I accepted and approved this article by Tony Atkinson despite my disagreement with his position. Our policy at Virtual Agora is to present different views, so readers can decide on their own which arguments are more convincing.
Notwithstanding his denial, Tony is a socialist. Like most socialists, he tries to figure out his version of socialism that would work.
Sadly he dismisses my argument that the only meaningful choice we all face is “Socialism versus capitalism,” ignoring salient points in this debate. Also, he sees both socialism and capitalism as ideological concepts. He is wrong. As I explain in my article “Capitalism, socialism and communism,” capitalism is not a doctrine; it is something that people intuitively practice when having the freedom to do what they wish. Socialism is a political concept invented to improve capitalism.
About half a century ago, I read that most of us would not need to work because very few could produce enough food and goods about twenty years ago. It did happen, as I write in my article, “I vividly remember 1969.” Why? Because of human nature. Regardless of how much we have or how much we achieve, we always want more. The classics of socialism did not understand that when promising a paradise on Earth by saying: ”From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”
Tony buys it and offers us his version of that illusion.
I refuted many other Tony’s ideas in my recent article “It is not about Ayn Rand.”
Hence, it is up to readers. Your comments are welcome.