Towards a new socialism (and general cybernetics) discussion thead

Howdy comrades,

I've read "calculation in natura" and am busy reading "towards a new socialism", but have some things i want to discuss or talk about about it.

I didnt see the cybernetics thread anymore so I am making this one.

PDF attached for TANS. Will post my questions in seperate comments.

Other urls found in this thread: programming business examples Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth_Vol_2_3.pdf &cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=es,_1956–62

So I will just write out my notes here, feel free to respond in any order.

Page 24
What I found interesting is the paragraph:
''"When they encourage the use of private pensions they
are going along with the logic of capitalist private property. Private pension
schemes prolong the income differentials established during working life into
retirement; they thus add security and stability to the basic class structure.
Over and above this they give the middle classes an incentive to save. Through
saving they take a stake in the capitalist financial system, and with that a
political interest in its perpetuation."''
What do you guys think about this? Do the "middle classes" really have an interest in perpetuating the capitalist system because of private pensions?

Page 25:
I find the parts about feminism a bit out of place in this book. The entire book seem to be aimed at economics, and this is not necessarily economics.
I have to disagree with the authors here on their statement that the role of housewive and wage earned constitute economic classes. They say that being a houswive is a different class, that is oppressed by the class of wage earned (the man). The role of being a housewive is, in the current day and age in most of the west, a choice that is made between partners. One partner, male or female, is the breadwinner, the other does the domestic tasks. While it is true that the one doing the domestic tasks is dependent on the breadwinner financially, and thus has less economic power over themselves, I do not feel as if this is a class in the marxist sense, since this "class" is not perpetuated by the mode of production themselves, not heritable. In modern societies a "domestic worker" as they call it, can choose to go work if they wish so. There is nothing preventing them from doing so. While it is certainly true that in old patriarchal societies, women were not allowed to work and thus couldnt escape their role as housewive, I do not think this applies to modern societies, and I find it quite odd that the authors would choose to include this in a book that was written in the 90's in europe. Perhaps they included this with the target audience of the developing world, but it still seems odd to me that they would include this specific topic, and not other struggles such as race-based oppression and whatnot, in this book that seems to be focussed on outlining a socialist economic system.

Page 42:
The authors write:
"The 'democratic' assumption of socialism is that, apart from certain extremely demanding tasks and certain impaired individuals, almost anyone can do almost anything".
Is this true? I cannot really agree with the authors. Can the majority of society really do the majority of tasks? Can the majority of society do things like engineering or whatnot? Is designing and university education what the authors mean by "extremely demanding skills"?
Is this assumption that we can train most people to do most tasks correct?

Page 43:
The authors treat skilled labour as a means of production, something that can and should be planned to be produced and which deprecates over time (due to knowledge becoming less usefull).
Is this line of reasoning desireable in a socialist society? Doesnt this reduce the members of society to mere resources, to mere numbers to be pushed around, managed and shaped according to the grand plan (however democratic it may be)? I feel like this dehumanised people and doesnt put the people first.
Feels aside, is this kind of planning really possible? Can deprecation of knowledge and skilled labour really be planned for? Is it even feasable to plan education of individuals, since this is very long term planning? I could see this kind of planning being usefull for wonky large scale and long term projects, but not so much for day to day society, where people acquire skills and tend to stay in their field and take different jobs (if they have such luxery) as they please.

Page 48: Work, Time and Computers
Cyber security could be a real bitch for a socialist centrally planned system. A system such as this would require a good information network (good internet connections) which would make it volnurable for ddos attacks by foreign nations. We have not seen cyber warfare on a large scale before, but we know the length lettersoup agencies go through, such as the offline-hack of the iranian nuclear centrifuges.
Could a distributed, redundant system provide a solution to this problem? A distributed system would make it very hard to attack key servers, taking the easiest form of attack off the table. What technologies exist today that could facilitate this kind of distributed network?
On a sidenote, there should really be an updates version of this book in some form, replacing all the old nonsense such as teletext and updating the numbers of computer power. Writing examples of the algoritms mentioned in the book could also be a great help in building prototypes for such a system

Page 49:
The authors said some surprising things here. They said that the technical innovations in capitalism result from the mode of production itself. In a slave society, it is much cheaper to buy a few slaves than to build complicated mechanical machinery to do the work. Its cheaper to buy slaves to saw planks than it is to build a wind-powered logsawer. You dont need to pay for the extra hours that the slave has to work, he is yours.
In a capitalist society however, you pay by the hour. This means that it is cheaper to get machinery made that reduce the worktime by an hour a day, because thats an hour you dont have to pay anymore. This means that capitalism invests a lot of resources into labour-reducing technology.
A socialist society would be even better at this than capitalism. In capitalism, automation is often not done because its cheaper to get things made in the third world. A few dozen chinese workers are cheaper than a robotic phone assembler. In a socialist society (as described in the book) the costs compared would not be monetary, but directly in labour time. If the labour time saved - the labour cost of production is positive, that means it is beneficial to society to make these machines, as it increases productivity and reduces worktime. This leaves no room for inefficient economic decisions due to wealth disparity.

I can see some truth in this, but also have some objections. Things that make me agree are examples such as the steam engine. It wasnt until the 1700's that the steamengine really got into big use. But it existed much longer before that. Non-automatic steam engines (no automatic switching of steam direction) were in use for a while in places such as mines, where they pumped out water. These kinds of steam engines have existed since greek times, where they were used to open the giant doors of some temple to impress visitors. It was never seen as more than a novelty though.
Now where I have doubts is where it says that the mode of production caused these inventions to be pursued. I was always under the impression that marxism said that "the material reality (technological abilities and means of production) dictate the economic system. Doesnt marxism normally say that "the steamengine allowed for automation gains by the city-living middle class (then bourgoiesie) to automate the workload of their workshops, which caused accumulation of money and wealth, producing an increasingly dominant capitalist system of production."? This is a view I would agree with. Why do the authors make this claim? What do you think?


Private pension schemes rely on private property. If you rely on owning stocks to provide for yourself, you have an interest in preserving that form of ownership. As for the women's issues in the book, it made sense to me. I don't think that having freedom to choose between a narrow set of options is such a great argument here, you could also say I am free to choose between a small set of shitty (and probably colluding) employees. Given how much having kids restricts your freedom, it makes sense that women should have access to abortion providers and that caring for children should be done in a more collective way.


All pages noted in pages in the pdf page count, not the on-page pagecount, btw.
Please note that I have not finished the entire book yet, so feel free to refer me to later chapters (im at the part about savings and credit atm).

'Chapter 5:
Why do the authors treat agriculture differently from all other industries?
They say "We assume that the agricultural sector is made up of a mixture of state farms, co-ops and family farms". Why do we assume this? What reason is there to believe that the composition of agriculture would be different from how all other industry is arranged?
While it is true that (some) agricultural outputs fluctuate depending on weather, I do not see any reason as to why this means agriculture needs a special economic subsystem of its own. The authors state:
"Family farms and co-ops could be asked to tender for the supply of fixed quantities of crops over a three year period. They would be asked to specify what inputs they intended to use in terms of machinery, energy, fertilisers and so on, plus how much valueadded they were going to ask for their labour. The supply contracts could then be awarded according to a formula that takes into account both the cost (in terms of direct and indirect labour) and the environmental effects that would be produced by applying the specified quantity of chemicals and fertilisers."
Why? Why do these people get to set their own salaries? Why do they imply there is some kind of market competition? Why cant farms just be collectivised like all other industries? Farming isnt some kind of mysterious practice anymore where "dem citydwellers dont know nothin about farmin". What reason is there to assume that you cant just say "we need this much corn, this much wheat and this much wheat"?

Page 74:
The authors argue for a discount rate based on societal production growth. Would this really apply to things like they mentioned, hydroelectric dams where the maintanace costs in labour remain constant despite society productive growth? Maintanance costs of generators and pipes isnt going to magically get lower because of advancement in toothbrush assembly techniques. I dont see how a discount rate could be beneficial for dicisions of coal plants vs hydroelectric.

Figure 6.3
How the fuck do I even read this?
See picture, i cant make heads or tails of this.

almost done with my notes

I understand those points about women but that is already the case in much of the west (or at least where I live). And raising kids can also be done by the husband, so its not neccecarily sex bound. And the "narrow set of options" is the same narrow set the supposed "husband class" is. I dont see how this constitutes a class in society.

This doesnt change the fact that I think it is weird that this specific topic is included in an economc-focussed book, while racial struggle and other things are left out.

It is a question of scale, both in terms of the number of people and the scale of time. In a random sample of a million people you will find just about any skill represented. If you plan long term, you are not stuck with people having the mix of skills they have now. I do think I could learn just about any job myself if I had the time and money to.

Due to knowledge becoming less useful? I think you misunderstood the text. They just call a process depreciation because its mathematical representation in planning is so similar to how labor-time accounting works with means of production: A useful product is produced with a machine. When you estimate the labor-time cost of these products, you need to take into account the labor-time going into the machine. The product's price should cover its production cost, so you estimate how many units you make over the life-time of the machine and divide the labor-time going into the machine among the units it will spit out. You can think of the work-energy used in producing the machine being transferred to the products over time, piece by piece. You can think in a similar way about the output of a trained person.

That shit about saving

The author says that short-term savings do not have productivity increases, but doesnt the short-term saving even out over society, meaning that the overal rate of saving is constant? Which brings me to my bigger point:

Saving is, as the author argued, moving the consumption of your labourvouchers to a later time. The author correctly argues that labour that is not consumed (ie used for consumer goods) should be used to increase the means of production. Here is where I think he makes a logical mistake:
If people save to spend later, over time the rate of spending and saving should cancel out. Since labour voucher cannot be inherited, theres no reason for the sake of saving. So over all of society, the rate of saving and the rate of spending those savings should be roughly equal, meaning that there is no net increase or decrease of "unconsumed labourtime".
You can only use labour time once. This is what the tax does. They prevent the labour time from being used on consumer goods, to be used instead on expanding the means of production. That labour is then gone, it cannot be used again, it is done. This means that the initial savings of society, the rising of the total amount of savings, frees labour time once, which can be used to expand the means of production. But once you used that labour of those savings once, its gone. If there is no net increase in savings, IE if there is no voluntary under-consumption, there is no labour time that can be spend on expanding the means of production. Since people do not save money for the sake of saving, the total amounts of savings in society will eventually plateau, meaning that there is no new labour to be invested in expanding the means of production.
But the authors write as if the savings of people will be a constant that constantly frees up new labour, even though it is not of great importance to society since it will stagnate. And in the case that there is voluntary underconsumption, this means the material needs of society are met and there need not be more labour time allocated to ever increasing amounts of production.

End of notes.

I wonder if we could build a simulation that takes data from the real world and tries to come up with prices to see if something like that would work.

good quality thread i would also recommend reading about parecon

No no, they specifically talked about deprecation of technical knowledge in timeframes of 10 years due to technical advancement making the old knowledge obsolete.

The authors treat skilled labour as a "produced input" here, and specifically make an analogy with means of production. You put in labour time (building the machine, educating the person) which is then transferred to the products it produces over the time it deprecates.
The whole chapter is about how you can calculate the cost of "producing" skilled labour which are an input just like means of production or resources in the big plan. You produce these people for the plan to make sure theres enough people with the knowhow and skills to make the plan work. I don think I misunderstood the text.

I doubt using real-life data would be usefull or would work at all. The data we would need is not present in the forms we need (nobody notes down labour times and the exact makeup of a product are highly secret). We would be better off making a simulation of an economy which is roughly modeled after the real world and make it work for that. This would both prove that it works while not requiring us to find the sparse data source of real life data.

Some data comes in from the left, enters the oval shapes which do some very simple calculations and send out stuff that goes vertically down in the diagram then, and some of that is also used again as an input? Maybe the calculation in each oval thing is too simple to be even called such, just a threshold-based reaction.

I guess thats a fair point to make, though I still think its kind of weird that the author seems so easily to just treat everything as numbers to be pushed around.

Similarly, the author argued for as much positive freedom as possible, and once section after it he advocated planning the food-caloric intake of the population based on the latest scientific research, rather than producing what people want and educating them on dietary science.

Can't say I understand what its supposed to be still.

Yes, they do. That's been the case since the beginning of the Ford assembly line and probably before that.

Hmm, interesting.

Still, I would argue that making it work on a simulated model before trying to apply it to the real world is a good idea.

Also, this

You are right. I just thought that you can estimate a sort of depreciation even if the knowledge doesn't become outdated, just because you don't work forever. Your output has to have a price that covers the energy that went into your training, even though you don't pay for your own training. And one can think of that pile of energy for training being slowly transferred to the output of that person.

Ah yes.

Somewhere it talked about using "thermodynamics" or something, in relation to neural nets and planning.
It mentioned harmony maximisation which I found intriguing, but I cant find anything on it. Does anybody know where I can read more indepth on this, either in the field of thermodynamics or AI research? Ive made a deep learning AI and I wonder if it works similarly to error minimisation, but I cant really glance enough from the short bit where they talk about it.

Well I should be going to bed now, good night.

Not quite. 1. Women have a shorter time-window of fertility in their lives. 2. Pregnancy time.

Sure, deprecation of those skills could be calculated up to retirement but at that point I would really call into question the validity of this planning due to the vast timescale and quickly changing knowledge. Any form of higher education has skills that deprecate before retirement but people also acquire new skills without formal education.

I think the best you can do is mid-lenght (20 years or so) planning with relatively broad fields of study for long term and short-mid term for concrete studies (5-10 years).

Pregnancy is 9 months, part of which most women dont have much of burden from it (the first months). Fertility is really a non-issue if most people marry people their own age anyway.
After birth the husband can also fully take the role of the nurser, using baby formula and stuff, which happens more and more. In highly developed countries husbands also get paternity leave during their wives pregnancy and after birth.

Also you dont have to have kids but thats beside the point.

Sounds pretty good.

About agriculture and food: I don't know, never worked on a farm myself. In a factory full of people, it is really easy to see whether somebody is shirking. And it is easy to estimate how long it takes to do things and to measure the output, even for an outsider. Maybe farming lacks the homogeneity?

I do think it is possible to have a macro food plan based on what is healthy and at the same time have consumer choice. That is, it is possible to have consumers obtain food with their individual consumption budgets, and have food prices react to demand to ration it, while NOT adjusting the quantities directly based on consumer demand.

That's weird. I swear I read Cockshott dissing another author for heavily relying on a one-dimensional measure, calling that a rentier-class point of view, even.

I'm not sure what having savings is supposed to be good for. Old age? Society takes care of you. Illness, something that cripples you for life maybe? Society takes care of you. Out of job? Doesn't happen. Higher ed for your kids? Also taken care of by society. Cars? Cars should be a niche thing for rural areas, what matters is that you live very close to your job, and failing that, that you get there in some way, and that way can be public transport. Also, you can rent cars. The other big thing is houses, but once again, you can rent. If society takes care of these issues, the vouchers might as well have an expiration date, I don't care.

Sounds cookie-cutter to me.

What would soviet planning had been like with current technology?

Taylorism is outdated

USSR wouldn't have implemented Cockshott's scheme because they were politically wedded to the Brezhnev system and didn't want to rock the boat.

I think cyberspace, the internet, cybernetics, really means the end of our species.

Because it means the end of innovation.

This idea that the whole world is wired together is mass death. Every biologist knows that small groups in isolation evolve fastest. You put a thousand birds on an ocean island and they'll evolve very fast. You put ten thousand on a big continent, and their evolution slows down. Now, for our own species, evolution occurs mostly through our behavior. We innovate new behavior to adapt. And everybody on earth knows that innovation only occurs in small groups. Put three people on a committee and they may get something done. Ten people, and it gets harder. Thirty people, and nothing happens. Thirty million, it becomes impossible. That's the effect of mass media - it keeps anything from happening. Mass media swamps diversity. It makes every place the same. Bangkok or Tokyo or London: there's a McDonald's on one corner, a Benetton on another, a Gap across the street. Regional differences vanish. All differences vanish. In a mass-media world, there's less of everything except the top ten books, records, movies, ideas. People worry about losing species diversity in the rain forest. But what about intellectual diversity - our most necessary resource? That's disappearing faster than trees. But we haven't figured that out, so now we're planning to put five billion people together in communication. And it'll freeze the entire species. Everything will stop dead in its tracks.

The internet becomes the new monolithic parent for all, and humanity is not ready for that. Not now, not for a very long time.

This is why the phenomenon of neets exists. Raised by the internet, raised by chaos, no more aware, self or otherwise, than a frog clinging to life willing to fuck over anyone else. This is the future.


its obv a diagram of a feed forward neural network
read a few books on machine learning

Are you sure it isn't recurrent? I thought the diagonal thingies represent data going from the vertical lines into the horizontal lines, and if they are meant to represent that, then, counting from top down, the second tampon or whatever that is does send out data that feeds into itself again.

There's still things like taking vacations. I bet there's people who would rather work a year twice as much and then travel around for a year, rather than being constantly at work.

And while I agree with the cars thing in larger countries like America or Australia lots of people need or want them.

I wrote my own deep learning Ai so I know how forward feed neural nets work. That picture feeds into its own nodes, doesn't connect to all nodes and only has one layer. This makes very little sense and also the notation is fucking bizarre. Pretty sure it's what the other guy said, it's more likely to be another type of Ai like recurrent.

Vacation time can be dealt with by something linked up with the pension system, like André Gorz proposed: You can take more vacation time or even half a year or a whole year, and that shifts the point when you start getting your pension.

But that would still force people to work the schedule. If the work week is, say, 20 hours, but some on wants to work 40 so they can take more vacation/retire earlier, shouldn't we allow this?

Also vacation costs more money than regular living so you need to save up.

I don't think working 40 hours a week is good for your mental health. Maybe there will be procedures for a few big things that are completely separate from the point budgets. I have to admit that this vacation issue isn't much of a priority for me as I don't really get the appeal of spending a few days in some far-away place. I also find tourism-based jobs kinda disgusting. Maybe one big exotic vacation will be just part of the package provided for everybody.

As far as i know, when you get a car in Cuba, for some period you have to drive people around. So, that could be a way to pay for the car over time even if you have no savings whatsoever. The place you live in could be assigned and re-assigned by something like the TTC algorithm (

Keep in mind cockshott wrote this book in the late 80s/ early 90s when machine learning was just in its infancy and neural nets were the only type of machine learning

Fair enough

40 hours was just an example but it is 100% neccecary to have a savings system for people with jobs such as long haul transportation jobs. Some people spend months at sea and then months free. Same but on a smaller timescale with truck drivers. There's lot of jobs like this where people can't work just 20 hours a week. People on oil rigs and ships essentially work 24/7 for weeks or months on end. They should have the ability to save that up and spend it at whatever rate they like, it's their money.

Now that I think about it, should we refer to labour vouchers as money for simplicity or credit? Not a big fan of acronyms myself.

For jobs with long mandatory phases of free time, couldn't the income from that job just trickle in instead of being in real-time sync with hours worked? How much saving should be allowed? I understand that vouchers expiring after a month would be a bit much, but how about two years?

I don't see why we would need that income to trickle in over time. Assuming people get paid monthly why not just pay them for the work they did that month?

I have yet to see a good reason why labour vouchers should ever expire though.

This actually makes me think: if private pensions put a political interest in the middle class to preserve capitalism, can savings of labour vouchers create a political interest in workers to preserve the labour voucher system?

next level woke

Lmao you idiot labour vouchers would slowly be phased out as the SNLT for consumer goods reaches zero over time.

I don't like the idea of saving up vouchers as it feeds delusional views about how the economy works, similar to how the ability to save up money feeds a delusion in the here and now: People project how money seems to work on the individual level on society as a whole, that is since they can individually save up money for later use, they believe society as a whole could save money for later. Related to that is the mistaken view of public debt of a sovereign state with its own currency as something similar to private debt. If my house burns down and I have a big chest full of cash buried somewhere, I might be able to get another house quickly. But if all houses burned down at once, no amount of chests full of cash could instantly give us houses. Allowing unlimited saving can lead to discrepancies between aggregate consumption points spent and aggregate amount of labor embodied in the obtained products.

In socialism, how much working time goes into producing stuff for consumption in the here and now and how much goes into maintaining and expanding what means of production are available is not the outcome of spontaneous decisions of saving and spending. It is an administrative decision that fundamentally structures the plan. In the event that a lot of people spontaneously want to save up a lot, what do we do with all the stuff already produced then? Lower the prices in general, and give people a wrong impression of the cost (C & C propose to also have the demand-independent cost price available just as information, but I doubt most people can be bothered to care much about that when that isn't the price you pay)? Expiring vouchers prevents that becoming a big issue.

