Economic planning and electronic socialism (OGAS, Cybersin)

Do people of leftypol heard about two projects that tried to make planned economic more effective, OGAS and Cybersin?
OGAS was in USSR, but the project was eventually abandoned due to institutional infighting and also because of bureaucrats, who were too afraid that this invention will make their positions in power much weaker. The second project, Cybersyn, was in Chile when Allende, but it was destroyed after Pinochet's coup.
You can read about additional information about OGAS here:
Additional texts in russian language:
About Cybersyn here:

Other urls found in this thread:


Do we have any network engineers and programmers here? Why don't we re-take the 'cybernetics at the service of communism project' collectively?

I think big data technologies make it possible to do distribution more effectively now. That's what cybersyn aimed to do after all. That's what Amazon does now. Amazon can allocate products by forecasting demand, send them to warehouses where they will be needed.

You mean the same ideas that Victor Glushkov put forward at earlier point in history but died due to resistance form politburo?

This is what im talking about. I think this is the most probable way of planning and the key to making the planning successful. We should get a git repo going for prototyping these planning systems. I'm too dumb to work on it tho.

Let's start by choosing a name.

what the fuck are you trying to do, faggots? it's not a weekend project, much more because you don't even have idea what exactly you want. IMO unless you make some kind of decentralized market which can provide logistics for carrying products from producers/sellers to customers, which I believe is taken over by some corporations already anyway, it would be just waste of time.

who said it was a weekend project retard? does a repo close after 2 days?

This is actually rly interesting. bump.

what form should this project have? what problems, in current society, should it solve? how would you find sellers? how would you find customers? how would you transport stuff between them?
it's not doable without large capital, best thing we can do is write some academic paper with concept

You need to be prepared for the day the communist party is in charge.

Can someone explain to me how the allocation of resources on a minute level, which accounts for changing tastes, which we have very little indication of (as many decisions are instantaneous), would work?

There is also the matter of allocation of resources in the case where there is an opinion as to what is worth the resources and what isn't. For example, how electricity should be used. How metals should be used. Et cetera. There are often merits to both sides.

I would love for this to be a thing, so I hope someone can inform me or tell me if my starting premise is wrong.

what goalpost? this isnt for now you dumbass. how do you expect to plan the economy with no plan? repeat past failures?

"This 20-year plan is based on the thesis that social (and biological) change is inevitable, but more important, the social change should be purposeful and progressive (i.e., toward Communism). To quote Professor Ford:

The strategy for social progress dictated by this general model calls for the establishment of a “nervous system” to tie together the system’s “sensors” of internal and external environments at all levels with the highest decision centers which can then determine optimal (in relation to system goals) courses of action and then transmit information to the effector organs of the social system (ministries, production complexes, schools, defense installations, people and so on). The cycle is then repeated. If the new behavior of the system brings it closer to the goals thereof as predicted, or moves away therefrom because the prediction was incorrect, the sensors once again detect the change and transmit the information upward in a continuous process analogous to that by which a helmsman steers a ship toward its destination."

Very interesting quote from:

are you asking how would this handle some kind of "impulse purchases"?

Simply fulfil everyone's needs and then reduce costs, no? If you are using labour/energy credits, reduce needed labour/energy needed to make and deliver product. Am I missing something there?

why the fuck do you need then anything more than a academic concept applied for current technology then, faggot? You can either make it profitable, or produce new theory. So either go think how provide stuff cheaply and/or organic or shut up with this nonsense.

just because we have a concept and current technology doesn't mean they just morph together all at once. algorithms need to be tested and created, different methods of inputs and outputs could be tested. there's a multitude of things that would need to happen before this hugely complex system came together. why do you even care?

Obligatory pdf drop

Towards a New Socialism
W. Paul Cockshott and Allin Cottrell

foreal this book lays out a ton of theory and practical ways to apply it wrt economic planning.

yeah, that was my point all along. doing anything more that arguing about theory would be waste of time, comrade. We simply can't make it work now.


