[OPE-L:5645] socialist economic policies in transition period

From: Paul (clyder@gn.apc.org)
Date: Tue May 22 2001 - 16:24:53 EDT

 I am currently  registered as a candidate in the parliamentary
elections for Lanark, standing on the platform of the
Scottish Socialist Party.

This party was formed 2 years ago and now has about 2000
members. It has achieved an unprecedented level of unity
among socialists here. Almost all the organised socialist
groupings with the exception of the Communist Party of 
Britain have now joined in it. 

We are putting forward candidates in all 72 constituencies
in Scotland - not in the immediate hope of winning, but with
the intention of providing voters with the chance of 
voting for a socialist alternative.

The act of standing as a candidate forces me to think in a
practical way about mechanisms by which a socialist government,
if elected, could set about expropriating the property owning classes
and transfering the means of production to public ownership.

I want to try and start a discussion about the practical measures
that might be taken to do this, bearing in mind issues like:

1. How do you distinguish between shareholders/property owners
with small and major amounts of funds - obviously one wants the
richest to be expropriated first.

2. How do you deal with the problem of capital flight.

3. How does one deal with the problem of the liquidity
of the insurance and pension funds in the transition to
an adequate system of public pensions - bearing in mind that
threats to pensions would be a real oublic relations disaster,
but that pensions funded on industrial profits are clearly
going to be threatened by socialisation.

Could one for example effectively expropriate the capitalist 
class with a wealth tax levied at about 15% per annum - which
should be significantly above the real rate of return on capital.
What would the practical impact of such a tax be on share
values, would they plumet so fast that the effective expropriation
would be much faster?

Paul Cockshott

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