Market Socialism: Another View

Market Socialism: Another View

American socialism has endured many crises. But these have mostly been, or appeared to be, crises of agency and strategy, brought on by repeated failures to build the movement or by capitalism’s disconcerting
capacity to emerge strengthened from depression and war. However, if we couldn’t find our way, at least we remained sure of our goal: a democratically controlled economy that either eliminated or subdued production for private gain. It was justjust!— a matter of getting there, not whether there is a “there.”

In 1983 Alec Nove’s The Economics of Feasible Socialism set off some alarm bells. For it was the work of an avowed socialist, and it went beyond the usual criticisms of Stalinist “deformations” and laid a significant part of the blame for the problems of the command planning model on Marx himself. And the Marxist axioms that Nove methodically dismantled— long sacrosanct beliefs concerning the feasibility of ex ante economic coordination and “production for use” —had in part animated our democratic planning schemes as well as their centralized bureaucratic approach.

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Lima