However, the following discrepancy between individual income and spending are a different issue: If some people want to consume more now relative to their income and less later and some want to consume less now and more later, to some extent these wishes cancel out. But we don't know if they do, since we usually don't now when a saver is going to spend. It doesn't have to be that way. Electronic consumption vouchers could have an expiration date by default and an option to save up for use at a specific time later (doesn't need to be more specific than a span of two months) if at that time there is a specific corresponding amount of less consumer spending by others, so that the aggregate of consumption points spent still corresponds well to the aggregate amount of labor embodied in the products.

It assuredly creates that perception in their mind. Already now we can see this whenever someone proposes even the mildest of wealth or income gains tax, and the first talking point its opponents put out is "muh pensioners".

No, that's why he uses the word "assumption". It most certainly is an assumption - look at the new slogan of the Democratic Party: "better skills" comes first. The assumption is that anyone can just be re-trained for whatever the boom industry happens to be, even though this is patently untrue in reality.

Can you give some examples of common jobs that you believe most people wouldn't be able to do, even with all the training in the world?

probably meant for

That is a very good point. What would a spitball expiration date be? 3 months? 2 months?

Should unspent vouchers automatically go into a savings account or should such structures be optional for people to choose?

Porn star maybe?


Unsure. I have seen some porn stars without makeup. Yeurgh. And flabby men can hit the gym and look totally different after six months. Finally, there is surgery. Whether treating humans as a homogeneous mass for some statistical purpose is reasonable is really a question of how big the group is and how much time for training there is. I don't think one could train most people to become native-level translators between two very different languages in a year, for instance. But I don't believe it takes any particular talent to learn to become fluent in four or five languages, if you have the time and constant exposure.

Comradery bump

You could easily get around such a regulation by exchanging vouchers to other people in exchange for vouchers later on.

Labour vouchers are not transferrable between people mate.

You need to keep in mind that the authors originally intended TaNS to be a set of reforms for the USSR to implement to prevent its collapse back into liberal capitalism, and as such he assumes the existing constitution of industry in the soviet union, which "a mixture of state farms, co-ops and family farms" describes perfectly. There's nothing special about agriculture, the organisation of farming in the soviet union existed mainly for historical reasons rather than administrative reasons. Most of the more idiotic aspects of TaNS result from retaining such aspects of soviet society when they decided to publish the book as a utopian blueprint for a future socialist society after the soviet union collapsed.

Your criticisms are pretty much on point btw. I've been considering writing a critique of TaNS for ages now (though it probably won't happen for a while yet, 'cause I'm a lazy armchair commie and I suck at writing), as I think the core idea (cybernetic administration of production) is a good one, but unfortunately it's drowning in stalinoid bullshit, (the savings nonsense is especially bad, essentially allowing his labour vouchers to act as quasi-money). I don't think his texts are without value however, and the core of TaNS could probably be saved from the stalinist bullshit through some ruthless critique.


But how would we facilitate purchases of items that take lots of time (and resources, which is time in the end) to produce without saving?

Something like a car. Disregarding personal views on whether or not cars are necessary in urban society, how would we allow people to purchase a car that takes, say, 500 hours to produce, if there is no way to save up labour vouchers over time for these purchases?

I wasn't objecting to the fact that you could "save" per se, but rather the notion that "saved" vouchers could be invested like capital.

Assuming the vouchers expire over time, then the only way I can see to handle such a issue would be through gradual payments, with the cost of expensive things like cars (assuming you can actually buy them) being subtracted from your payments over time, sort of like a zero interest loan. Most people in our society cannot afford to outright buy such expensive things anyway, and are forced to take an actual exploitative loan, so it wouldn't be all that alien to your average person.


god that could use some better formatting tbh

I think allowing zero interest loans are possible but they also carry a risk of people not thinking long term.

On the other hand, since the loan has a direct deduction of your income, and you cant take out a loan to pay back a loan, it should be easier for people to not overspend.

Forgot to add:
While most people in our society might not be able to do so, most people should be able to save up for things like cars in socialism.
If they should is a whole other matter. On one hand saving up requires self control so being able to take out zero interest loans and have automatic deduction might be a good thing as it does the savings for them. On the other hand it does allow people to more easily do impulsive purchases with payment over time, which might hurt them in the long run if they dont have self control. Just think of the people who rack up credit card debt, they would have an even cheaper way to do this, except that they cant pay of debt with more debt, just dig themselves further towards no income.

There should probably be a screening procedure for loans just like the bank does, so we can catch people with self-destructive spending behaviour more easily.

Sure, there can be additional controls in place to make sure people don't impoverish themselves. Combining partial payments with a form of rationing of certain goods would probably be the easiest way to do this. For instance placing limits on the amount of certain goods (like cars) that can be possessed, combined reviewing people's finance history to determine whether they can afford to make the purchase (If they are already paying off a car, they almost certainly can't afford another), this would be trivially easy in a communist society as all such information would be stored centrally. Apart from that, if people spend themselves into poverty through such partial payments they would simply have to return the excess goods they purchased, at which point they would no longer have an obligation to keep paying.

It's worth pointing out however, that most forms of expensive goods we can currently purchase will almost certainly be owned communally in a communist society. Housing for instance, I imagine would be one of the first things to be communised, and private cars will probably be phased out over time: automated vehicles are probably going to remove the need for the vast majority of people to possess their own car anyway. This would largely remove the need for expensive purchases, limiting the use of vouchers to day to day consumption and luxuries, while phasing out much of that over time as communisation progresses.


I think the interest-free loan with automatic deductions from your income is a good enough idea, considering that not having a job won't be an issue. Now, what sort of institution would decide whether you should be granted a loan? I don't think there needs to be any institution for that with people screening an perhaps interviewing you, it can be some published formula for an automatic calculation based on how high your income is, how much you usually spend, and whether you already have to pay back loans. A basically egalitarian income structure greatly simplifies the analysis here. This automatic formula tells you what sort of loans a person can get without specifying what they want to do with that loan.

If what is obtained with the help of the loan isn't something that is used up instantly, they can potentially get a better loan by specifying what it is, since durable things can be given back. However, this makes analysis much more complicated. Will every produced thing have estimations about durability as part of the information package associated with it? If so, determining who can get a loan and under which conditions can remain an automatic process.

Hmm, interesting.

Good point, would it be possible to come up with something like that right now, even if its only an example or aproximation of how it would look like?

Yes, when you produce a car you can calculate it depreciation. Businesses do this all the time, for example the knowledge of when repairs over time to machinery become more expensive than purchasing a new one is widely used to plan production and costs of the means of production in factories. Its not a perfectly exact science of course, but its reasonably accurate.

We would need to think about what to do with things like car accidents. Such thing are accounted for in companies and even out over their entire fleet of cars, but i imagine its harder to do when this concerns individual cars.
Though I imagine you could just include the price of car insurance into the price of the car itself.

Well yes, but we can't just say "oh it wont be neccecary". In the early stages it will still be neccecary, and I imagine less densely populated/ less developed areas would require vehicles. For example, a person living in NYC wouldnt need to own a car and can just rent one when they need to travel somewhere or move stuff, but someone living in the nepalese highlands probably needs a truck to get anything done. And in the early stages people would still own their own cars. Allowing products like this would also put much less strain on the early stages of communalisation, giving us a lot more breathing room. I dont want to repeat the DDR tbh, where people had to apply and wait years to get a car.


(other way around, but i forgot to quote you )

for those of you complaining about muh feminism, saying why did he include that but not sections on racial inequality for example, keep in mind this book was written as a last ditch attempt to save the USSR. Eastern europe doesn't have many POC, so one might assume that women were the main 'underprivileged' group in that society.

btw cockshott goes over the neural net part in more detail here:

Hm. Fair enough, that makes sense.

Thanks lad will look into it.

Fucking hell we really need to make some sort of comprehensive complete book covering the core of cockshotts stuff with updated statistic.

It would take one Petabyte to store the entire USSR economies input output shit.
Today, that would set you back $220k

Correction, seems you can get a petabyte for about 100k of you only look at harddrives.

Just going to write some notes, sorry for the unstructured nature:
If we extrapolate from that, that the proportional cost in storage is about a factor of 10^3, then by applying that to our prices calculated before (100k-220k) that means you can do a calculation with this technique for a few hundred bucks.

>In order to achieve this we introduce function which we term a Harmony function. This is loosely based upon the notion of Harmon y used in the literature on neural nets (Smolensky 1986). The notion behind it is that Harmon y is a real-valued function that measures how closely the net output of the economy corresponds with the goal. The function TotalHarmony(output,goal) where output ; goal : * FLOW may be evaluated by summing the contributions to TotalHarmony from each product. We define the function PartialHarmony(p) where p: PRODUCT to take on the value 0 when the output of a product exactly corresponds to the goal. It becomes steeply negative as output falls below the goal and becomes slightly positive when the output exceeds the goal. This corresponds to the notion that shortfalls are more important than surpluses. A possible form of the partial harmony function would be:
>PartialHarmony(p) = H(scale(output(p), goal(p🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧
>scale(o, g) = (o - g) / g
>H(x) = 0.5 if x > 0 and -x^2 if x TotalHarmony = Σp PartialHarmony(p)

So to sum it up cockshott formulates the following formulas:

>HarmonyFunction = 0.5 if x > 0 or -x^2 if x 0 ? This doesnt make much sense at all… x is only positive when the output exceeds the goal, so maybe he meant to say 0.5x?
Still, why does he formulate such a wonky formula? Why does it include a decision? Most importantly, how would you represent this mathematically?

Wouldn't it be better to use something like total error? You would formulate:

This would be similar to how feedback neural networks work, and you can calculate a partial derivative and thus do gradient descend.

Currently thinking about how you would go about doing this, will come back to this once I figured it out.

Nm I cant come up with anything.

Anyway I dont quite understand how cockshotts harmony maximization relates to linear programming. Linear programming can also handle multiple production methods and products that require products that require products, right?

Damn, Cockshott memed neural network before it was cool, and apparently he came up with something like the fuzzy logic networks that aren't even memed that hard yet. I really need to read this book already.


That was my shitpost for the day, can you give me a tl;dr or an overview of what its about, reading yet another 260 page book on top of the other books i still need to read can be a bit much.

I haven´t finished it yet but I will once I do. That will probably be sometime later today.

I wanted to ask you all:

If we were to go about making an implementation of some of Cockshotts algorithsm, should we use a functional language? This would have a small performance penalty because no hacky tricks and autistic optimisation, but it would allow for very easy safe and correct concurrency, which can give us a huge boost in execution time as well as facilitating distributed computing very very easily.

Personally I would go for F#, because thats the only functional language I can program in and because it integrates well with the .net environment, allowing it to be used as a C# library. On the other hand, it is proprietary shit from microsoft, so I am open for suggestions. From what I know, haskell is autistic about its purity, but F# allows you to do OO programming and mutability if you really want to, for the few parts that are a pain in the ass to do functionally.


Please don't confuse parallelism with concurrency (doing one thing on many processors to make it faster vs. doing multiple things at once regardless of the number of physical cores), it triggers my autism.

Mono is a thing though. Other than that, OCaml? Erlang or Elixir (i.e. refurbished Erlang) for concurrency? Also Rust is making a decent effort at making low-level and multithreaded programming safe, at the expense of a quite complicated type system.

Yeah but it's a fun kind of autism. Though if you know F# you might try F* for (arguably) even more autism than Haskell.

Sorry, that term still kind of confuses me, and i wanted to write parallelism but changed it.

Yea but if we are going to rely on such a thing you might as well use a different language altogether since the .net framework is full of retarded designflaws (such as culture/locality based on the computer which changes program behaviour).

Rust would be pretty cool because I am fairly sure you can compile them into standalone C libraries (such as dll's) which makes it easy to integrate into other things. Also I want to try rust, the trait system seems pretty cool.
But is rust really an appropriate language for this? We are not programming a state-based problem, its a mathematical problem, so there wouldnt be a lot of application for OO programming principles, but more for functional programming. Rust is more for systems programming, right? I was under the impression it was aimed at type safe and memory safe systems programming (state-heavy) and not so much mathematics.

OCaml seems pretty cool, read that F# was based on it and it looks similar. Is it widely in use? How well does it integrate with other languages?

meant statefull programming, sorry. Have a massive headache.

So we are going to create a game. Count me in

Well we could. We would have to start listing requirements for our economic simulation first.

Any of you guys read Stafford Beer's work or anything related to cybersyn? Also where I could find those books?

No, I would also be inerested.

Also bamp.

You could read Stafford Beers Book "Brain of the Firm" is explains the viable system model upon which his work in cybersyn is based, as well as how it can apply in both capitalist and socialist contexts

To what extend would we need to simulate a full economy? Individual desires?

Would we have to simulate an economy to such an extend that we can proof it is accurate by having it use a capitalist mode of production, then a socialist one?

The paper in is based on Beer´s work.

Rude bump


Just had a quick thought:

Whatever system we try to implement, we should have some way to allowing splinter groups to quickly establish themselves and grow in some way. Most innovation is done by industry veterans who leave big companies because they are not heard and start their own thing regardless of what other want. Allowing people like this to rapidly prototype and develop and bring their products into production is important to promote innovation.
The cost in resources of these small teams is very small and allows society to work around whatever bureaucratic inertia there is. Most of them will fail but the ones who succeed can easily be incorporated into the existing productive forces and organisations, or create a new branch if they do not want to be merged. It would of course be ideal if large workers orginisations have space for such things, as some companies had in the past, but we cannot expect that the good ideas are always followed up on for whatever reason (such as a stagnant organisation culture, bad influences from leaders, etc) and smaller groups can often do more crazy things quicker.

What do you think?

When it comes to voting for people, everybody knows that there are methods for electing a single person and for electing several people at once. But our knowledge about groups deciding on actions is that we only know of single-issue referenda. Do we do this one thing, yes or no? Which one thing from this list of things do we do? This seems to be the extent of it. But how to plan for a range of products? I think a jury checking out prototypes or just pitches shouldn't use a single-winner voting system to decide funding, but some mutation of proportional STV or reweighted range voting.

I think we need to be sure to provide some kind of "prototype space" in society where people can prototype products and research on their own. This will allow tinkerers, students or whoever has an idea to work it out. Blueprints and instructions obviously would be freely distributed (cause no copyright) but other than that, we would have to have some kind of way for small scale production to happen. 3D printers can meme a whole lot of products, but we need to think a bit bigger. Collective, publicly usable injection moulders, industrial lathes, cnc machines, laser cutters. Basically the shit that universities have should be available to everyone, for the heavier machines we should have professionals operating them to make sure they aren't misused, so people can just put in orders. Think of it like how mainframes used to work, there were people operating and maintaining it, and people could just put in orders from your own instructions. We already see this with people being able to order from a 3d print website. You can charge people a bit or give everyone a certain amount of free credit for it each month.

I was talking more low scale. I think we need to somehow cut out the bureaucracy there as much as possible. Having to wait for people to decide for you, whether its a capitalist or a jury, if you can produce your line of relatively simple products, obstructs progress. People should have enough free time to work on their own inventions if they want to, their own artistic projects, their own productive hobbies. Ideally we would aim for an only 20 hour or less workweek. Tinkerers should have the ability to organically grow from self-funded tinkerings for fun into prototyping into small scale production and distribution. At a certain point where the person is expanding significant hours of their free time on this production for distribution, you could apply to have it taken into wide production in society.
I think this kind of generalized system would also apply well to non-industrial production, such as breweries. Small breweries can produce for fun in their free time and have it be distributed somehow. If they spend a lot of time on it, they should apply for bigger distribution.

Just throwing ideas out there, might seem disorganised.

comrade, I don't really believe us to be able to simulate small village, let's leave simulating capitalism on some real-world communist party, the only people capable of doing that are the bankers you hear on Holla Forums all the time

wrong flag I'm inexperienced codemonkey

I like this, sortof like a socialist makery

Is that a challange? A small village should be doable to be honest, although this wouldnt give you a good idea of a larger production economy. And if you have that code you might as well go full scale.

Bankers can barely predict how and what the market will do, they are paper pushers, not computer scientists.

Sorry, I haven't read the book yet and I was just memeing the languages I like. Rust does support functional programming, but it's a pain in the ass due to the lack of garbage collector (merely returning a function from another function means you need to pack it in a Box; alsow all closures either need to copy their data, use reference counting, or drag you into a hell on Earth trying to appease the borrow checker)

In that case, it might be worth to try out Maxima (i.e. less porky version of Mathematica) or Octave (less porky version of Matlab) or maybe Julia (more or less Lisp in Matlab's clothing). But again, I didn't read the book.

I realize FP is all the hype nowadays but its not very well suited for the domain of numerical computing. matrix algorithms rely on in place modification otherwise they'd take way too much memory so something like haskell isnt that good. All these FP languages with the exception of julia come from the programming language theory community not the numerical computing commmunity, what we should do it stick with something traditional like C++, hell even python is faster at matrix operations than fucking haskell which has a pretty underdeveloped linear algebra functions


While Haskell wouldn't indeed be my first choice for numeric programming:

Haskell (well, GHC) is actually okay at compiling code with localized in-place memory operations (and ensuring with the type system that the result of a computation only depends on the input directly given to the function). I think the "Haskell as a language is hostile to mutable state" meme results from people recoiling from the clunky syntax and the dense jargon inspired by category theory.

Haskell's linear algebra libraries literally call to BLAS and LAPACK, just like about every other language in existence. The problem is that idiomatic Haskell style of using numeric libraries heavily relies on rewrite rules in the compiler to optimize away the intermediate variables, which is quite brittle. Can't wait for a mainstream functional language with optional linear type system used for optimization (i.e. Rust but with a GC and only bitching about the borrow checking when told to. And with a compiler that actually can use the non-aliasing guarantees to optimize code like Fortran compilers did for time immemorial).

its hard to reason about space complexity in a language like haskell because the compiler is doing all kinds of crazy shit in the background that you need phd in category theory to understand, unlike C/C++ where its low enough level that you can ever sort of see what type of assembly code your C would actually generate.
I thought the whole point of FP was to do away with mutable state? Why is this a meme? correct me if im wrong here. when i used haskell in college i struggled alot at first with type system, i figured this is a language mainly for mathematicians or something. Sure its neat for writing those "lol btfo all other languages with my 1 line quicksort implementation" but Its hard to imagine doing alot of serious work in it.

Not really, mostly because of the lazy evaluation.

Slow down, you've overdosed on the meme. FYI people with true PHDs in CT tend to sneer at Haskell for not being rigorous in the slightest: (also about anything written by Robert Harper).

You've clearly not seen what GCC is legally allowed to do to your code in the name of optimization.
And modern C++ (as in above c++11) is a complex beast even without the optimizations.

More like controlling it. Haskell does an okayish job about it with ST (As in, allowing localized mutable state while still not breaking the global guarantees about referential transparency. What suffers is the readability of the code) and with the compiler rewrite rules (allowing both clean and efficient code, at the expense of having a clue what your code will actually do).

It's another meme, these showoff oneliners usually don't even implement the algorithm they're supposed to. (for example, the infamous implementation of the Sieve of Eratosthenes).

I've written a couple toy programs in Haskell, the whole focus on treating everything as data parametrized by types and operated by a couple of simple typeclasses is pretty neat and quite useful when writing parsers, interfaces to internet services like Discogs, etc.

Anyway I write C everyday for a living, and I curse every time I have to pass a void pointer alongside a function pointer in order make something's behavior changeable at runtime, then pray it won't shit the bed, then bring out Valgrind when it inevitably does. Let a man have a fucking masturbation fantasy ffs.

Yes it is. Organizing bunch of 8ch code monkeys is nearly impossible (I would love to be proven wrong).

I agree 100%. I'm not sure how good architects we have here, but we can go full neoliberal abstraction (creating "perfect conditions") and do something we can prove (to some extent) even on paper. That should be doable even with inexperienced, undisciplined faggots like me.

Fuck me I look away for 4 hours and theres tons of replies again.

Gotta agree with this user here. Modern C and C++ compilers do a lot of weird black magic to optimise the code. It isnt easy to see what the assembly will look like, even if its a bit easier to see than in functional languages.

Also true.

Not sure if you mean this but "proving" a scenario like neoliberal fantasies doesnt really do much good. We can prove pretty much anything if we prepresume the right axioms. Though it is certainly true that we can heavily abstract.

Oopsies didnt mean to sage

Anyway to those who critisize functional programming.
While it is true that C can be quicker if done right (and assembly can be faster still) FP provides a lot of other benefits.

