How do you think a Socialist economy should be managed economically?

There is a large amount of debate among Socialists as to how a Socialist economy would be managed. There are many different opinions on this subject. The most common ideas are Central Planning (Stalin, Mao, etc.,) Decentralized Planning (Trotsky, Michael Albert, etc.,) Anarchist Market Socialism (Proudhon, Carson, etc.,) and Market Socialism with a state (Tito, Lange, etc.)

There are certainly other ways that a Socialist economy can be managed, however they are not very common in leftist circles. This all being said, I would like to start a discussion on how you believe a Socialist economy should be managed and why you think that.

To start off, I support decentralized planning. I support a combination of participatory planning and Paul Cockshott's Cybersocialism. I believe that decentralized planning is a much more effective and efficient way to manage an economy than central planning, and a much more stable and humane way to manage an economy than market socialism

I am against central planning for a multitude of reasons. To start off, centrally planned economies are horrible at effectively distributing resources. For example, the USSR used about 12x the iron than the US to make the same capital good. Quite the stunning difference! However, it goes much deeper than that. Centrally planned Socialist states would often look at Capitalist countries for their price signals and copy them. This was a very common tactic used by central planners. Using markets and using their price signals to set prices was a very common tactic used by the centrally planned Socialist states, however there are some particularly notable examples. In the USSR, the black market was allowed to grow so that the Soviet central planners could copy down price information and use it. This was done because it was easier to do this domestically rather than look at a foreign country and copy their price signals.

I have less problems with Market Socialism, but I still have some problems with it. To start off, in Yugoslavia unemployment was always a serious problem due to the market existing. In neighboring countries, the unemployment rate was much lower than in Yugoslavia. Unemployment and poverty will always be commonplace in a market socialist economy because of the natural rate of unemployment. Considering the fact that there are much better ways to manage an economy, I do not support market socialism.

I would talk about Anarchist Market Socialism for a bit, but I'm not aware of any examples of it existing. Maybe somebody could leftpill me on them.

FYI: I'm not trying to start a debate or anything, though I am open to discussing different ideas. I just want to hear what people think about this important subject.

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Uncle Ted sends his regards.

First link:
Second link:
Third link:
Nothing of note.

But of course, since you've read all those comprehensively, perhaps you can explain to me the precise relationship, with page numbers and quotes. I'll wait.

You basically said it yourself. The precise relation wasn't explained much in the first link, however in the book Rediscovering Fire, the link was explained quite well.

"Finally, it is important to note that the Soviet planners depended upon the black market prices, in addition to foreign prices. in their own price setting. Black markets could help planners to see the whether their prices were too low, because they emerged due to the prices that planners set. If prices were very low, long lines would form for the good, bribery would help ration the good to those willing (and able_ to pay the bribe, and some customers would purchase a large amount and sell it on the black markets. Black market prices rose because of real shortages, but they also reflected the risk of punishment for engaging in illegal trade and the work involved in purchasing and reselling the good. Black market prices were shaped by the panned economy that produced the product and which offered the substitute and complement goods. Soviet society was also influenced by the black market. Black markets and bribery figure in many memoirs and other accounts of the Soviet Union." Page 169 of Rediscovering Fire

I fail to see the point you are making with the second part. The economy was still centrally planned, no kidding the government still set the prices. However, the prices were influenced by foreign governments and the black market.

The relation between the two was also described in the second link at numerous times, but less about the relations when talking about prices. The best book that talks about that is Rediscovering Fire. The Causes of the Black Market Phenomenon in the U.S.S.R. deals more with how the black market was related to society as a whole.

Interesting, but you didn't link Rediscovering Fire. You could have just cited that to begin with. Got a pdf? Libgen doesn't have one.

There's a big difference between "influenced by" and "copying" black market and foreign prices.


Is this some sort of modern re-interpretation? Hidden diaries found and "properly understood"?

This is bullshit.

Soviet Planning did look at free market prices - kolkhoz market, for example, totally legal economic activity. And - yes, to my knowledge (prices of 1930s) Gosplan and Soviet economists did take note of black market prices - whenever data was available - as well as other economic data, but neither depended on it. Much more importantly, there was no way black markets were kept because economists asked NKVD/militia to keep them.

Moreover, as more and more planning was introduced, the further prices got from "correct" market pricing system, transitioning instead to socially necessary pricing.

Someone didn't learn logic.

Christmas also figures "in many memoirs and other accounts" - especially movies - of US. It doesn't mean every day in US is Christmas.


I know this is a stupid as fuck idea, but this is basically my view:

You have a computer study free markets for several years and record literally every single transaction.

The computer, then uses those records, to plan out an economy of basic goods based on peoples consumption habits on a free market for several years.

