A group from the non-market, non-state socialist/communist/anarchist sector to
explore responses to the Economic Calculation Argument posed by the Austrian
school of economics.
In his introduction to "Non-Market Socialism in the Nineteenth and Twentieth
Centuries" John Crump said:
"... if we use words accurately, it is unnecessary to qualify 'socialism' with
'non-market' because socialism is, by definition, a marketless society. The
market cannot coexist with socialism because socialism means that society owns
and controls both the means of production and the goods which result from
productive activity. For the market to exist, some sectional interest (an
individual, a joint-stock company, a nationalised concern, a workers'
cooperative and so on) has to be in control of part of the social product, which
it then disposes of by entering into exchange relations with others. Exchange
cannot take place when society, and none other, controls the means of production
and the social product. Far from socialism being compatible with exchange and
the market, the generalised production of goods for exchange on the market is
the hallmark of an entirely different type of society - capitalism."
But, in the absence of the market, how will a non-market socialist society make
decisions about how to allocate scarce resources?
Ludwig von Mises and his followers, who came to be known as the Austrian school
of economics, argued that it would be impossible for a non-market socialist
society without recourse to a price-mechanism to make rational resource
allocation decisions. This, they argued, would result in gross inefficiency with
disastrous consequences for society.
How would a non-market socialist society avoid being faced with an insolubly
complex puzzle when attempting to make resource allocation decisions?
What contribution can we in our sector today make towards a potential method of
economic calculation in a society of free association tomorrow?
All those interested in contributing to the work of the group are invited to
join us at: