Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at bom4.vsnl.net.in
Sat Apr 22 09:14:52 PDT 2000

While one must bear in mind costs and revenues (or magnitudes of values) in the short run, the basic objective of socialism must be to undermine and do away with the value form as such. I am not sure, though, how it is to be achieved.


----- Original Message ----- From: <JKSCHW at aol.com> To: <lbo-talk at lists.panix.com> Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2000 10:42 AM Subject: Hayeking

> Second, the point about markets is true, and the deeper point is that the
> question of design of social institutions has to be comparative. In view
> that we have to look at the balance of costs and benefits involved in
> markets versus other inntiututional forms of allocation.
> However, Hayerk';s point is that you cannot even do the analysis unless we
> have a reasaonably accurate way of ascertaining costs. He argued that of
> institutions available, markets were necessary to provide the incentives
> get that information, aggregate it, and create incentives to act on it.
> may not agree, but you need a plausible story about what other
> we have or might have that could do at least as good a job. Doug D said,
> "nearly right will do," and that is right too. Hayek's point is the for
> purposes, competitive markets are a lot more nearly right that any
> alternative, and no other alternative is nearly right enough.
> I have yet to see a story about what Jim D called (was it here or on
> democratic decentarlized planning that even looked remote credible.
> & Cotrill have a credible effort; other attemts have been made by Mandel,
> Albert & Hahnel, and Pat Devine. I don't think any of them are adequate.
> I don't mean planning never works. We know planning works better in some
> areas, health care, for example. But that doesn't mean it works better
> globally. This is the reply to the objection that corporations plan
> effectively. They do, but in a market context. Take away that context and
> incentive to get things right, and the planning is not so effective. That
> what is wrong with monopoly, and why we have antitrust laws.
> Likewise with the point, due to Doug D, that markets create incentives to
> about available capacities and needed resources. Quite true. But they also
> create systematic incentives for individuals who would profit by the
> information get find out the truth and publicize it. The question for
> pro-planners is, what are the analogous incentives that a planning system
> would have? The lying problem was pervasive in centarlly planned
> Yoshie says that class power creates incentives to lie, and that is true.
> the market punishes lies in the end, as the dot.com sector just found out.
> What punishes lies in a planned economy? Thus Yoshie is correct that we
> the hard budget constraint of bankruptcy and failure to make an economy
> That ain't a bug; it's a feature. Surely she does not want wasteful
> enterprises taht produce nothing that anyone wants using up resources in a
> socialist economy?
> Doug D and others empahsized that some of what counts as waste in
> might a benefit in socialism, for example more leisurely work conditions.
> True, but Hayek's point is more abstract and deeper than that. He contends
> taht the problems with planning lead to waste by socialism's criteria.
> produce stuff that no one wants because no one has found out accurately
> people do want. They have wasted their own time and the resources that
> used making the stuff. Surely we would want more leisure. But that would
> for more efficient production with less waste, less necessary worktime, so
> instead of goofing off at hated jobs, we could work less time at jobs we
> liked and have more real free time. But this requires accurate information
> about wants, costs, and resources. This is why Gorden's point that the
> problem with efficiency is that it doesn't say anything about what's
> out the end is quite misguided. Efficiency does not tell us what to
> It allows us to choose intelligfently according to our other values. If we
> not know about costs and waste our resources, we cannot effectively
> the values we care about.
> Finally, Carroll assues us, in classical Marxist purity, that it is
> and silly to think about hwo a future socialist society might be organized
> attain its goals. Marx thought that, but he was wrong. We knwo know a lot
> more than Marx did about how a socialist society can screw up. More to the
> point, thew orking classes of the world know that too, and they will quire
> rationally refuse to surrender their paltry birthright of wage labor for a
> mess of of undefined pottage at the end of the Historical Process.
> People should reread the essays in Individualism and the Economic Order--a
> great book, as I said, of socialist economics, and quite accessible.
> --jks

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