[Marxism] Red Plenty

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 5 06:52:31 MST 2012

In his "In Defense of Socialist Planning" Mandel is VERY specific about how
computer-assisted democratic planning would work:


Read especially the sections "Too Many Decisions?" and "Articulated
Workers’ Self-Management," but the whole thing really must be read.

Another key point he makes is that in general decisions should be made at
the lowest level possible. This maximizes amounts and types of information
into the plan, control over it -- and avoidance of mistakes typical of
overly bureaucratic, over-aggregated (and therefore inadequately specific)
data management.

And naturally the lowest level involved in each decision, the more
jealously workers guard their ability to decide -- while increasing the
transparency of the whole system so workers at the lowest level can balance
their needs with those of society as a whole (and in fact see how to make
them complementary).

On Mon, Mar 5, 2012 at 12:45 AM, Joonas Laine <jjonas at nic.fi> wrote:

> ======================================================================
> Most of the marxist discussion on planned economy I've read is very vague,
> and a lot of it seems to rely on communist abundance which is thought to
> solve all problems in the end (thus e.g. Ernest Mandel in 'Marxist Economic
> Theory', which is a rather old book I admit).. Whereas Alec Nove didn't
> believe it was possible to plan an economy (like the USSR) that produces 12
> million products, politically much more radical David McNally in his
> 'Against the Market' doesn't believe that it's possible to plan even
> hundreds of thousands of products, so he makes a virtue out of necessity by
> saying that well it's doesn't really make even sense to try to plan
> everything, and besides many prices could be regulated. Unless you've got
> something like Cockshott-Cottrell's book (which was written as a reply to
> Nove's 1983 book), it's hard to argue against this credibly.
> --
> jjonas @ nic.fi
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