19 March, 2019

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21st Century Socialism: What Is It?

By Hema Senanayake

Hema Senanayake

Hema Senanayake

Sumanasiri Liyange in a recent article wrote to Colombo Telegraph tried to intimate that the 21st Century Socialism would be different from its old version. In regard to that he presented a list of five points or characteristics quoting from Bolivarian revolutionaries of Venezuela. No socialism or any other economic system would prevail if that system is not efficient than present capitalistic system. These Bolivarian revolutionaries know nothing about economic efficiency. That may be the reason the term “economic efficiency” is missing from the five point list. Let us have a quick look about the five characteristics which characteristics Sumanasiri takes seriously. I quote from Sumanasiri’s article on June 11th, 2015 to CT.

“1. Human development as the center and focus. Socialism is to be governed by the logic of humanism and solidarity and have as its aim the satisfaction of human needs, not profit;

2. Respect for nature, and opposition to consumerism. Our goal should not be to live “better” but to live “well”;

3. Socialism requires a new dialectic of production/ distribution/ consumption based on: (a) socialownership of the means of production, (b) social production organized by workers and (3) the satisfaction of communal needs;

4. A new concept of efficiency that both respects nature and seeks human development;

5. Rational use of available natural and human resources through a decentralized participatory planning process that has nothing do with the hyper centralized bureaucratic planning of the Soviet state. (A World to Build. pp. 57 and 83-84)” As Sumanasiri intimated the author of this book is Marta Harnecker, a Bolivarian revolutionary.

Please read the above quote carefully. Is there any single word about “economic efficiency?” – Nothing. The main weakness of the Soviet Union style socialism was not having “centralized bureaucratic planning” instead of having “decentralized participatory planning” or even lack of “social production organized by workers” or not having “human development as the center and focus.” The main weakness of Soviet system originated from its inability to comprehend the “market mechanism” as a tool of planning of the production and distribution. When you failed to comprehend it, you automatically fail to comprehend the necessity to ensure having the real cost of every produce. When you failed to do both you would fail to establish a currency that freely and flexibly penetrate into the each cell of produce so as to express its value. When these things fail economic efficiency fails. That was what happened in Soviet Union. Its system was not competitive with western capitalism. Didn’t any socialist see this crisis?

A participant carries a child on his shoIn fact Leon Trotsky saw it. So, he wrote, “Market and credit mechanism serve the cause of socialism better than capitalism” (Revolution Betrayed). He highly criticized the Soviet styled price regulations imposed by professors of Stalin regime.

He said, “The professors forgot to explain how you can estimate real costs if all prices express the will of a bureaucracy and not the amount of socially necessary labor expended. And as to prices, they will serve the cause of socialism better, the more honestly they express the real economic relations of the present day” (Revolution Betrayed). What does this mean? It means that the prices must not be determined according to the will of the bureaucracy, instead prices must be determined through the market mechanism. Why? It is because such price determination has something to do with economic efficiency.

Perhaps, some socialists, especially 21st century socialists of Bolivarian kind, might reject Trotsky’s views, saying that those are not Marxist views, but then they must turn to Karl Marx.

Marx said, “The actual sale of commodities for money tests the validity of the expectation that any particular labor expended is indeed social and necessary labor. It is only after sale the social and necessary character of the labor expended in producing a commodity is guaranteed. The commodity producer produces the commodity on a speculation that the market will validate the social and necessary character of that labor” (Marx’s Theory of Money in Historical Perspective, Duncan K. Foley, 2003).

So, both Karl Marx and Trotsky pointed out the requirement of validation of labor expended in producing something. The mechanism for such validation is the market exchange of produce. Such validation is only possible after the sale of a commodity. That is the real role of market mechanism – And that is why Trotsky said that market would serve the cause of socialism better than capitalism. If we accept market mechanism as a useful tool in ensuring economic efficiency then we have to admit the need of having a stable currency. Do the Bolivarian revolutionaries have a stable currency in Venezuela now? It is a question, perhaps Dr. Sumanasiri could answer better. But, I know what Trotsky said about the importance of having a stable currency for a country even though that establishing a stable currency is still an unresolved matter in present capitalist economic theory.

Trotsky said, “Successful socialist construction is unthinkable without including in the planned system the direct personal interest of the producer and consumer … which in turns may reveal itself fruitfully only if it has in its service the customary, reliable and flexible instrument, the money. The raising of productivity of labor and bettering of the quality of its products is quiet unattainable without an accurate measure freely penetrate into all the cells of industry – that is, without a stable unit of currency” (revolution Betrayed).

