[OPE-L:1361] Re: Political economy of socialism

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Date: Tue Sep 28 1999 - 07:38:01 EDT

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 10:48:21 +0100
From: Paul Cockshott <wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk>

At 20:58 27/09/99 -0400, you wrote:
> > Yes true enough, but what of the lessons learned in the stuggles so far.
> > Do these not help us to concretise our goals for the next time?
>They might if we first identified that those lessons are. Indeed, as you
>suggest, we must first identify the lessons in order for us to concretise
>our goals.
>So what are the most important lessons that have to be grasped before we
>further concretise our goals?
>In solidarity, Jerry

Some of the lessons learned from hitherto existing socialism are now so
basic that Marxist economists take them for granted, the widespread
acceptance of input output analysis and the use of matrix algebra in our
theories has its origins in the development of planning methodologies in
the USSR in the 20s and 30s.

Other questions are only arrived at by looking at the concrete workings
of the Soviet and similar economies.

For example the question of public finance under socialism: should it be
based on the use of income tax or should it rely, as the Soviets did,
primarily upon a turnover tax.

Then there is the question of food subsidies, should food and other
necessities of life be subsidised by being made available to consumers at
below their values.

Related to this is the question of the degree to which agriculture should
be public or private. This was obviously of interest at the turn of the
century, as evidencec by Kautskys book on the agrarian question.

Then there is the question as to whether enteprises in a socialist
economy should be subjects of right, this was not as far as I know
debated prior to the establishment of the USSR, but it turned out to be
a key issue during the 50's and 60's in the debate over the Kosygin

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