[OPE-L:2747] Re: socialism and planning

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@msn.com)
Mon, 29 Jul 1996 08:38:20 -0700 (PDT)

[ show plain text ]

Paul C: "People are not going to struggle to overthrow it if they are
convinced that there is no alternative."

Andrew: I agree. But I think "alternative" and "plan," which Paul conflates,
are different things. Neither Jerry nor I have gotten anything that I
consider to be responses to the point that optimization requires a goal; there
is no "rationality" that is not relative to the goal being pursued. And if
the goal is imposed externally on people, how much of an "alternative" is this
really to the present-system, in which value self-expansion dominates
independently of our wills? If instead of "plan," we were talking about
methods and concepts by which people can work out their own destiny, that
would be different. That is what is really not at all developed, and which is
cowardice to avoid.

I do not find social welfare function + democracy an adequate concept. They
who control the democracy control the social welfare function. It may have
seemed like "economic determinism" to some, but there was a good reason for
Marx to stress that the political superstructure arises on the basis of the
mode of production, and corresponds to it. Let's not forget that democracy,
PARTICIPATIVE, DIRECT, democracy, originated in a slave society. What
relations of production are needed so that the old crap will not re-emerge,
and how can they be secured and defended?

Jerry: "Except for small numbers of groups and individuals to the left of the
Communist Parties (Maoists included), the typical pattern seems to me to be
one of cowardice, apologetics, and

Jerry, just to be sure: are you putting Maoists to the left of the Communist
parties, or among them and the CADs?

Andrew Kliman