Why? why can't we work out technologies that would move us towards this goal? R&D before the revolution so we have something to work off or implement.

It's basically already happening within massive milti national corporations - they just call it logisitics

do you have any idea how we could test it? The only thing which comes to my mind is creating some advanced kind of AI simulation, but i doubt we would be able to do that, and on top of that people are not exactly predictable

I'm not sure if there is some API that already exists that could input real world factors, it would probably be small and only for a very limited sector but still things to test? Like I said I don't know much.


I wish i had "Politische Ökonomie des Sozialismus - und ihre Anwendung in der DDR" somewhere online and translated…


You can't plan economies.
Or, well, you can but they tend to implode if you do.

You can plan economies. You can create a good control of any system as long as the controller has larger number of states than the controlled system.

This in other terms implies that you cannot control that which you do not know about.

That is why so far the economic planning was unsuccessful. Viktor Glushkov was aware of this. Any scientist was aware of this. That is why they were pushing for OGAS.

But the party officials were afraid of incorruptible computer system that would remove their power over the economy. And such automation would also remove a great deal of bureaucracy and allow for the manpower to be reallocated to other areas of labour.

Also one other thing, in the furious race against capitalism, everyone was reporting their victories in achieving the planned economic goals. One can easily see where it leads. If small failures are not hidden, then the large failures have no chance of appearing, because everyone will be busy fixing the small failures that would lead to big failures.

Also obligatory pdf included.

Let's suppose the problem of demand is solved and you've settled on the ratios of all the different types of goods you want to produce (only counting the consumer goods that are for individuals or for use by organizations like the government, not counting the industrial goods like machines and tools that must be used to make the consumer goods). Even then, the issue of efficiently manufacturing something reasonably close to the largest numbers of all these goods, given the raw materials you have available to use as inputs, is probably too complicated for modern computers to handle, see this long article by statistics professor (and market socialist) Cosma Shalizi:

This is false. Do you even sparse matrix, nigguh? You are a retard and didn't even read the comments under the article. You are also a cunt btw. and Shalizi is not on the left. Read the cunting comments under an article before posting or better yet next time you are about to link to crooked timber, jacobin, daily kos, and other liberal asscancer, just kys. Cheers.

What should a guy do if he wants to become an economic planner after the revolution? Actuarial exams?

Shalizi responds to the idea that the problem goes away if you have sparse matrices here:

Unless you think market socialists are "not on the left", yes he is, see his positive review of "A Future for Socialism" by Roemer at (he says he thinks the market socialism system proposed in the book he's reviewing would be 'superior to capitalism', although he has no hope of it actually being implemented anytime soon)


not just "silicon valley", it would have had been closer to the actual anarchism than any other anarchist movement ever got. Never trust politicians.

>And it does no good to say "well, just use the most efficient technique for everything", because, unless there is a technique which uses less of every input than all its competitors, "efficiency" is going to depend on the relative values of inputs.
This is of course false and I'm sure Shalizi understands the goof in his writing here: A technique that uses no more of any input than all its competitors can't be worse than any of them, so it is obviously the right choice.

He is wrong. There are things that just exist, that are an input of the economy without being an output of anyting, the natural resources. There things that are necessary ingredients into their own production, the animals and plants. The potential growth of these has physical upper limits which can be logically considered and fixed before thinking about anything else. Practically speaking, there are some man-made things that are feeding into their own reproduction in a similar way and can be similarly considered before the rest. There are things in the economy that directly or indirectly enter their own re-production and the production of just about anything else. You can use this input-basket prior to and as a help for setting any sort of administrative pseudo-prices.

You stretch the definition of left to the point where it becomes almost indistinguishable from anything else (are you a yank, per chance?). Market socialism usually means what Lange proposed (on leftypol, it means anything).
John Roemer's proposal has a bigger role for the market than Lange. Shalizi calls himself an "egalitarian liberal" in that essay.


