Gerry O'Quigley

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Claims made about economic theory are always embedded in some political context. Members of socialist parties are involved in a fundamental reappraisal of socialism itself. Many have already concluded that socialism is to be written off. Others reject this by pointing out that although 'Marxism-Leninism' and 'Social Democracy' have undoubtedly failed, socialism has never been tried. But this is far too complacent. Socialism as an ideal can hardly be abstracted from every attempt that was ever made to implement it. If we automatically absolve the socialist ideal from any responsibility for its deformations in practice, we will never even pose the question of whether there is a necessary link between socialism and economic failure and depotism. No socialist is ever again entitled to ask for a 'leap of faith' .