This take on the ‘calculation’ debate is misleading. For decades since the time of Mises the left despite figures like Oskar Lange and others was on the defensive on the issue of planning, and the example of Bolshevism here was enough to discredit the idea. But now after much nonsense by defenders of capitalism, we see the convergence of the systems and while the pitch in this article is to challenge the potential for surveillance, fair enough, the reality is here that the whole attack on planning starting with Mises torpedo was in part bogus. Planning technologies were always possible but in the neoliberal vein, they were the villains, until capitalists themselves solved the problem.
The conclusion we can draw is that planned economies have real potential as capitalism slips into its coming oblivion. The issue of their abuse is real but the question is that the planning redherring anathema was always propaganda.
The issue was indeed confused by Bolsheviks/marxists: we don’t want to give total control of an economy to the State. To create a real socialism we need one and the same type of checks and balances and create a system of a Commons which makes resources a commonly shared system of economic rights.
Further we can have markets in a socialist system: many studies have debated this issue and there is a large literature.
But our idea of ‘democratic market neo-communism’ breaks out of the capitalist and the socialist dilemma with a system this multipolar: markets under a Commons with expropriation of capital, planning, ecological constraints, etc…
That Amazon has solved the planning problem is great and the issue of personal rights in that context is surely solvable….
The dream of central economic planning died with the USSR. Thirty years later, technologies for matching supply and demand are a reality in America — as is the potential for surveillance Lenin and Stalin could only have dreamed of.