The Welfare State and the Future of Socialism: An Interview with Claus Offe

Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 1983 (58):168-184 (1983)
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QUESTION: We would like to begin this discussion of the welfare state and the future of socialism by asking you about several substantive aspects of your work on the limitations of the welfare state. To begin with, why do you often say that late capitalist systems can neither live with nor without the welfare state? Do you consider this to be their fundamental contradiction?OFFE: A short-hand defintion of a contradiciton is that it is a condition in which certain indispensable elements of a social structure cannot be integrated because they are at odds with each other. So to speak, the social structure paralyzes itself because the elements necessary for its survival at the same time render it impossible



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