RE: [OPE] markets and socialism

From: Paul Cockshott (
Date: Tue Jun 10 2008 - 17:39:17 EDT

Diego's position on this is shared by many people on this list, though
I obviously disagree with it. There has been sustained debate as to
whether the labour theory of  value is applicable to the analysis of
other modes of production.

Paul Cockshott
Dept of Computing Science
University of Glasgow
+44 141 330 1629

-----Original Message-----
From: on behalf of Alejandro Agafonow
Sent: Tue 6/10/2008 9:58 AM
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
Subject: Re: [OPE] markets and socialism
I think that concerning population growth, the argument of Garrett Harding stands. I can share a copy with anyone upon request.
Hardin, Garrett (1968) "The Tragedy of the Commons", Science, Vol. 162, N 3859, pp. 1243-1248.
Nevertheless, the more interesting part of Diego Guerrero's paper is his alternative understanding of labour theory of value. His position has some tradition in the history of Marxist economics thought. He does not understand labour theory as a feasible accounting programme, like Cottrell and Cockshott do instead. But as a way of explaining the Capitalists mode of production.
An explaining theory, not a constructive theory. Though the consequences for advancing a feasible Socialist programme are a little bit different.
 A. Agafonow

----- Mensaje original ----
De: Paul Cockshott <>
Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <>
Enviado: viernes, 6 de junio, 2008 23:31:28
Asunto: RE: [OPE] markets and socialism

Diego is proposing very high rates of population growth as
plan targets (4% per year). If one wanted to achieve this, prohibition
of contraception and compulsory catholic education would
be more what is needed than what you suggest.

Paul Cockshott
Dept of Computing Science
University of Glasgow
+44 141 330 1629

-----Original Message-----
From: on behalf of GERALD LEVY
Sent: Fri 6/6/2008 1:56 PM
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
Subject: RE: [OPE] markets and socialism

> I am also less than convinced that it would be possible to> plan world population growth in such a way as to achieve a> rate of demographic growth of 4% in a country like Spain, or> more generally that a higher demographic growth could be> achieved in OECD than non OECD countries. It is one thing for> a communist government to limit family size as in China, it> is quite another for it to be able to enforce much larger family> sizes as would be required to achieve a 4% rate of population> growth.

Hi Paul C:

Other than providing sex education to everyone and birth control 
(including abortion) upon request to anyone who has reached 
puberty, why should a socialist society seek to plan long-term 
population growth? 

The experience in the PRC was coercive and one which we
should not seek to replicate.  While the one child per family
policy didn't legally prevent families from having more that one
child, it did include a series of disincentives which could be
seen as punishment for those who chose larger families. 
The unanticipated consequence of this policy - especially in 
rural, traditional areas - was an alarming spike in infanticides,
the victims of which were mostly new-born girls.  

Reproductive and sexual freedom should be championed in 
a socialist society, not optimal population targets as 
determined by planners and technocrats.

In solidarity, Jerry

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