socialism and institutional pluralism Comrade 2020-12-21 (Mon) 05:26:18 No. 4254 [Reply]
It seems like most socialists are either Marxists who support comprehensive state planning, or anarchists who support either cooperative firms or informal local economies.
Isn't this a false dichotomy, though? Different institutions have different strengths and weaknesses. Non-centralized institutions are necessary to deal with major collective action problems, like for instance climate change, but can come with a small number of failure points. One could imagine a world where SOEs produce public goods and homogenous commodities at scale, while smaller cooperatives form to produce more differentiated or experimental products. I suppose a difficulty this introduces is that unlike everyone both owning and working for the state, or everyone both owning and working for their cooperative, this produces a seeming worker-owner split, with everyone owning the state but only some working for it. But there might presumably be a way to fix this with the way the state funds new cooperatives and collects back surplus from successful ones, which would seem to be necessary to avoid independent capital accumulation in an economy of just cooperatives anyway; and there may be aspects of the labor/ownership split that are physically inevitable per Critique of the Gotha Program (it cannot ever be the case that the only people who benefit from labor are the laborers, etc.) Probably people have already done the math on this, or shown ways you could do it or why you couldn't, but I'm an ignoramus, so I'm posting this here.
Comrade 2020-12-21 (Mon) 05:26:19 No. 4270
I agree with your overall point, that we're not dealing with two absolutes, you either centrally plan everything or you decentralise everything. The world we are inheriting, or will inherit, will come with issues and conditions that can only be solved by something that acts as a state apparatus.
>Non-centralized institutions are necessary to deal with major collective action problems, like for instance climate change Funny, because I'd actually say that climate change is something that needs a central/unified/planned solution, rather than a bunch of decentralised solutions that would probably be counter-productive more often than not. Things we need central planning/state apparatus to deal with: >climate change >nuclear arsenal >nuclear energy and accompanying infrastructure >medical science and healthcare >defense on a "national"/regional scale >maintenance of ecosystems, land, fisheries, oceans, etc. >standardisation of things like electrical appliances, and anything else that needs to interwork with other part >standardisation of education (to some degree, to make sure everyone is sort of on the same level) Other than that, everything can be decided on a local scale, by community councils or assemblies, or whatever, similar to how the Zapatistas make decisions and run their region. The idea is that every autonomous region (to call it that) would be largely self-sufficient when it comes to things like food, water, shelter, education, and the basic necessities, while the rest would be made in cooperation with the other regions. Or that's how the whole libertarian marxism, libertarian communism thing sounds like to me.
Comrade 2020-12-21 (Mon) 05:26:19 No. 4276
>>4270 >Funny, because I'd actually say that climate change is something that needs a central/unified/planned solution
That's actually just me being a dumbass - I meant to list climate change as something that required a centralized solution!