Due to referential transparency the correctness of code is much easier to proof. Due to how the code is structured, parralelism is free. Parallelism in imperative languages is always a source of problems with state and shit. I would bet you a hundret bucks that the benefits of parralelism for calculations on such a large scale would outweigh the performance increases of using a conventional language.

Also im not quite sure why you think we are going to do a lot of in place calculations? Almost all of the calculations I read to be done in the book are going to be information in information out, which is well suited for functional. Might be wrong here, I dont have my degree yet and my school sucks balls so please correct me if im wrong.

I'll tell you a story. After my first encounter with that language, I wasn't able to make simple substitution. Our homework was to make to make some simple algorithms, such as being able to add two different numbers together using one, no more, variables. Haskell was so funny, it took me three days of understanding that wizardry. I'm for going functional languages, but we need bunch of codemonkeys which are to willing sacrifice OOP for the moment. Going c++ can get us far.

I want to touch back on Calculation in natura (PDF provided).

The examples used here all assume that there is a reserve or resources and labour which are used in a single linear equation to create the desired end product.
What about products that require inbetween products?
Do we have to calculate the costs of these inbetween-products in other products (and the cost for those recursively until quantities become negligible) and add them to the planning ray? Can linear optimisation optimise this? It seems to me that it cant because by adding the inbetween products to the plan target, the planning algorithm still tries to plan for the other products (which cost the planned-for products not yet in stockpile, the quantities you dont know yet). For example, if a jacket costs 4 buttons, but buttons arent in stock, you have to include them in the plan. But then the algorithm will say "theres no buttons, so I cant make jackets, so the fabric for the jackets will be used to make pants instead". I dont really see how this works. Am I just not smart enough to see it?

Never programming in haskell tbh, only used non-autistic languages that give you a little more wiggleroom.

Wouldnt it just be: λ a b ->(a+b)
? Depending on whatever notation your particular FP language uses.

Yea, FP is very different from OOP, but once it clicks its really fucking easy. That said I never really went too indept with it, dont know a lot beyond the lamda calculus Pls dont bully

Found on google. Any refutations for the points made here?

Can you give us a more elaborate abstract than the abstract in that pdf? That abstract just says "We are going to argue against two ideas and we are right".

That is supposed to describe socialism. But of course decisions can be made in a tiered structure, not everybody decides on everything all the time.
I understand that this is commonly claimed, but I think the earliest proposals of adjusting prices of consumer items under socialism are far older. I believe Engels also said something to that effect at some point.

Hodgson claims Alec Nove was sympathetic to socialism. I read that guy and strongly disagree, it was just a way of packaging the message. Nove advocated for more than some limited usage of market mechanisms: that the means of production should be privately owned. Some mild criticism of Thatcher and being for rail operated by the public doesn't make you a socialist.

Hodgson blathers about "genuine" markets as opposed to fake ones, but never bothers to give a definition. He says prices in Lange models
Where to start? First of, the Hayek quote is about FIXED prices, but Lange models do adjust prices of consumer items based on demand. Second, if the prices of consumer items are regulated, the entrepreneur still has motivation to find a cheap way of producing them as that still yields higher profit. Third, the idea that knowledge about how to produce things better swiftly translates into you starting your own company is absurd. You need a big pile of money to start.
Yet, at the same time, this market made of morons is super efficient. This is the oxymoron of what Austrian mystics believe.
All parliaments and committees in the world make decisions by pure consensus!
Subsidiarity is markets, everything good in the world is markets!
The author seems to have a very unrealistic view of how technological improvement happens. The entrepreneur-inventor is largely a myth. It comes from people who tinker with stuff in their free time and people in labs who might as well be employed by a big evil state. People who own patents can be quite distinct from people who actually develop them. The rest of the essay is repeating: Tacit knowledge!! You don't know nuffin!!!

Fucking this. A system cannot be "inherently unpredictable" yet "efficient" at the same time.

Isn't that how evolution works?

No. Evolution is not efficient at all. Creating masses of mutations, most of which damage the organism, with a small percentage that provide a marginal advantage, is not efficient.

Also that isnt relevant to the question at hand. The argument is that capitalism is efficient because people can respond to market prices and predict what investments will be needed. But then they also argue that you cant predict what the economy will do because its inherently unpredictable.

this is pretty totalitarian tbh..

did you even read it?

Started reading that and will post something about it on the weekend (if the thread survives).

Read chapter 13-On democracy, before going into uncheked conclusions.


I think your confused by the representation, the plan ray is in 2d, but you can imagine it being done in a higher dimensionality for more stuff, its just that you can't visually show such a thing. Dimensionality = more axis. for example instead of x and y lines you have x y and z for 3d. You can arbitrarily have more dimensions even if u cant draw it such as 4 5 or 6, or 21 dimensions.

I know but that isnt what I meant.

I perfectly good understand it can handle 3000 products that all take 100 commodities as ingredients, but what I am saying is what if you have a couch.
This couch needs wood and leather and labour, the formula would be something like
But then wood has the formula
and leather is

Can linear optimisation optimise for this? Maybe its just because I dont understand exactly how the algorithm works.

Oh right, i just saw cockshott does use an example like this, with the dams, farms and machines (second example).

Still dont really understand how it works. Is there any good literature to understand linear optimisation?

Yeah, any college level class on numerical analysis usually covers it. Although the Kantorovich formalism is usually different than the one taught in those classes, its the same concept tho.

Do you know linear algebra, first off?

Great resource for getting started with linear programming:

A linear programming example in python:

import numpy as npfrom scipy.optimize import linprogfrom numpy.linalg import solveA_eq = np.array([[1,1,1]])b_eq = np.array([999])A_ub = np.array([[1, 4, 8],[40,30,20],[3,2,4]])b_ub = np.array([4500, 36000, 2700])c = np.array([70, 80, 85])res = linprog(c, A_eq=A_eq, b_eq=b_eq, A_ub=A_ub, b_ub=b_ub,bounds=(0, None))print('Optimal value:',, '\nX:', res.x)

Program is for this:

A startup want to build talking washing machines spending the least possible. There are three ways of building them: manually, semi-automatically and automatically. The manual production demands 1 minute of qualified work, 40 minutes of non-qualified work and three minutes of assemblage. The work times are 4, 30 and 2 minutos for the semi-automatic method and 8, 20 and 4 minutos for the fully automatic method. A startup has a pool of 4500 minutes of qualified work, 36000 minutos of non-qualified work and 2700 minutos of assembly. The costs of the production are 70, 80 and 85 euros for the manual, semi-automatic and automatic methods.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

wait howd you make that box? you can make a code-box thing? how?


How naive….

Yeah, sadly the parts about democracy fagging is the weakest in the book.

Ive never had any formal training in linear algebra. Ive learned it myself in the past 4 months in order to understand and build a deep learning algoritm.

I understand matrixes, chain rule and linear transformations and stuff like that, also have no problem grasping stuff in 4 or more dimensions, but I still have some trouble understanding a lot of the notations used in matrix math.
Im by no means an expert or really good at it though, so feel free to explain stuff.

For whatever reason my software engineering school doesnt teach math because "its too hard", and the middle/highschools in my country never really covered it either. I used to be in the highest level of highschool but I dropped a level lower in the second last year because I couldnt keep up with German classes.

Thanks will check it out.

Also before anyone starts ragging me for being in software engineering school:
My country doesnt have the same distinction the anglo world has on the level of education I can get (level below university). It is either software engineering or computer engineering. The former being learning bullshit like scrum and uml and the latter being a bit of low level programming, some logic and a fuckton of network engineering.

Real computer science, the theory with all the math, funny symbols and interesting actual science, is only available on university level.

Regarding your page 49 comments:

Your history is a horrible mismatch of anachronisms and misconceptions I'm afraid.
The heron engine wasn't used as anything other than a barometer (not as a power source, but as a 'divination tool' for the weather, since it'll spin faster in low ambient pressure this would get actual results). It's not a predecessor to steam engines, either in inspiration or the way it works, even calling it the first steam engine is a misnomer, it's really the first thermal rocket. The first steam engine that serves as a technical predecessor is the Newcomben engine (there's also the Savory engine, which we can thank for being the design predecessor for percolating coffee pots), which is the one associate with mine pumps.

Where you get into even more confused territory is claiming that the steam engine allowed accumulation of wealth/automation by the bourgeois. The rise of a bourgeois in England proceeds any steam engines at. It starts around 1500. Indeed it can't have happened because of the steam engine, because steam engines are so expensive that had there been no bourgeois, nobody could have afforded one.

Common Lisp will get you the same benefit of being able to do functional programming then switch over to object oriented when necessary. It's got bugger all in terms of libraries though, so it depends on how much you think you need that stuff.

Boo might be an option, since its designed to have the benefits of Lisp but be able to make calls to mono libraries. I've never used it though.

Racket would be a great alternative, if only its hygienic macro system didn't suck. I think that my autism exposure increased to lethal levels after implementing a relatively simple pattern maching macro (i.e. match a list or structure to a pattern with literals and loose symbols, and bind the values to variables named after those symbols).
I really like the bit where he talks about electronic voting and democracy under socialism, but the entire lecture is pretty interesting.

Bumping so that you can do that

Rood bump

Ok, I've just finished the book, best explanation on how to actually make a socialist economy work I'd ever read.
Also related to what I'm studying so maybe I'll start working in some of the systems described in the book (anyone here doing that?)
What other Cockshotr works should I read?
Maybe Stafford Beer about Allende's Cybersyn?
What is the next step after this?
Can any "Planning-gang" socialist recommend another planning works?
Kaleki maybe?

Maybe picolisp calling c libraries?

Anyway, the pension system has been devised to atomize families and make people more dependent on a state wide system. Most implementations have also the desirable property of scamming people out of their money.

Have you read calculation in natura, 40 pages and pretty good.

Still finishing TANS (im OP) because no discipline and shit.

Lisp is great but Common lisp is way too oldschool, something like Clojure which runs on the JVM would be better

His Book Brain of the Firm goes over this

It's locally efficient and globally unpredictable then.

So the local centrally planned moneyless corporations are efficient but the markets are unpredictable?

Anarchist Cybernetics by Thomas Swann, a review: Meh. It got a crazy amount of name-dropping of Cybernetics guys, sociologists, anarchists. Remember the review of How not to Network a Nation by Benjamin Peters in the Soviet Cybernetics thread? Thread archive here: Go ctrl+f waffleshit. This thing is about as waffleriffic. Look at this:
Lack of footnotes and references to Important People aside, these sentences are representative of the text. Not that I disagree with above, but where are the new findings, where are the meaty arguments? What made him believe he must tell the world this? His sentences are usually extremely vague and he repeats himself and spreads stuff over an entire chapter I can't see myself to turn into more than one paragraph – a boring paragraph. There is nothing on algorithms or criteria for judging them, nothing about producing stuff. He talks at length (without saying much) about muh horizontal consensus and muh social media.

His feature wishlist for a communication platform: 1. many-to-many forums; 2. private one-to-one messaging; 3. sharing and liking, muh meme potential; 4. newsfeed with user-generated content; 5. PR function for press releases and contacting journalists; 6. federation of different platforms with comfy crosspost option; 7. central resource hub; 8. noise & overload filters; 9. mechanisms against over-use and addiction.

His feature wishlist for an information management system: 1. General assembly function; 2. pads for collab writing; 3. memory/narrative; 4. file-sharing; 5. a mild dose of procrastination to help with socializing; 6. online decision making embedded in offline structures, decisions in offline meetings can overrule online ones; 7. sections open to non-members; 8. architecture for collective autonomy, getting away from incentivising individuals to max some score of individual social rank; 9. flexible engagement - users can indicate on their profile when they can be available; 10. foster responsibility by reminding users of deadlines agreed in meetings and chastise people who don't complete tasks they agreed to; 11. privacy features; 12. easy backups.

At one point he mentions that methods of ranking/reducing/summarizing shouldn't just display what is the most popular, but also aim to preserve some diversity. He doesn't go into details (he isn't a math/computer person), but making an aggregate ranking diverse is easy by using some reweighting formula, like this:

Thank you. That is essentially what I was getting out of it as well. It is disappointing, as I would be very interested in seeing a model of how cybernetic planning could be implemented in a decentralized and prefigurative fashion. But alas, this is not that paper.

Currently reading the bit on foreign trade and the way he uses LTV applied to foreign trade and how his system would always run a labour deficit but keep its money balanced gives me a fucking real life boner.

Will be back with some constructive notes, questions and critisisms later.

Stop fetishizing the Cockshott


nigger straight from the bush detected

From post capitalism: a guide to our future.

Over the past twenty years, Paul Cockshott and Allin Cottrell – a computer scientist and an economics professor – have worked tirelessly on a problem we thought we didn’t have: how to plan an economy. Though not well known, their work is rigorous and performs an invaluable service; it is a textbook outline of what we should not do.
Cockshott and Cottrell argue that improvements in computer power, together with the application of advanced maths and information theory removes, in principle, the Hayek/Robbins objection: that the planner can never have better realtime information than a market. What’s more, unlike the left in the calculation debate, they say the computer model we would need for planned production should use the labour theory of value, and not try to simulate the results of supply and demand.
This is a crucial departure from the work of Lange. Cockshott and Cottrell understand that the labour-theory gives you a measuring stick against which both market interactions and non-market ones can be compared, and a way of calibrating the transition. They see the planning process as similar to a modular computer program. It would collate the demands of consumers and producers; work out the cost and resources needed to meet them; formulate targets; calculate in advance the resource implications; check the feasibility of the plan; and then instruct producers and suppliers of services to hit the targets.23
But unlike the Russian left of the 1920s, Cockshott and Cottrell don’t see the plan as provisional, or something for the state sector alone to execute; it has to be drawn up and tested in detail, down to enterprise level and individual products.
Once you remove the market, they argue, there are no other signals for the boss of a factory, or care home, or coffee bar to rely on. They have to know exactly what they’re supposed to be producing. Theirs, in other words, is the methodology for a completely prescriptive plan, as imagined (and ridiculed) by Trotsky in the 1930s.
Historically, of course, sophisticated planning at this level is something the Soviet Union never achieved: by the 1980s there were 24 million different products in the USSR but the entire planning apparatus could track the price and quantity of only 200,000 of them, and the actual central plan just 2,000. As a result, factories met the targets for the small number of goods they were supposed to make, and fulfilled all other requests chaotically or not at all.24
In Cockshott and Cottrell’s model, money exists in the form of ‘labour tokens’ which are paid to everybody according to the amount of labour they do, minus a flat tax to pay for state services. This allows for consumer choice. Where supply and demand for a product get out of kilter, the central planners adjust the price to achieve a short-term rebalancing. Then, over a longer period, they compare the prices commanded by a sector, or production unit, to the actual amount of labour it is doing. In the next round of the plan, they boost production in the areas where prices are higher than the labour used and cut them where lower. Planning is ‘iterative’; it is adjusted constantly. But it is not mere trial and error: Cockshott and Cottrell believe the inputs and outputs can be calculated in advance, and they propose a detailed algorithm to do so.
The computing challenge is, first, to calculate what the value of an hour’s labour should be. That is – how much work is going into each product, as listed on a giant spreadsheet. The researchers argue this is doable with a supercomputer, but only if it uses data-processing techniques that prioritize the most relevant information.
For Cockshott and Cottrell, working out the value of an hour’s labour is the hard part. The plan itself – the allocation of resources – is an easier calculation to do, because you do not run the program blind. You ask it feasible questions such as: how much of a product is going to be sold this year; how much of the various inputs do we normally use; what’s the seasonal variation, what’s the expected demand, how much should we order within the boundaries of past experience? They conclude: ‘With modern computers, one could envisage computing an updated list of labor values daily and preparing a new perspective plan weekly – somewhat faster than a market economy is able to react.’25
In an ambitious application of these principles, Cockshott and Cottrell proposed an outline for a planned economy in the European Union. They explained not just how you would calculate the plan, but also how you would have to restructure the economy to implement it. And it is here that the assumptions behind their methodology become clear: for all their dislike of what went wrong in the 1930s, this is still a form of cyber-Stalinism.

In their model, the de-marketization of Europe would be driven not primarily by nationalization, but by reforming the monetary system so that money began to reflect labour value.26 Banknotes would be overprinted with a ‘labour time figure’, allowing people to see the mismatch between what they were being paid for their labour and what they were being charged for products. Over time, the authors expect people to choose products closer to their true value; consumer choice becomes a mechanism for squeezing profit out of the system. A law banning exploitation would allow workers to claim against excess profit-making; the final aim being to eradicate profit altogether. Banking would effectively cease to be a means of building up capital, which would be done by the state, using direct taxation. The finance industry would be wiped out.
The huge service Cockshott and Cottrell perform here is not the one they intend. They show that to fully plan an early-twenty-first-century developed economy, it would have to be stripped of its complexity, see finance removed completely, and have radical behavioural change enforced at the level of consumption, workplace democracy and investment.
Where the dynamism and innovation would come from is not addressed. Nor how the vastly enlarged cultural sector would come in. In fact, the researchers make a strong case that, because of its decreased complexity, a planned economy would need fewer calculations than a market one.
But that’s the problem. In order for the plan to work, society in this project has to go back to being ‘plannable’. Workers interface with every aspect of Cockshott and Cottrell’s plan via ‘their’ workplace – so what happens to the precarious worker with three jobs; or the single mum doing sex work on a web cam? They can’t exist. Likewise, the financial complexity that has come to characterize modern life has to disappear – and not gradually. There can be no credit cards in this world; no payday loans; probably a much-reduced e-commerce sector. And of course there are no network structures in this model and no peer-produced free stuff.
Though the researchers decry the dogmatic idiocy of Soviet planning, their world view remains that of a hierarchical society, of physical products, of a simple system where the pace of change is slow. The model they’ve produced is the best demonstration yet of why any attempt to use state planning and market suppression as a route to postcapitalism is closed.
Fortunately, another route has opened up. To follow it we must exploit a granular, spontaneous micro-process, not a plan. Our solution must map comfortably on to a world of networks, info-goods, complexity and exponential change.
Of course, on the route to postcapitalism, we will have need of planning. Large parts of the capitalist world are effectively planned already – from urban design and construction projects through to the integrated supply chains of a large supermarket. It is the advance in processing power, the use of big data and the digital tracking of individual objects and components – using barcodes or RFID tags – that make this possible. That part of our project which requires planning would be well equipped because of this.
But the nature of modern society alters the problem. In a complex, globalized society, where the worker is also the consumer of financial services and micro-services from other workers, the plan cannot outdo the market unless there is a retreat from complexity and a return to hierarchy. A computerized plan, even if it measured everything against labour values, might tell the shoe industry to produce shoes, but it could not tell Beyoncé to produce a surprise album marketed only via social media, as she did in 2013. Nor would the plan be concerned with the most interesting thing in our modern economy: free stuff. Such a plan would see time spent curating a Wikipedia page, or updating Linux, exactly the same way as the market sees it: wasteful and incalculable.
If the rise of the networked economy is beginning to dissolve the law of value, planning has to be the adjunct of something more comprehensive.
André Gorz once wrote that the source of capitalism’s superiority to Soviet socialism was its ‘instability, its diversity … its complex multiform character, comparable to that of an ecosystem, which continually triggers new conflicts between partially autonomous forces that can neither be controlled nor placed once and for all in the service of a stable order’.27
What we’re trying to build should be even more complex, more autonomous and more unstable.

But change from one economic system to another takes time. If the postcapitalism thesis is right, what we’re about to live through will be a lot more like the transition from feudalism to capitalism than the one the Soviet planners envisaged. It will be long; there will be confusion; and in the process the very concept of an ‘economic system’ will have to be redefined.
And that’s why, whenever I want to stop myself being too Marxist about the future, I think about Shakespeare.

