Centrally-planned economy vs. WORKERS CONTROL OVER THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION

Louis R Godena louisgodena at ids.net
Sun Jun 2 20:23:08 MDT 1996


Wei En Lin, on Sunday, June 2nd, wrote:

>... Central planning (in the Stalinist or
>Brezhnevist mode) is inadvisable, since it leads inevitably to greater
>concentrations of power in fewer and fewer hands...[t]he social, political,
and economic structures themselves
>must be made accountable to working people who run them, and accountable
>to outside scrutiny, where the public interest is concerned...

Interesting dichotomy, Mr Wei.   How would you insure the "accountability"
of the "social, political, and economic structures themselves" outside the
coercive power of a workers' state?    Incentives?   Moral suasion?
Economic boycott?    A certain element of make-believe attends such efforts
as "worker's democracy", as it must to any similar "democratic" enterprise.

Everyone, workers included, know that, for example, an industrial concern
cannot be run by methods of "democratic control", unless the kind of
"democracy" referred to replicates that formerly adopted in crown colonies
where the nominated representatives of the governor outvoted the "elected"
representatives of the people on any vital issue.    In a nationalized
economy workers would still have to be compelled to work for the social
good.   This may more easily be accomplished by transferring from purely
economic incentives (higher wages & benefits) to those incentives more
amicable to socialist society (including a sense of social obligation on the
part of the worker).    Nonetheless, society would have to reserve to itself
a final sanction--of sufficient cogency and vigor-- for securing the
performance of the tasks necessary to the existence of that society.

Social necessity , not  "democracy"--at least not in any sense of the word
apprehensable to bourgeois society--must, at the end of the day,  dictate
the means by which such "accountability" to the workers' government is
maintained.    Surely, it is premature to dismiss out of hand even that old
bugaboo "Central Planning" in discussing that urgent task.


                               Louis Godena



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