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. Originally published in 1994. The
Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology
to again make available previously out-of-print books from the
distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These
editions preserve the original texts of these important books while
presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The
goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access
to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books
published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
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