Socialist envy

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Mon Apr 3 08:22:46 MDT 1995


At 5:29 PM 4/2/95, James Lawler wrote:

>Forwarded by Jim Lawler (phijiml at ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu)
>
>ON SOCIALIST ENVY David Schweickart (d.schweickart at agora.stm.it)
>
>Let us come back to envy.  If my basic claim is true, that a viable
>socialism must be a market socialism, then it follows that socialism must
>tolerate inequalities that would seem to have no "rational" justification.
>The market does not reward "rationally."  Hard work matters, but so does
>luck.  Enterprises must take risks.  Some risks pay off, but some do not.
>Customers can be fickle.  Tastes can change.  Managers can mismanage.
>Promising technologies can fail.  Under such circumstances, some firms
>prosper, but others do not  Some even go bankrupt.

What is "the market"? I hear people of all persuasions throw around the
term as if its definition were self-evident. To me it's anything but
self-evident. There's a labor market, which is very different from the
stock market, which is very different from the markets in microprocessors
and exotic mushrooms.. The organization of markets in Japan is very
different from that in the U.S. or Tunisia. More precision, please.

Doug

--

Doug Henwood
[dhenwood at panix.com]
Left Business Observer
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