Re: [OPE] market socialism

From: Gerald Levy (
Date: Sun Jun 29 2008 - 13:22:26 EDT

> So market socialism does not necessarily entail capitalist inequality.

Hi Ian:

OK, but it does entail:

1. inequality
2. consumer sovereignty, or the process of "dollar votes".

1. by itself  is not my concern here. But, when you combine
1 + 2 then you have a system in which the more income you have
the more role you have in determining what goods are produced 
and in what quantities. This implies an inequality of *decision-making*
since those with more income have more 'votes' in the marketplace.
This is not a democratic process at all.  A principle of democracy
is 1 person, one vote.  The principle of 'dollar votes' is one dollar,
one vote. So, if your concern is a socialist democracy then you 
should be very wary of market socialism.

I think it can also be shown historically that market socialist 
experiences have: 
a.  increased inequality;
b. created and then reproduced new elites and social stratification;
c. not been necessarily more democratic than other forms
of 'socialism'.

With the exception of the former Yugoslavia, market socialism
has not been linked to any concept or practice of workers'
control.  Often the group which has been empowered (e.g. in 
the 'New Economic Model' in Hungary) are managers.

In solidarity, Jerry
ope mailing list

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