what about inequalities between firms (market socialism)

Justin Schwartz jschwart at freenet.columbus.oh.us
Sat Nov 5 11:41:49 MST 1994


On Sat, 5 Nov 1994 tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu wrote:

> Justin,
> I DO NOT admit that MS is better than capitalism.  Within YOUR MIND, it is
> certainly better as a moral motivation, than is the profit motive within
> that of the capitalists' "mind" (which I also take to embrace the objective
> structure of capitalism, which involves markets).
>
> I.   But MS is capitalism, in
> my mind.  It leads to capitalism, for the following reasons:

Leads to is not the same thing as is identical to. Moreover I gave
argued, in summarizing the Arnold-Schweickart debate, that MS will not
degenerate into capitalism. Do you ever read and respond to criticism?
Somethimes I feel that I am just dumping this stuff into a cyberspace
wastebasket.

>
>  The inequalities to which it leads, between and inside firms.

Inequalities are not class differences.

  The fact
> that the state is composed of mortals, as well, who are corruptible by these
> inequalities,

So the state in planned socialism will be miraculously noncorrupt?

 and will tend to serve rather than repress whatewver nascent
> CAPITALIST CLASS arises out of these inegalitarian dynamics.

Begs the question by assuming that a nascent capitalist class will thus
arise. Also, why think the state will serve this hypoitheical group
rather than itself? Or indeed, the associated cooperative producers?

>
> One can certainly  abolish capitalism within, let's call it producers'
> marketism,

Let's not. Let's call it labor-managed or worker controlled market
socialism. If you don't want to dignify it with the name socialism, you
can call it cooperative production. Schweickart calls it economic democracy.

 within one's own mind.  But within the structure of reality, it
> will not work, for these reasons.
>
>  Hayek and Mises posit
> a Hobbesian human nature,

As Chris argues in a followup post, they do not. I have emphasized
throughout that the calculation problem is centrally a problem of
information, not motivation. It won't change things or refute their point
to repeat your mischaracterization ad nauseam.

 which I consider to be a species of reification,
> and which therefore I do not agree. I can't, to your laboratory-like specs,
> prove this critique, any more than I can prove anything like this in social
> science.  But one thing I would argue is that human consciousness and behavior
> is a product of social relations.  So if it's human selfishness and corruption
> that Hayek and MIses are so concerned with (which they argue
> inevitably gives rise to bureaucracies under planning), I can think of no more
> fertile ground for it than market economic relations, whether the present
> capitalist  class has been abolished or no.
>
> II.  Market socialism still retains the market, yet attempts to abolish
> exploitation.  This in fact makes it worse than capitalism, as McNally
> points out.

Now it is my turn to ask you to state the argument.

  It is much less efficient, and leads in fact to chaos.  This is
> because you can't have your cake and eat it too.

This is a cliche, not an argument.

 If you want the unconsciously
> rational market, you have to accept the commodification and thus exploitation
> of labor which it underlies that "rationality."

State the argument.

 If you don't, and the
> market regulator is left in place (rather than relegated to a useful but
> carefully controlled fiction within a system in which democratic planning
> is in firm control of the setting of "prices") than the economy goes haywire.

So you accept the need to calculate market-equivalent shadow prices?

>
> III. Market socialism, since it fails to abolish the profit motive (only
> seeking to universalize it, as Wes gets at with his Groucho Marx quote from
> the Econo-Phil. Mss), is just as subject as is capitalism proper to secular
> economic decline.  This is because the profit motive gives rise to a rising
> organic composition of capital.

This is a religious incantation rather than a scientific response. I
reject Marx's story about the value theory which inderlines his explantion
of the tendency od the rate of profit to fall. I have explained in
specific detail why the theory is logically inconsistent. You have not
bothered to reply. Why should I take what you say seriously?

  So does planning,  but with this difference:
> in market socialism and capitalism, motivation for investment is handed over
> to private individuals/groups of workers, who are seeking with their investments
> profits which are on the decline.  In planning, investment is planned by the
> whole community, the profit motive has been abolished.  Investment is planned
> according to human needs.  This means that planning utilizes fully the incredible
> productive capacity of automation, and is fully compatible with it.  But with
> the market/profit motive, the rising organic composition of capital causes
> havoc.

Do you read? As I have explained repeatedly in previous posts investment
is planned on the Schweickart model.

>
> Please read once over carefully before, or at least after, you start replying.
> The line item veto has its disadvantages in terms of comprehending the other's
> global point of view.
>
> Tom
>
> P.S. sent you the Magas piece.

Still haven't got it.

 Let me know when you've read it: by that point,
> there may be a favor I need to ask.


--Justin Schwartz




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