If you could watch Shakespeare’s history plays back-to-back, starting with King John and ending with Henry VIII, it would at first sight seem like a Netflix drama series without a central plot: murders, wars and mayhem – all set within an apparently meaningless squabble between kings and dukes. But once you understand what a ‘mode of production’ is, the meaning becomes clear. What you are watching is the collapse of feudalism and the emergence of early capitalism.
The mode of production is one of the most powerful ideas to come out of Marxist economics. It influenced a wide range of historical thinkers, and has come to shape our view of the past. Its starting point is the question: what is the prevailing economic system based on?
Feudalism was a system based on obligation: peasants were obliged to hand part of their produce to the landowner and do military service for him; he in turn was obliged to provide the king with taxes, and supply an army on demand. In the England of Shakespeare’s history plays, however, the mainspring of that system had broken down. By the time Richard III was slaughtering his rivals in real life, the power network based on obligation had been polluted by money: rents paid in money, military service paid for with money, wars fought with the aid of a cross-border banking network stretching to Florence and Amsterdam. Shakespeare’s kings and dukes killed each other because money had made all power based on obligation susceptible to being overthrown.
Shakespeare managed to get to the essence of it long before the words ‘feudalism’ and ‘capitalism’ were even invented. The signal difference between his history plays and the comedies and tragedies is that the latter depict the contemporary society his audience lived in. In the comedies and tragedies we are suddenly in a world of bankers, merchants, companies, mercenary soldiers and republics. The typical setting for these plays is a prosperous trading city, not a castle. The typical hero is a person whose greatness is essentially bourgeois and self-made, either through courage (Othello), humanist philosophy (Prospero) or knowledge of the law (Portia in The Merchant of Venice).
But Shakespeare had no clue about where this was going to lead. He saw what this new kind of economy was doing to the human character: empowering us with knowledge, yet leaving us susceptible to greed, passion, self-doubt and power-craziness on a new scale. But it would be another 150 years until merchant capitalism, based on trade, conquest and slavery, paved the way for industrial capitalism.

If you interrogate Shakespeare through his texts, and ask him: ‘what is between the past and the time you’re living in?’, the implicit answer is ‘ideas and behaviour’. Human beings value each other more; love is more important than family duty; human values like truth, scientific rigour and justice are worth dying for – far more so than hierarchy and honour.
Shakespeare is a great witness to the moment when one mode of production begins to falter and another begins to rise. But we also need Marx. In a materialist view of history, the difference between feudalism and early capitalism is not just ideas and behaviours. Changes in the social and economic system are critical. And at root, the change is driven by new technologies.
For Marx, a mode of production describes a set of economic relationships, laws and social traditions that form the underlying ‘normal’ of a society. In feudalism, the concept of lordly power and obligation pervaded everything. In capitalism, the equivalent force is the market, private property and wages. To understand a mode of production, another revealing question is: ‘what reproduces itself spontaneously?’ In feudalism, it is the concept of fealty and obligation; in capitalism, it is the market.
And here’s where the mode of production concept gets challenging: the changes are so huge that we are never comparing like with like. So when it comes to the economic system that replaces capitalism, we should not expect it to be based on something as purely economic as the market, nor on something as clearly coercive as feudal power.
For Marx, the modes of production concept led to a strict historical sequence: there are various pre-capitalist forms of society, where the rich get rich through legally authorized violence; then there is capitalism, where the rich get rich through technical innovation and the market; finally there is communism, where the whole of humanity gets richer because there is abundance instead of scarcity. That sequence is open to criticism from two angles. First, it can read like a quasi-mythology: human destiny looks pre-programmed to happen in three logical stages. Second, when used by historians looking backwards, it can lead to the application of simple labels to complex societies, or to imputing economic motives that simply didn’t exist.
But if we avoid the myth of inevitability and assert simply, ‘there must come a time when there is relative abundance, compared to the scarcity that has driven all previous economic models’, then Marx was only saying the same thing as Keynes said in the early 1930s: one day there will be enough goods to go around and the economic problem will be solved. ‘For the first time since his creation,’ Keynes wrote, ‘man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem – how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares … to live wisely and agreeably and well.’28

In fact, this three-phase view of world history is supported by data we now possess (and that Marx and Keynes didn’t) on population and GDP. Until around the year 1800, only Western Europe experienced a tangible rise in GDP per person, mainly after the conquest of the Americas; then, with the Industrial Revolution, per person growth took off spectacularly in Europe and America until around 1950, when its rate of acceleration increased again. Today, as the graph above shows, GDP per person rates are rising all across the world. The stage where all the lines go close to vertical is the one Keynes and Marx allowed themselves to imagine – and so should we.

i didnt understand this book well because im not well based but one criticism of planned economies is whats the point? We should be moving to post scarcity now and market socialism is enough to get us all of the way there.

Paul mason does however acknowledge that things like economic modeling and the internet of things will make managing economies really easy. But it should be tools that both governments and individual enterprises use to advise each other. (I think???)

First, we need an open, accurate and comprehensive computer simulation of current economic reality. The sources could be the models macro-economists use – in banks and at the IMF and OECD – and the climate models that generate the IEA’s and other scenarios. But their lopsidedness is striking.
Climate models tend to simulate the atmosphere using advanced maths but simulate the economy like a train set. Meanwhile, most professionally built economic simulators, known as DGSE models, are constructed on the twin fallacy that equilibrium is likely and that all agents in the economy are making simple pleasure-vs-pain choices.
For example, the European Central Bank’s most advanced model of the Eurozone includes only three types of ‘agents’ – households, firms and the central bank. As current events show, it might have been useful to include in that model some fascists, or corrupt oligarchs, or several million voters prepared to put the radical left into power.
Given that we are decades into the info-tech era, it is startling that – as Oxford maths professor J. Doyne Farmer points out – there are no models that capture economic complexity in the way computers are used to simulate weather, population, epidemics or traffic flows.7
In addition, capitalist planning and modelling are typically unaccountable: by the time a major infrastructure project starts delivering results, ten or twenty years after its impact was first predicted, there is no person or organization still around to draw conclusions. Thus, most economic modelling under market capitalism is actually close to speculation.
So one of the most radical – and necessary – measures we could take is to create a global institute or network for simulating the long-term transition beyond capitalism.
It would start by attempting to construct an accurate simulation of economies as they exist today. Its work would be Open Source: anybody could use it, anybody could suggest improvements and the outputs would be available to all. It would most likely have to use a method called ‘agent-based modelling’ – that is, using computers to create millions of virtual workers, households and firms, and letting them interact spontaneously, within realistic boundaries. Even today such a model would be able to draw on realtime data. Weather sensors, city transport monitors, energy grids, postcode demographic data and the supply chain management tools of global supermarket groups are all giving off relevant macro-economic data in realtime. But the prize – once every object on earth is addressable, smart and feeding back information – is an economic model that does not just simulate reality but actually represents it. The agents modelled virtually are eventually substituted by granular data from reality, just as happens with weather computers.
Once we are able to capture economic reality in this manner, then planning major changes in an accountable way becomes possible. Just as aircraft engineers model millions of different stress loads on the tail-fin of a jet, it would be possible to model millions of variations of what happens if you reduce the price of Nike trainers to a point between their present $190 and their production price, which is likely to be lower than $20.
We would ask our supercomputer lateral questions: do young men get depressed because the Nike brand dies? Does the global sports industry suffer because Nike’s marketing spend is gone? Does quality decline when there is no brand value to maintain in the production process? And what would the climate impact be? To promote its brand, Nike has worked hard to reduce carbon emissions. We might decide keeping the price of Nike trainers high is a good thing. Or not.
This, rather than the meticulous planning of the cyber-Stalinists, is what a postcapitalist state would use petaflop-level computing for. And once we had reliable predictions, we could act.


What book is this?

Except labour credits are paid for by card, thought not on credit since this is a loan which is exploitative
Since "ecommerce" is just shipping shit to your door, theres no reason to think this

"It doesnt work cause i say so" is not an argument

fucking end yourself you capitalist pig. Information is non-scarce and you deprive the world of progress by enforcing scarcity

Such as what? When was the last time you ever purchased a "micro service" buzzword from a smoll bizniz man?

Complexity and hierarchy are not opposites, retard.


The goal is to move away from production for reward. Labour vouchers serve as a way to produce socially neccecary scarce goods, with a goal of minimizing production cost in labour time and freeing up time to spend on other persuits such as art or making wikipedia better.


Jesus christ this guy doesnt have a fucking grasp of history does he? Does he seriously think that the kings in the castle just had soldiers because "muh loyalty"?

Now this is utopian

Hi user. No it isnt. Market socialism still leads to production for exchange which leads to all the terrible consequences we associate with capitalism. Cutting corners and wages isnt just done because the boureoisie is evil, but because they have to. They have to cut corners and wages to stay in business. So too will worker cooperatives have to do so. They will have to cut corners and cut their own wages to stay competitive, even if they dont want to. The argument that "they wont do it because its themselves" is asinine, capitalists will short themselves and damage their own health for their company. Society will be driven to still persue cutthroating and backstabbing, and produce all the evils associated with capitalism. Will there be slightly better standards of living? Certainly, its socdemism on roids, but it wont solve the fundamental problems. Communism is not just "lots of free stuff".

I have never heared about "post capitalism" but if this is what it is, infantilist calling everything "evil stalinism", saying that a system is bad because it doesnt allow single moms having to sell themselves as whores to exist, or that a system is bad because "people who make wikipedia or music dont get paid" despite admitting that markets dont neccecarily do that either, and then on top of all of that say utopian bullshit like "gdp growth is near-infinite we will have automated luxery communism soon™" instead of actually giving anything usable, then it can fuck off.

>we cant simulate the economy using technologies that are proven to work mathematically, in practice and are used worldwide to plan capitalist enterprises, because das stalinism and doesnt work. Instead we have to simulate ALL OF REALITY in order to make any kind of usable predictions.

I am 100% convinced this is just another retarded capitalist who tries to come up with a new version of "muh calculation problem" since the old ones have been thoroughly BTFO

What are some other good Orthodox Marxist writers who talk about software, internet, cybernetics, and related topics? Any good academic papers or books?

And by Orthodox Marxist, I mean writers who don't attempt to revise Marx, Engels, and Lenin. People who build on top are of course welcome.

The author seems to believe that the LTV is completely at odds with supply and demand. If he does, he is mistaken. It is also false to claim that demand plays no role in the model proposed in TANS.
To what extent people use their consumption vouchers for this or that type of item is data that is used to update the proportions in which to produce different things. Trotsky had literally zero knowledge about economics, I don't see what the point is in bringing him up.
Indeed. The author doesn't seem to care much about his own words, just a few sentence before he denied that demand play a role in the proposal by C & C.

Why would they not intend this? And why would that be a bad thing?
OH NO!!!! ;((
>Our solution must map comfortably on to a world of networks, info-goods
Respect muh intellectual property!

The author either has satirical intentions or he writes for the Guardian.

There is no way to revise without the original, and no way to build on top, because adding things to the theory changes the overall theory.
Building on top and revising are the same thing thats dialectics 101

But IMO Althusser and Althusserians seem pretty good (wolff, alain badiou, montag, etc.).

Alright I finished the book (finally) and have a lot of notes, questions and ideas. Lets start.

Page 108, excise tax
Cockshott advocates for set tax on "damaging" products such as tabacco or alcohol, as a means to decrease consumption. This will not work in his own system, for the following reason.
See pic related. If you would go it by setting a market clearing price, then adding a tax, you would end up with unsold products. Waste of resources and labour time.
If you would allow the price to adjust with the tax in mind, the price+tax would just go back to be equal to the old non-taxed price.
The only way to achieve the goal is to intentionally lower production, intentionally aiming for a sale-to-cost ratio > 1. This will raise the market clearing price as intended, reduce the need to make exceptions to rules (decrease system complexity) and doesnt waste resources. This could be achieved by something as simple as setting the target ratio to 2.0 instead of 1.0 for cigarettes in the database.

Quick highlight
Page 126, "against monopoly"
Very important that this is kept in mind. Full employment does not mean you get to keep your job even if its not needed any more, it means you have the right for adequate employment in one way or the other. This is important so that we do not get people doing useless jobs at a loss of society just to keep em busy.

And now for the real juicy bits
Page 133-134
Labour theory of value says that only capital movement can lower standards of living and cause unemployment in regards to trading. Imports or exports on their own do not cause unemployment or lower standard of living.
This is because after the initial trading due to differences in currency value, the labour costs represented by the currencies (or as described, their value in gold) even out. This means that if the ratios of labour production in both countries are (roughly) equal, there is not going to be trade between said countries.
Only capital flight can cause unemployment, due to the forcible stopping of production in one country and starting production in another. This production in the other country is still owned by the capitalist from the original country however, so the profits made by the capitalists strengthen the currency of the original country, making imports seem cheaper. This creates mismatch between import and export, and combined with capital flight, creates unemployment and lowering standards of living in the first world.
In a capitalist system with theoretical capital-flight prevention, IE free movement of capital stops at the border, international trade is always beneficial on a macro level, because this allows for both countries to specialize in the production that cost them less labour than the other does, and vice versa, which increases the total use value created per hour worked in each country. This then also applies to a socialist country trading with a capitalist nation, because the foreign capital cannot enter or leave the socialist country.

Is there any good literature on this? Cockshott says it isnt covered in Capital, but its so interesting. Is this developed into a proper stand alone theory somewhere or should this be done some day?

Page 141-142
The author described a system where citizens can go to foreign banks and purchase foreign currencies with their card. Similar to today, we can envision this would just be going to the ATM and getting money, or paying by beditcard at the register, and it automatically being converted at the going rate.
This leads me to think that this could just as easily be made to allow people to pay online for imports from other countries. Would this cause any issues?


Page 144
Cockshott describes a situation wherein the planned exports rise in price, raising the income of exports above the planned rate. He then proceeds to say that in such cases, the socialist country can accept foreign currencies as additional payment. Why would you want to do this? It would seem far more beneficial to the socialist country to ask for payment in its own labour credits. This would drive up demand for the credits in the currency market, raising its value, and making the planned imports cheaper. This requires the foreign currency market to have a certain buffer of labour credits. This is not an issue for the socialist country since the planning algorithm relies on balancing out export and import. A lower value of labour credits abroad would make imports more expensive but exports more valuable in equal amounts, cancelling each other out. If this is correct (and cant lead to other nasty problems) another benefit could be that substantial holdings of labour credits by foreign capitalist instances creates a political incentive not to destabilize or overthrow the socialist nation.

I approached this skeptically because I try to avoid direct cultural meddling but cockshott brought up some very valid points here.
Same as in my first posts in this thread, I still think it does not quite fit with the economic aim of this book, since its rather specific cultural changes, instead of general economic approaches to a worldwide system. Regardless, let continue.

The communization ideas (multi-family households) have a lot of direct benefits that I can see. It creates social cohesion, provides a social safety net, etc etc. Another great advantage I see is very important in northern europe.
The elderly are often alone after retirement. They are either alone in their own homes or put away in elderly care institutions. They barely go out, emotionally deteriorate, are depressed, bored. Their friends are dead or keep dying, they are increasingly alone and in need of assistance. Nobody wants this, there are lots of initiatives for getting their children more involved, but within the current system that is simply not possible. Communization would allow the elderly to fullfill the role they have fulfilled during the entire history of humankind, assistance and teaching to the younger generation.
When we were hunter gatherers, the elderly helped with childcare and thought the children skills. When we were farmers, the elderly helped with childcare and tought the children skills. But now in our industrial world, we live alone without the elderly, they are tucked away in institutions.
With communzation, they would have more social contact, a social role and more assistance by people who personally care, rather than paid caretakers (who are overworked).
I am also a bit fan of communal food preparation. It would provide a big advantage for those working long hours as they would have healthy, fresh meals, instead of everybody eating proccessed ready made bullshit.

Household labour vouchers
I think we can generalize cockshotts idea of a "communal fund" better. What we could make is household accounts. A person working can have their credits credited to their personal or a household account, or a mixture of both. A household account is a special kind of account which has multiple members. You can either pay with it directly or do a one-way transfer to the personal account of a member of the household account.
This simple solution would allow shared household income as well as scaling up and beyond communes.

But I think cockshott is going a bit off the rails in this though. Cockshott describes a whole system that is essentially a tiny micro-economy within the larger economy, for each commune. The people in the commune would have their own currency with an exchange rate etc etc. It is possible but I dont think it should be the default or mandatory.
Some of the Hutterites and Hutterite-like communities in the USA live in communes, with between 100-250 people. These communes dont use money internally. Every person has their task, money is earned for the communes as a whole and purchases are done collectively. Nobody gets paid a wage or earns money. Their size coincides with dunbar's number, a theoretical limit of tribe size for humans. The idea is that up to dunbars number, a human can track all of their tribes members, know what they do and keep personal relationships, social pressure and social checks on each other. Beyond that, the numbers grow too large for a single human to keep up with an distrust starts to grow, necessitating things like money or advanced organisation.
It would seem to me that if you want to go for communization, you should offer both the (somewhat convoluted) intra-commune credit system as well as allowing people to have a moneyless commune. Since these communes dont provide any real benefit beyond a 100 or so people, theres no reason to necessitate such a credit system beyond personal preference. And communes are a voluntary choice, so communes that fall apart for whatever reason can just go on as individuals or smaller families.
If you really want to go the communization route, study of hitterite communities might be a good idea, and with that I dont mean "read wikipedia", i mean send anthropologists and shit. Their insights and ways of doing things might save a lot of trouble in the information age commune experiments.

Will post last notes after dinner.

I really like the bit on election by lot, and it has a lot of strong points. I am still a bit on the fence about pure by lot, would there be technical experts that are elected by those in their field who advice the councils, but themselves have no vote in the council?
Also, is there any good literature on classical democracy?

Employment, page 189
Something I thought was interesting was that a labour voucher cannot spin into a recession, because a drop in demand does not cause a drop in employment or profit, so no drop in employment. Budgets and production is after all not affected by prices or sales, the labour that might be decided to be "unnecessary" for is put to use in other places, because full employment is the goal.

Self employment, the unplanned economy p. 190
I think the (rather short) bit on self employment leaves and gaping and very interesting hole in cockshotts model.
Cockshott describes how self-employment should be facilitated for things like services. He doesn't really go into depth at all, so I thought up a method that would allow for small bussinesses and self employment in a rather elegant manner, a manner which doesnt require any work on the end of the planners and which provides a huge opportunity for starting up new industries, product lines, services, small shops and restaurants.
Essentially, small unplanned economics within the planned system. It goes as follows:
Someone who wants to start a small bussiness (be it production, service or whatnot) applies for a permit.
They receive a credit account and card for their bussiness. Now, depending on the situation and wishes of society you could have public funds for startups, or allow these accounts to go up to x amount of credits into debt.
The person operating the business can then pay for all their bussiness costs with this account. They sell their services at whatever price they wish to sell it at. Any sales get added to their credit on their business account at their market price. They also specify how many hours they worked, which get deducted from their bussiness balance and added to their personal account.


Any costs made are paid for at market price, this is to prevent people from buying products which are short and reselling them. Any purchases are of course recorded by the card, which makes it very very easy to track and detect fraud.
Any balance that gets below a certain threshold will have the business terminated and the asserts returned to the state. Any bussiness with a balance that grows rapidly or keeps going is an indication for planners that there is a need for that product. This allows them to approach the bussiness owner, look what they are doing that is better and implement it on a wide scale, or make the whole product line or industry planned, allowing the business starter to grow with their product.
This allows restaurants to make and sell food, small shops to produce trinkets, the plumber to buy a new wrench, etc. Companies that are highly "profitable" (ie provide things more values than their cost) do not enrich their starters or operators, preventing accumulation. Instead this success signals the planners that this needs to be taken to the next level.
Now, there is a danger to this, but that is very minor and not a huge issue. They could say they work more than they actually do, thus getting more income. However, doing this will put a strain on the business balance. Furthermore, if they do make enough "profit" to be able to do this without decreasing their balance, they can only do it up to a certain amount. If you say you work 20 hours a day, 7 days a week, this rings some alarmbells, making it easy to prevent large scale fraud.

What do you think? It allows small businesses without needing to plan for it, experimental products, small service providers and places for new things to grow and develop, helping the planners with planning. Small scale production and new products are volatile, quick and unstable, large scale production much less so. This takes away some of that volatility and pre-screens new products. It also fixes a problem that lots of other "socialist" countries such as Cuba face.
In cuba, small restaurants had to be privatised in order to make work. The planners couldn't adequately manage every bar and sandwichshop. The problem here of course is that this allows for accumulation of profits, which leads to capitalism. The system I outlined above should prevent this, while still allowing these kinds of businesses, the services that make life just that bit more enjoyable, to exist, be started and die on their own, all within a system of production for use and without currencies. It avoids the bureaucratic red tape that can stifle innovation, an argument that capitalist apologists love to use.

What do you think? Sorry if it came accross a bit messy.

Lets end with a relevant quote for this time period from the end of the book:
>With socialism gone, what hope is there left for the dispossessed but fascism and nationalism? Nothing, unless it is a socialism that is more radical, more democratic and more egalitarian than any which went before, that is founded on clear economic and moral principles and that does not surrender its integrity to the demoralizing myths of the market.

Wasn't he just a crazy asshole who killed his wife?

Damn that is really nonsensical. Just ban advertising of it, have public health awareness campaigns, and have free addiction treatment. Easy.

