Youse might like to skim my article on planning/market
called 'Marxism Deformed: the default into market socialism' which
is on my webpage www.geocities.com/davebedggood. tho its now
a few years old. I just mention it.
On 28 Mar 00, at 18:00, Hugh Rodwell wrote:
> Rob huffs and puffs a bit:
> >C'mon Hugh!
> >I argue that a socialist economy might need the market mechanism (for I can
> >see nothing else that would do the particular job of producing and
> >distributing use values) and you tell me there's going to be abundance, that
> >"there is *no* scarcity", that "Market socialism is no socialism. If
> >you have the power to coerce the market to behave in a socially responsible
> >way, then you have the power to dump the bourgeoisie and its relations of
> >production, and you don't need half-measures," and that "Market socialism is
> >a cowardly utopian cop-out."
> You were the one saying that there's plenty to go round as of right now,
> the only problem is the political one of getting it distributed right. I
> just agreed. I didn't argue there was "abundance", I argued (as you did)
> that there was "no scarcity" -- that's not the same.
> And the question of the power needed to introduce any form of "market
> socialism" that would make any sense is the most important issue, and one
> on which we seem to agree, whatever the caveats on your part. The cop-out
> for me is to speak of "market socialism" without a change of class
> ownership in other words without a revolution in political and property
> >And now you seem to be saying you always agreed with me on substance,
> According to your clarifications, it seemed that way.
> >that the mere reliance upon the market mechanism for the little matter of
> >allocating use values does not constitute 'market socialism'!
> I think we probably disagree on what constitutes *reliance*, but this
> hasn't come out too clearly in the exchange. The allocation of use values
> under proto-socialism would be primarily by plan, especially where labour
> input is concerned, whereas the adjustment of the plan would be carried out
> with the help of feedback mechanisms such as market response and the other
> organizational responses I detailed. The plan would take consumer needs etc
> as ascertained by various conscious and unconscious mechanisms of
> monitoring these, including the market, into consideration in the first
> place. But the main priorities would be set by political decisions.
> >That's a
> >pretty dry old argument about semantics, I reckon, and I'm too busy a boy.
> I still don't think you've defined the relationship of what you call market
> socialism sufficiently clearly in relation to the state needed for it to
> operate or the kind of regime under which it would provide optimal
> development. And those factors are central political issues, not mere
> >I've criticised everything from the April Theses to the NEP on this very
> >list. Ask Chas'n'Dave! They went to no small effort in trying to put me
> >back on the straight'n'narrer on this stuff. Good on 'em, too. But it
> >didn't take.
> >>"A role to play in regulating some aspects etc" sounds fine, but does it
> >>constitute Market Socialism?? What about all the Bruno Bauers and
> >>Austro-Marxists etc with their virulent hatred of Bolshevism -- how would
> >>their kind of Market Socialism ever bring about the necessary transfer of
> >>ownership to the organized working class?
> >It's not theirs I was suggesting.
> That's clear enough!
> And after all the huffing and puffing comes the good bit:
> >Not that I'm a Bolshevik. But I do hold
> >we'd need something of the magnitude of a revolution to attain market
> >socialism, yeah.
> So if you like the idea of market socialism, you like the idea of the
> revolution needed to bring it into being, and the only question left is how
> to promote such a revolution.
> >That's my lot, I'm afraid. I've a lecture to write and a bed to crawl into
> >- in that order, alas.
> Sweet dreams!
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