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Re: [ox-en] Re: Role of markets

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 technology.

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
necessarily destructive?

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).

Best regards

Contact: projekt

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