Socialism is in trouble, but some serious problems which provoked socialist theory remain. These do not have to do so much with the class war – which is remediable – as with the difficulties of establishing and maintaining an effective “social self” in an economic system which does not distinguish clearly enough between property as a means of self‐expression and property as a reward for performing social tasks, and which does not effectively deal with the tension between public and private property. These difficulties go back to David Hume as well as to Adam Smith and some clues to a solution left by T.H. Green, Hume′s nineteenth century editor, as well as by P.J. Proudhon, are developed.
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