Update: forgot to mention re: the calculation debate the revolution in planning software in capitalist orgs like Walmart and Amazon.
And the book cited: The People’s Republic of Walmart
This is of great importance, but we must be wary of leftist claims here. A centrally planned economy in a one party state is not likely to be able to really solve this problem using the new software, etc… Our DMNC model would welcome this rebuttal, apparently, in the calculation debate. But an elite of marxists trying to plan economies isn’t going to be guaranteed to work: a lot of other things are needed. I have hundreds of Kindle books on computer, phone, and I forgot I already owned this book. Will try to update here with that text.
Our reference to ‘socialist markets’ might be confused with the many attempts on the left to promote another brand also called market socialism. However, the definition (cf. Wikipedia) is in general vague and our usage is within range. The calculation debate arose with Mises who threw a monkey wrench into socialist thinking on social economics and its replacement of markets with planning. Although the left answered the challenge many times the debate, on the whole, was a grave liability on the left if only because most leftists in the range of Marxism never understood or ever knew of the debate. And, after all, the construction of the planned economy in Bolshevik Russia seemed to, in fact did, confirm the nature of the difficulty. Then a new development came into the discussion as the era of the computer suggested the possibility of computational software computing the immensely complex market dynamics that the Miseans gleefully warned was too stupendously complex for a bureaucracy of commie planners.
It is essential that socialist proponents get a handle on this debate. One of my blog books has a short bibliography of the relevant books but I can’t find it at the moment. There is a good classic here Toward a New Socialism by Cockshott that reviews the issues of computational economic calculation and suggests that the stunning advances in computational power will resolve the issue: cf. Wikipedia/: ‘market socialism’. He also has his critics, but…Here our usage is different: it refers to a ‘socialism’ of the DMNC brand that allows an actual marketplace to exist, but under the conditions of a Commons: the use of licensed resources from a Commons (which needs a careful legal definition, and this is quite different as market socialism from the usual usage) but otherwise a functioning market place. Consider the case of Exxon-Mobil this rogue corporation is now a threat to the planet. It should never have been the case that such rogue capitalism was private property. The whole thing is insane. But in our ‘market socialism’, in the rough sketch of our model, the resources of oil would in the Commons and an oil company while in the market would not exclusively own that resource and could be legally bound to the intervention in crisis mode of a larger economic sphere in the DMNC. There is a seeming catch here: the DMNC is socialism in one country and the model merely points to a new International, but…The problem is that many resources are globally distributed and a socialism in one country might not be able to presume anything about oil wells in other countries. The issue is tricky enough but a dozen ways are potential to easily resolve it, first and foremost introduce an International into our model. ‘Oil’ in the Commons is not the private property of the Commons as such, but an interactional abstraction that can become concrete in multiple ways. The best solution is a spectrum of the Commons in a global International overseeing a plurality of the Commons. Sort of like atman and brahman.
This resolution is still a bit vague but it shows or suggests the way a market can function inside a socialist context. Done right the calculation debate becomes irrelevant. Such a system however would no doubt have relative degrees of inefficiency but at least we can expect that the confusions of Bolshevik-style planning would be far in the past. No economic system is fully efficient. The obsession of the neoliberal era with deregulation is madness, as the era of Trump has shown in the attack on its own EPA. There was a point in the wake of the FDR New Deal when corporations often shew a degree of social cooperation in the context of high regulation, and the result overall was the now legendary success of the American system at the level of the working class.
Our DMNC should be able to do better, but while planning exists in its own context, the socialist markets are real markets even if with some degrees of inefficiency in theory but in the end far more rational than the now visible insanity of unregulated markets. This doesn’t replace planning which exists in its own larger context. All economies are versions, usually degenerate ones, of the DMNC. Look at China and the US: both a weak to crippled versions of the DMNC, although the Commons as such is absent. The US has a huge planning sector, rogue free markets, no Commons as such, and an endangered democracy, pseudo or not. China let’s note started with Bolshevik state capitalism but now allows free markets inside its system, a remarkable premonition of our socialist markets, however deviant from out logic. These are NOT our socialist markets, but even so, the result was a huge success for China. Its degenerate DMNC is at the opposite pole to the US and yet both are DMNC manques.
The point finally is that propangandas against socialism are in the end attacks on democracy and in the long term capitalist systems appear doomed.
The Cuban case is fascinating despite our critique and still has an open field to create something new as the US slides into the pit created by its perennial fantasy of markets, rendered all the more deadly in the neoliberal era.
Cuba is at the point where left socialists fumble the ball and think in the hard duality of capitalism and communism. Marx warned against premature constructs, that was in the nineteenth century. N…