Why Market Socialism?: Voices from Dissent

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Frank Roosevelt, David Belkin
M.E. Sharpe, Dec 19, 1994 - Business & Economics
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This book is a contribution to current efforts to transform the concept of socialism. It moves away from the traditional socialist antipathy towards commodity exchange and advocates a significant role for markets in post-capitalist society. Going beyond the familiar arguments of socialists who blame markets for many of the more objectionable aspects of capitalism--alienation, inequality, exploitation, instability, and possessive individualism--the contributors to this volume see markets as making possible a dispersion of political power, decentralization of economic decision-making, and efficient use of scarce resources.

Continuing in a long line of liberal socialist thinkers who have understood the disadvantages of relying too heavily on the state to coordinate and direct the economic activities of a nation, today's market socialist theorists accept the painful lessons of the Soviet and East European experience with central planning. They also build on recent advances in positive political economy that have made possible a richer understanding of the respective roles--and limits--of markets and political structure (including firms) as ways of organizing economic activities and allocating resources. Several contributors address the question of whether or not reliance upon markets is compatible with the promotion of socialist objectives such as economic security, social equality, political democracy, stable community life, and opportunities for all to achieve individual self-realization.

An anthology of essays on market socialism originally published in Dissent Magazine between 1985 and 1993. This book:
--Takes issue with the traditional view that socialism means rejecting the use of markets to organize economic activities;
--Moves away from the commitment to central planning and state ownership; and
--Addresses the question of whether or not reliance upon markets is compatible with the promotion of socialist objectives such as economic security, social equality, political democracy, stable community life, and opportunities for all to achieve individual self-realization.

 

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Contents

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