market socialism: transional or utopian?

tgs at tgs at
Sat Nov 5 09:50:02 MST 1994


Frankly, in addition to my other criticisms, i don't even see the superiority
of "market socialism" as a way of talking to workers.  Whereas the transitional
program, which sets its sights on planning, talks to people about where they
are and what they need--as does Reich with his Sex-Pol, by the way--"market
socialism" is to mind a pie-in-the-sky academic concept.  Hey, all your problems
can be solved if we tinker a little with the market.  That's completely
disconnected from talking about what we have to do to get from here to the
good society.

What do you say to workers about market socialism that is so superior to
the transitional program, to focusing on people's concrete needs, connecting
these to the needs of the entire class, and showing how capitalism won't work
to fulfill these needs?  Why is it that "market socialism" is superior to this
kind of approach?  It seems to me it would calm people down rather than rile
them up: "Ah, Justin has all the answers for the future, let him and his new
class of market socialist state technocrats run the show; we'll just sit back
and watch it happen." The notion of planning, because it involved the concept
of democracy, is intrinscically more exciting, and gets people thinking
about how they connect their own needs to the creation of the larger society.
It may not be anything like they've ever known before.  But perhaps that is
what might excite them the most" because everything they have known before stinks.


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