wpc at wpc at
Fri Jan 13 02:45:25 MST 1995

In reply to Wolff

I agree that it is ultimately of only ideological
interest to attempt to compare the efficiency of
different social systems since each will have
their own criterion of efficiency. But this does
not dispose of the question of economic efficiency
from a socialist viewpoint.

Capitalists essentially mean profitability by
efficiency. Agreed that this is not applicable to
socialist economies, but a socialist economy still
needs some way of determining which of two
production techniques is the more efficient.
Without such a criterion there can be no rational
way of deciding between alternative technologies
and no inbuilt tendancy towards technical progress.

>From Capital, it is clear that Marx regarded the
relative social labour times used by techniques
as an appropriate criterion, and moreover argued
that the failute of Capitalists to use this criterion
led to a slowdown in technological advance.


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