underconsumption again--and Luxemburg
foucault at eden.rutgers.edu
Mon Jan 30 00:55:51 MST 1995
I feel I must object to Mr Keen's analysis of socialist vs.
capitalist investment climates.
Let's look at it this way : accepting some sort of labor theory of
value, one can equate the financial risk taken by capitalists with the "labor
risk" taken by socialist workers who invest their time and effort into a new
venture. Without question the marginal propensity for risk is HIGHER, when
taken in aggergate, in a socialist system than in a capitalist one much the
same way that marginal propensity to consume is higher among poor than among
Having said this, I must also say that Mr. Keen's analysis assumes
away the independence of worker-controlled enterprise. This independence is
vital if the flaws portrayed in his arguments are to be avoided.
Clearly planned economy is undesirable for the flaws that Mr. Keen
clearly points out. However, the individual syndicat in world of
syndicats of one form or other are absolutely unconstrained by the
"resource shortage" that Mr. Keen cites. In fact, since human effort
is far more important in a modern economy, socialist firms have it all
over their capitalist counterparts because worker inspiration is
vastly less diminished. The simple fact is that people are not going
to stop wanting to get rich, nor should they. Consumers are not going
to stop wanting innovation, nor should they. Our job as Marxists is
to unshackle the productive force. Wage exploitation is that shackle.
Independent worker enterprise is the key.
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