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Finding Oneself in the Other$
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G. A. Cohen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691148809

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691148809.001.0001

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Prague Preamble to “Why not Socialism?”

Prague Preamble to “Why not Socialism?”

(p.16) Chapter Two Prague Preamble to “Why not Socialism?”
Finding Oneself in the Other

G. A. Cohen

, Michael Otsuka
Princeton University Press

This chapter supplies an additional preamble to one of Cohen's lectures, “Why Not Socialism?” whenever it is delivered in Prague. This is because Czechoslovakia had undergone savage tyranny and monumental crimes in the name of socialism. And, what is worse, from the point of view of a socialist, the country suffered that fate partly as a result of an absolutely sincere attempt to create a genuinely socialist society. Here, the chapter discusses Cohen's own engagements with communism and socialism, especially during his childhood, and explores the reasons why the socialist experiment had failed so terribly in Czechoslovakia. Hence, this preamble is written in a spirit of “continued but chastened dedication” for the benefit of listeners who had had to endure the consequences of such a history.

Keywords:   Why Not Socialism, socialism, communism, Prague, Czechoslovakia, socialist society

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