Illiberal Socialism

28 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2013 Last revised: 26 Oct 2014

Date Written: 2013


Is “liberal socialism” an oxymoron? Not quite, but I will demonstrate here that it is a much more unstable and uncommon hybrid than scholars had previously thought and that almost all liberals should reject socialism, even in its most attractive form. More specifically, I will show that three major species of liberalism — neutralist, plural-perfectionist, and deliberative-democratic — are incompatible with even a moderate form of socialism, viz., associational market socialism. My paper will also cast grave doubt on Rawls’s belief that justice as fairness is consistent with liberal socialism.

Suggested Citation

Taylor, Robert S, Illiberal Socialism (2013). APSA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper; American Political Science Association 2013 Annual Meeting. Available at SSRN:

Robert S Taylor (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

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