Re: [ox-en] Re: Role of markets
- From: Paul Cockshott <wpc dcs.gla.ac.uk>
- Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2008 10:13:54 +0100
What is the point of these hypothetical situations. One has to deal with
concrete social formations and the processes of transformation of these
social formations under the influence of specific configurations of
After the invention of industrial technologies which need the
co-operation of a large group of people using expensive equipment to
produce things, there are only three possible forms of property
relations that can reproduce themselves:
1. Private capitalist industry
2. Publicly owned industry
3. Producer Co-operatives
I think that there is evidence that systems dominated by producers
co-operatives have a tendancy to gravitate towards capitalist industry
through the pressures exerted on them by the banking system, but that is
a secondary matter.
In the first and last of these it is clear that commodity markets are
essential to the reproduction of the units of production. In the case of
publicly owned industry, commodity markets may exist, but they are not
essential. The activity can continue without commodification as in the
Health service in the UK, the education systems in a number of
countries, the armies in all countries.
If we assume generalised public ownership the issue arises whether
markets can be completely abolished. I think no. I think that some
residual indicative function remains for certain consumer goods markets
in order to match output to community tastes.
This is only necessary for those goods that either can not be allocated
on the basis of need ( like health care ), or can not be distributed
freely ( like radio and TV broadcasts, information downloadable on the
internet). Basically indicative markets have to be retained for goods
whose marginal labour content does not tend to zero, and for which
objective requirements can not be socially determined.
Christian Siefkes wrote:
Hi Patrick, hi all,
Patrick Anderson wrote:
Stefan, are you saying that any trade in ANY form is always
What if there were two people stranded on an island? Must they stay
isolated in order to preserve the biosphere, or can they get together
and trade labor and products so they can specialize without increasing
harm to the island?
There is a third option: they can cooperate, jointly producing what they
like to have (and making some formal or informal agreements on how to divide
the necessary work).
Contact: projekt oekonux.de