Haves without Have-Nots: Essays for the 21st Century on Democracy and Socialism

Haves without Have-Nots: Essays for the 21st Century on Democracy and Socialism

by Mortimer Jerome Adler

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In six didactic essays dedicated to Mikhail Gorbachev, popular philosopher Adler ( Truth in Religion ) examines the spread of capitalism-based constitutional democracy along with the rise of totalitarian communism and its subsequent fall-- due, he avers, to a failure to achieve true economic socialism. Two of these broad-ranging essays, derived from lectures and seminars held at the Aspen Institute of Philosophical Research (headed by the author), contrast the strict constructionism of Judge Robert Bork with Lincoln's philosophy of ``unalienable rights'' for all, which in Adler's view should include economic rights. Adler concludes, perhaps prematurely, that with the end of conflict between the two systems, democracy--embodying private-property capitalism combined with legislated welfare provisions-- will prevail on a global scale. (Apr.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
While diverse, these six essays by the popular philosopher share a unifying theme: the merger of capitalism and socialism in a new democratic world society. Arguing that we are creating a society free of the ``have-nots,'' Adler, author of Intellect: Mind Over Matter ( LJ 2/15/90) and Truth in Religion ( LJ 10/1/90), admirably analyzes the importance of liberal education for citizenship, offers useful criticism of Robert Bork's strict constructionism, praises Lincoln's stance on human (natural) rights, evaluates recent events in Eastern Europe, and provides a trenchant critique of the existentialist misunderstandings about human nature. Yet, Adler's essays are uneven in quality, and his treatment of socialism distorts the meaning and history of that political philosophy. Still, recommended for general and public philosophy collections.-- Gordon Tolle, South Dakota State Univ., Brookings

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