Can a good economy have central planning, markets, or any combination of the two, and also have self management, solidarity, equity, classlessness. We find that the answer is no. We must find a different approach for allocation.
No? wha?, yeah, right, not enough alberts or chomskians. We can leave the question open, but the possibilities, as far as i can see, are ‘almost’ exhausted by the combination of markets and planning (plus our third sector, below threshold sector):
the point here is that theoretical abstractions can’t solve the problem which must be solved in practice: our idea of ‘democratic market neo-communism’ allows the whole spectrum of political systems, markets AND planning, and expropriation to be united in a model that allows experimentation and evolution toward socialism. Further the system must be explainable in about five minutes, or so, without experts.
Our DMNC is designed to be a starting point and one that allows a host of possibilities and does not make absolute claims about equality or classlessness: it sets up ‘differential equality’ and adjusts the system as it goes along: we can abolish class, demand equity and produce any degree of self-management we please, but the first step is to produce something that is functional, can produce an economy that is realistic, and doesn’t get turned into a vanguard elite (here, no doubt, chomsky wiseacres/experts will be the new elite).What’s the big deal about worker’s councils? Our system can allow any number of possibilities, but the control of all production by worker’s is hardly a class free solution, and it is not really very practical necessarily. I have worked in union dominated factories with extra temp labor pool dailies: the snob union types wouldn’t even speak to trash from labor pools, given work they wouldn’t do. What is the belief that working class domination is going to produce justice? Nobody can be trusted: checks and balances are needed at all points. That said, the idea of working class controlled factories is a great idea, among fifty others: our DMNC can multitask many possibilities. This system just might evevnallow a slight degree of wealth inequality, temporarily: those managers are going to go into semiequal free fall, which can be corrected as the system develops, etc…They will obviously end up taxed into rough equality in the long run…But the new possibility of socialist managers/entrepreneurs using resources licensed form a Commons creates a new experiment: what happens thus?
This system is not designed to be perfect, but it has so much of a head start towards socialism, plus absorbing the reformist/revolutionist contradiction, that is makes contenders look idiotic.
The point is to create a viable socialism of some kind, as an approximation with ‘permanent revolution’ built in, to explore the complexity of a problem that defies philosophical sophistries…
Our DMNC is going to have a lot of interior variety, and this can act as a balancing factor in itself but it won’t be an idyllic utopia of equality. Incidentally, if you read the manifesto here, it talks about a third sector of semi-anarchist below threshold combinations where multiple alternates exist in tandem!
Producing ideal societies in the abstract is the worst option and invokes starvation and elites, here the beanie cap chomsky elite with special ‘boy we’re smart’ privileges: the point is a form of socialism that can prosper day one and feed a population, provide work and economic rights, a rational balance of democracy and authority (e.g. the power to guard the Commons). Such an entity has to be functional from the start, no five year plans. A first suggestion is a new kind of market in parallel to planning, and not the anemic idiot ‘socialist markets’ of so many bad books of the eighties/nineties…Our resolution is a liberal system remorphed into a communism: at a minimum it would be a liberal capitalism that expropriates ‘capital’ to a Commons but allows markets using licensed resources. At first all you see is a liberal system, which a beautiful hidden catch…Such a system, or its variants, can be constructed almost on the spot, in one minimal version….