[OPE-L:4771] Re: opposition to Hayek

Stephen Cullenber (Stephen.Cullenberg@ucr.edu)
Mon, 14 Apr 1997 13:14:04 -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.

This is a very strong statement and one that I don't agree with at all, and
indeed, find rather troubling. Not that I think that Hayek and von Mises
were necessarily right with their critiques of socialist planning, nor for
that matter that the hundreds of other critiques from friend and foe alike
are corrrect, but for the hubris of the above claim.

There are many powerful, persuasive critiques of capitalism, which are
clearly Marx-based, ones ranging from efficiency to justness-based
critiques. An interesting one, that I've been reading lately is the in the
work of David Ellerman and his arguments for democratic-owned enterprises.

I really don't get the confidence behind this claim, especially since there
are so many Marx-based critiques of capitalism one could lay claim to.
And, in some sense the question must be, "who really cares," in a double
sense. In one sense, who cares if it is derived from Marx, or stronger,
who cares if one can find textual support in Marx. In another sense, why
should anyone care to investigate a particular set of political
alternatives. Let me suggest two broad reasons: desirability and political
feasibility. On both counts I'd prefer Ellerman's, or other related
approaches, than any current argument I've seen for socialist planning,
whether it is Roemer's, Hahnel and Albert's, or Cockshott and Cottrell, to
take just three.

Steve C.

Stephen Cullenberg office: (909) 787-5037, ext. 1573
Department of Economics fax: (909) 787-5685
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