I think there certainly is a time and place for artificial scarcity of those products, but I agree with you for the most part. Artificial scarcity does run a risk of creating black markets, which is not something you want.

He was crazy undoubtely (he spent half of his life in medical institutions) but also he is one of the most influential Marxists (and hist theories are spot on)
.He was the first Marxist that expanded the concept of ideology (and had lots of "pupils" like Zizek)
I suggest you read "Philosophy for non philosphers" as an introduction if you are interested in his works, wich I troughly suggest.

plz respond i want to talk about my notes

fuck structuralism

Can we observe such linear optimization as applied in practice, successfully?

yes and corporations use it internally regularly to optimize their factories and shit

Alright, do you have some examples that show what you say to be true?

It's just a throw-away paragraph: "Blahblah the socialist state may wish to pursue…"
You seem to make several silly assumptions here: That the introduction of the tax doesn't go together with already planning a reduction in output, anticipating that people will buy less. Furthermore, even if one hand of the state doesn't know what the other hand is doing and you have an initial screwup here, it is only initial. You don't continue to overproduce that.
Disagree that it would be the only way, for example it would be more direct to set a physical limit, and let the price be whatever it is. It's just a paragraph, I don't think Cockshott and Cottell have thought much about that issue. There are also other aspects to the question of harmful substances. For a given macro quantity of a harmful substance the effects on health can be very different: it could be that a lot of people consume a little bit each or that there are some heavy users. There could be a progressive per-user tax to address that.

Prices are set to clearing level. If you always have prices set to clearing price, with a tax, the price+tax will fall to clear all products produced, so if the demand doesnt change, the price+ tax will equal the old price.

That doesnt make sense because of my points mentioned above.

Also the fact that cocksott and cottell didnt put much thought into it doesnt mean we shouldnt either. We must make a system like that as complete as possible.
My proposal of solely reducing production by setting a target ratio > 1 is, as far as i can see, the simplest solution to achieve what these kinds of taxes aim to achieve. They play nicely with the established system and dont require extra exceptions. Per user tax is not what they described and is more complex to implement. You ideally want to keep a system as simple as possible, because the more complex something is, the more can go wrong.

There are a very few places in Germany where elderly care and Kindergarten are combined and both groups interact with each other.
Careful now.

Sorry, but I can't make sense of how you conceive relations of price and quantity in order to get to the conclusions you do. I'm pretty sure it is not what Cockshott and Cottrell had in mind.
IF you continue to produce the same quantity (and you don't do that).
If the aim is to reduce output to a particular quantity, the most direct way is not setting a tax, but directly setting the quantity, with the price going up to ration it (and never increasing the quantity, no matter how high the price climbs). If the aim is to allow people freedom to indulge in that as long as they pay for the negative effects, a progressive consumption tax might make more sense.

How so? It kind of seems counter-intuitive as the punishment/cost of indulgence doesn't logically follow after one indulges, but only when the tax is applied. And why a progressive consumption tax? If you limit the ability of business-owners to spend and improve, or restrict the middle class from spending by increasing their burden, you'll initiate a positive feedback loop.

What are you doing in this thread?

I know, I think these are good initiatives.
But I have to add that while I want to facilitate these kinds of things, I personally want to focus mostly on the economic side most, because of the mess forced "cultural revolutions" have caused in the past. Saying that one way of living is worse than another is a very slippery slope and opens the door to lifestylist fanatics who think being educated or a loner is bourgeois and wearing glasses is the devil. Forced cultural changes are a very delicate issue.
A shared household fund is something people mentioned they wanted. Its only logical to make it scalable so that new or existing communes (hutterites) can continue existing as they do. People want to be able to give their kid pocketmoney or be able to pay for groceries with the money their spouse earned.

You do continue producing the same amount, because the quantity produces has to be consciously changed by the plan. In capitalism, you increase the price with tax to reduce consumption and thus reduce production (see graph related), but in C&C's system you reduce the supply (which is fixed) to increase the price. See picture here . This is because if you increase the price in capitalism, the demand drops. As such the supply also drops, reducing the amount produced due to costs. In C&C's system, the price has no direct influence on the amount produced. The amount produced is planned in advance, then the price is set according to the supply, so that all products are sold without causing shortages.
You said it yourself here
But the following argument makes no sense:
You already pay for it. If you buy cigarettes, you pay for it. If you buy twice as much cigarettes, you pay twice as much. Cigarettes are bad, no matter if its one or two packs. All things that are bad enough to be taxed are bad on their own, even in small amounts.
Furthermore, a progressive tax is very hard to enforce as it is very easy to circumvent if you have friends. Its much easier to just have a simple consistent price raise.

I suggest you read towards a new socialism before posting in this thread. We are not discussing a market system.

Discussing a point I dispute.

When you make a positive statement on behalf of a form of taxation, responding to the point and arguing for its invalidity is along the course of the discussion. The real issue you ought to have is with the original statement.

In the system Cockshott and Cottrell propose items are initially basically priced according to labor-time directly and indirectly needed to produce them (the price of used natural resources added to that is basically a political decision), and that price is a reference point. If some type of item is bought at a rate faster than the buffer is refilled, this is a signal to increase its production (and if it is bought at a lower rate, production gets reduced). Prices of items can also be increased to ration an item that isn't possibly produced at a rate corresponding to current-price demand any time soon, and likewise prices can drop below the reference point if demand is much lower than expected and storage is a problem. Long-term goal is that the reference-point price gets paid. If you have to lower the price of some stuff to get it all off the shelves, you will produce fewer units then, and you reduce the amount in order to reduce the group of customers to those who you estimate would be willing to pay the reference-point price. I am absolutely certain that what Cockshott and Cottrell mean by taxing harmful substances is that this reference-point price is adjusted upwards.
It depends on whether health risks for a person rises proportionally with the amount consumed. If the health risk rises progressively, it makes sense to tax progressively.
Sure, but you asking that from your friends & family still is a hurdle, it doesn't nullify the effect. And asking people frequently for that sort of favor tells them something about you, and I think it is good when they know that.

The real question is: How will slave owners be affected?

its pretty widespread and in fact linear programming is actually taught in most business degrees. You can google it programming business examples

And how does this relate to socialist economics? Maximizing profits while minimizing costs is not mutually exclusive to socialism.

the guy asked for examples of linear programming being used by corporations under capitalism. This is just to show they can be used for large scale problems / proof of concept

You optimize for different goals. The typical example of a business using linear programming is to choose what to produce in order to make the most profit. Whereas a typical lp example for socialism would be how to minimize costs with a given product mix.

That it does. But the thesis isn't 'proven to be valid' just because this one observation exists.

Define 'product mix'.

There's only one real question I have about Paul Cockshott.

[spoiler]Why the fuck did he decide to take his
website bio picture in front of a fucking Kebab House?[/spoiler]

Wtf, why didn't that spoiler work?

lmao interesting observation

maybe he likes middle eastern foods

just to show that despite being an intellectual of the highest caliber, he's also a man of the people.


It's good to think what tecnology will change but NEVER expect to the future to solve anything by itself

Marxism-Antikebabism is the ultimate synthesis. Uphold Marxism and remove kebab, as much as your stomach can handle.

Back from a few days off.

I wanted to revert my position on something I posted earlier. I wrote about allowing small businesses to essentially keep their own bookkeeping and try to balance it out somehow. I do not think this is such a good idea after all, since it reverts to production for profit (you need to keep a positive balance, and increased balance is beneficial). It also takes away social control over the means of production and gives it to private individuals. Furthermore, it is incredibly easy for reactionary forces to push for a widening of this market-solution and add a bit of profit incentive to it.
Instead, I suggest that we set up local and wider scale initialives and sponsorships for people who want to start a new bussiness, and allow things like restaurants to be opened by local councils rather than having to apply for it on a national scale.
I would still support a type of special company for non-commodity production. Essentially it would just be a glorified patreon structure, where you donate monthly to an business, which then uses that to pay people and pay for expenses. This can then be used by artists and other people who produce non-commodities, or scientists, who could receive monthly donations from the government directly. This structure would still limit the pay to one hour = one hour of credit, and if you make the expenses public (which you should because its societies money) its very easy to detect fraud.

That is identical to lowering production itself. If you increase the reference price you automatically aim for a higher price, thus lower demand, thus lower production. What you said is what I said here:
Not sure why you are writing this as if I somehow do not understand this.

Read the book you absolute tard. You cant just barge into a discussion on a book without having read it and demand people explain it to you.

Thats not what we propose at all. All the techniques used in TANS already exist and are used in real life. Its just a matter of applying them properly.

Define "social control"

What product mix? I'm asking you to elaborate on the argument, because standalone, it means nothing. It's simply "socialism can do x while also doing y". How so, and can you point to examples? Evidence for your own point isn't something you are immune from, no matter how pseudo-intellectual you want to be.

Control by society.

Again, read the book. It contains all the answers to your dumb questions.
This is a thread about discussing a book. So you need to read the book.
As for what a "product mix" is, it is a vector of the quantities of products to be produced for society in a certain time period, which can then be optimised for by using linear programming.
proofs provided. First is a paper for calculating a economy in natura, the second is the societal framework, including feedback mechanisms and democratic control to use this technique to socialistically plan an economy.

Okay, and I can just as easily attach the same reference paper from Mises which Cockshott is attempting to respond to, because my claim is somewhere in there so just read it.
Now where does that leave us? You realize that, in order to properly make a reference to a paper or study, you need to actually cite your claims, in full? So, if I make a claim on behalf of Cockshott's work, I don't link the entire thing and expect the other party to find my citation. If you've ever actually produced original work, or done a research paper, you'd know that just putting "by so and so" as a citation isn't actually accepted (maybe if you are a pseudo-intellectual, though). In fact, even Cockshott cites the claims (in the bibliography).
An assertion, sure. Expecting the statement to prove itself is a circular argument.
"Evidence is information that answers the question "How do you know?" of a claim you have made. Please take that question very literally. It is often hard to tell the difference at first between telling readers what you know and telling them how you know it. But to become an effective writer, in almost any context, you need to be able to ask this question repeatedly and test the answers you give for effectiveness."
"Citing a source means that you show, within the body of your text, that you took words, ideas, figures, images, etc. from another place.
Citations are a short way to uniquely identify a published work (e.g. book, article, chapter, web site). They are found in bibliographies and reference lists and are also collected in article and book databases."
"In your writing, however, the main voice should be your own and it should be clear what your point of view is in relation to the topic or essay question. The object of academic writing is for you to say something for yourself using the ideas of the subject, for you to present ideas you have learned in your own way. The emphasis should be on working with other people’s ideas, rather than reproducing their words. If your view is not clear, you will be told you have not answered the question or something similar. It is essential therefore that it must always be clear whose voice is speaking."
You've not even presented a page number, a figure, or a chapter that supports your statement. Like I said, presented standalone, it's just a circular argument. It's not a good argument if I can reverse it and have the point stand on its own with the same merit as yours does (because I haven't cited anything). Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth_Vol_2_3.pdf
And here's a Mises paper examining and deconstructing the utopian catastrophe of socialism, but I'm sure this is a proper citation because…

False, i do not do that.
I said two statements:
This is a definition, it doesnt need proving. Its just a vector of proportions of products. Your doubts over its accuracy to your arbitrary standard or any standard doesnt matter
Fact: A vector of outputs, with a vector of inputs, and a set of equations and restrictions provided in a linear form, can be optimised with linear programming.

First article is a responses to those arguments, among others.

Demanding that I rewrite a whole article just for you isnt true. We build on what others did. When I linked you the 40 page paper, it was to disprove your retarded views, because someone else has done it for me. Saying that "you have to provided a stand-alone argument" is bullshit. Your own claims that "it doesnt work" appeal to both "common sense" (which isnt proof) or to preexisting literature such as things from Mises. Just because you dont explicitly cite them doesnt mean you presume them to be true. I am not falling for your slimy tricks of putting the burden on me, and when I do provide proof you dismiss it "because you didnt say it yourself".

Now kindly fuck off. Your 100 year old article is not a refutation of a paper that specifically refutes your 100 year old article.
Its okay if you reject cockshott without arguments, but if you do that I do not have anything to say to you. Please leave.

*Just because you dont explicitly cite them doesnt mean you dont use them as arguments and presume them to be valid.

So you do not expect the statement, which is your very elaboration and argument from definition (I quote your post: "As for what a "product mix" is, it is a vector of the quantities of products to be produced for society in a certain time period, which can then be optimised for by using linear programming.") to be proven, by any means? I'm asking you for the basis from which you derive the truthfulness and reality of said statement and its relevance to a socialist system of planning. Just saying "x is y" and expecting it to be proven valid is a circular argument. You are arguing against your own point and dismissing it as 'without supporting evidence'.
What? Of course it does. In what way has the definition been demonstrated to be viable and utilized? Actually cite your claims, don't just shit out a link and expect to be taken seriously. That's how pseudo-intellectuals argue. Here's a long link about climate change, it proves my point because I've "properly cited" it. Again, learn how to actually cite supporting links to reference your point.
Excellent, a definition that you've repeated twice now. By itself, it means nothing. You've not even properly cited your argument. Expecting that definition to mean anything (as an extension to an argument for socialist planning) is preposterous if you can't be asked to show an example or cite the claims in reality.
Okay, if you want to spam links that "debunk" points, here: A response I googled in one search. I'm being as intellectually consistent as you are and not actually citing my arguments. I believe you act as a pseudo-intellectual to be as vague as possible because you don't actually realize the lack of credibility of your arguments.

I'm asking you to cite your claims. I'm not asking you to 'rewrite' anything, just put a little "[1]" with a citation.
When I linked you the 13 page paper, it was to disprove your retarded views, because someone else has done it for me.
I never actually said it 'doesn't work', I'm asking you to define and cite your claims, with supporting evidence. You haven't done so, so I'm just using Hitchen's razor against you and dismissing your faith-over-facts claims to truth.
So what you reference from Cockshott, you don't even believe to be truth? You're only emboldening my case. Is English your first language? God, man, just learn proper citations, it can go a long way.
I never actually dismissed your point because you didn't say so yourself, stop putting words in my mouth. Your research isn't original work, so it requires citations if you want to make references from it. If you make a claim to truth, or extend a definition and use it as an argument for your system, you need to cite how and why you make that claim to truth. If you link Cockshott's work, you have to actually cite your claims that are within. "Cockshott states [1, p.26…] that x, y, z… which is why we can state….". You just linked to something without actually properly citing it. I'm not asking you to "say it yourself", I'm asking you to actually cite your claims. It's not a slimy trick, it's how you make a point based on evidence. You're just link-spamming without actually quoting the arguments within, because you haven't even read them.

What does that mean? Is it the state that will own the MoP? Or private corporations? Or union syndicates?

I don't think Mises was even 100 at the time of writing that, or that the work is 100 years old, but using that as an argument is very poor. Simply because some argument is old does not mean it is invalid.
I've presented a response to your response, so I'll level your own argument against you.
"Your "x" year old article is not a refutation of a paper that specifically refutes your "x" year old article."

Don't expect any evidence or citations from the links he provided, he wants you to fulfil the burden for him. He is only interested in spamming links and assuming what is within is valid because…circular arguments abound!

No you asked what a "mix of goods" is (to someone who isnt me). I said it is a vector of the number of goods. And since it is a vector of goods, you can optimise it for any input and any set of linear formulas for the relation between those two.
This isnt some profound statement. The first is a definition, the second is hard science (computer science to be precise, aka applied math).
No. If I say "gooblagoob" means "10 pink elephants" than that is a definition. I dont have to "provide proof" for a definition, which is just linguistic symbolism. Stop putting up smokescreens and stop being triggered that people dont want to spend their effort on your bullshit when they are discussing a book you have no read.
That wasnt what you asked. Stop moving the goalpost. You asked what that meant, i gave you the definition.
>Weeeeh i want to be taken seriously, you have to respond to me even though i dont know the topic of discussion
Will read your article once I have time.

This is a discussion thread of a book, not a "I dont want to read the book so you must give me relevant passages" thread.
Except the subjects of discussion answers all your questions (those two pdfs). Also every time says "hitchens razor" you should read "I assume I am right therefore you are wrong".
Sure ignore the correction posted half a minute after that response. How dare people speaking your stupid language as a second language, with dyslexia, make minor mistakes, right? Oh the humanity.
It is, the effort it takes to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude larger than it is to make it. I am not going to spend my effort on you if you dont read the book, because this thread is about the book, not you.

Society as a whole. If you would have read the book before joining a fucking book discussion thread you would have seen that the people democratically control the state though a classical style of democracy, as specified in the chapter on democracy.

The article you linked was published in 1920, so it is almost 100 years old. I googled it.
Nice try, but you tried to use Mises critique against socialist planning to try to refute an article that itself is a direct refutal of Mises critique against socialist planning. Thats like saying "no the earth is flat cause its in the bible" in response to proof that the earth is round.

Now if you would please piss off or read the book/paper and make specific objections against that, instead of demaning I reformulate the whole book so you dont have to read it.
If you want to ask questions or make your case that it is impossible to plan an economy, make your own thread, this thread is about discussion the book, not spoonfeeding people.

Forgot to add:
Sorry to be so rood, but I really dont like pretentious people who claim a fake moral highground and demand that they be taken serious in a thread that isnt for that type of discussion.

If you have read the book and have specific issues with it, go right ahead, but you have not read the book and demand that we go through the whole thing again to find the specific lines that address your specific arguments, after which you would just think up new ones that are also addressed in the book and make us go through it all over again.

But how could society as a whole control one workplace?
So I guess it would be the state that owns the MoP. Really makes you think

The workplace is managed by the workers, but all of society would retain the ultimate control over all workplaces, rather than allowing a small group of individuals to make decisions that impact all of society without society having a say in them.

Yes, the "state" which doesnt have class anymore, doesnt have representative democracy and generally doesnt do what marx considered the state to be.

You said in that what C & C propose for harmful substances will not work and proposed what you thought was something else. Post said that this "something else" was actually what C & C meant. And setting a specific higher reference-point price is certainly not the only way of dealing with that, as and mentioned two different ways: 1. Fixing the physical quantity way below what it is at standard reference-point price and let the price go up to ration it 2. Keeping the standard reference-point price and charging an additional progressive consumption-tax on individual buyers (which may or may not make sense depending on how the health risks correlate with consumption patterns and which can be somewhat circumvented by low-consuming peers buying things for the heavy consumer).

Should we also make guesses then about what Hayek and Mises said instead of actually reading in a thread about such an article? Is that what you want?

I agree that theres several ways of going about putting in place deterrents to harmfull products.
I really dont want to go too much into it anymore because its more of an addition to the system, something that isnt essential to the internal workings of it. And its probably depending on where you live as to how to implement such a system. Conditions such as neighbouring countries with readily available quantities of such goods could cause lots of crime, and other scenarios.


Its a waste of time. socialism is inherently retarded.

oh wow, such deep analysis, Holla Forums eternally BTFO

Holla Forums is getting lazier by the day.
The only reason i even responded was to bump this thread
Is everyone there underage or retarded? srs, this is hilariously bad shitposting. even for them



bump to save from raid

Can anybody explain the math example with skilled labour?

As i understand it, lets start with a concept:
Labour can be regarded the same way. To train a person to be a welder, you need to invest time and resources into that person. This skill either becomes deprecated (need retraining with new techniques), they retire, switch careers or the person dies.
Since you know how much it costs to train someone, and you know how long that skill will be useful, you can calculate it.
For a machine, you take the labour it took to make it and divide it by the total amount of products it makes in its lifetime. This is then the value (in labour time) that is transferred into the product. For a skilled labourer, you divide the cost it took to train them by the total amount of hours they will work with that training. This is the value that is transferred from its training into the products.

If it takes 1000 hours to train a man to weld, and he needs to be retrained after working 10,000 hours, then the value that is transferred from the training is 0.1 hour, per hour.
With this you can calculate the cost of training people, you can see how efficient it is to assign certain people in certain places, etc. This is necessary to make advanced calculations and take into account the cost of training people. It doesnt have to be exact, just a ballpark.

Correct me if i am wrong.

what was it?

Something along the lines of

So today on the train a realisation hit me.

You can very very very easily use the foreign trade mechanism that cockshott for internal use in the early stages.
So say you have an existing economy, you start out by take 2 or 3 industries and entering them into the system. Any products you need from outside the system, you can just have them be bought with currency, just like foreign trade. This way if you need steel bars, but the steel industry is still market socialist or state capitalist, you can simply treat your own domestic economy as a foreign trade and use money to do so. Then as time goes on you can at a leisurely pace implement this system in more and more industries.
No need for wide deployment, plenty of time to work out the kinks and test configurations.