I'm pretty sure the point he's making is that realistically, all the production techniques we are going to be able to come up with will involve tradeoffs where some inputs are used more than in other techniques, some are used less. And unless I'm misunderstanding, the "inputs" here involve not just the materials that make up any given consumer goods but also all the materials that go into the tools and machines that are needed in the production process (including machines needed for transportation, power generation and anything else needed for production), and the number of tools and machines needed for even fairly simple goods would end up being huge (consider the famous economics essay "I, Pencil" at – it's by a libertarian but the basic explanation of the complexity of modern production is useful). And of course most of those industrial machines and tools will also be used in making a large number of other consumer goods, making the calculation of the most efficient ratios of different machines and tools very complicated.

For one thing, the rate at which you extract various natural resources depends on how you allocate other resources into the production of machines like mining equipment, logging equipment, etc. Second, even if the amounts of raw materials like ores are completely fixed for the economy as a whole, you still have to decide how to allocate these raw materials into all those layers of machines and tools which can be used to make other tools and machines as well as the consumer goods which are your desired outputs. Imagine trying to find a "minimal" set of tools and machines such that A) every single tool and machine could be manufactured using some combination of other tools and machines in the set, and B) the tools and machines included those needed to make some final consumer good. Do you doubt that such a minimal self-sufficient set needed to make a simple consumer good like the pencil would end being a substantial fraction of the set of tools and machines used in the entire economy as a whole?

Yes, but that seems to be because he thinks the word "socialist" isn't sufficiently well-defined when it comes to judging whether a scheme qualifies as "market socialist":

If you have your own definition of "market socialism" with clear criteria that excludes Roemer's version, can you give the details?

You mean the point he intends to make. The actual sentence is silly.

I thought of that as a great essay until I reached the point where he complains how expensive state-run mail delivery is compared to ships, based on cost per miles travelled. Imagine if the ship had to make stops as often as the postman. The guy who wrote that = pure slime.

The input-output matrix of the entire economy is sparse. So doubting that follows.

How exactly does one forecast demand if there is no barometer for demand (currency)? On an individual level it makes sense to vastly overestimate how much you actually need because there's no cost associated

I knew that nothing like this exist, but my dick got hard when saw that so I decided to look at it. And of course, like every time I follow decisions of my dick, it's nothing just embarrassment.
First, I stumbled upon some works which I couldn't understand. I'm not going to translate dozen of economic works just to find out the topic I want is vaguely described in another dozen 30 € books. So we would need some economist/ IT-economist or whatever are these guys called.
Secondly, we need to gather some data about current consumption. We can go and ask people, but that would be extremely inaccurate, so better would be getting data from some supermarkets, but it's their private property so we would need to use force. Programmers are weak and few, it is doable.
Third step is gathering some people with degree from some kind of theoretical informatics/math with ability to write algorithms who would be able to write program which could use we gathered.
And the last part would be getting this data into super-computer. I have no such access, so we would need to occupy by force some university/research centre.

what kind of meme society are you referring to? it's not so hard to watch people what are they consuming (if you have right resources) and make sure that this will be meet in the future. Also, how come there would be no cost associated? Are you trying to centrally plan FALC?

Pfft. You can figure out a lot just by knowing how many people live in a place and the age distribution.

Why not redistribute computing power between people in similiar way btc solve their need for massive computing power?

In what way is currency a 'barometer of demand.' currency flow is almost entirely meaningless for projecting current demand, much less future demand.

If we could find enough people to host servers like this, why go for a simulation and not directly for almost real thing?
Openbazar looks interesting because it offers technology for P2P buying. This could decrease the costs of products because it makes possible to ship stuff directly from factory to the people, and it's only a few lines of code away from making possible direct democratic control of MOP.
Make it restricted at first only for local/organic/[enter random buzzword] and even mutualists and "an"craps will jump for it.

kek, mining farms, anyone?
you libshits still can't let go of bitcoin, even tho mining is already centralized

as for distributed computing, it needs to be calculated what amount of nodes is required for a particular task of economic calculation (based on a particular method of economic calculation, which in turn is based on a particular theory)
also this distributed computing network must give consistent performance, be prone to deliberate attacks
and even if such a project will somehow come to life, it will be guided by a vanguard particular team of developers

so hold your libertarian enthusiasm

already lost to Amazon
Amazon is much more than simple platform for market exchange

also Openbazaar has trust issues
morderator as a trusted side to both parties severely limits the scope of exchange IRL we have the state as a moderator

kek, wtf are you talking about?

