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Whither Socialism? useful, but no friend in Stiglitz (?): bourgeois ideology and up in the air critique of socialism…general liquidation sequence?

January 11th, 2016 · No Comments

Whither Socialism:

we have linked to this several times. Looking at the book yesterday I find a good resource for the critique of neo-classical economics, complete with that of the Arrow-Debreu issues we tried to deal with here. But its critique of socialism, while important, is non-binding and easy to counter. Even if we accept the discussions of economic calculation, and the critique of the neo-classical paradigm which takes down figures like Lange, the general conclusion to reject socialism is so vague it is worthless. It springs from its period in the nineties. But it is not so convincing today.
First, economists still use the neo-classical paradigm, but socialists via Lange are to reject it and Lange’s construct. C’mon.
There are thousands of variants never tried. And the same is true for capitalism. And yet with the latter we are forced to accept the worst versions.
The critique of socialism implies that all forms of socialism are false and therefore we should accept capitalism, evidently in all its flaws, injustices, and extremes. The discussion is thus ridiculous and unwittingly ideological.
We can specify a dozen forms of capitalism that serve the net equivalent of issues of justice. Instead, economic generalization about markets override all other questions.

We can’t accept such generalized ‘end of history’ propaganda. There are thousands of variants of socialism. And the Russian case, however dreadful, shows that arguments about the impossibility of socialism/communism are false. Abandoning communism did not lead to a superior economy in Russia.

Even if we reject ‘socialism’, pace Stiglitz, we must still fight to create a climate-friendly economy out of one destructive of environments, democracy out of the capitalist destruction of democracy, a system of equality out of the capitalist destruction of equality, rescue social formations from the calamity of privatization, a system of psychological freedom out of the capitalist mindcontrol of MadAd et al, the right to full employment in a system premised on labor control, a new union movement after the capitalist destruction of the classic union left, a new New Deal after the capitalist vow to NEVER AGAIN allow this, a form of capitalism without the ‘personhood’ of corporations, a political system free of the influence of capitalist money, a political system not fomented warfare in oil countries for reasons of profit, etc… A further issue lies in the non-representation of outland proletariats to enforce the regime of capitalism at home, etc…
Does anyone think the above can be resolved in the current system, or should be ignored due to the criticisms of the calculation debate?
Rejecting forms of socialism based on neo-classical economics are merely the kickoff to a new form of socialism, or, failing that, a form of capitalism that is reformed out of the problems above, plus a lot more.
The idea we should reject all these issues to make markets function better is grotesque…
Economists are careless here: we may critique socialism, but we are not required to abandon key issues of social justice…Frankly, we will end up with some form of socialism/capitalism hybrized, at a minimum…

And calling socialism a failure is not so convincing anymore. Clearly capitalism is a hopeless failure. It can’t obviously find a market solution to the issues above…

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