I know that's roughly how it works, I don't understand the details. One thing is that receiving an education is not something passive like a car getting fuel, so not only the work by the teachers, but also the time the students spend studying is counted as the cost, which is then distributed over the output when they enter the qualified workforce. The teachers are considered to do qualified labour and the student is considered to do unqualified labour. But, given that the student becomes qualified during the learning period, wouldn't it make more sense to count the student as contributing a raising percentage of qualified labour while studying? Maybe such questions are issues of splitting hairs, I don't know.

spoliers (as all other tags here on 8ch) work only in single line. Also, do not use [spoiler] tag, use "**".
spoilered text == **spoilered text**

AP computer science project app in Java for a simple planned economy based on Cockshott's work.

Source code:

So how would we measure the effectiveness of shops? You could make each shop and all the items it carry, including its transport cost, a service or something, but that seems like a lot of efforts. But you still need to take the cost of the shops into account for the products you sell. How would you go about this? How would we measure the social effectiveness of a certain shop, in a certain place, stocking a certain amount of a certain item?

Not really. Your education does not finish until you finish it.
Its just a means of calculation. You decide that the deprication starts at the end of their education, for x amount of hours they can work. Its just a ballpark bookkeeping tool. Doing what you said would require a non-linear formula that would put deprecate hours of someones labour and put it in themselves, which doesnt play nice with the linear programming stuff. Lots of effort for no benefit.


What does it do exactly?

Bump please respond

effective shop is shop that fulfils it's requests without you needing to require products from next closest shop. Some shops should, of course, have (democratically) restricted products which can be transferred through them, you shouldn't be allowed to request refrigerator from train stop. Shops for luxuries like cars, might not even need proper place, and they can be obtained directly from factories.

Food sold at the train station is more expensive than what you get when you just walk a few minutes. People often can't afford these extra minutes. One could say location is part of the use value of the food. Space is limited and location matters. I think it makes sense that the food at the train station costs more and that something like the land-value tax should also be applied under socialism.

Yes but how do you measure the effectiveness of such a thing? Making every shop's items seperate items in the economic calculation seems excessive and bloats the calculation massively.

So would you make all shops just a public service, a sort of glorified amazon service with local stock? How would you measure or calculate the cost of transportation to more remote areas?

If you have a system spanning, say, from cuba to iceland, shouldn't it be more expensive to get tropical fruits in iceland or herring in cuba? This transportation cost needs to be included. Would you just devide it in districts and make prices based on the transportation cost to those districts?

This algorithm makes so much sense:

(1) Randomly allocate resources to the industries. This is a notional random allocation, taking place within the computer. No real allocation of goods in the economy takes place at this stage. We specify a random allocation, since if our relaxation technique is valid then any starting point is as good as any other.
(2) For each industry determine which of the resources currently available to it is the rate-limiting factor, that is to say the resource that acts as a bottleneck on production.
(3) Each industry gives up non-critical resources (i.e. those which are surplus to requirements, given the rate-limiting factor) and allocates them to a common pool. This by definition does not reduce production and thus leaves harmony unaltered. Note that this reallocation takes place only
within the computer’s memory; there would be no reallocation in the real world until the whole algorithm terminated.
(4) Work out harmony of each industry.
(5) Work out the mean harmony for the whole economy.
(6) Sort industries in order of harmony.
(7) Starting with those industries with highest harmony, reduce their output until their production level is such that their harmony is equal to the mean harmony. This is easy to do since the harmony function is invertible (that is, we can work backwards from harmony level to the corresponding output just as easily as from output to the corresponding harmony). Resources thus released go into the common pool.
(8) Starting with the industries with lowest harmony, assign to them resources from the ‘pool’ and increase their output until they are producing at a level equal to the mean harmony.
(9) Work out the new mean harmony. If it is significantly different from before go back to stage 6.

If you liked this, I suggest reading paper related, its basically a better version of that algorithm. By cockshott, 2008.

Next on my list is his take on Althusser, but will queue.

Is there anyone here who understands how linear programming works exactly?

What I do understand
The simple examples of 2 or more different kinds of options to produce with the same inputs. This makes sense, you can calculate simply what proportions of production give the result you want. This is the example cockshott uses for the plywood industry.

What I dont understand
How the fuck is linear programming able to handle optimising for inputs that it can only output itself? This is the example used with the dams and farms by cockshott. An example would be:
You have jacket A and B.
To make jacket A you need 10 yards of linnen and 3 buttons.
To make jacket B you need 20 yards of linnen and 2 zippers.
To make a button you need 1 wood.
To make a zipper you need 2 iron.
You have 100 yards of linnen, 10 wood and 30 iron, create as much jackets as possible.

How the fuck does the math or algorithm work that can optimise for these intermediate products? I do not understand it.
And I want to understand the math behind it, not just how to enter it into a software library.

I guess one way of looking at is starting first looking at extreme positions where you only produce exactly one thing. Furthermore, you can look at just one input to figure out some upper boundary. While thinking about only producing one thing at maximum, it is the input that is the most limited that sets the total limit. Remind yourself that you don't make half-jackets, but only full jackets, so it is pointless to count how many times you have one button. The question is how many times you have a set of buttons sufficient for jacket design A. From that potential goal, you go back to what the input for buttons is. Let's forget that you have potentially 10 buttons, it is better to say that you have 3 sets of buttons as needed for a jacket specified according to design A.

Suppose you only make jacket A: If you had infinite buttons so only the linen limit mattered, that would be 10 jackets. If you had infinite linen so only the button limit mattered, that would be 3 jackets. So, if you were to only produce jacket A, the resource you would run out of first would be the buttons. The resource you run out of first sets the limit, so 3 jackets is the limit for that potential plan.

Forget that you have 30 iron, you have 15 potential zippers, and forget about zippers as well, what counts is the number of zipper-pairs. Half of a zipper-pair is useless. If the plan were only about making jacket B, and you had infinite supply of zippers, you could make 5 jackets. If you had infinite supply of linen, you could make 7 jackets. For the plan about maximizing the amount of jacket B, the linen is more scarce than the zippers, so it is the linen that sets the limit of 5 jackets.

Since both designs only have the linen in common, you need to look at which design eats less linen, it is design A. So you produce as much of design A as possible, the limit by the button scarcity then means you can use the rest of the linen to produce jackets of design B. You produce 3 jackets of type A, with the 70 linen left you produce 6 jackets of type B. (It may sound like I mean that you really do one thing first and then the other in the REAL WORLD; I don't mean that, it's just easier to think of it in that sequence for determining the quantities IMHO. Hope I didn't screw up, I'm very tired right now.)

FUCK I meant: You produce 3 of A, and 3 of B.

You don't actually need to in this example, just take 10 wood for 10 buttons and 30 iron for 15 zippers.

I guess that makes sense, thanks!

B-but actually my answer was wrong. I made a mistake in the final step, since B takes more linen per jacket than A, I can't make 6 of B after producing 3 A leaves 70 linen, remember it's 20 linen per unit of B, so it is 3 of A and 3 of B. I asked a program I found on the darknet to check my answer and it told me I am retarded and it declared itself the COMPUTER GOD and said we humans are too stupid for this world. We'll all gonna die now, sorry guys.

Well, at least you tried. Take a nap, were just human after all.

You are not asking it to, though.

I mean, how can the algorithm optimise with these intermediate problems. It seems to me that if you optimise the inputs for a maximized output, it shouldn't be able to use its own output as inputs.

I think cybernetics are the future of planned economies, Ive read thorugh some of TNS, but I have to repeat since I forgot everything, The thing I dislike the most about it is that it advocates for commodity production.

it doesn't. read TANS

The products arent produced to be traded, the labour vouchers are a rationing tool. The "purchase" of a product isnt an exchange, since there is no mutual transferring. The store or producer gains nothing from a trade, a scarce product (ie price higher than cost) doesnt benefit the producer and an oversupplies product doesnt disadvantage the producer. All commodities are made for use and the labour voucher system is just a glorified rationing system.

I tried showing it I hope it's understandable:
It was a while ago that I had this class so I've mostly forgotten it and can't find my practice problems but I hope it helps.

Here's the graphical solution you can load it in geogebra and play around with it:

Thanks, will check it out.
What kind of classes is that? Computer science? Maths?

It was part of a course on (mathematical) optimization. I'm a computer engineer student. I think that's the correct translation. Basically software engineering with some electrical engineering mixed in. We considered it a mathematical course but it could be computer science just as easily.

By the way I just realized that I forgot to show what to do if you actually want to optimize for it. For example, consider three products, A, B and C. Let's say A needs 2 C to produce and B needs 5. Let x1 be the number of A, x2 the B, x3 C. Then you can simply write the constraints as before but we include the following for the C:
2 x1 + 5 x2 - x3 = 0
Simple, isn't it? We can split it up into
2 x1 + 5 x2 - x3 = 0
Of course if you don't need actual equality (you can produce more C than used up) you can leave out the second.

Hm, so if I understand it correctly a programming library would just take a list of constrains such as for this example:

A = 10 Linnen + 3 button
B = 20 Linnen + 2 zipper
Button = 1 wood
zipper = 2 iron

linnen =0
wood = 0
iron = 0

A >= 0
B >= 0

And then rework these equations in a similar fashion that you did, then do the calculation?
That makes a whole lot more sense. I thought it fed its output into its input iteratively or some other shit.

What country?
Im currently a software engineer (bachelor) but my 4 year coarse gas no math, almost no computer science theory and a high emphasis on bullshit softskills such as scum and other retarded bullshit. Planning on getting a master in CS in two years.

bit of a freudian slip i guess?

As far as I know most linear programming libraries take the values of A, b and c. So you have to work out the constraints and write them down as the matrix and vectors yourself.


That seems awfully inconvenient.
What if you have 100 options with 200 intermediate products? Seems like its much better to have a computer do it, since its just logic operations. This should be trivial.

Also hows life in hungary?

Dunno, I never actually used any.

Was the link understandable? I can try to answer your questions if you have any.

It was very clear, thank you!

I hear this leveled against old Cocky pretty often. Out of curiosity, what would be an alternative way to carry out efficient planning, while meeting the criteria of leftcom thought? I'm seriously interested in how many forms of planning their is.

You can't. Leftcoms are like trots, explicitly contrarian.


OK so I thought up a way to measure the effectiveness of stores without needing to burden the centrally planned production system. This method aims to measure the effectiveness of a shop compared to its transportation, maintanance and employee cost, or all its variable costs. If I didnt make any mistakes, it should be quite simple to implement.

BC: base cost, the cost in labour to produce the product, provided by the planning system.
SC: store cost, the variable costs a store makes for a certain product, such as the amount of labour credit it costs in wages, the storage, transportation of the goods, maintanance of the builing etc.
SSP: store sales price, the amount at which the product sells to clear shelves
ASP: avarage sales price, the avarage planned price (not including store costs) that a product is sold at, defined as pic related.

How it works
The store aims to stock their products as such that their SSP-SC == ASP.
The planning system tries to aim to plan so that BC == ASP

This should be able to allow far away stores (high transport costs) to still stock items if people are willing to pay for it. It should allow stores to stock items according to local demand. It should allow for both bigger and smaller shops, speciality shops etc. All without requiring the planning system to take their transportation into account.

You could measure the performance of a store by the formula:
Sum( | ASP - (SSP-SC) | )
which sums the absolute price difference of the avarage and the local price in a particular store. If this is high, it means the store either over or understocks too much. If it is low, that means that the store is stocking at the ideal avarage of society.

Is this correct? Did I make mistakes? Is this a good idea or am I just wrong?

Might as well provide a nicer looking formula for the effectiveness formula

Maybe I hadnt correctly explained why you would want this:
This allows the planning system to work with a single value as cockshott does in his book. This makes it easier. If you wanted to plan each store with the planning system, you would need to make an entry in the planning system for each unique item in each unique store. Since the complexity is > O(n) the calculation time would increase exponentially. This takes all of the burden off of the planning system into the realm of a worldwide store planning system.

I thought of this to address my own concerns expressed in

*each unique type of item
not each unique item. So an entry for heinz mayo for every unique store that exists. An entry for thinskin potatoes for each unique shop.
Loads of entries.

This can be solved pretty easily. You would have to just chose the high price commodity you want to acquire, and the system would automatically create savings from your income which would get you the commodity you want if those saving reach a certain level. The savings would (obviously) be exempt from taxation. Basically you could take out a loan for expensive things. If this would slow down the development of the means of production too much, then you would undergo increased taxation after getting the commodity for a certain period of time (the amount which is repayed would still be relatively small compared to the aforementioned commodity).

Why? Do you mean tax on saved vouchers or tax on income?
I dont see why we would need a tax at all on vouchers you already paid tax on.

That seems to be a legalistic view, taking the official regulation to be more real than what is really happening tbh.

Its an abstraction method to be able to plan an education. The point is to be able to roughly plan the cost-benefit of training people for a job. Of course people get trained as they learn but trying to apply this only means you have a feedback loop of labour into itself which in the end gives you the same amount of trained labour in the end while making it impossible to optimise using linear optimisation. Stop being a hardass.

So is this book about AI planned economy?


>libertarian not understanding book which is not addressing his special snowflake ideas of "freedom", "social justice" and "democracy".
Cockshott should have written that to understanding the book one have to understand at least basic economics.

No it is not about AI planned economy. It is about democratic planning with the help of computers.

Also that libertarian is an autist

Looks like he had made up his mind before reading it, maybe he did just a bit of ctrl+f instead of reading. The debate of socialists versus Austrians is known as the "socialist calculation debate" and referred to in TANS, mentioning another text by the same authors. So yeah, Cockshott and Cottrell have heard about Mises and Hayek and written about them.

That said, I think it wouldn't have hurt to devote two or three pages of TANS to issues of tactical dishonesty in surveys and polls and the like, and how transmission of information is not simply something that official teachers do in their official work-time, a lot of job-relevant information is something you learn on the job through behavior and interacting with others, so there is always this aspect of tacit knowledge (though I don't think it is as big an issue as Hayek wants you to believe).


Can I get this book in the Kindle format, so that I can select words for the dictionary?
I am not native in english and in PDFs (which are essentially a picture of text) I can't mark the words.

Not even a leftist, but this review is so fucking retarded.

download and install callibre and then convert to mobi format. Just word of caution Pdf files are a mess to convert due to the page size, image headers, ect. just in case you run in to some format errors on kindle. You can also try libgen or bookfi to see if they have the mobi format.

Is TANs a difficult read for a brainlet?

A bit. It requires knowledge of marxism to an extend and some knowledge of compsci or maths or both.

TANS is a good starting point, though just about anything in it could take some reworking. Take the proposed rule about how to adjust quantities produced, which is just standard econ101 supply and demand except the target is breaking even instead of turning a profit. What Cockshott and Cottrell describe is having an isolated calculation for each product (starting at reproduction cost, increasing price and quantity produced when demand empties the shelves faster than they can be restocked and doing things the other way around if demand is low). I understand that these isolated calculations have the advantage of being very easy to do, but surely products with similar uses are related in a way and that should be taken into account. Imagine two products that are almost the same, so completely ending the production of one of these wouldn't be a drama. When it comes to adjusting the supply here this sort of similarity should be taken into account.

Similarity of use value is not transitive, take as an example jeans in different sizes. When you order one design that comes in different sizes from big to small, you can say that adjacent ones are similar and might substitute for each other, but you can't say that about the biggest and the smallest size. Similarity is also not a binary yes/no question (though maybe it has to be handled like that to have controllable complexity). Example: Two raincoats of similar size are very similar use values, an umbrella also protects against the rain, so it is a use value that is a little bit related to the raincoats. This may be counter-intuitive, but similarity is not necessarily a symmetric issue. A thing X that has all the features of a thing Y and also some additional features is a perfect substitute for Y, but not vice versa.

We have to start somewhere, so let's keep it simple at first. Suppose similar use values are tagged as such in a database in the most simple way: Each consumer item is only assigned to one category each (sometimes, a category only has one entry), there are no overlapping categories or whatever (for now). Then, instead of only doing separate adjustments for each item, a quantity-adjustment mechanism as in TANS could be used first on sets of similar items, and then within the sets. Or maybe the adjustment could first be done with the items considered separately, and then we look at how the adjustment looks for sets and we reduce the differences between how different sets are treated.

I imagine data analysis such as this (based on past data) can be applied to the planning process without having to change the underlying economic model. This type of similarity is a question of tuning and trying.

You can get it in epub on the book's website,

Also, it's translated into a few languages, so check if yours is there.

Allin Cottrell has done analysis on memes.

Literally /ourguy/

The question is how to put in as much of that similarity information as possible while avoiding a combinatorial explosion. quoted the harmony algorithm proposed in TANS. Look at step 5:
>Work out the mean harmony for the whole economy.
This suffers from a problem similar to the clone issue mentioned in the original Soviet Cybernetics thread: Suppose we apply something like this mean harmony algorithm to the economy, but we don't get into all details of all the different products, instead we lump some products together and treat them as one, because the planning center of our glorious Soviet Scotland in under embargo and only has a cluster of old Sinclair computers. Now suppose we get better computers, so we can actually make a list of all the different products, and apply the algorithm to that as originally intended. But now something weird happens: When we then again run the algorithm on the old lumped-together data and compare, we will see that the new algorithm isn't simply a more detailed and precise way of planning, it fundamentally gives a different weights to the categories than before. That is because the algorithm optimizes for the mean. With the old computers, mean category performance was what counted, so each category was equally important; now each category has importance based on how many different products are in it, since the mean performance in production of products is what counts here when comparing different allocations of productive capacity. So is that really an improvement?

For this algorithm to make sense you absolutely need a step to prevent that a category of products treated as super-important in the algorithm just because many slightly different products in that category exist; and treating a category with many slightly different products like it is super-important is what will happen if you don't even recognize categories and just take average per-product performance as a goal.

The harmony function is pretty trash, you're better off using the linear programming solutions that Cockshutt advocates in his later papers.

The comment is mainly about how you define the goal. Using linear programming with the goal of maximizing mean product productivity has the same issue.

I really dont agree that this problem is real.
If you have a superset of items A which you plan for, you plan for a specific amount of A. Say you want 1 million A, you plan for one million A.

Now say that we can split up A into its specified items X Y and Z. You dont plan for one million X, Y or Z. You plan for 1/3 million X, 1/3 million Y, 1/3 million Z.

You dont maximize maximum productivity, you plan maximum harmony. This harmony depends on the target intensity, a relative number of product production intensity. The harmony or linear programming algorithm doesn't (or shouldn't) aim to "make as much stuff as possible", it aims to make "as much as possible in the proportion 1/3 X : 1/3 Y : 1/3 Z". So it doesn't matter if you have the proportions "0.5 G : 0.5 H" or "0.5G : 0.25 J : 0.25 K". The production of G would be (nearly) the same.

The harmony of a product depends on the aimed at production, which is a concrete amount of products. Linear programming plans for a vector of proportions, which is just a fraction of the concrete amounts divided by the total.

Because you treat each product individually there should not be a problem at all, and how to change the proportions the following planning session is not done through the harmony or linear programming, but based on human controlled decisions.

Maybe I am misunderstanding you but I really see no problem here. Making a superset item more specific may reveal that people actually wanted twice as much X as they do Y, but that is by definition not a problem since it wasnt a problem before (they are comparable after all). So its easy to change the proportions next time around. Also, these kinds of issues should be easy to catch in reality too.
Say that we cant plan 10 types of poptards because we only have a glorified toaster to plan with, then you can just plan "poptard" as a whole. It may be that one type of poptard is more popular, and the price will reflect that. The poptard factory can then just make more of poptard A than B within the confines of their production. Or leave it if you cant, because its apparently not pressing enough to allocate planning power for. They are comparable anyway.

Not sure how realistic your scenario is anyway, in what world do we not have enough planning power when the cutting edge supercomputer that Cockshott says is enough to plan the USSR in the 1990's has as much computing power as a beefy game pc today?

First, consider that the recent comments are not focused on the harmony algorithm per se, but rather look at that together with the consumer-demand feedback idea.
Of course you want to produce in certain proportions, but you also want to rather produce more than less. And when there is a tradeoff between keeping proportions and producing more, the question is how you score that. If one scenario A results in an output pile of consumption items that completely contains the output pile of scenario B as a strict subset, we can say that scenario A is more productive (that's still putting aside the issue of storage and waste disposal though). But if a scenario C contains more of some consumer items and less of others, which is extremely likely, the question is how to count the stuff in the piles, so the issue of to what extent different products are substitutes for each other comes up.
Depends. If the number of scenarios with different allocation of productive capacity to be compared and scored in some way is the same, and the proposed alternative rule for scoring a scenario is only slightly more complicated, then the computation on the whole is only slightly more complicated. If not, then not.

