[OPE-L:4770] Re: opposition to Hayek

Allin Cottrel (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Mon, 14 Apr 1997 11:19:06 -0700 (PDT)

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I'd like to second Paul's response on this issue. It is not
-- cannot be -- peripheral. If Mises and Hayek were right
on the issue of socialist planning, then the Marx-based
critique of capitalism is so much hot air. Intelligent
defenders of capitalism don't claim it's a perfect economic
system, just that it's the best _possible_ system. (Cf. the
old quip about democracy being the worst form of
government... apart from all the alternatives.) Grant the
Austrians their anti-planning argument and we have no
counter to this. It immediately follows that a generalised
critique of capitalism is pointless self-indulgence,
amounting merely to a declaration that one finds it
distasteful. So what, if there's no alternative? In that
case anyone seriously concerned with the wellbeing of the
working class ought to be thinking in terms of the
possibilities for amelioration and reform of capitalism --
in which exercise Marx's ideas are unlikely to be much help.

Allin Cottrell