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

Paul Cockshott wrote:

The lesson I draw from the experience of eastern Europe was that it was
a mistake in countries like Poland not to let consumer goods prices
follow values. Attempts to subsidise consumer goods led to shortages and
suppressed inflation. So I think you need a consumer goods market of the
sort advocated in the 1930s by Lange and Dickinson, where goods are sold
at market clearing prices.

Stock control data from this process, along with the ratio between the
selling price and the labour content of goods would then be used by a
cybernetic system to adjust output levels of goods.

Since, however, the production would be communal, the units of
production would not depend on selling commodities for their survival in
the capitalist sense. The unit of production would not own the goods it
produced, they would be commonly owned and the individual consumer would
purchase them from the community by the performance of an equivalent
amount of labour to that contained in the goods, with some system of
electronic accounting keeping track of the labour each person performs
and indirectly consumes.

Why does labour have to be the measure?

This reproduces the world of job divided from life, of abstract labour. At most I can hunt in the morning and criticize in the evening, but only as long as someone is there with a stop watch to measure what I do. I understand people who believe that 'communism has been proved to be impractical', but this particular solution - which would itself require a revolution to achieve, so it doesn't have the merit of being especially practical - solves none of the current ecological problems; whether you try to minimize or maximize labour values, ecological questions are simply an add-on, just as they are in the capitalist economy (and visibly were in previously existing socialism).

It also doesn't help in trying to analyze free software and similar production, or in working out how to generalize it - one thing I'm quite sure of is that as soon as you try to measure the labour time used in communal free software production (the Stefans' 'triply free production'), that production stops dead.


The consumer would have the right to purchase consumer goods from
community shops. The units of production would not be subjects of right
like capitalist firms. They would not sell the products, just as  the
coke works in a steel mill today does not sell the coke to the blast
furnace division, it simply delivers it as part of an integrated
Contact: projekt

Contact: projekt

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