For this collection entitled “After Socialism,” we were asked to reflect upon such questions as what rectifications (if any) to present market capitalist systems might be desirable and whether there is any viable remnant in the socialist ideal that ought to be preserved. My basic answer to the latter is that the socialist principle of distribution “From each according to abilities, to each according to needs” remains a compelling moral ideal, superior to the resigned, complacent, or enthusiastic acceptance of economic inequality that is offered by defenders of conventional capitalism and by many versions of liberalism. And so, my answer to the former is that the rectifications to present market capitalist systems that would be desirable would be to reduce the deep injustices and social malformations of these systems as much as possible by moving their distributive outcomes in the direction of the socialist ideal.
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