P. 1
Towards a New Socialism

Towards a New Socialism

5.0

|Views: 67|Likes:
Published by infopool
Towards a New Socialism by W. Paul Cockshott and Allin F. Cottrell

This book (first published in 1993 by Spokesman, Nottingham, England) is our attempt to answer the idea that socialism is dead and buried after the demise of the Soviet Union.

The core of the book consists of a series of chapters spelling out what we believe would be efficient and democratic methods for planning a complex economy. We also examine issues of inequality and its elimination, systems of payment for labour, a democratic political constitution for a socialist commonwealth, the commune as a set of arrangements for living, and property relations under socialism.

The book "Towards a New Socialism" (TNS) is copyright (c) 1993 W. Paul Cockshott and Allin Cottrell. The copyright holders grant you permission to copy and redistribute the English-language text of TNS as you wish -- in printed, electronic or any other form -- on the following conditions: (a) you acknowledge the authorship of Cockshott and Cottrell; and (b) if you make modifications, you distinguish clearly between the text as written by the original authors and your own modifications. Please note that this permission may not apply to translations of TNS into other languages. That is, the publishers of translations of TNS may assert exclusive rights to their translation.
Towards a New Socialism by W. Paul Cockshott and Allin F. Cottrell

This book (first published in 1993 by Spokesman, Nottingham, England) is our attempt to answer the idea that socialism is dead and buried after the demise of the Soviet Union.

The core of the book consists of a series of chapters spelling out what we believe would be efficient and democratic methods for planning a complex economy. We also examine issues of inequality and its elimination, systems of payment for labour, a democratic political constitution for a socialist commonwealth, the commune as a set of arrangements for living, and property relations under socialism.

The book "Towards a New Socialism" (TNS) is copyright (c) 1993 W. Paul Cockshott and Allin Cottrell. The copyright holders grant you permission to copy and redistribute the English-language text of TNS as you wish -- in printed, electronic or any other form -- on the following conditions: (a) you acknowledge the authorship of Cockshott and Cottrell; and (b) if you make modifications, you distinguish clearly between the text as written by the original authors and your own modifications. Please note that this permission may not apply to translations of TNS into other languages. That is, the publishers of translations of TNS may assert exclusive rights to their translation.

More info:

Published by: infopool on Oct 13, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

10/15/2011

pdf

text

original

The idea of economy-wide planning is not fashionable. Surveying the current
state of the world, one could easily get the impression that economic planning
is an idea whose time has passed. Economic growth has faltered in the USA
after Reagan and in the UK after Thatcher, and advocates of the untramelled
market have less grounds for self-confidence than they appeared to in the 1980s,
but on the other side of what used to be the ‘iron curtain’ the collapse of the
Soviet-style planned economies is all but complete. Even if capitalism is visibly
flawed, planning seems to offer no alternative. The self-confidence of socialists
is at an historic low.

We are swimming against the tide, but, we believe, with good reason. The
‘failure’ of economic planning in the traditional Soviet mode was not illusory,
but we have two counter-arguments to make. First, the system which has been
abandoned in Russia was one particular implementation of planning. It was
a system shaped by the needs of military production in a state caught in an
arms race, starting from a level of economic development far below that of its
enemies—initially Germany then the USA. The arms race and its associated
trade embargoes were part of an open and deliberate US policy to bankrupt the
USSR. The militarised structure of the Soviet economy was no more an essential
feature of socialism than is the militarisation of the economy of Israel an essential
feature of capitalism. Other models are possible, and we wish to present the
outlines of a system which can be efficient in satisfying consumers’ wishes while
at the same time guiding the economy towards equality, social justice and a
sustainable place in the environment of planet Earth. Second, we see the costs of
the new, thrusting capitalism as socially unacceptable, and we expect that more
and more people will come to share this view. The skewing of the distribution
of income, wealth and economic security towards greater inequality; the neglect
of social provision and public goods; the headlong exploitation of the natural
environment—all these negative legacies of the Reagan and Thatcher years will
have to be redressed. We believe that a new socialist planning system is the
most promising form of economy to deal with these deep-seated problems.
This chapter introduces our conception of such a new planning system. We
discuss the key features of economic planning in general, and distinguish these

53

54

Chapter 4. Basic Concepts of Planning

from the features of a capitalist economy. The following chapters then set out
in detail the planning mechanisms which we see as most likely to be efficient
and effective. We distinguish these from the traditional ‘bureaucratic planning’
in the USSR, and show how our proposed alternative can be made to work by
harnessing the remarkable powers of the latest generation of computers.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->