PART 4: Implications/Extension of the GIC

Chapter 14: Planning and Dynamic Allocation in the Socialist Economy(~30 pages)

We describe what we believe to be the logical extensions of the GIC’s schema. These will include the role of capacity management in planning, slack and buffer stocks, and how the General Ledger (society’s unified accounting) is used to facilitate planning. Inspired by Stafford Beer’s Viable Systems Model(VSM), we show how planning needs to be located at the scales and level of recursion at which it is required. We examine how the organic whole of production and consumption drives a dynamic and self-organised form of economic planning. We will interrogate the issue of the matching of production and consumption in the socialist economy.

Chapter 15: Organisational Structure of a Socialist society (~15 pages)

Based on our previous discussions of cybernetics, we arrive at the VSM representation of the economic and political structure of the economy. We address the material basis of political institutions and the nature of politics in socialism, and how these differ from those institutions facilitated by class societies. We consider labour time planning and ecology, the determination of opportunity costs and how the unity of economic and political democracy allows for the dynamic meeting of social demands, at all scales. We answer proponents of schemes which seek to include all information about a good in its price and discuss the measure of labour time as the means to inform society of the difficulty and capacity constraints of productive activities.

Chapter 16: The Regulation of Production in a Socialist society (~60 pages)

In this important section, we deal with key additions to the Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution. We provide greater detail on price as the means of reproducing the economy, and how production agreements and production functions regulate productivity. We demonstrate how a socialist society resolves the antagonism between workers, with their interest in maintaining their income, and the introduction of labour saving technologies. We discuss the cybernetic structure of regulation and the self-regulation of production units with their associations of producers. We look at the meaning of “competition” and “quality” in the “market” for use-values under socialism, and contrast it with the function of these categories in a class society. We also examine such themes as social copyright, standardisation, and “self-employment” in socialism, and how the interests of the individual producer, firm, and society at large are aligned.

Chapter 17: Accumulation and Savings in Socialism (~15 pages)

We describe how society can direct accumulation and the role savings play in the rate of accumulation. We show how accumulation is a necessary component of a socialist society. We discuss how this has implications for the nature of labour-tokens and how they operate. We counterpose the ability of a socialist society to continuously reduce the length of the working day, to the Tendential Fall in the Rate of Profit within capitalism.

Chapter 18: A Socialist Theory of Rent (~15 pages)

We introduce the concept of rent in a socialist society, and show why they are necessary to deal with scarce and finite resources like raw materials, land, housing etc. A detailed theory of how they are dynamically and automatically calculated is proposed.

Chapter 19: The Job Complex and Classless Society (~10 pages)

We discuss the important insight from Parecon of the need for a job complex. The job complex is necessary to ensure a classless society and prevents the emergence of a coordinator class. The experience of the USSR shows us how such a coordinator class can work to reinstate capitalism. We expand this argument to show the important societal and economic dynamics that develop from this key insight.

Chapter 20: Social regulation and the prevention of Fraud (~20 pages)

Fraud was a major systemic problem in the Soviet economies. We give a detailed examination of labour time accounting and show how it is highly resilient to fraud, in comparison to other existing proposals. How the stability of prices and the lack of capitalist price dynamics dampen opportunities for fraud. The role that the general ledger and the transparency of all economic transactions play in preventing unearned incomes and fraud from arising.

Chapter 21: Imperialism & the Macro Socialist Economy(~20 pages)

A discussion of macroeconomic policies within a socialist society, and what would be a socialist approach to international trade and the interaction with external capitalist currencies. The relevance of imperialism to the socialist economy.

Chapter 22: Law of association (~10 pages)

Whereas Marx’s law of value refers to the exchange value of commodities in the market being regulated by their values, we introduce the law of association as the means of direct price determination in socialism. This law is in fact the result of the suspension of production for exchange and hence of exchange value. We show how GIC’s great achievement was to demonstrate how dispersed production could be undertaken resulting in goods which are simply ‘use values with a price’. These prices are determined by associated production and result directly and consciously from the new communist social relations.

Chapter 23: Day in the life of production unit (~15 pages)

A simple, clear account of what a working day in a labour time planned socialist society would look and feel like, from the perspective of different kinds of goods and service producers. This will make concrete for the reader what has previously been discussed in the abstract.

PART 5: The Socialist Future

Note: Page estimates are based upon 400 words per page