In the above quote, Trotsky discusses about the question of economic efficiency. He talks about increasing productivity and this is efficiency; he talks about the increase of quality of products and this is about efficiency in increasing quality, and he concludes that without a stable currency that could measure the relative value of products there will be no viable socialism. Now, do the socialists of 21st century know how to establish a stable currency? I do not think so because this is a subject even Karl Marx got wrong. His mistake was documented by Edgar Hardcastle in an article titled “Can Banks Create Credit?” (1971, www.Marxist.org).

In defending Marx in the said scholarly article, Edgar admitted that Marx did not believe that commercial banks can literally create money. It was wrong and a mistake. Without understanding the modern system of capitalist money in correct perspective I do not think that any 21st Century socialist party could establish a better system or a better stable currency. Capitalists admit that their system has a flaw. For example the former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Allan Greenspan made a shocking but arrogant admittance of this fact.

At a congressional hearing held in October 2008 in the midst of economic recession he was asked: “You found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working?” Greenspan replied, “That’s precisely the reason I was shocked because I’d been going for 40 years or so with considerable evidence that it working exceptionally well, and I have found a flaw” In other words Allan Greenspan admits that present capitalist monetary system has a flaw.

On the contrary, 21st Century socialists want to have a better economy by simply being environmental friendly, being opposed to consumerism or by having “decentralized participatory planning process.” They do not talk or discuss as to how they are going to remove the “flaw in the capitalist monetary system” which was admitted by Allan Greenspan. Can socialism be built by using an erroneous monetary system? Trotsky said that such a possibility is unthinkable.

Amazingly, capitalists want monetary reforms to have a better system. For an example, in March this year, Iceland Prime Minister originated a document to enquire whether the Iceland can establish a banking system known as Full Reserve Banking in order to prevent monetary disturbances of similar magnitude that took place in 2008. Socialists are totally out of this discussion. They think that all problems of capitalism are originating from market mechanism, ownerships of means of production and unequal distribution.

As it is happening now, it is true that the distribution of consumable output is related or linked to the ownership of means production through which “exploitation” becomes possible. However exploitation does not mean that the expansion of productive capital and owned it by capitalist elite. In the final analysis effective exploitation means that you allocate more consumable output for yourself; to do it you must own the means of production or the government or both.

But, in a well-functioning democracy the distribution of consumable output can be done fairly without any significant relation to the ownership of means of production. Capitalist elite know that this is technically and economically possible by adjusting three economic variables namely, wage structure, taxation and consumer credit. But they say if you do delink the distribution from the ownership of means of production completely or to a greater degree, then you can’t ensure the economic efficiency. If socialists can prove that this argument is wrong then they can win.

In fact the separation of the distribution of consumable output from the ownership of means of production must be a goal in socialism, no matter whether factories and banks are owned by private individuals or corporations or workers or trade unions or corporatives or the government, because there is no guarantee that production organized by workers would abstain from exploitation if they own the means of production. Instead what Trotsky suggested was that it is important to separate the distribution from the ownership of factories; further he said that in order to do that the tool of taxation is quiet sufficient. Even Noble Prize winning capitalist economist Professor Joseph Stiglitz admits this point.

After the Great Financial Crash of 2008, he says, “For total American consumption to be restored on a sustainable basis, there would have to be a large redistribution of income …” (Free Fall, 2010). But his idea is not conclusive. Still capitalists want to increase economic efficiency of their system while 21st Century socialists abstain fully in discussing the efficiency factor. As far as I know socialism means to uphold the most competitive democracy under a most efficient economic system in which distribution is delinked from the ownership of means of production.

 

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    Socialism is highjacked by encouraging greed in the running of the economy fueled by FIAT money, Debt ( liberally given by IMF/WB ) of printed valueless monopoly money ( $ ) carried out by a group of politicians who claim to represent the people but who do nothing more than to enrich themselves. The new political/ economic establishment has high jacked social justice and is surviving by stealing the wealth of the citizenry. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The problem is that the so called socialists are also bought over by bribes and greed in this system. If not can you imagine any socialist voting for the 18th amendment!

    • 1
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      Hema Senanayake

      RE: 21st Century Socialism: What Is It?

      Q. What is the Core-problem of Socialism? Lack of Incentives and the Result

      Low Productivity.

      “2. Respect for nature, and opposition to consumerism. Our goal should not be to live “better” but to live “well”;”

      Not everybody contributed equally. The brilliant and the idiots were treated equally and compensated equally.