This builds on post No.1675754 in (the diagram is from that post, it doesn't describe this post). This post is about how to do scoring within the same importance tier, which happens only after the products are already assigned to that tier. There are nested distinctions: the very distinct use-values, within such a group are subsets labeled similar, and within that a subset are sets of products labeled as essentially identical. In this tree structure, let's look first at the end points.

Very slightly different products which are rated as essentially identical are to be treated like that by the scoring rule. So with two essentially identical products, high productivity in making one is treated as being able to entirely compensate for lower productivity in making the other. The only exception is when the scoring suggests a production line to be killed off entirely, then people get involved in deciding whether that actually happens.

Different sets of essentially identical products (such a set can also exist of just one product if no alternative essentially identical to it exists) which are judged to be sets similar to each other are also lumped together. When forming these categories of equal importance within a container with the name "very distinct use-values from other containers", these categories have to be about equal size in terms of voucher-demand (things and services that are not rationed based on individual voucher budget are counted based on production cost) and the sub-categorization as essential identical within one such category also has to be in parts of about equal size (though these sub-divisions don't have to be equal across containers). Within a set of similar things, high productivity in one set somewhat makes up for low productivity in another (these things are deemed similar after all), though low scores in one sub-division tend to bring down the overall score quite a bit more than with the arithmetic mean. The scoring rule here is the geometric mean.

Finally, the very distinct use-values. Again, these categories also have to be of roughly equal size according to demand (plus cost for stuff not allocated through the voucher system.) If the equal-size idea here or in other parts of the planning process seems impossible to achieve after thinking long and hard about it, we can make a category just labeled misc. to make this work out. We are still within the same tier of importance, so they are similar in importance, but they don't substitute for each other at all. So, here it is the worst score of such a very distinct category that sets the overall score for the tier (second-worst being a tie-breaker if compared to another scenario that has the same score otherwise).

This categorization work can be done by a small team of psychologists and philosophers. Creating a category of very distinct use-value gives a lot of importance to whatever is put in there, so this would mean a lot of power for this team if not for the constraint of roughly equal category size as defined above and that the importance tiers distinctions are to be made by people from the general population. I believe computation is very feasible, considering that you don't need to work out entire scenarios before comparing them, since you solve the highest tier of importance before the rest, then the second-highest tier and so on; and once you have computed the score of a category of the type "very distinct" of a particular scenario, you know the scenario's score for the entire tier can't be better than that, so you can often figure out that a scenario will have a worse score than some others before even computing the whole score for this or that importance tier and can immediately move to evaluating the next scenario.

If you think a conception of use values using family resemblance would be better, be my guest and show me how you would work that into a planning system.

Addendum: The equal-size labour value constraint when applying the geometric mean is there to prevent category spam (splitting a category into several increases the importance). However, this issue can also be solved by multiplying categories. E. g. If there are two categories of the type similar use-value and category A is three times as big as category B in terms of labour values, we can just replace A by a set of three clones of itself. So, when it comes to computing the geometric mean, we don't take the square root of the scores of A and B, but instead the 4th root of the scores of A*A*A*B. Etc.

And when it comes to restricting the power of the expert team when they make the divisions into very distinct use-values I think here there is another way than demanding equal size in terms of labour values as well. When they want to make some of these sets very small we could allow that, provided this passes through a sortition-based jury.

No it doesn't, because all products are planned individually. The substitution works itself out after an iteration or two because the question of what product are comparable enough to substitute are made by all the consumers of society, which affects their price. If you have item X which does some job very well, but also item Y which does some job half as good but also costs 1/3th of what X does, then the demand for X and Y will change such that the right proportion for substitution exist. Since the planning program approaches price == value over time, the proportions of productions will thus approach the right proportions for substitution taking their value into account.

You dont need to plan in advance if a poptard substitutes frosted toast for 87%, because you cannot know that, it is the sum of the choices between products made by the consumers of those products taking into account their usefullness and price. This choice then expresses itself as price deviations from the value of the products, which can then be used to correct production in society towards optimal social distribution of labour.

"The issue of to what extent different products are substitutes for each other" is the whole goal of the consumer feedback to begin with. You cannot create a perfect plan unless you have a perfect model of reality, which is physically impossible. What you can do is gather data on certain products over time and use that data to make predictions that are more or less accuracy so your planning approaches equilibrium faster. But it is not a necessity for the system to work, its just a more advanced form of decision making. You are making this non-problem a problem by asserting that your own extra layer of complexion is necessary.

A product with high labour cost will also cost more in the "store" because the planning system explicitly aims for cost == price. As such, people will themselves make a decision as to if they want cheaper item that sorta does what they want, or the expensive item that does exactly what they want.

Will try to respond to other one after this/

Same applies as to the other thing:
The planning system treats items individually. Consumers give feedback on the use value - cost decision in the form of demand.
No need for complicated set of stuff that might or might not overlap which require a massive team of philosophers to decide if the people think that bananas are a substitute for apples.

Theres no need for all this complicated bullshit and I get the impression it only exists because you have this idea of making the perfect plan every time. You can't. Making plans to make things better is iterative, and due to changing consumer demands the "perfect distribution" always shifts slightly. You can only try to approach it all the time, but a planned system can do this much quicker than a market system.

You are buying into econ101 capitalist propaganda. The way that econ intro classes talk about it, is that the price of a thing changes, and then, all else equal the consumers should react in such and such way. It doesn't make that much sense to compute supply and demand separately because demand for a product is not independent of what other products' prices are like. This complexity isn't made up by a meanie, it exists, it is something which you assume away at your own peril. So, how do you actually handle it? By assuming that changes in produced quantities and prices will be very small and happen slowly? And this is always feasible why? Or you shift these issues into another model, and then have a drastic gap between how you model short term (based on econ101 "wisdom") and long term (assuming everything to be produced in fixed ratios?)? And you think this is better why? Is it because you think it would be too hard to compute otherwise?

No you stupid tard. If the supply of a certain something goes up and thus the price goes down, then people have an x amount of money left to spend. They are going to spend this distributed over other products. Therefore the changes to other products as a result of other changes is always smaller than the initial change. What this means is that the effect of changes progressively get smaller, and as such the next iteration the discrepancies between the price and value is smaller than the original change. So every iteration you have to fix a smaller error caused by fixes in the previous iterations, which means that eventually the errors get so small they are negligible compared to newer errors caused by new events.

If I suddenly have 50 extra bucks because food became cheaper, I might spend some of it on food, some of it on clothes, some of it on entertainment. This causes a raise in demand for those things, but smaller than the error that was corrected for with the food. Then you fix the small error in clothes and entertainment, then the next time you cause the even much much smaller error caused by those fixes, until (pretty soon) the errors caused by price changes in a certain commodity are unnoticeable when taken together with the errors caused by new developments. It literally is not a problem, but you act like it is a problem.

The solution to your non-problem is not "we are going to create an elite philosopher team to decide for society based on how they feel what products are the same". You dont need fucking philosophers for that, you have sales data. If bananas get 10x as expensive because all yields fail, then you can simply look at all the coinciding spikes in sales of other products to see which are similar.
And just so you know, you dont need to be particularly smart to realise that you might need to increase production of other fruit if you decide that apples are the devil.

And stop having that stick up your ass and accusing everyone of "muh capitalist propaganda". Nobody with half a braincell seriously believes that sterile models represent reality. This system of planning is iteratively, wherein you can fix price errors that exist at that moment and then fix the smaller price errors that result from that the next time one demand has shown what actual society thinks of which products are interchangable, rather than an elite bureaucrat class of state philosophers.

With the sales data, you can use algorithms to calculate their linkedness. Any time a price change occurs you can simply calculate the price changes of other products. Products that are highly linked will have a high corrolation over time, non-linked products will only have an occasional seeming connection due to seperate events, but their total linkedness will thus remain constant.


You don't get it. Here is a simple example: Two very similar products A and B are in very high demand right now. The machinery for each is already used at max capacity, just adding people won't increase output. A new production facility for one of these products could be made, but based on expected demand for that one product, that would be quite a bit too much. Just thinking about that issue as the production of that one product and what the demand for exactly that one product is, it doesn't make sense. But it might make sense when you think of both products together satisfying pretty much the same need. It might make the most sense to actually build the new facility for product B and decrease the output of product A, even though product A is in high demand, if A and B are decent substitutes for each other.

I have a hard time imagining a situation where one factory would mean there is suddenly a high excess in productive capacity. Even so, this has no real implication for the planning in my opinion. The expanding of the means of production are a political decisions, not part of the standard planning process. The normal planning process only concerns itself with existing capacity to meet the demand. The expanding of the means of production requires a lot of other information and is long term planning based on predictions. It is not necessary, no, it is even undesirable to make the expansion of the means of production part of the short term planning process. These are political decisions that must be made by society based on many things such as non-economic factors like ground usage, environment, etc.

Nevertheless, my point still stands. Creating a correlation between products is very easy and can be done in-time by storing a log of price changes for each iteration. Then for each price, you filter out all the price changes within a certain percentage around 0 (non significance) then for each remaining price change A, for each price change B (that isnt A) devide A by B and store it as a reference to B in A.
Repeat for each iteration and in the end filter out correlations that are not significant. You now have, for each product, a list of product its price correlates with significantly either positively or negatively. Highly negative correlation means that a price rise in A drops the price of B and vice versa, a high positive correlation means that a price rise in A means a price rise in B and vice versa. All non-corrolated products will only have a tiny corrolation based on overal societal wealth (rise in price of food drops demand for everything else and vice versa), which is filtered out in the last step.

The complexity of this is O(N) for the first part of filtering out non significant changes and O(N^2) for the second part, but this N will be much much smaller due to filtering out non-significant changes (which should be most of them).

Add the correlation to the existing one, or make a new correlation entry if it doesn't exist.

You are not comfortable with a certain level of complexity, you wish the situation were a different one, and so you make up a simple model, which just so happens to be the "reasonable" econ101 shit you heard in school. You don't have another justification than it would be very easy that way. And that is not enough. What you are doing is called magical thinking. You can't modestly increase the quantity of every different thing, adding a fraction of a factory, and even in cases where you can do modest increases in production of various things which are substitutes, it doesn't necessarily make sense, you change produced quantities of multiple things at once, and everything-held-static-but-one-thing doesn't apply here. And I'm sorry that telling you the following gets you mad, but it is the faulty logic of econ101, it is the viewpoint of an individual profit-maximizer with no regard for the bigger picture.

"You do such and such and so and so".
I do exactly what Cockshott is doing and that is providing a simple system of planning that does all the things a free market supposedly does, but better and in a socialist manner.
I am not trying to create perfection itself.
If you want to expand this shit into a more complicated system go ahead and do it on your own, but remember that higher complexity makes a system more vulnerable to bugs.

I do not do that, you imbecile. Read my fucking post.


Did you even read cockshott or are you just here because you want to be a state philosopher and decide what products should be eaten by people?

Markets do not transmit much information.
So you have a correlation of the type that when product A gets more expensive, people flock to product B, and vice versa. What do you do with that information? What if that correlation is just a statistical fluke? Suppose one product here is dental floss and the other is laundry detergent. Do you think people really substitute one for another, that when dental floss is hard to get, people start pouring laundry detergent in the mouth to get that extra-fresh breath? So it was a statistical fluke then. Stop being silly. There is no way of getting around looking at what the products in question actually are useful for. And that's what you do in socialism: production for use.

I already explained that but I will do it more extensively.
You may get coincidental changes, but since they are statistical flukes (accidents) they are just as likely to be positive as negative, they are random. A large set of random real numbers approaches 0 when summed, this is basic statistics. So for every increase in price of biscuits when train tickets get more expensive, there will also be an equal decrease in price of biscuits when train tickets get more expensive.

And even if you don't have enough statistics yet the planners can use common sense to realise the sales spike or parasols has nothing to do with the decrease in toothpaste sales, and just ignore it.

Production for use doesnt mean you cannot use maths and science, mate.

So a random set of real numbers approaches 0 as a sum, but a non-random (ie causative) set of real numbers gets further from 0 the larger set. Flukes will avarage out to 0 over time, actual relations will diverge from 0 over time. The price connection between different kinds of softdrinks will always be an inverse relation, so over time this inverse relation grows further away from 0.

You should probably devide it by the amount of datapoints and normalize it to make sure older product correlation doesn't seem more important than that of newer products, and calculate the thing that shows how trustable the data is (young product corralations are less trustable than old ones) but thats the job for statisticians who studied for that kinda stuff.

Wishful thinking. All sorts of prices change from one situation to the next, you have to look at what things are actually useful for to make meaningful comparisons of like with like. You jump back and forth between two positions: 1. Denial that what products are actually useful for is an issue that needs any consideration whatsoever, since supply and demand are supposed to take care of all of that. 2. Admission that this doesn't work, and proposing an entirely informal way of addressing the issue ("common sense") or nebulous handwaving ("these are political decisions that must be made by society…").

If it requires more than supply and demand (and it does), surely it's better to have some formalized procedure for that than having some big responsibilities left entirely nebulous.

No, basic statistical laws. You cant just put your fingers into your ears and shout "idealism".
No, I say that you use both to reenforce themselves.

So, now that you admit that it's better to use both, let's formalize the second part. Go read and tell me what you don't understand.

The "socialist manner" precisely consist in not having any "system" do "all the things a free market supposedly does", which is decide on our place what should be produced and how.

To be fair to Cockshott and Cottrell, they are not that poster you reply to. I'm pretty sure they are quite aware that TANS is not a complete and perfect model, so I don't think they would be in principle against a classfication scheme of use-values that further restricts the market-like feedback mechanism for consumer items that is in TANS. The question is how to build one that is sensible, what are the advantages and disadvantages.


We want to keep the quantity of produced products at a level where price meets production costs. Suppose also that we do allow for price divergence if things are getting close to start rotting on the shelves or on the other end if the buffer shrinks dramatically. Ideally we want production being in tune with consumption at reproduction-price level, but we will not get there. So, how do we get close to that? What does it mean to be close to that? Choosing between different scenarios, and picking the best one, and none of them is perfect. Should it be the average distance of a product between its price and ideal price that is our measure here? Or should the scoring of the scenario be about minimizing the worst discrepancy? Is it maybe the wrong way around to even look at products? Should we maybe instead try to the discrepancy between what individuals pay and get in terms of ideal prices (this is probably much harder to compute); and again, minimizing average or minimizing the maximum discrepancy? And how can we be sure that short-term minimizing of the problem doesn't interfere with long-term minimizing?

comrades we've hit the big time

Yo gimme some mirror.


There are several theories why the Soviet Union collapsed: imperial overstretch, economic inefficiency, ideological bankruptcy. Take your pick or mix all three.

But in his book Homo Deus, the Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari suggests a more prosaic reason: planned economies (and authoritarian regimes) are rubbish at processing data. “Capitalism won the cold war because distributed data-processing works better than centralised data-processing,” he wrote.

How could any central planner sitting in Gosplan’s offices in Moscow hope to understand all the moving parts of the Soviet economy across 11 time zones?

The lunacy of that system was best explained to me by Otto Latsis, the late Russian economic journalist. He recounted how he once visited a Soviet roof tile manufacturing company, which had big expansion plans. He discovered that all the investment was being sunk into a separate plant to destroy discarded, imperfect tiles to stop them being sold on the black market by the factory’s workers.

As with most Soviet factories, the planners had set demanding targets for the new plant, focusing on quantity rather than quality, creating perverse incentives to smash up near-perfect tiles. It is hard to think of a starker example of the value destruction that wrecked the Soviet economy.

But the explosion of data in our modern world could — at least in theory — inform far better managerial decisions and reduce the information imbalances between a planned and a market economy. Central planners are rapidly acquiring the tools to process data a lot more effectively.

All our connected devices are pumping out oceans of data about our real-time economic activities, demands and desires. Properly harnessed, that data could mimic the price mechanism as a means of matching demand and supply.

Hedge funds see a gold rush in data mining
Biotechnology: the US-China dispute over genetic data
Alibaba taps user data to drive growth spurt

For the past few decades, free market economists have been stomping on the grave of the planned economy. Might it rise again in a radically new form?

Some seem to think so in China, which remains wedded to Communist ideology — no matter how loosely applied in practice — and is developing one of the most vibrant data markets in the world.

Last year, Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, the online platform with some 500m users, argued new technologies provided the means to gather and process data on a near-unimaginable scale.

Applying artificial intelligence to those data sets was deepening our real-time understanding of the world. “As such, Big Data will make the market smarter and make it possible to plan and predict market forces so as to allow us to finally achieve a planned economy,” he told an economic conference.

Some Chinese economists have gone further. In a recent paper Binbin Wang and Xiaoyan Li argue that a hybrid economy could be built on a “market-based, plan-driven” model.

The freer flow of data could counter many of the ills that disfigured planned economies: excessive concentration of power, rent-seeking corruption, and irrational decision-making. The granular detail provided by masses of data could also enable planners to offer consumers more personalised choice.

The authors argue that the online platform monopolies resemble central planning institutions. It would be more “legitimate and rational” for the state to become a “super-monopoly” platform.

Such state-owned platforms could operate like an airport directing market-driven traffic. The airport manages capacity, sets aviation standards, balances the demands of safety, the environment and the movement of goods, and serves the needs of
operators, passengers and retailers.

There is no doubt that Big Data can improve the efficiency of managerial systems, both corporate and governmental. It might also lead to more rational resource allocation, whether in terms of planning long-term infrastructure or managing healthcare systems.

But while this hybrid economy may be neat in theory, two big doubts hang over its viability in the real world.

The freer flow of data could counter many of the ills that disfigured planned economies: excessive concentration of power, rent-seeking corruption, and irrational decision-making

The first is that accumulating data and using them in sensible ways are two very different propositions, as shown by any number of failed governmental IT projects around the world.

The second is how innovative such an economy could ever hope to be. It is hard for consumers to signal a data demand for a product that does not yet exist. In some respects, it would be like trying to drive into the future by staring into the rear-view mirror.

As Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs famously said: “Consumers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them.”

I would imagine for seasonal products you could just have seasonal prices. Storing food takes effort too. The "price of production" sort of goes up over time if you have to store it.

Might be a good idea tbh.

We cannot do that now either. You can just as easily let tinkerers and workers make new shit as prototypes and then develop the ones that catch on.

So this is all well and good and coherent unto itself, but a few questions: how, in short, does it qualify as communism (lower or higher phase) and how will it lead to a scenario where indeed all these property, rent, etc. forms, the labour vouchers and the State become superfluous? And most importantly how do you intend to bring into reality your blueprints for the future society? Is there not, as Marx said, little to no value in trying to accurately make cook shops for a hypothetical society as the utopians did, and much more value in actually tailing revolutionary activity where it exists, as to actually create a revolutionary mass that can actually change society, after which the most pressing task first becomes how to successfully arrive at a point where transforming society is possible? Or do you think simple regime change could suffice in this, perhaps even in a possibilist way by say winning an election as cybernetic Marxist-Leninist party?

Oh boy.

Can you imagine if it was the other way around? Can you imagine if some socialist academic started debating capitalists, and blew them the fuck out so hard they completely changed their theories and claimed to believe in completely different things? Can you imagine if it was Hayek the one advocating for "cyber capitalism" or "market capitalism"?

Your entire ideology keeps on getting debunked, and whenever it does, it just morphs into a completely different thing, while pretending you never got hit in the first place. It's like some eldritch shape-shifting monstrosity.

I've just read this, presumably by Paul Cockshot:

What's implied here is clear: people cannot consciously decide of production, and we must find a method to make decisions automatically, in our place.
I'm sorry but this is entirely missing the point of the actual communist movement. This Graal, this "law of value 2.0" Cockshot is after, qualifies as utopian socialism at best.


supply and demand isn't capitalism you fucking memespewing autist.

That list is missing a rather obvious theory that it was in the interest of some people who to some extent had tasks analogous to capitalists to become the new capitalist class, and have a higher standard of living even if the economy stagnates or somewhat shrinks, because even the pie shrinks, the fraction of the pie you get is so much greater that it does more than making up for that. Very poor article.

I can imagine that very well, actually. I have some interest in classical economics and I can tell you that after the establishment got blown the fuck out by the Ricardo-inspired socialist Karl Marx and the land-value tax evangelist Henry George, the establishment changed its economic theory (without increasing its predictive power at all), to marginalist "neo-classical" analysis.

