RE: [OPE] II-Socialist Cybernetics in Allende’s Chile.

Date: Wed Jun 04 2008 - 11:56:12 EDT

> Nevertheless, the kind of information system that they tried to establish there, 
> could be useful for many types of economies, ranging from a Capitalist mixed 
> economy to a planned economy like the one proposed by Cottrell & Cockshott.
Hi Alejandro:
I agree that it is an experience which should be evaluated and could be useful 
in the future. 
> In fact, the Operation Room (Opsroom) proposed by Stafford Beer and later redefined 
> by Carlos Matus as his “Sala Situacional” (Situational Room), could help to run a 
> Socialist mixed economy (Market Socialism). For example, since in the mandatory 
> price mechanism we have to monitor the level of production effectively sold off 
> in a competitive market by each firm, this room could offer a valuable tool to 
> take decisions concerning the substitution of mangers, depending on their 
> efficiency record shown by the increment of the production sold off. <snip>

> This Opsroom is like part of a lost civilization that we should try to recover 
> in one way or another.
Putting aside the question of market socialism for the moment, my reservation 
about having an "Opsroom" is that it is a part of a hierarchical structure in 
which the "planners" have a high degree of control over the process. Instead 
of thinking of an Opsroom model of decision-making, I think we should be thinking 
of a more decentralized model in which workers themselves have  direct control over
the process. Advances in information technology (including the diffusion of 
personal computers, Internet access, and cell phones) make this possible now in
a way which was beyond the capability of Chilean society under the UP government.
In solidarity, Jerry

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