Is altruism necessary for socialism to work, and who will be the janitors in a socialist society

In the episode Red Wagner, Tony Schmitt, and Thad discuss if altruism is necessary for the functioning of socialism, and who will be the janitors in a socialist society.

Episode 3-12 (30 minutes, 28 MBs)

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About marxismpodcast

Marxism Today is podcast series designed for beginners and newbies to Marxist theory. The podcast will introduce you to certain topics and ideas central to Marxism and it will show you how Marxist theory can be applied to specific issues in order to understand them.
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One Response to Is altruism necessary for socialism to work, and who will be the janitors in a socialist society

  1. Sheldon says:

    Hey all,
    I have yet to listen to this podcast, but it is on my list of things to do. I just wanted to add my 2 cents. The actual technical term for altruism (like in evolutionary biology) is to sacrifice all self interest of others. I get really annoyed about the assumption that under “socialism” people are asked to sacrifice their self interest to work for the benefit of all. This is of course is only partially true, under capitalism, workers sacrifice their self-interest for the benefit of capitalists. It is part of the Marxist argument that workers should join with others for their own collective interest, and of course within this is resides worker’s own self-interest. Of course under capitalism a worker can look after their own narrow self-interest, and maybe get ahead in the rat race of being promoted to a supervisor or being a scab or such. However, as a totality, workers can only work for their self-interest by working for collective self-interest.

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