Centrally planned economy

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Sun Jun 2 17:03:29 MDT 1996


On Sun, 2 Jun 1996, Kevin Cabral wrote:

>
> 	How does market socialism represent an "accomodation to
> capitalism?" Ask the capitalists who would be expropriated under an MS
> system if it makes accomodations.
>

Louis: Market socialism represents an accomodation to capitalism because
it proposes to replace competition between capitalist firms with
worker-owned firms. When market socialism has been instituted, it has been
merely a prelude to rapid capitalist development such as in China.

> 	I'm discussing how a system based entirely on top-down economic
> planning can lead to alienation of the worker within each firm. I will
> re-read Cockshott's book tonight, or at least some of its important parts,
> and make further comment on that issue later. Basically the question is:
> how can we both exploitation, and alienation be eliminated in the
> productive world (post-modernese for workplace) while allowing for choice
> and convenience in the consumer world. And does the supercomputer system,
> in its present draft, do enough to eliminate alienation.
>

Louis: Computers are not the key. Central planning is. Computers simply
facilitate central planning. Elimination of alienation is desirable, as is
the allowance of consumer choice. I, however, think that socialism should
focus on the stark choice between private enterprise and the survival of
humanity and the planet. If the choice is between an unlimited choice of
consumer goods and access to clean air and water, good health and ample
food, then a rational choice seems to be in favor of the latter. Under
capitalism (or market socialism), society won't make those decisions,
entrepreneurs would.

Moreover, sometimes it seems to me that what the human race is looking for
more than anything else is a sense of kinship and collective solidarity. I
saw this in Nicaragua. Reagan's greatest crime was destroying this.



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