  • 0
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    Creation of wealth and a just society need not be contradictory. I hope Sumanasiri Liyanage will respond.

  • 5
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    Hema Senanayake,

    Sumanasiri Liyanage said : Socialism is to be governed by the logic of humanism and solidarity and have as its aim the satisfaction of HUMAN NEEDS, not profit.

    Therein lies TRUE Economy Efficiency : Human Needs.

    We need Non-GMO paddy-fields, vegetables and fruits, we need cotton to weave our clothes. We need some stationary and confectionary. We need some furniture, we need some kitchen utensils, and nice housing. We need some movies to watch, and some sports to play, beer and toddy to drink, and some movies to watch. We need some jewelry, we need some cosmetics, some deodorant and a bit of perfume from flowers.

    But what on earth do we want i-phones, i-pads, online games industry, space age building space-ships to Mars, and experimental GMO-food production so colony on Mars can be started, Robots to take over human jobs, rampant sex industry and uncontrolled online ditto, FB and on CT (although these two are part of the “economic efficiency” capitalistic money making trend, they can fortunately give interactive awareness into the foibles of the money making psychosis). And on top of that is the Casio industry to use the ultimate excess of human greed to be the final frontier of the money-market.

    And why did USA establish a currency based on all the above, that freely and flexibly penetrated into the each cell of produce so as to express its value in their unnatural currency stratum? Because they had no other natural resources. They had immigrant upon immigrant coming into the US from Europe in the 1800-1900’s, and they had already destroyed most of American natural resources like farmland and the capacity to grow communities on American soil in time-honored manner like other countries did, e.g. Sri Lanka which has endured for over 100-millennia. Previous to that was Britain, which colonized and imbalanced the whole world for no other reason but egotism and for divide and conquer and rule. ENOUGH! We must evolve into something worthier.

    I mean, all those are good and interesting inventions in themselves- inventions based on the supreme ability of the human mind (weren’t the pyramids supreme), but to be in production so rapidly within these 100 years (the age of Satan), and expect human society and faculties to adjust pro-rata , is like feeding GMO-foods to people, and expecting the human body to adjust to it ASAP. But instead, the guts and DNA of humans are disintegrating and mutating with all this weird and unnatural food which probably belong to another epoch in evolution or another planet. Autism is at an all-time high.

    So, while the capitalistic countries viz. the West, and more recently China and certain countries of South America are experimenting with this same kind of production-and-distribution aka Ultra-Capitalism (however democratically generous it is- equitable taxation and all), keeping up with this bizarre monetary standard is an intense burden on the rest of the natural-born globe.

    Soviet Union didn’t succeed because they were eternally at threat from the US. So they had to spend all their money on the arms race, and on the space-age in rivalry (as the US was stealing all their scientists).

    And Cuba was crippled by the Capitalistic USA, and were also at threat from them. Cuba also did not have many other places they could trade on a socialist-level, and so their currency lacked little robustness – hence they remained mired in poverty. Now Cuba is gingerly opening up, while US, realizing the errors of its former ways, is striving to tone down on its capitalistic profligacy and move in a greater socialist direction (or as far and fast as an ultra-capitalist entity can make a 180%-turn and move in that direction).

    And all the while China, mighty China, is play-acting the Ultra-Capitalism wannabe, and for no other reason than to wrench control, and hopefully create a wider area of Socialistic/Communistic rule and currency – but not after all natural resources are destroyed, and there’ll be nothing to produce and trade with again, and peg money onto, but i-pads, robots, et al.

    • 0
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      Correction : ………and so its currency (Cuba’s) lacked robustness (or has little robustness).

      • 0
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        Correction : 180-degree turn

    • 2
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      Ramona,

      Who determine the human needs? I like your presentation of feelings which resonate with many who hate “extreme consumerism” including many religious groups. One Christian leader launched a campaign called “Stop Shopping.”

      I will reply your this broader question in a separate article. Expect it. Thanks.
      Hema

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        Hema,
        Who determines human needs? Natural unadulterated instinct of each group and race of people. Anything else is delusional.

        The religious groups I have listened to are more about progression according to the highest pinnacle of human ability, or progression for evolution’s sake that too many Buddhists also succumb to. They are supposed to go the humble and simple way, but when everybody looks up to them, and when they have access to loads of money (like the Christian groups), it’s all about power and hierarchy.

