The withering of the market

Robert Peter Burns rburns at scf.usc.edu
Wed Nov 15 17:41:57 MST 1995


Chegitz distinguishes socialism and communism, and in keeping
with marxist tradition speaks of the withering of the market as
we make the transition to the latter.  Well, I reproduce below
<with one word emphasized in the new version> the end of my
post to this list on this subject from 9 November.  Does this
count as "withering"?

> Now theoretically all workers might work conscientiously out of
> a sense of socialist solidarity and altruism--and I'm not denying
> that these motives are often possible to inculcate.  But is it
> realistic in practice to think we can *simply* rely on moral
> incentives?  Why not add in a profit-motive to reinforce them
> --what's so unsocialist about workers getting the profits, instead
> of capitalists?--UNTIL such times as we can progressively reduce
> the need for market distribution of shoes and the like, and make
> these things available to people in the same way that places
> like Scandinavia have made available things like education,
> health-care, child-care--that is, freely available at the
> point of delivery and financed out of taxation.  <In this
> way, more and more personal income would become an accounting item,
> appearing on paychecks but actually transferred to an ever-expanding
> welfare state.>  But in the meantime, we must proceed more cautiously.
> Let's incentivize workers to produce such things to the requisite
> degree of availability in return for enjoyment of the profits
> of doing so.  When shoemakers indicate that they want to provide
> shoes in the requisite amounts, quality and variety, for the same
> sorts of rewards as are available to public schoolteachers, nurses
> working in socialized health-care systems, officials working in
> government departments, etc, then that will be the time to abolish
> markets and commodities altogether.
>
> Peter Burns SJ
> rburns at scf.usc.edu
>
>
>
>
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>



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