Publisher description for Liberal socialism / Carlo Rosselli ; edited by Nadia Urbinati ; translated by William McCuaig, in collaboration with Fondazione Rosselli of Torino.


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Counter First published in 1930, amidst the collapse of socialist ideals and the onset of fascism throughout parts of Europe, Liberal Socialism is a powerful and timely document on the ethics of political action. During his confinement for his anti-fascist beliefs, the Italian political philosopher Carlo Rosselli (1899-1937) wrote this work not only as a critique of fascism, but also as an investigation into the history of Marxism and the need for a liberal reformulation of socialism. In this first English- language edition, Nadia Urbinati highlights both the historical and theoretical importance of Liberal Socialism, which continued to inspire the anti-fascist movement "Giustizia e Liberta." long after Rosselli's assassination by Mussolini's agents, and which outlines a possible rebirth of the socialist and democratic movements.

Rosselli's analysis provides an illuminating interpretation of the ideological crisis of Marxism, in its positivistic version, during the late nineteenth century and exposes the intellectual weakness of revisionist efforts to delineate new versions of Marx's doctrine. He encourages readers to view socialism as an ethical ideal and to consider whether Marxist or liberal methods combine better with socialism to achieve that ideal. Rosselli opts for a liberal socialism that avoids the shortcomings of uncontrolled laissez-faire but favors state intervention to secure public services and social rights.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Socialism, Liberalism