Calculation Problem Again

tgs at tgs at
Sun Oct 30 20:52:12 MST 1994

What about their being embedded in a market makes inapplicable the planning
that goes on WITHIN huge corporations  who have huge monopolies over that
market?  It is McNally's/Mandel's contention, I believe, that very little
of the vaunted market rationality enters into these internal relations.
These corporatations make their estimations on how much previous demand
has emptied the shelves.  So previous demand is the ticket in our corporate
economy as well (This was the contention of my professor Robert Engler,
who has written two books on the oil corporations: we already have planning
in the late, corporate capitalist economy; the question is no longer whether
to plan, but instead, WHO plans).

We have computers now that can coordinate the fit between group political
consciousness and individual desires.

Why can't we program in plans for a glut on every item, so that scarcity is
not a problem?  Are you not assuming that the artificial scarcities produced
by capitalism will still be with us under socialism?

What is it about the market, exactly, that makes it superior in dealing with
these problems? If you want built-in, structural insensitivity to human needs,
you have no further to look than the market system, which manages to
factor out such luxuries as basic human survival for everybody, not to mentino
the basic need not to be exploited--which is an essential feature of the
market as discussed by McNally, a point you have not yet addressed.

My feeling, now as before, is that these objections are challenges worth
tackling, not reasons for going back to the disease.  Under Bolshevism, which
aimed to get all trade under its immediate control, which spawned a huge
bureaucracy because input from below was discouraged, the cure was worse than
malaria.  But there is another way.


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