[OPE-L:2080] Re: Re: Re: Re: *What will happen in the 21st Century?*

From: Claus Germer (cmgermer@sociais.ufpr.br)
Date: Mon Jan 10 2000 - 13:09:44 EST

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In [OPE-L:2055] Duncan wrote:

> I'm not sure I want to sign on to this concept, but I think it's worth
> discussing. I am puzzled as to how to imagine a society operating an
> advanced division of labor economy without recourse to the market, and I
> think we should be thinking about how to adapt Marxist thinking about
> socialism to Hayek's point that markets are more important as
> than as allocational mechanisms. (Of course, they also redistribute...)

Isn't it true that, theoretically, if socialism means the abolition of
private property of means of production, there can no longer be a market,
since this implies the sale and purchase of commodities, hence a commodity
producing society. Things that are sold are private property.

The market is the capitalist mechanism for the distribution of use values,
but it is also the way through which social labor is distributed. Once
there is no longer a market, this means that the distribution of social
labor and of use values has to be made in another way, i.e., through
previous planning of production and distribution. If we admit that the
market should still have a role in the distribution of commodities,
shouldn't we also admit the same role for the distribution of the labor
force? This would imply wage labor .... Or not?

I think Lenin wrote something about this - maybe it was in State and
Revolution -, arguing that in order for socialism to exist, there has to be
a previous development of the techniques of social accounting of needs and
distribution, and that this is something for which the development of large
scale production and distribution in capitalism prepares the ground. This
may be connected with Duncan'sr mention of the "Menshevik scenario", which,
in the terms in which he put it, seems to me to be Marx's point of view

> The points from my 1982 paper (which are also in Understanding Capital)
> aren't mine, but Marx's. He makes this point in criticism of "utopian
> socialists", and is particularly clear about the issue of the continued
> existence of a surplus product in the Critique of the Gotha Programme.

I don't see the problem. If the society is expected to continue expanding
the well being of its members, there has to be a surplus product, which is,
however, appropriated by the social body, not only by a part of it, i.e.,
it is no longer surplus value.

Claus Germer
Departamento de Economia
Universidade Federal do Paraná
Rua Dr. Faivre, 405 - 3º andar
80060-140 Curitiba - Paraná

Tel: (041) 360-5214 - Ufpr
       (041) 254-3415 Res.

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