        But before any religious groups came up in this era, it was Karl Marx and Fredric Engels (and authors like Dickens) who put things into good perspective for Europe. Sri Lanka on the other hand, was naturally always socialist as per Buddhist religion. Sri Lanka was a social monarchy cum religious system till the colonists distorted things.

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        Hema,
        I will look forwards to reading your separate article. I guess you will write upon the lines of the ultimate frontiers of the human ability – from the discovery of fire to a colony on Mars.

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      ramona therese fernando

      “Soviet Union didn’t succeed because they were eternally at threat from the US.”

      Not really USSR was fighting a war with itself over 70 years.

      “But what on earth do we want i-phones, i-pads, online games industry, space age building space-ships to Mars”

      You have a choice. Please don’t buy them or use them. Don’t be a hypocrite.

      • 2
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        Native Vedda,
        USSR was trying to consolidate its social structures because they needed a common socialized trading group – hence they invaded other countries. If they didn’t invade the other countries, US capitalism would have taken them over very fast, and Russia would have been a no-show. Aslo the system of money created by the West bought more technology in weaponry. Hence was the need for USSR to work its people to the bone to create their own defense system. More than the relative small area that Russia invaded was the far larger areas that the US influenced so they could have constant set of trading partners to sustain their consumerism.

        Alas, the capitalistic structure that I dwell within causes me, in the absence of good socialized environment, to have a computer and i-phone. It is better that the changes start from top down, rather than from the ordinary person like me. I can join groups and try, and hopefully along the way, China will give up its quest for ultimate global control, and then the US will have an easier time of turning the 180-degree socialist direction. In my condition, I can only write.

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          ramona therese fernando

          “USSR was trying to consolidate its social structures because they needed a common socialized trading group – hence they invaded other countries.”

          So that’s good for USSR and how about those countries which were controlled by USSR until 1990s?

          You would agree with Hindia say for instance if it invaded Maldive, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, ……….. trying to consolidate its social structures.

          You wouldn’t mind if similar steps are being taken by People’s Republic of China, invading Cambodia, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Korea, Brunei, Myanmar, ……… Sri Lanka in order to consolidate its social structures.

          • 0
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            Native Vedda,
            Invasion by another country is of course a grave injustice. But the main topic of discussion is not about invasion; it is about capitalism vs. socialism/communism.

            It was about the capitalistic countries having a historical union(starting from colonial times), and socialism/communism needed to consolidate itself in the face of that acute imbalance towards its ideology.

            Colonization was actually Invasion of other countries. Colonial times look so charming and romantic, and the colonists wrote appealing stories and made stylish films about their side of things. The colonized races on the other hand, had no voice at all and we hardly ever heard their stories.

  • 4
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    The reason Socialism/Communism fails is because it lacks Obliquity!

    Obliquity suggests for example if you want to make a business profitable deliver something people want. Its the opposite of wanting to make money first and doing something to fit that agenda.

    Socialism fails because it demands distribution of wealth in order to create an equitable society.

    The society is inherently not “equal” with people from different skills and abilities. The guy who works hard should not have to subsidize the lazy bastard who do not want to work.

  • 0
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    Sumanasiri Liyanage and Hema Senanaike if you are also interested in these Marxist trashes!

    I want to ask you a few questions from you as you are a leading theoretician from Marx school

    when you refer to 21st Century Socialism,you admit there were other varieties
    Such as 19 century Socialism and 20 century socialism?

    Before we speak about 21 century Socialism could you please let us know what had happened to 19 & 20 century socialism?

    Do you believe socialism / communism in one country is possible- Leon Trotsky?

    Why not re-read not only Marx,but Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky as well and the experiences of Soviet union and other 20th century failed socialist experiments before talking about Cuba,Venenzula and Bolivia?

    There is always a huge gap between theory and practice and mistakes are common in both capitalist and socialist systems and do not hide behind these mistakes as excuses.

    Will you admit the capitalist system is much more flexible enough to survive much more effectively the onslaught of modern imperialism/globalization than socialism?

  • 0
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    The primary target of a socialist state in the 21st century should be to completely wipe out poverty. Creation of ‘fully-fledged welfare states’ – with 100% free healthcare, education, housing, public transport, electricity, water, communication, childcare etcetera – would effectively achieve this target.

    In order to do this, scientific planning of infrastructure development should replace the profit-system. Public control of banks, major industries and national services would be central to introduce rational planning.

    Availability of basic human needs free of charge would invariably create healthy, educated, stress-free societies where human productivity and creativity would reach unprecedented heights. That’s the way forward for the mankind.

