Re: [OPE] markets and socialism

From: Diego Guerrero (
Date: Wed Jun 11 2008 - 05:18:14 EDT

Hi, Paul C.,

We shouldn't be impressed by the apparent differences betwen ordinary 
(capitalist) money and money of account. The crux of the matter is whether 
money is inserted in a society where the law of value is still governing the 
economy or instead use value has been enforced by a conscious population 
that aims to finish exploitation and inequalities at the world level. In 
order to achieve this goal the first thing is to end with the determination 
of wages by the value of labour force. The different (capitalist) cost of 
reproducing a unit of differenciated workers must be replaced by a single 
cost for all people since every person is now equal to all others and 
therefore they "cost" the same to society: just the same fraction of the 
cost of reproduction of society. This change in the "incomes" completely 
alters the demand and necessarily forces the supply to change... The second 
necessity is to plan demographic growth and localization of labour force and 
means of production at a world level. This means using use values again, and 
this is used again AGAINST the law of value. The demographic growth at a 
rate of 4% or whatever else is a matter of secondary importance. The point 
is the necessity to move masses of people from one point to another: 
specialists and qualified workers towards where they are most needed, simple 
work force to other places, masses of specific means of production... In my 
opinion, there has to be a massive net transfer of population from 
underdeveloped countries to developed countries, and the opposite direction 
is required for means of production. This is why demographic growth has not 
to be understood as the result of natality rates but mainly of migration 
rates. It is something like inverting the rates of Table 1.
                                                  Table 1
                                      Summary, Population Change

                               Annual Average             Annual Average
                                Growth Rate                  Growth Rate
                                1960-80                         1980-01
  All                              2.33%                         1.82%
  Less Developed          2.93%                         2.25%
  More Developed        0.94%                         0.48%

  Data source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Data Base


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Paul Cockshott" <>
To: "Outline on Political Economy mailing list" <>
Cc: "Heinz Dieterich" <>
Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2008 11:56 PM
Subject: RE: [OPE] markets and socialism

It was a zip file which can be decompressed to yield a pdf.

I am slowly working through it. I am as yet unconvinced that his
money of account would really be any different from ordinary money.
Soviet official doctrin was that the rouble was just a money
of account, which had some credibility given the directive nature
of the plan there, with Diego's decentralised system it looks to
me as if the money of account would be money as we know it.

I am also less than convinced that it would be possible to
plan world population growth in such a way as to achieve a
rate of demographic growth of 4% in a country like Spain, or
more generally that a higher demographic growth could be
achieved in OECD than non OECD countries. It is one thing for
a communist government to limit family size as in China, it
is quite another for it to be able to enforce much larger family
sizes as would be required to achieve a 4% rate of population

One also has to ask whether, given the current water shortages
in Spain that it makes any kind of sense to plan for Spain to
have a population 3 times its current size in 30 years time.
Climate modelling indicates even greater aridity to be expected
by then.

Paul Cockshott
Dept of Computing Science
University of Glasgow
+44 141 330 1629

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