Re: [OPE-L] Meaning of market socialism

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@WFU.EDU)
Date: Sun Apr 22 2007 - 20:39:59 EDT

On Sun, 22 Apr 2007, Paul Cockshott wrote:

> I would not describe myself as a market socialist even though I am
> infavour of the use of certain market mechanisms in the allocation
> of consumer goods. What I oppose is the idea that
> a) money should be retained in a socialist economy
> b) that production should be organised around enterprises which have
>    disposition over their own means of production and which reproduce
>    themselves by the purchase and sale of commodities.

I'll chip in on this.  It seems to me that Paul's (a) and (b) are
more or less the defining characteristics of "market socialism"
properly so called (and like Paul I oppose both ideas).  In
practical terms, the autonomy of the enterprise has been the
rallying cry of market-socialist "reformers" whose aim was to
scrap central planning, from Czechoslovakia in the 1960s to the
Gorbachev era in Russia.  In my view socialism with autonomous
enterprises is an incoherent notion, and in practice constitutes
the first (decisive) step towards the restoration of capitalism.

Alejandro: if this is not what you mean by "market socialism",
could you specify what you do mean?

Allin Cottrell

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