Isn't that just question of front-end? It's not like I ever used OB, just red some articles on clearnet, and I believe it's pretty dank concept which can be remade for socialists ideas. Of course I'm highly suspicious of this because of it's libertarian nature, but I fail see problems with it if it was properly implemented into socialist country.

Let's assume that central planning is the way to go. Bureaucrats are of course, evil and ineffective, so you need to find ways to replace them, just firing them would result in the market economy. Good thing is that stuff like taking orders from population, keeping track on movement of resources or even making crucial part of (if not whole) economic plan can be done by combination of taking orders from population and computing. But of course, because of civil and national security, this can be most effective if was computing power spread through population, not just on a few state-owned servers.
please, bully me

man, I'm all for distributed computing
I don't wanna give some faggot Gorbachev the power to flip a switch and collapse economy overnight

but I have my doubts about the feasibility because I have my doubts even about the feasibility of server based economic computation

it is never that simple
noneconomic factors are the real problem
enterprises have antagonistic tendencies between them, and they will try to use the state to change the plan in their favor
SU proved that

that is what Cockshott model lacks and Glushkov iterative planning procedure and human-machine synthesis tried to fix he was surprisingly pragmatic for a cyberneticist
if you cannot remove the human factor, try to reduce it

I am more of an M really :)

That's simply called corruption, no? This should be solvable by more transparent movement of government's resources.

do you have by any chance some articles/books about that? All I can find are math and programming papers and exercises.

Could someone post the "When there's a 99% chance to get fucked in the ass by communists" pic, please?



yes, no
raw data is useless for general public assuming it's a general public who has the last word
someone needs to interpret it
so we're back to square one

only in russian
first book is a general description of what OGAS is, and what it tries to achieve
second book is a compilation of mathematical writings, which contains a formalised theory of iterative planning

href is banned… god, what a faggot did this

yes, I see solving this problem is not as easy. I wonder what policies brought corruption to so low levels in northern europe? Sometimes I feel like left (at least where I live) offer too little solutions in this matter, I don't feel like anarchist approach "let's just destroy the state and new government will somehow not be corrupt" nor stalinist "let's purge politicians every time they got corrupt" are sustainable solutions. And politicians doesn't seem to like solving this issue.

Спасибо, товарищ :^)

This sounds very interesting and relevant to my interests, but like most people here I can't read Russian. Could you write reviews of these books or an article about that stuff for English-speakers on Bunkermag or somewhere else? I would like to hear some examples of algorithms or just criteria they came up with.

Like I said, the reason I mentioned the "I, Pencil" essay was just the discussion of the complexity of industrial production of even a simple good like a pencil, the author is a libertarian with dumb libertarian beliefs but that doesn't mean he's not trustworthy on the basic facts of what goes into making a pencil.

What makes you think it's sparse, can you point to evidence of that? Would you at least agree with my intuition that *if* a detailed analysis of the production process showed that the "minimal self-sufficient set" needed to make any given good like a pencil does end up including a large fraction of all the goods in the entire economy, that would be incompatible with the idea that the input-output matrix of the whole economy is sparse? Am I misunderstanding the practical implications of the "sparse matrix" claim here, or am I understanding the implications right but you just think I'm wrong about the size of the "minimal self-sufficient set"?

