Reading David McNally’s Against the Market we find some good discussions of Marx and Proudhon, and we must accept any challenges to the ideas of our ‘market neo-communism’ on the grounds of confused thinking on ‘market socialism’. But we are not speaking of market socialism, but something different.
We are referring to a system in which a revolutionary or other expropriation of market capital has taken place.
This system then is fundamentally different, but its exact nature is not fully defined and assumptions in advance can always contain surprises.
We can consider some of the possibilities:
‘capital’ is expropriated, but is returned to the Commons, a legal state under definition. This is very different from the ‘revolutionary party’ claiming to represent the proletariat controlling the economic system or making decisions about resources, with the option to control them for personal use.
economic decisions would be make by independent bodies, with still additional legal courts, etc…another form of the separation of powers…
this allows the existence of corporations with considerable autonomy run by managers and/or corporate innovations by socialist entrepreneurs who can assess activities that will operate at a loss or surplus, etc…
clearly such entities would be subject to limits in the context of ecological judgments, e.g. carbon factors. An ‘Exxonian’ rogue corporation would be brought under control almost immediately.
Such a system would require a high degree of central authority, but also a high degree of democracy with ‘liberal’ rights. At this point in history we don’t need to waste much time on the ‘rights’ of corporations to trash a planet.
consensus versions of systems of rights and liberties, and duties, are not so hard to devise and don’t need to include the ‘rights’ of capitalists and corporations against the majority. The clear reciprocal character of such measures points at once to the choice of rights appropriate to the era of the Commons, and the general majority.
In our version there is a threshold level, below which any number of issues remain out in the open, with a relative degree of autonomy, for small businesses, small agricultural operations, petit bourgeois this and that, etc…Corporations founded by entrepreneurs could exist in a virtual or intializing stage and become public entities at the level of a certain size factor, etc..
there are many issues here, but we should note that while we are under no obligation to make dogma of Marx, he was prescient at many points, as with his bugaboo over Proudhon…