Re: [OPE] Why Markets Fail

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Thu Nov 13 2008 - 14:27:59 EST

on 2008-11-12 21:32 Anders Ekeland wrote:
> I would not say "hopelessly utopian", but mankind has certainly a way
> to go - and some environmental problems to solve before we reach that.
> But this also a question of the mode of distribution. Health,
> education are basically free in Norway - and there could be a lot more
> of this collective consumption. With a much greater equality of
> incomes the fact that markets exist - f.ex for housing does not have
> the negative consequences that it has in present day capitalism.

I'd say it is a question of the mode of production: how should social
labour be organised and how should the surplus product be determined and
appropriated? Health and education are quite different from digitized
information; they may be free of *charge* since they are not purchased
as commodities but they have a social cost --- labour --- that is
significantly greater than, say, compressed audio and video.

> I do not see *relative* abundance as utopian, but certainly a long way
> to go - and markets will be with us for decades - even centuries -
> even if the logic and dynamic of the economy was socialist in character.

It is this idea of a future of abundance, some centuries ahead, that I
find utopian. In other words, useless for political demands or policies
even in the long term. Moreover, I do not think market-like distribution
is in itself a bad thing.
//Dave Z
ope mailing list
Received on Thu Nov 13 14:30:25 2008

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