So for example, every year, the average person eats 20 kilos of apples, so the model will say "Produce 20 kilos of apples per person per year" and to stay on the safe side, you produce 25 kilos per person on average a year.

But then you record every transaction in the Socialist economy. Literally, everything everyone buys, loops back into the super computers, which use that data to produce new models, based on the consumption habits of people on basic goods.

So this will basically be most shit in a Super Market, Clothes, Cars and shit.

For more "abstract" goods like say, Figma's or Anime, we then use a online voting process sort of like Kickstarter. People get a certain amount of votes every month say, and they can vote on products they want to see produced. The ones that get the most votes, get produced. Then again, the consumption of these items, is fed back into the computer to model how much to produce. If it was a cool concept but in reality people don't really like it, oh well, the computer can register that into it's model and scrap the commodity.

I know anybody who knows anything about Cybernetics probably thinks my idea is complete and utter shit and it probably is. But the point I'm getting at is that with modern or future tech, especially with quantum computers literally just been invented, cybernetics is going to play a large role in any Socialist system.

I would plan things locally wherever possible. Cooperation on large issues like the environment, transportation and energy. Sort of a confederal system I guess. Also utilise computers wherever possible to plan production

No, its not totally shit. You litterally just repeat what capitalism is already doing inside their privately owned planned economy units (corporations).

I think the main concern people might have is that beyond deciding how and how much to produce, you need to pay people somehow. How are people going to be rewarded, will people who work more have more money to spend etc. Who decides where to produce, who to hire, how much to pay. Who makes the end dicisions, how do the planners get chosen.

Of course it's a mick.

How local are you talking? Should each geographic region be responsible for its own light industry while heavy industry is directed at a higher level?

I would aim for as much decentralisation and self-sufficiency as possible within local areas, bioregions, communes etc.

Light industry - that could be done quite locally. Of course, not every region can produce everything it needs, so the burden will be diversified and shared across communes.

Heavy industry - yes that should be coordinated between communes. Perhaps some form of guild, industrial union or syndicate could regulate and uphold the standards of industry.

shit ideas all over.

communist entrepreneurs when?

Much worse. It's been done already. You are re-inventing the wheel. This is one of the reasons why I consider persistent attempts of "post-Left" shills to "forget USSR" absolutely retarded and inherently anti-Socialist.

Ballod in 1898 (Der Zukunftsstaat) presented methodology for this kind of stuff - and took it one step further - he developed it to prove that with contemporary (i.e. 1898) technology German workers could work only half of the time and earn (PPP) twice as much (or something along those lines - I didn't read the book).

Granted, it's not as fashionable as quantum supercomputers, and relies on approximations, but Bolsheviks successfully used his methods during Civil War to ration food - infamous War Communism. Since they survived, it has to be somewhat workable. Somewhat - because they the only ones who used it. Second Reich also relied on it during WWI - even hired Ballod - but they collapsed in the end.

Unfortunately, I can't help you much there. Book doesn't seem to be online. I've found only Kautsky's preface (in German):

AFAIK, the book never got translated to English. If you can handle German, I've heard someone recently made a re-print of 1919 edition.

That said - IIRC - US used his equations during 70s for fuel rationing. I.e. English-translated math should exist somewhere. Try sifting through statistics or civil rationing.

>because they weren't the only ones

I can not see how heavy industry–and also some light industry–can be anything other than centrally planned before capitalism is eradicated globally. Stoppages anywhere along the line can halt production of things that are necessary to the survival of the society as a whole. With all the disparate processes and resources that go into industrial production, a single syndicate would have to encompass several different industries and use resources that are also used by unrelated industries.

Of course, you talking about after communism is established, aren't you?

I own a software business and still shitpost Zizek memes. Don't hate the player hate the game nigga.

For over ten years now, I have read people raving about "decentralized planning" and have tried to discuss that with them, and I still don't know what they even mean by that. And neither do they, probably. The fans of "dp" usually argue for it by saying what they don't like about central planning. They claim under central planning…
But none of these apply to central planning per se, and I have never seen anyone arguing for these things. So, my impression is that people who want a mix of centralized and decentralized planning buy into a boogie man created by the establishment; and people who want strongly decentralized planning buy into this also and on top of that they got a heavy dose of small-is-beautiful petit-bourg hippie nonsense.

3rd option, write another damn system ourselves

De-centralized communism is a concept only the most illiterate of illiterates could ever take seriously. These are the dipshits who take the Austrian critique of real socialism at face-value while simultaneously being unaware that they provided much more compelling arguments against the absurdity of local planning. The only socialists worse than these clowns are the idiots voting for market reformism.

The USSR under Stalin did a lot of dumb shit but it's economy functioned remarkably well considering the numerous threats against it and the technological limitations of the time. I have no problem proposing Soviet-type communism as a practical philosophy for any modern state.