A look at market socialism(s)

Not a Parecon sketch, but a market sketch. Still it might interest y’all, I think

By Mike Beggs

“The democratic firm is at the heart of many models of market socialism. But a promotion of democracy within the firm calls for very specific institutional adjustments outside it, because its internal structure can be at odds with other goals of market socialism, like a desirable rate of growth and economic equality between workers. This paper lays out a model that seeks to marry firm-level democracy with macroeconomic growth and solidaristic wage policy.”

1 Like

I’ve written a lot on this subject over the years. My “dialogue” book with Erik Olin Wright is with someone who historically championed a very democratic version of market socialism, so I am well aware of what those who react to the failure of comprehensive economic planning during the 20th century by turning to market socialism instead.

What I have long believed and argued is this:

  1. Unfortunately, many of socialism’s historic goals are ultimately incompatible with markets exchange as well as market forces.

  2. Which is why IF THERE IS A WAY TO AVOID MARKETS, i.e. IF THERE IS A WAY TO SUBSTUTE SOME FORM OF ANNUAL PARTICIPATORY PLANNING for market allocations, as well as engage in some form of participatory investment planning and long-term development planning rather than allow those decisions to be made by capital markets as well, then we should certainly embrace that option.

  3. None of which means that the road to a desirable economic system may not require us to go through a period in which we reform markets in various ways to mitigate the damage markets cause as we build public support for more beneficial forms of participatory planning

1 Like