Marx vs. Hayek, conscious action vs. utopianism

tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu
Sun Nov 13 06:26:46 MST 1994


Justin,

Re: in reply to your last message on market socialism vs. democratic
planning

Too many brackets to use the line item veto.

A) Yes, I'm close to Mandel

B) Yes, both corruption and insensitivity of computer modeling can occur,
in both the market and planning (corporations have been pretty damn
insensitive, with whatever
computers they have, and they have
quite a lot.  I think Paul has  pointed out how
insensitive these corporations have been, regardless, what with the automobile
industry, etc.).  But in market socialism, the dangers of these problems
are far greater.  I may be old-fashioned nor too well-read, but public
scrutiny and decentralization
of power are for me the only means of attacking both problems.  Once again,
you merely assume the workability of democratic accountability in YOUR model,
without benefiting us with an explanation as to how this will resolve the
problems of the private market groups
 corrupting the state, problems which are indeed fundamental and inescapable
in your system, as they are not in mine.

How can you seriously talk about public scrutiny in a private system?
It simply won't work.  All you can do is impose an abstract state on top of it
--which will automatically corrupt and serve the most powerful private interests
in the society. Since there is a market competitive system in society, there
will inevitably grow disparities of wealth and power which will give rise
to a new class of potential exploiters, who will use their influence over the
state, or merely their informal power within the economy, to overrule and
elliminate all strictures on free competition and exploitation.

All the "socialist" ideology in the world is not preventing the bureaucratic
castes in Vietnam and China from celebrating the virtues of the capitalist
market, exploitation, and inequality.  Political will and fine ideological
intentions can never remain in the saddle for very long.

If you say that there was something intrinsic about the planning process
itself which led to Stalinism, I disagree profoundly.  The imperialist onslaught,
combined with Bolshevik Fichteanism, determined that an otherwise healthy
model bureaucratized and then disiintegrated.  You can't talk about any
public scrutiny in a one-party state beaten almost to death by twenty
invading armies.

Tom


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