"Mixed economy"

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Agent of the International's picture
Agent of the In...
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Oct 11 2013 22:23
"Mixed economy"

How does one arrive at such a conceptualization where capitalism is believed to be abolished, and that instead there is a mix between two economic systems?

Agent of the International's picture
Agent of the In...
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Oct 11 2013 22:37

Is there any more to it than a simple association of socialism to more state intervention, or the false dichotomy between the "free market versus central planning"? I find that people who advocate 'mixed economies' are largely ignorant of what's at the heart of capitalism - i.e. the process of capital accumulation. This is related to the class discussion I had today in 'Economics of Labor', and it seems to me that their exist a view that the pursuit of profits is some kind of choice made by greedy people, rather than a material necessity for capital. I just wonder how could such an abstraction as the "mixed economy" could be made possible. I mean, they (and this includes the whole lot of liberals, social democrats, etc.) are interested in learning about how capitalism works, but they never do. What prevents that? Their not reading Marx? Political reformism and opportunism? Ideological framework?

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Tyrion
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Oct 12 2013 00:34
Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
Is there any more to it than a simple association of socialism to more state intervention, or the false dichotomy between the "free market versus central planning"?

I think so. My experience has been that when people talk of mixed economies, the supposedly non-capitalist element refers to state control of certain enterprises (e.g. the US Postal Service) and welfare programs. The old "Socialist states" of the Eastern bloc as well as their fellow travelers and even their opponents typically equated nationalization with socialism, so this misunderstanding isn't surprising. And welfare programs have always been a loudly touted achievement of so-called Socialist parties, so that's no great surprise either.

Fortunately "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need" is a pretty simple maxim to whip out when trying to explain to non-communists what socialism is and what is is not.

slothjabber
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Oct 12 2013 15:04

If you define capitalism as needing 'private' property, then state property must be something other than capitalist - because the state isn't private, right?

I think that's how it's supposed to work anyway.

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Oct 13 2013 11:53
slothjabber wrote:
If you define capitalism as needing 'private' property, then state property must be something other than capitalist - because the state isn't private, right?

I think that's how it's supposed to work anyway.

Yea, I think thats how its generally talked about.

When I'm in this conversation I explain that this difference means a lot to the capitalist class while for the working class, the nature of the alienated work experience and level of material exploitation does not noticeably change. I further go on about how this is at its most clear when workers organize against both.