PART 2: Critique of Existing Proposals

Chapter 5: Parecon (~15 pages)

Critique of Parecon’s form of ‘decentralised’ central planning, using Marx’s analysis of Capital and the Fundamental Principles as a lens.

Chapter 6: Towards a New Socialism and Central Planning (~20 pages)

Critique of central planning and its slow feedback function – how out of sync feedback functions can cause oscillations that destabilise a system. How this proposal re-institutes a class system of planners and technicians over the workers. Commentary on dispersed self-organised economic activity and the effects of its loss due to the centralisation of production. Discussion of the fragility of centrally planned economies. A discussion of Lange-Lerner simulated markets. We also briefly address socialist theoretical work which places an inordinate emphasis on technical change, such as the Republic of Walmart and Fully Automated Luxury Communism (FALC). These are critiqued for neglecting deeper questions of social relations.

Chapter 7: Cybernetics, Cybersyn and Stafford Beer (~30 pages)

Develop the previous critiques of feedback here. An introduction to Stafford Beers work on the Viable System Model (VSM), and the concept of variety and algedonics. Show how algedonics can replace the need for the price mechanism and the capitalist market. We discuss how complex systems incorporate both decentralised and hierarchical structures to maintain viability, and what this means for the organisational forms necessary for a socialist society. We detail the success and failures of Beer and his work on the Cybersyn project in Chile in the 1970’s. A discussion of how planning works in the real world vs the idealised notion of ‘central planning’. We highlight how central planning in reality was an ideological smokescreen for widespread improvisation within the Soviet system. Why localised self-organisation is the basis for any advanced functioning economy and is especially crucial to a socialist economy.

Chapter 8: In Natura Planning (~10 pages)

A critique of the classic works of Neurath and Hilferding on in-natura planning and its influence on the revolutionary social democratic tradition, in particular on the Bolsheviks during the early years of the Russian revolution. Our critique of the modern communizer tendency and their association with in-natura planning as well as our response to communizer critiques of the Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution. The continuing influence of in-natura planning on modern socialist texts such as ‘Half Earth Socialism’.

Chapter 9: Market Socialism (~10 pages)

We critique the main proposals for Socialism that seek to regulate production and distribution through profits and market exchange, with special attention given to the historical experience of Yugoslavia.

Chapter 10: Syndicalism / Anarchism / Mutualism (~10 Pages)

We reiterate the essential positions of Marx and the Group of International Communists in their critiques of mutualism and syndicalism – primarily that the association of free and equal producers does not imply freedom from association, and negates private production of commodities for the purpose of exchange. An examination of how such schemas recreate the conditions for class society and ultimately capitalist production.

PART 3: The Socialist Society

Note: Page estimates are based upon 400 words per page