market socialism and all that

Thu Nov 16 15:08:57 MST 1995

To Brad Mayer:
     Market and command are indeed opposites.  Planning
can occur with either one, except that if the former
dominates it is mostly indicative whereas if the latter
dominates it is, well, command.  I again ask the entire
list if anybody out there can name a permanent, non-wartime
command economy, either capitalist or socialist, that was/is
a functioning political democracy?  I know of none.
     There are intelligent progressives who argue that command
central planning can in theory be combined with political
democracy.  We vote on the plan, I guess, or we elect the planners,
or whatever.  So, what is to be done with "economic criminals"
who disobey the plan and set up black markets?  Such always tend
to arise in command economies, whether planned or unplanned (War
Communism 1917-21 in Soviet Russia was an example of the latter).
Often workers are involved in them.  Are such people to be executed
as in the former USSR?  The only way to suppress such markets in a
command economy is to have a totally suppressive system as in
high classical Stalinism, of which I believe only North Korea remains
the only example.  Yeah, probably no markets there, whoop de doo.
Barkley Rosser

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