    • 1
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      Public control and central planning may seem the obvious answer but name one nation in which they have worked. Yeltsin on a visit to the US was astonished at the varieties of the same product available in supermarkets. It seemed unecessary and wasteful but after he returned to the USSR he spoke about what he had seen to a ‘stunned Moscow audience’. His experience in that supermarket destroyed the last shreds of faith he had in a centrally planned economy. (Sowell)

      Capitalism uses human greed to increase production. Some welfare programs built into the system then take care of the needy. Look at ‘communist’ China embracing profit. It was Deng Xiao Ping who made China what she is today, not Mao’s red guards and state controllers.

  • 1
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    [Excerpt from my Facebook wall]

    THE WAY FORWARD FOR THE MANKIND:

    Fully-fledged socialism, by definition, has to be a world system, and cannot be built within a particular nation-state. Productive forces have, via imperialism, already transcended the nation-state, though still rooted within the nation-state network; therefore, socialism, being the next progressive world-order, will have to start on an international scale by liberating the productive forces from the constraints of the nation-state system. In other words, the ‘world revolution’ would pave the way to scientifically reorganize the productive forces for the benefit of the world community as a whole.
    In order to save the masses from the capitalist austerity onslaught, for example, a revolutionary state might temporarily isolate itself from the world capitalist-system and introduce rational economic planning for the benefit of the masses; until, of course, revolution within one or more major industrial nations changes the balance of forces dramatically in favour of a new world order. Nationalization of banks and industries, the protection of the indigenous currency from economic storms within world capitalism and state monopoly of imports & exports would become essential for the introduction of rational panning of infrastructure.

    Only an authentic socialist administration is capable of wiping out poverty completely. [The so-called ‘trickle-down theory’ is a load of eyewash to justify capitalist economics.] Nationalisation of finance capital and public ownership of means of production & distribution will facilitate a workers’ state to introduce scientific planning of infrastructure-development targeting a fully-fledged welfare-state where people’s basic needs are free of charge. Common ownership devoid of profit-motives will create the conditions for human society to develop productive forces as never before. Availability of basic human needs free of charge would invariably create healthy, educated, stress-free societies where human productivity and creativity would reach unprecedented heights. That’s the way forward for the mankind.

  • 1
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    Vasantha Rajah,

    What you have formulated looks like the Election Manifesto of United Front Government of 1970.

    The great socialist experiment through parliamentary path

    The dream collapsed within one year.

    DO you want us to go back to 1970 to go forward to the 21st Century Socialism?

  • 0
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    Sri Krish, you are absolutely clueless about what I say in my comment. You don’t seem to understand the concept of ‘fully-fledged welfare state’ where basic needs – healthcare, childcare, education, housing, public transport, electricity, water etcetera – are provided 100% free of charge for all citizens to use. You are telling a BIG LIE if you say 1970 government in Sri Lanka did all that.

    Such a dramatic transformation cannot be done without scientific planning by a workers’ state that take over finance capital and big industries under its control.

    Don’t talk about things you don’t understand.

    • 2
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      Vasantha Raja

      “Such a dramatic transformation cannot be done without scientific planning by a workers’ state that take over finance capital and big industries under its control.”

      And ruin what is left of the country.

      I am sure you still remember the 1970’s, the so called socialists brilliantly planned and executed stagflation really delivered prosperity to the people.

  • 0
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    Sri Krish has confused the ‘open economy’/’closed economy’ conflict of the seventies with my ‘socialist concept’. In the 1970s, there was a conflict of interests between world imperialism and the emerging national bourgeoisie in the poor countries. That conflict has nothing to do with what I say here.

    A workers’ state will have to take TEMPORARY measures to protect the masses’ interests from the effect of economic storms within world imperialism. There is a BIG difference between this and the ‘closed economies’ of the seventies that catered for national bourgeois (SLFP) interests. We saw how Sri Lanka’s indigenous capitalists soon realized the importance of joining hands with the imperialists to promote their interests. That’s what happened in the rising of the ‘open economy’ in 1977.

    A socialist government’s actions to cut-off global economy’s adverse effects is merely a mark-time step until the ‘world-socialist-order’ eventually arrives, i.e. the world revolution. Thus, what I say in my previous comments must be understood as part of workers’ struggles across the globe to bring in a new world order. This would amount to a reorganization of productive forces on a global scale.

    Therefore, never try to confuse my views and the SLFP views of the early seventies.

  • 0
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    Native Veddo,

    You are wrong to call the SLFP-led government during the seventies ‘socialist’. That was merely a futile effort to protect the growing national capitalist class from imperialist competition. That effort failed. And, the UNP government won political power in 1977 and, under JR’s rule, the country’s economy was fully opened for the big corporations to come in.

