Socialist Utopia

TimW333521 at TimW333521 at
Tue Jul 11 07:00:29 MDT 1995

I agree with Gerry's approach.  Just two points, however.

(1) When I say my vision of socialism includes "some bureaucracy" it is not
obviously that I feel we should advocate bureaucracy.  It is simply that
bureaucracy is inherent  in the "modern condition", by which I mean it will
prove to survive capitalism, as it is rooted in the problems of organizing
large scale industry, governing massive urban populations, etc.  Get rid of
it? Great!  But we must expect it may survive our most valiant efforts and
therefore we need to strengthen democratic institutions which can keep it in

(2) When I add  also "some market economy" I do see this as something we
should actively advocate.    I follow Nove's "feasible socialism" model and
believe some level of market mechanisms are beneficial as they help minimize
bureaucracy and act as a sensible way for workers to exercise their choice of
goods they want.

For example one problem with workers management of local factories is that it
can be parochial.  That is it is in the workers interests to maximize profits
from selling their collective goods and minimize effort put into producing
these goods.  However, as Karl Korsch has noted, workers are also consumers.
 Such an approach hurts workers in general while benefitting specific
workers.  So either one has to devise a highly complex, and even compulsive,
input-output structure as in the old command economies or one can allow
market mechanisms, within general plan limitations, express the workers' will
as consumers as a balance to the workers' will as producers.

--Tim Wohlforth

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