market socialism and all that

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Nov 14 11:21:50 MST 1995

On Mon, 13 Nov 1995 ROSSERJB at wrote:

> is maintained through a lack of democracy.  How does one have
> a democratic system that is also a command economy? 

Louis: I think this is the point at which our debate on market socialism 
begins to wind down, just as it did on PEN-L. It is your responsibility 
to defend market socialism, since you and Burns advocate it.

When you ask questions about how democracy and a command economy can 
co-exist, you are really asking me to defend my own ideas on socialism.

These ideas are evolving and will probably take 3 to 4 years for me to 
think through. In December, I will be visiting old ex-Trotskyist friends 
who have senior positions at Intel and Microsoft. During the day, while 
they are at work, I will be preparing a lengthy article on "Computers and 
Socialism" which will examine Stafford Beer's work in Chile under Allende 
and some of Che Guevara's ideas about technology and planning written in 
the early 1960's, among other things. In the evening, we will exchange 
ideas while drinking bourbon. (These women can drink me under the table.)

I do not let others (Roemer, Schweickart, etc.) do my thinking for me. 
Too much of what I read on this list and the PEN-L is highly derivative. 
Whatever trendy thinker comes along is likely to be picked up by academic 
Marxists who want to feel a sense of "belonging". This is a deplorable 

Sometimes I think the Marxist left would be better off if it prohibited 
itself from reading anything written after Marx and Engels. You can learn 
Marxism in 6 months or so if you read the right things. You get into 
serious trouble only when you read all these folks who try to "correct" 
Marx (Bernstein, Adorno, G.A. Cohen, etc.) Some of us would be better off 
if we cancelled our subscriptions to Social Text or Rethinking Marxism 
and paid more attention to items coming out of the Bureau of Labor 

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