    The local bourgeoisie soon realised that it would be in their best interest to join the imperialists, exploit the working class together and share the profit.

    That is still going on in Sri Lanka: Local and foreign capitalists keep making big profit and the poor masses still suffer.

    This situation must be changed. And, the demand for a ‘fully fledged welfare state’ is designed to challenge the system head-on and unmask those guys who shed crocodile tears for the suffering masses.

    • 2
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      Vasantha Raja

      “That is still going on in Sri Lanka: Local and foreign capitalists keep making big profit and the poor masses still suffer.”

      What are the people doing about it? They voted for 8 measures of free grains and they still vote for kleptocracy, theocracy and racists.

      Without growth and prosperity the country cannot afford to build a ‘fully fledged welfare state’.

      This is a globalised world hence the individual state has no say over movement of goods, services and factors of production. This equally applies to the rich as well as the poor countries.

      You should question the faceless un-elected executives who run large corporations. They decide what is good for you, me and a farmer living and toiling in remote parts of this island and others elsewhere.

      Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will make the corporations more powerful than any democratically elected government.

      Before building a ” fully fledged welfare state” we must learn how to create wealth, tax appropriately, avoid nepotism and corruption, respect for human rights, dignify hard work, …… encourage creativity, ………..

      If country is broke no amount of sloganeering will feed, educate, keep the people healthy, ………… and wise.

      The whole so called Socialists world former and present stand witness to its own bankruptcy.

  • 0
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    Shall we call it 21st Century Welfare State.

    Not Socialist state.Something like what is happening in countries like Norway, Sweden,…….

    We Shall have free education , Free healh Services and free rice. You need not work .

    leave aside productivity or economic efficency

    Is this Socialism or Welfare? or Fabian Socialism?

  • 0
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    Public ownership of finance capital & means of production are fundamental to the rational planning of ‘fully-fledged welfare states’. And they are based on socialist values. Therefore, it is socialism I’m talking about.

    The half-baked welfare states in the west are primarily funded via taxation on the ‘rich’. This point is valid in relation to the welfare states in Nordic countries too. Therefore, they are dependent on thriving capitalists. Due to the dragging disintegration of world capitalism since 2008, these welfare systems have become utterly vulnerable.

    The ‘fully-fledged welfare states’ do not need a capitalist class to maintain and develop the relevant infrastructure. There is a big difference between scientific planning based on socialist values on the one hand and keeping social services at the mercy of capitalist profit on the other.

    Only a world socialist order could make this transformation in the proper sense of the word. However, a workers’ state in an individual country also can do this by various measures protecting the masses’ interests from global capitalist interests – on a temporary basis, of course.

  • 0
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    I wish to write a long response to Hema Senanayaka’s piece as he has raised very important issue. However, because of other commitment, i can only write a short response now addressing the issue later at length. Socialism should be definitely a better and more efficient system than capitalistic system. Nonetheless, if we mean by ‘efficient’ “the economic efficiency’ as defined in bourgeois economic theory, we will develop not a socialist system but a same system that was created by the modernist project may with state ownership and centralized planning. 21 century Socialism proposes a different kind of efficiency that was well analyzed by Marta Harnecker in her book. (Also in an excellent work by Istvan Meszaros’s “Beyond Capital”.

    I can see the relevance of increasing ‘economic efficiency’ in a limited sense when a left government comes to power in a country that has not yet fully developed and with low income. In such a situation characterized by a specific socio-political and econo-cultural conjuncture, we cannot stop totally the operation of “law of value” (Trotsky, Revolution Betrayed). However, if we define the advancement of ‘economic efficiency’ as a permanent feature, we will not be able to go “beyond capital” as labor will be treated as a commodity subsumed by capital. In socialist society, the operation of “law of value” will be stopped. Socialism is a system that goes beyond capital.

  • 0
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    What do mean by “socialism is a system that goes beyond capital” Indeed that Trotskyist have forget ‘ABC’ of socialism and Capital of Marxism?

    Capital will remained in new society. The capital role is remain uninterruptedly.

    The role of capitalism do not that stop by role of capital.
    Writer has misunderstood role play by Capital.
    His line of economics thinking is purely capital mode of thinking.
    How such man run Marx school of teaching?

    In capital Marx gives his thinking in details about a new society that will take the place of capitalism, a socialist and communist society. Capital in sense is very rich in its content.

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