to production would guarantee a livelihood to every member of society:

In his final words, Einstein cautioned that "a planned economy is not yet socialism", since it may also be accompanied by an "all-powerful" bureaucracy that leads to the "complete enslavement of the individual". It is critically important, therefore, to ensure that a system is in place to protect the rights of the individual.[3]


Regarding his motivation for publishing the article, Einstein believed Monthly Review would be a good forum for left wing ideas:



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Einstein, A. (2009). "Why Socialism?". Monthly Review 61 (1): 55–61.  
  2. ^ Rowe, ed. by David E.; Schulmann, Robert (2007). Einstein on politics : his private thoughts and public stands on nationalism, Zionism, war, peace, and the bomb. Princeton, NJ [u.a.]:  
  3. ^ a b c d Isaacson, Walter (2008). Einstein his life and universe (Sony eBook ed. ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 504–505.  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.