(again, my idea of the 'minimal self-sufficient set' of goods needed to make some final good like a pencil is that every good in the set–every tool, every machine, every part–must be possible to manufacture with some combination of other goods in the set. So to figure out the set for a pencil, you could think of drawing a sort of 'family tree' with the pencil at the top, the 'second generation' being all the tools, machines and parts that go into making the pencil, the 'third generation' being all the tools/machines/parts needed to make every single one of the goods in the 'second generation', and so on and so forth, stopping only once you reach a generation of goods that can be made entirely with tools/machines/parts already listed in an earlier generation. Seems to me the number is going to grow exponentially as you go down through successive generations, and it'll probably be a while before you reach an endpoint, so that's why I think even something simple like a pencil would have a set that included a large fraction of all the tools and machines in the whole economy.)

The assumption is absurd.

OK, that's your opinion, although you haven't given any kind of argument or evidence for it. But even given that opinion, it would still help me in understanding your view (and maybe help anyone else who's reading the thread and is interested in these technical questions) if you would clarify which of these positions you're arguing for:

1. My understanding of the practical meaning of saying the economy is represented by a "sparse matrix" is correct–that believing in a sparse matrix is equivalent to believing the "minimal self-sufficient set" for some good like a pencil would have to be a very tiny fraction of all the tools and machines in the entire economy–it's just that my hypothesis that the minimal self-sufficient set would in reality turn out to be a *large* fraction is absurd.

2. My understanding of the practical meaning of "sparse matrix" is wrong here–for example, maybe all that's required for a sparse matrix is that the number of tools/machines/parts used directly in making a pencil is small, and it's not actually relevant how many additional tools/machines/parts must be used to make the first set of tools/machines/parts.

3. Or as a third alternative, maybe you don't really understand the math Shalizi is discussing well enough to pick between 1) or 2), you just think I'd obviously be wrong either way so it doesn't really matter. Of course I admit I don't understand the math well enough to be sure myself, otherwise I wouldn't be asking about this.

It's not jargon invented on leftypol. Just look up what a sparse matrix is.

I never said it was "jargon invented by leftypol", the fact that I said "I admit I don't understand the math well enough" should make it really fucking obvious that I at least understand this is real math. But my question isn't just about the pure mathematical definition, it's about how these matrices actually applied to the issue of trying to get central planning to work, what the implications of the economy being represented by a sparse matrix would be in terms of the number of goods needed to make something like a pencil. If you understand the details of the application yourself you should be able to tell me whether you're arguing 1) or 2), if you keep being evasive I'll take it the answer is 3), you don't really understand it either and are just bluffing with your know-it-all attitude.

A matrix is a table with rows, columns, and cells. An input-output matrix shows for each thing what goes into producing it and what that thing is used for as an input. A matrix being sparse means that most cells are empty. The input-output matrix describing the economy is very, very, very veeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrry sparse. So doubting that producing something requires a large fraction of all the products in the entire economy follows, but not knowing that it isn't the case. The reason the term here is merely doubting is that a cell shows what directly enters the production of something, for indirect relations you have to look around in the matrix. E.g. suppose A is the only direct input for producing B and B is the only direct input for producing C and so on and Z is the only direct input for producing A, the matrix is sparse, but still everything would be involved in producing everything else. It's a pretty silly example though.

In the essay "I, Pencil", what is mentioned is trees and saws and the steel that goes into producing saws, but there is also the line, "Why, untold thousands of persons had a hand in every cup of coffee the loggers drink!" This part is different from the other parts. Why? When you really think about what goes into producing something, it usually isn't a really long list until you think about what people buy with their wages. And they obtain all sorts of different products, so do these products then in a sense enter the production of whatever these workers are producing? The answer is that while a business owner may think of food for a worker like fuel for a car, people do not come into existence with this or that particular job which pays a wage, now there is this guy, now he needs food, he is gone, so he doesn't need food, they have existed before and will likely exist after that. That people require food is something which is true independent of working this or that job. There is a fixed minimum standard which is planned for and covered before the rest. Given that this does not change whatever thing you produce, this is not some new additional input needing to be considered when considering changes in the proportions of people and machinery in different tasks.