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Paper Details

Georg Simmel´s contribution towards A sociological theory of socialism    

Pascal Berger

Journal Title:Journal of Ekonomi

Despite its repeated socio-economic consequences of inefficiency, corruption and totalitarianism when implemented in practice, socialistic ideals claim wide spread attraction. Why? The following article tries to answer this question by referring to a sociological classic: Georg Simmel. According to Simmel, modernity is constituted by two ideals: liberty and equality. Liberty leads to competition and inequality, equality tends to a collectivisation of the means of production and a tight bond of the individual to state and society. Both ideals oppose as well as presuppose each other, and their dualistic interplay gets together within money economy. Hence the persistent attraction of socialistic ideas is inherent in modern society´s foundations, the clash of socialising and liberalising ideas is the usual case in so-called mixed economies.