Re: [OPE-L] David Schweickart presenting 'Economic Democracy' theory in Venezuela

From: Ian Hunt (ian.hunt@FLINDERS.EDU.AU)
Date: Thu Oct 26 2006 - 20:14:02 EDT

I agree that we have to think very hard about the market and also
alternatives to it, like those mentioned in David Laibman's post. I
agree that Marx thinks there is no place for commodity relations
under communism on the basis that they involve surrender of control
over productive life. However, I am not sure that the ideal of
complete control over productive life is realizable. Moreover, while
we know what exchange value is under capitalism and its consequences,
we need further argument to establish that all forms of exchange
value are as oppressive as the capitalist form. Still I think any
realistic assessment of market relations should reject 'market
totalitarianism' or the idea that market exchange  can  be the only
form of exchange in a transparent, efficient and just economic
system. Can we get TOO excited about important issues like these?

>I had the same reaction:  >Why should we panic?<
>On the other hand, I think Dogun put the point very well in his post of
>10/21 replying to Jerry on the subject of Robert Owen:
><"But I think the very nature of 'give me that and I will give this' is
>essentailly analysed in the first chapter. I have discussed the nature of
>the market and its relation to a more or less developed socialism. I agree
>with you that some elements of the market can be tolarated in a transitory
>period from capitalism to socialism. But in the long term market as such
>must be overcome because it is the negation of socialism.">
>I would add that I would expect the period of transition during which the
>market played a role will be a long one.  As a consequence we should think
>hard about its role.  Nonetheless, there is no place for markets under the
>social relations of communism and that is, as Dogon suggests, an implication
>of Marx's analysis in Chapter 1.  If you are going to substitute an
>association of producers for the separation of productive entities, and do
>this root and branch, then you overcome the commodity form of labor and
>those forms of manifestation it generates -- exchange value, markets and
>money.  Forms of transition need always to be grasped in terms of the goal
>to be achieved.
>Schweikert's position, as I understand it, is that markets are forever.
>It is true, as you suggest, that the final mix of economic relations to come
>is not something we can make too many assumptions about.  But we know what
>exchange value is, we know its source and we know its consequences.  The
>separation of productive entities in society is not something unknown about
>the future.  Leave that in place and you leave contract in place.  Leave
>contract in place and you leave law in place.  The market will wither away
>like law and, in fact, the withering of the former is a precondition for the
>withering of the latter.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Ian Hunt" <ian.hunt@FLINDERS.EDU.AU>
>Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 4:06 AM
>Subject: Re: [OPE-L] David Schweickart presenting 'Economic Democracy'
>theory in Venezuela
>>  Why should we panic? We should not presume what will be forms of
>>  transition to socialism or what will be the final mix of economic
>>  relations in a society in which the direct producers engage own their
>>  means of production and engage in free cooperation. If we don't
>>  presume any of that, we can only welcome discussion of a well worked
>>  out idea like 'economic democracy' and any other contenders for
>>  emancipating economic relations,
>>  Cheers,
>>  Ian
>>  >At 21:03 25/10/2006, jerry wrote:
>>  >>-----Original Message-----
>>  >>From: Carl Davidson []
>>  >>Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 12:27 PM
>>  >>
>>  >>
>>  >>[Chicago's David Schweickart, Philosophy, Loyola, is in Venezuela,
>>  >>to present his theory of 'Economic Democracy' as a market socialist
>>  >>alternative for the 21st Century that is in tune with global justice,
>>  >>paticipatory democracy and Karl Marx's orginal ideas as well.
>  > >
>>  >         Don't panic, folks! There is no special significance re a
>>  >market socialist path in Venezuela. I invited David S on behalf of
>>  >Centro Internacional Miranda as director of our Socialism for the
>>  >21st Century programme. The occasion is our publication of a
>>  >Venezuelan edition of a Spanish book drawn from Science & Society
>>  >essays. Among the other collaborators are Al Campbell (who was here
>>  >teaching in the School of Planning and gave a talk on 6 October),
>>  >Robin Hahnel and ope-l denizen David Laibman (who arrive tomorrow
>>  >night and speak on Saturday) and joint authors and ope-l folks Allyn
>>  >Cottrell and Paul Cockshott (neither of them able to come on this
>>  >occasion). In this group, David S is actually the outlier.
>>  >         Among events in the works in this programme for next year
>>  >are visits by Marty Hart-Landsberg and (ope-l lurker) Paul Burkett.
>>  >More immediately, upcoming CIM events include a dialogue between
>>  >Chomsky and a group of Venezuelan intellectuals, a 3 day
>>  >international conference on communal banks, a book launch of the
>>  >Venezuelan edition of my "Build it Now: Socialism for the 21st
>>  >Century' and a working meeting on the Bank of the South (which will
>>  >include Eric Toussaint and, hopefully, lurker Claudio Katz)--- all
>>  >this, incidentally by mid-November.
>>  >         One of these days our website will finally fly!
>>  >                 in solidarity,
>>  >                 michael
>>  >Michael A. Lebowitz
>>  >Professor Emeritus
>>  >Economics Department
>>  >Simon Fraser University
>>  >Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
>>  >
>>  >Currently based in Venezuela.
>>  >Can be reached at
>>  >Residencias Anauco Suites
>>  >Departamento 601
>>  >Parque Central, Zona Postal 1010, Oficina 1
>>  >Caracas, Venezuela
>>  >(58-212) 573-6333, 571-1520, 571-3820 (or hotel cell: 0412-200-7540)
>>  >fax: (58-212) 573-7724
>>  --
>>  Associate Professor Ian Hunt,
>>  Dept  of Philosophy, School of Humanities,
>>  Director, Centre for Applied Philosophy,
>>  Flinders University of SA,
>>  Humanities Building,
>>  Bedford Park, SA, 5042,
>>  Ph: (08) 8201 2054 Fax: (08) 8201 2784

Associate Professor Ian Hunt,
Dept  of Philosophy, School of Humanities,
Director, Centre for Applied Philosophy,
Flinders University of SA,
Humanities Building,
Bedford Park, SA, 5042,
Ph: (08) 8201 2054 Fax: (08) 8201 2784

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