[OPE] labor tokens and efficiency

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Sat May 09 2009 - 02:18:02 EDT

Jerry wrote:

"2. why should socialist society be concerned about violating the LTV? The
LTV is not a socialist principle."

Broadly I agree with this position; for the purpose of this non-market
allocation, the technocratic engineering of labour allocations should be
counterbalanced or enabled by forms of organisation and association which
actually get people to cooperate sufficiently so that the engineering
principles can be implemented. In point of fact, Marx himself never said he
subscribed to a "labour theory of value", referring mainly to the "theory of

The real reason why Stalin propagandized, that the "law of value" did apply
to the USSR was, that his Soviet labour-management system caused an enormous
wastage of labour, and thus, by drawing attention to the value of labour as
a cost factor in producing output, he aimed to promote better
cost-economies, and promote the principle "to each according to their work"
as a productivity principle.

However, if the principle of "reward according to work done" is abandoned,
the question is raised, of what combination of carrots and sticks then would
ensure the most optimal allocation of resources.

Once you begin to sort out this question seriously (which few socialists
have done), it becomes obvious that there cannot be only "one" allocative
principle or "one" kind of asset ownership that will ensure an optimal
result - a whole lot of different methods must be combined, to reach the
result of a substantively fair and just society. Moreover, it is necessary
to prefigure the cultural framework necessary for this allocative system
already within the old society, so that it becomes feasible to implement it
when the opportunity exists to do so.


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