What is it about?

Samuel Moyn's 2018 book >> Not Enough << is a critical intellectual history of a range of responses to poverty and distributive inequality over two millennia. It disenchants scores of human rights projects, movements, theories, and actors across years and venues. Predominantly Western, these efforts generally furthered individualistic civil and political rights – and here’s the point – to the neglect of material equality, domestically and internationally.

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Why is it important?

>> Not Enough << proposes socialism as an alternative to neoliberalism (the highest stage of market fundamentalism). This vision – a global socialism that one day might deliver humankind from the miseries and injustices of wealth maldistributions, within individual communities but also across national boundaries – finds expression, first, in the claim that neoliberalism is a world historic problem that escapes the reach of human rights movements and, second, in the claim that socialism is the solution.


>> Not Enough << does not seek the realistic utopia of combining socialism and human rights (re-configured to reject material inequality) within one nation state. Rather, it seeks the unrealistic utopia of socialist governance (providing for material equality) that is global in compass.

Professor Benjamin Gregg
University of Texas at Austin

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Moyn, Samuel. Not Enough. Human Rights in an Unequal World. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2018. 296 pp., Kritikon Litterarum, October 2020, De Gruyter,
DOI: 10.1515/kl-2020-0051.
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