Secular Economics and the Transition to Socialism

QUESTION: Secular Economics – The Transition to Socialism

ANSWER:

Secular Humanists who advance socialism as the preferred economic system acknowledge some of the hurdles that must be overcome before full-fledged socialism becomes a reality in the United States. Hook, for example, realizes the need to engineer each job so that it grants value to the worker. He says, “But until some way can be found to organize a society in which everyone’s way of earning a living is at the same time a satisfactory way of living his or her life, there will always be a problem of incentive.”1

Lamont recommends a government purchase of all the means of production through a process that would compensate the rightful owners and honor the United States Constitution. He specifies neither how a fair price would be determined nor the source of the purchase money, however.

Secular Economics – The Redistribution of Wealth
Once these and other intermediate problems are solved, Secular Humanists Lamont, Dewey, Fromm, and Sellars all agree that a redistribution of wealth in the form of a guaranteed income for everyone is the means to achieve a more equal society. A guaranteed income conforms to Dewey’s concept of liberty in that it would grant us economic independence and at the same time restore our lost humanity.

1 Sidney Hook, Out of Step (New York, NY: Harper and Row, 1987), 600.

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