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Towards a New Socialism

Towards a New Socialism

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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.

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Published by: infopool on Oct 13, 2008
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10/15/2011

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Although the Ricardian theory does give us some useful information about
causes of trade flows it abstracts from the origins of comparative advantage.
Why are some countries better at producing particular goods? A major com-
ponent of trade flows is obviously explained by climate and the distribution of
mineral resources. That Saudi Arabia exports mineral oil and Greece olive oil is
explained by the endowments of nature. But we can not explain the Japanese
export of silicon chips by the easy availability of sand in Japan.
With the uneven development of technology, only a few advanced countries
may have any ability to manufacture certain goods. It does not make much
sense to compare the comparative advantages of Indonesia and the USA in
producing jumbo jets and leather goods, when the USA has an effective world
monopoly in jumbos. The analysis could be forced into a Ricardian framework
(by working out how much labour it would cost Indonesia to produce its own
jets), but this would obscure the more significant factor of very uneven techno-
logical development. The structure of trade among the industrialised countries
is largely determined by the areas of their technological expertise. An advanced
technology helps a country in two ways:

(1) It raises the general productivity of labour in a country and thus its overall
standard of life.

(2) It provides specialised products which the country can export to obtain
products which it is less able to produce.

Trade deriving from technical advances is unstable. Advantages are tempo-
rary, for in time technologies become common knowledge. Leading industrial
countries constantly develop new comparative advantages by introducing new
branches of production based upon the results of scientific research. To this ex-
tent the products they sell represent the embodied value of their scientific and
engineering research. The particular products that they export change from
year to year, so that vis-a-vis the less industrialised counties what they are
‘specialised’ in is the ability to develop new things.

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