Re: [OPE-L] Robert Owen

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sat Oct 21 2006 - 07:10:49 EDT

Hi Dogan:

If the issue is whether markets are part of the emancipatory 
mission of Utopian societies, I think one has to go _at least_
a few chapters _beyond_ Chapter 1 of Volume I of _Capital_.  
In the formula M - C - M' one can, for instance, see problems
for such utopias: i.e. the outcome of  'market utopias' are
different for different segments and hence there tends to be
increasing differences in income and wealth distribution.  Yet, 
surely,  solidarity and equality are two of the hallmarks of Utopias,
so the market produces outcomes which come into conflict
with these socialist principles.  This does not mean that markets
can not be tolerated in socialist societies but that the dangers
(of which there are many, including what mainstream economists
call "market failures") have to be recognized and there have to 
be workable policies to ensure that emancipatory principles are 
preserved and reinforced.

In solidarity, Jerry
  By 'market in itself' I mean that we can develop an objective understanding of market independently from what all sorts of ideologies say about and ascribe to it. I mean the question we have to pose is this: what is the nature of market. Based on this objective grasp we can then judge about these ideologies whether they are right or wrong. Market is an institution where humans get in touch with one another for a certain purpose: the exchange of commodities. That is to say that human relations on market are mediated by commodities - either directly or indirectly by means of money. So, the question what is the nature of market changes into the question what is the nature of commodity and money.The analysis of commodity and money must then be analysed in terms of human relation because commodities are being exchanged by human beings. These questions are profoundly posed and analysed, I think, in the first Chapter of the Capital of Marx. This is my reply to your two questions in short. 

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