Remarks by C. Stoll on Why Socialism? by Albert Einstein (Monthly Review, 1949)
“But historic tradition is, so to speak, of yesterday; nowhere have we really overcome what Thorstein Veblen called "the predatory phase" of human development. The observable economic facts belong to that phase and even such laws as we can derive from them are not applicable to other phases. Since the real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development, economic science in its present state can throw little light on the socialist society of the future.”
This seems to me to reflect a zero-sum evaluation of interaction between the economy and the state. Since Einstein’s time we have seen many cases where no abolition as such was needed, merely, the establishment of feedback channels of all sorts.
Consequently, his conclusion that economic science in its present state can throw little light on the socialist society of the future is likewise open to question.
Einstein seems to reserve socialism to a future Utopia imbued with of a fundamentally different character from contemporary society. Smacks of Leninism.
I believe, on the contrary, that the ideal society of the future will evolve from the present setup through a series of reforms. The form of exchange will be maintained, but its content will change.
Keynesianism flanked by other measures is more than sufficient to solve most of these issues.