Oscar Lange is known in the West, above all, as the author of the classical and widely criticized model of markt socialism. An enormous amount has been written about this model, some of it developing Lange’s idea and much of it criticizing its weaknesses. This article is concerned not so much with the systematic exposition and criticism of Lange’s model as with discussing the place it occupied in the development of his views on socialism.
During his lifetime, Lange was able to observe firsthand all three of the worlds that currently coexist on this planet, and he encountered these worlds in the same order in which they follow each other in his scheme of
the development of the modern world. Lange learned about economic backwardness and peripheral capitalism in prewar Poland. Later he spent more than twenty years in the bastion of modern capitalism, the United States. After returning to Poland in 1948, he linked his fate to the creation and then reform of the communist system.
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