Saturday, March 27, 2010

Albert Einstein: Socialist

Although ignored by most mainstream depictions of Einstein, he was a staunch socialist. Einstein even wrote the lead article for the first edition of Monthly Review in 1949, titled "Why Socialism?" Here's an excerpt:
Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.


fwoan said...

Have you seen those books (I believe Christopher Hitchens published one) that are quote collections from people in history stating their atheism? I would love a socialist equivalent to that.

Jen said...

I was so 'fuck yes!' when I found out Albert Einstein was a socialist and wrote this whole piece.

Like, the right are always pushing the 'realist, unemotional' approach against the bleeding heart, unrealistic, non-reasoning lefties. Take that! We got Einstein!

Something of a reactionary, erm, reaction on my part I guess, but nevertheless, Einstein was a socialist!

Sheldon said...

And I might add that essay is excellent and a timeless argument for socialism.