And the hypocrisy doesn't stop here. Key developer of the marginalist approach was Abba Lerner (literally the first guy who said that market price equals marginal cost in perfect competition) who had very left-wing sympathies, though in the sense of sharing the wealth, not the Marxist sense; after all, if you believe diminishing marginal utility being the rule when you enjoy multiple units of the same thing, this also applies to money itself. Why wouldn't you see that principle applying to money? Intellectual whores of the establishment twist themselves into denying that while doing "modern" and "scientific" marginalist economics that somehow implicitly assumes constant marginal value of money. That's the ridiculous shit you have to put up with if you actually become a student of economics in places like Burgerland or Germany. Cheers.

The part of TANS you criticize is the most boring part, given how much it resembles capitalism, some people call it not socialist enough, so why on earth would you call that utopian? You don't seem to know what utopian actually means. Have a Cockshott quote from the same thread:
If anything, the proposal for cybernetic socialism should be more different from this society, and so, more likely to be called utopian by apologists of the status quo (not that I think you are such a person). But instead of just saying
it would be good if you actually had some ideas to share. Ideas about the how. And saying
is a cop-out. I think it is desirable to encapsulate the market-like aspect of consumer feedback in some classification-voting-procedure-thingamajinga to make it something more reliable, since I don't believe markets really communicate much information nor do I believe that they have a strong tendency to self-correct. This encapsulation is entirely compatible with pricing stuff based on work-time and allowing divergence based on mismatch between produced amount and demand, since a supply-and-demand101 rule by itself only tells you about the direction of adjustments in the relation of costs, price, amount produced, and amount demanded. It does not tell you about how much to change price or quantity, which actually leaves a lot of possibilities open.

Thats actually not what we do, you dumbfuck.
You mean like corporations using central planning and linear optimisation instead of market forces?

From critique of the gotha programme.
Lets list em
And it also has all the other things marx mentioned in critique of the gotha programme.

1/2 (quotes take a lot of space)

Planning, developing the means of production to produce more with less labour and organise them so that labour isnt a punishment anymore, but something people want to do out of themselves.
(this passage follows the one i posted above)

We have already had this several times and all of the ones that had the true ability to change everything were hampered by the lack of proper economic structuring, which lead to revisionist market reforms, which led to the downfall of socialism back into capitalism. I would argue that history has shown that you need a solid mathematical basis for production to quickly transition if the opportunity presents itself, because it sure as hell isnt going to happen after 50 years of bureaucratic powergrabbing, it has to be done right after the revolution.

The tools of the state alone do not neccecarily suffice for a transformation, especially not modern states with massive build in safeguards to keep the economic system in place. Just look at venezuela. You cant change the system from within if that system was build to be unchangable.

Read the book before posting you drooling faggot

I think that the price mechanism for consumer items in TANS should be augmented by use-value considerations. Most obvious example: Picture two products serving the same purpose, and the one that is a newer design is objectively and unambiguously better than the other. I think not that the prices should be fixed, but that something about the relation between the prices of these two products should be fixed: that the unambiguously better product should never be the cheaper one.

If you believe in the power of supply and demand, you might think that such a regulation is utterly redundant: If the higher-quality product is harder to produce, it it's not going to be cheaper anyway, and if it is easier to produce, the lower-quality product will vanish, eventually. But why wait for something that is likely to happen in a market, eventually, when it is obvious to you that it is the right thing? Let's not pretend to be stupid and wait for the market to arrive at the situation we already know we want, let's just do the right thing.

We should aim at stable production at a quantity that is covered by a price that is equal to reproduction price, but that doesn't mean we should always introduce new products at the reproduction price. When a new product is better than another in important aspects, but also a bit worse in at least one aspect, and it's not certain, it only seems likely that most people will prefer the new product, maybe that shouldn't result in permanently fixing something about the price relations of these products, but it looks like a good enough reason to set the initial price of the new product at a higher point than the other one.

The price is always aiming for the cost price, so you can just from the getgo make an amount of items that seems somewhat right. The amount of shit you make is ultimately a decision society is going to take, the prices are just a (strongly advisable) guideline to follow. This system isnt a self-regulating thing, its a tool for societies control over production. Humans are ultimately in charge.

The whole point if that we dont set fixed prices. We set fixed production targets. If you think the ration of demand is going to be 5:4 then you just make them in that proportion as a fraction of the old amount or the projected new demand. The price is then set at the actual demand once the things appear on the shelf, after which we can adjust the production to better reflect the actual demand.

But it's not always sensible to set the starting price of a new product at that level. That was the point.
>>initial price
That wasn't argued for.

But the price isnt set for a period. It is dynamic within a period. It doesnt matter what you set the initial price at, for new products you will just adjust it to match real life demand, which will stabalize within short while.


How do we plan the service sector? How do we plan for mechanics, how do we plan for restaurants, how do we plan for cashiers?

Would we even want restaurants in socialism? Should it be more of a guest-experience where you go and be a guest in someones eatery or bar and have a good time together? Should it be more of a voluntary thing? How would we refund the cost of food and drinks and electricity and shit?

How would we fund essential services like mechanics? How do we, in general, plan non-product creating jobs.

Share your ideas.

Excuse reddit spacing.

That's a very optimistic post, to put it diplomatically. Supply and demand are not a magical math formula that tells you exactly how much to produce and at what price. You can make a very rough guess about the magnitude of changes based on how fast your buffer drains and is refilled, but supply and demand really only tell you the direction of changes relating to that, and sometimes not even that: Suppose two brothers run a business selling exactly one type of product, no differentiation whatsoever, and they keep one and the same price. After some time, they look at the sales data, and one of them says:
The other one says:
They are looking at the same data, yet they reach different conclusions. There have been some ups and downs in quantity sold, so depending on the point in time you start counting from, you can get very different results. Even when both brothers look at exactly the same time span, they can come to opposite conclusions if they have different ideas about how much weight to give to the more recent sales data.

Gonna finish the book soon. The chapter on democracy is ridiculously weak, amounting to a tirade against representation as such and in favor of randomness (a typical STEM-faggotry, imo), even worse, reading Marx through Aristotle (instead the other, proper way around), but so far I can attest to the book being overall essential in the 21st century communists library for at least raising crucial questions and offering new models.

That goes to 70% of these posts, in all honesty. Most questions raised are answered in the fuggen boog.

Really, that chapter is making me want to scream and punch the fucking screen, it's that bad. Example:
The proper Marxist argument – as Cockshott should know – is that the ideological and institutional formations (superstructure) in ancient Greece have risen secondarily to the economy (base: a slave owning society). Drawing from lot instead of representational structures instilled a sense of equality among the "free men" of Athens obfuscating real economic inequalities in their own ranks. The latter corruption of city states were inherent to the material realities and not due to abandonment of principles: the turn to oligarchy was a manifestation of the system's already operational but hidden truth.

But worse, this chapter makes Cockshott forget his own proposed system:

And maybe even worse, he uses a liberal reading of Lenin:
>Lenin’s notion of ‘democratic centralism’, whereby the outstanding class-conscious members of the working class
There's nothing "outstanding," elitist, corrupt, classist, etc. in democratic centralism, in Lenin's vanguard conception. It's the understanding of class realities under capitalism. Read WitbD, ffs.

Before this claim is to be judged (or caricatured) on ideological grounds it should be assessed if it's factual or not. He kept a cool head up to this point in the book, but an ideologue is born in this chapter.

Fucking Machiavelli has a better understanding of Greek society, for FUGG SAKES


>The chapter on democracy is ridiculously weak
I found that chapter ridiculously obvious.

>Drawing from lot instead of representational structures instilled a sense of equality among the "free men" of Athens obfuscating real economic inequalities in their own ranks.
And how would that be an argument against drawing from lot in a society of economic equality? And if it isn't, why do you put much weight on that bit about Greece 2000 years ago?
>Cockshott forget his own proposed system:
1. Benefits is a broader term than renumeration in consumption vouchers. 2. Some redundancy in safeguards doesn't hurt. Whether vouchers will be completely egalitarian and whether vouchers will continue to exist forever isn't set in stone, it's policy made by humans that can be changed by humans.

Why not attack Marx for referencing the capitalist Ricardo (and quite often agreeing with him), while you are at it?

Delegation pyramids are vulnerable to Gerrymandering on steroids. The math behind this is trivial, yet Marxist intellectuals who claim to have read one billion pages of Hegel are too stupid to see that. The math checks out, and that it does doesn't hinge on the accuracy of the historical references, nor does it depend on whether John Burnheim was the kind of guy you want to have a beer with.

How do we go about funding science in this system?
Can the work of scientists be applied to Cockshott's labor voucher system?

Scientists are just treated as a public service like schools, roads, healthcare and the firedepartment. They are paid from the "tax" and the same hourly rate, but since they do not produce any physical product, their funding isnt determined by the labour voucher "sales" system, but by democratic decisions.

Now this is the kind of critique I was looking for.
What types of democracy or whatever would be preferable?

I honestly feel so fucking dumb that I forgot about that!
He I was making up was to get around this "fatal flaw" and it was just so simple.

Thanks for putting my worried mind at rest user.

Also are you being sarcastic, i really cant tell this late at night.

Many Marxists have found that the things they have had previously thought "obvious" were exclusively due to their spontaneous and unreflected ideological embeddedness of their times. Marx's own intellectual journey was paved by a life-long battle with the beliefs he had inherited, the beliefs every "radical" of his time found "obvious".

It should serve as a red flag for everyone: the things that you hold obvious are the most suspect.

Signs of societal rot first manifest in representational structures and not caused by them. Let's not mix up the two. This was the case with the Greeks, with the newly formed bourgeois parliaments, and with the USSR. That a good chunk of the population knows that their representational body doesn't act upon – let alone take into account – their interests is but the last stage of an underlying rot.

The charade of parliamentarism is a superstructural expression of capitalism; the bourgeois market of commodities reflected in the bourgeois market of parties. Both of these forms (market, parliament) have manifested historically in diverse fashion, yet their determining content (capitalism) remained the same. The Marxist thesis is that no matter how these forms change their content will remain the same, hence the Marxist arguments against reformism, hence Cockshott's arguments against the market.

My first theoretical argument against drawing from lot (instead of elections) is that it introduces a false sense of neutrality in a sphere (politics) where (by definition) there can be none. This I'd like to call the technocrat's temptation: reducing social spheres completely to sciences where their applicability is very much suspect. "Chance" in this case is not at all neutral. Whether you like it or not it acts as a third element above disagreeing parties. Deciding policy or "merely" administering a fragment of productive activity based on chance when there are legitimate differences in opinions and convictions is like a call for divine interference – a totally retrograde move.

Related, my second theoretical counter-argument, which has to do with the fundamental nature of human consciousness, namely, that it is not self-transparent. I can not know myself by myself, that's clear. Not just that I can not judge myself in a vacuum, without reference to others, without reflecting upon how others see me, but even the very categories of judgement I'll use originate outside of me. Human groups work the same way. After a group has formed, say, around a project, the members begin their spontaneous activity. For that group to reflect upon themselves as a group they need a third, qualitatively different element from which they can see themselves and their activity reflected in a critical fashion. This is grasped beautifully (even if not made explicit) by Lenin's critique of unions. Without the second element of a revolutionary party unions get stuck in a perpetual bargaining tragicomedy with the boss instead of gearing themselves towards a revolution.

My disagreement draws from empirical grounds as well. First, let's describe the process of drawing from lot: a smooth process of a computer program randomly assigning citizen A to position B for period n. Opposed to to that, representational structures need arduous effort to gain legitimacy: they thematize issues, reason and counter-reason, built trust, create adversaries and allies, etc. not just on the level of representatives but on the voter's as well. To cynically characterize this as manipulative sophistry is to a downplay a politically and culturally productive process in the transformational society that vitally needs it.

Second, take the case of jury duty in the US. It's a process of random selection. Three conclusions are evident:
(1) Most people hate it and think of it as a nuisance, some even have the balls to dodge it by blatantly claiming to be racist when they are just lazy. Let's say that in our socialist society people have the leisure time, lowered daily hours, so that they don't feel this level of aversion towards their assignment. Still, what if the person just doesn't give a flying fuck about his assigned position? Even worse, what if he only accepts it out of the desire to fit the description of a "good socialist citizen?"
(2) People selected are severely under-qualified. Cockshott when discussing the commune and its distribution of tasks is not afraid to admit that a rotation system comes with means less proficiency/efficiency in the job done.

(3) That randomness negatively affects minority groups. In a system of random selection issues pertaining to only one segment of the population gets swallowed up in the process. It's not hard to imagine an alternative to the jury duty system: people would have to willfully apply, one might even dare to say to dare to represent a type of justice system the population deserves. In such a way you'll get the marginalized competing for justice, bettering the system for all.

Third, the lesson I've gathered from 20th century communism, most related to your above memearrowed question, is that so far only transitional processes were attempted. I believe that to be a fact of (communist) history. Cockshott is proposing a transitional society as well. Quite frankly, I don't think that until a communist society is reached "economic equality" – as you call it – can be achieved. And we came full circle. I already told you how the drawing from lot obfuscated underlying processes in ancient Greece. I believe, as argued above, it will inevitably do the same for a socialist system.

gonna cont.

no I'm being sincere
I was an idiot for not remembering the tax and I need to re-read what I have read, and do more reading.

also meant to type ways instead of was

Did you take notes? I find taking notes and making a summary helps a lot with remembering shit.

It's not me, it's Cockshott. And let's be honest here: all "let's return to the good old time of X" is reactive wishful-thinking, pure ideology. The the move he makes in that chapter is a travesty for any self-proclaimed Marxist, and I quote:

Under communism there will be no vouchers.

You know, I'd let this slide if it weren't in the weakest part of the book that for the first time dunks into utopianism ("politics will disappear in my country, huehue!"), has unmarxist lines of arguments to defend his claims ("the greek system wasn't a slave owning democracy!"), and all this based on a Hayekian Catholic priest's work (srsly). It's just too much, fam. You have to be fanboi-tier not to see this.

But shit, I'm even gonna cut some slack for Cockshott! The book is from 1993, the fall of the USSR is still fresh, and ideas (even bourgeois ones) are flying all around, the lessons of the failed communist projects are not excavated completely, what the west "knows" of the USSR is based on 70 years of infighting, cold war propaganda on both sides, guesses on the real functioning of the soviet model. It's no biggy that he jumped on the first train that seemed to nicely complement his otherwise robust economic model(s). Historians, theoreticians have moved on since.

Because Ricardo was a fucking genius who was righ on many fronts, or at least started to walk on the right paths, while hayekian priest-man is a fucking ideologue and Cockshott should feel ashamed for even referencing him?

I think I covered this above.

canned laughter

throws out histmat

*not to mention that if you didn't get that Cockshott book is about a transitional society, i.e. not yet communism, then you should probably read other, more basic books first.

good idea
I'll try this in the future
But, you know, school and all


Are you talking about this as in the dictatorship of the proletariat or as in lower phase communism? Because if its the latter, you are wrong. I would argue that cockshotts system fullfills the requirements and description that marx sets for lower phase communism, namely the abolishment of classes and the abolishment of the law of value through labour vouchers. Cockshotts system is socialist/LP-communism and as such not the transitionairy phase from capitalism to communism, but communism itself (if you use marx own definitions).

Man we really should find a better way to know if people use communism as marx used it or how people post-marx often use it.

Wouldnt your point be moot here since the base of society ensures that there are no classes? Hence it cant be a class-dominated political structure?

Demonstrably false. It will not exist under higher phase communism, but will exist in lower phase communism as marx explained in critique of the gotha programme.
Unless you were saying communism and socialism as the modern commonly used separation, in which case you are right.

(somewhat aimless rambling about the book proceeds here)

The usefulness of Cockshott's book shouldn't be understated, but it's evident that the political/sociological/philosophical/"down to earth" organizational line is his biggest weakness. Let's be honest here: the dude regularly relies on moralist arguments for socialism in his book from start to finish! Worse, I caught him at places for using it as a theoretical ersatz. I mean… this isn't the sign of a theoretically rigorous mind. He's an honest and talented economist/physicist/programmer/mathematician dude who is appealing to the lowest common denominator (morals) of an audience that will most likely not be moved by it, or would be but would drop the book anyway.

The books suffers from a kind of identity-crisis in the sense that it can't decide for whom'st it's written for. If you write a popularizer book (like in pop-sci, but here pop-soc) by all means appeal to the readers morals. Wouldn't it be more just if we lived in a so and so? Wouldn't human/socialist decency demand of us this and that? Sure. But ffs, regular Joe will skip the book after the first 50 pages, because algorithms and math and shit.

If you write it for people who are already socialists you should know that not all of us are socialists for moral reasons, moreover, you should know that moralists are looked at suspiciously in Marxist circles. But then again, the first third of the book is pretty "meh" for a socialist, smells like 101 stuff, and will skip the book altogether, or skim it.

Reading through the book my recurring thought was, "Ok, but what about the party? Where's the party? How do you qualify work done in a party? Do you use taxes to pay for the party or the membership has to voluntarily give up some vouchers, or what?"

Well, turns out by the anticlimactic end that he buys into the "direct democracy" BS. He mentions the organizational form of the soviets just to immediately clarify that it should be replaced by a constitution of sorts. He mentions a liberal parody of Lenin's democratic-centralism (while dropping some legit criticism, but still) and he drops it.

IMO it is essential to have a party, a state, and a bureaucracy after the revolution, and IMO uncontroversial that without a party pre-revolution we are totally fucked. My criticism would align itself against Cockshott with Jodi Dean's against Jameson in American Utopia (edited by Zizek). Check it out if you can, it's like 15 pages long.

I agree a lot. I also thought his parts on feminism, communes and democracy were quite weak and if we ever do a sort of up-to-date rewrite with the newest numbers and techniques, i think we should just focus on the pure planning itself, with the maths and all that, and not ductape a lot of shit about how people should live in homes to it.

By the way I really think we need a sort of summary and update for this stuff. Its very cool but its hindered a lot by its unnececary moralist and peripheral stuff and old numbers and math and models. A lot of the diagrams are non-standard and better solutions exist. We also dont need to devote whole chapters to how we should have a voting or information communication network build because we already have those, its called the internet, a webinterface and json. Or one of the many other technologies or standards in use.

I vaguely posited the same sentiment here:

The text ends up reading like a really elaborate, much more well-designed and coherent version of Stalinist socialism, where labour vouchers end up not functioning as labour vouchers at all because there's the full context of rents and taxes (how and why do you tax with labour vouchers; in a communist society where property is non-existent, and rentierism and taxation cease to make any sense?).

But yeah, the utterly mechanistic and blueprinting nature of the text is very apparent. I went and did some research on Cockshott. In the past he was a gigantic tankie of the Maoist flavour, supporting the state of Israel, the Khmer Rouge (official Chinese CP's line, after all), praising Stalin and the USSR as a socialist society, a political-determinist view of how Thatcherism came about (putting the blame on the UK SocDems, the Labour Party, for not being efficient enough, which is damn strange for Marxists, supposedly materialists). But all those things I don't feel are that damning, because while I haven't seen or heard of Cockshott denouncing those past views and even though he still espouses some Stalinist views online, that's all in the personal, and has little to do with TaNS and his theory at large when it comes to socialism (assuming he no longer thinks there's hitherto actually been examples of socialism).

What really hits me is that in this book, he lays out a purely economistic concept of socialism in which various mechanisms as well as computers effectively emulate the law of value. However, as any serious Marxist should know, the precise point of communism is to do away with value and commodity production altogether: to free humanity from the substance that is subject; from being mediated by things. This frankly bourgeois pipe dream however wants to eternalize the precise principles that lie at the core of the capitalist mode of production. He employs lots of mental gymnastics in order to arrive at the anti-communist position that Marx argued that socialism was only about the distribution of surplus value, which is as wrong as it gets. Also, he claims that Marx made a distinction between socialism and communism based on the use of both terms in the Manifesto of the Communist Party, even though Marx uses them interchangably (what's ironic is that the very chapter he refers to make this point, Marx talks about the various reactionary, bourgeois and critical utopian forms of socialism).

And really to get back to the part I quoted from you ("where is the party?") that's really the biggest thing here: he's made a nice reheated Stalinist cyber version of socialism, but he's completely dettached from the political content of communism. You'll note that the comment of mine above asked the question: from where do you want to actualize this? And the answer was a non-answer to that point, basically implying that, as for Stalinism, we'll implement this "new socialism" when everyone else has done the job of seizing State power, there's been a counter-revolution and a technocratic cadre can implement this in full by following the blueprints. The period of transition, the program and the party form are all essential and fundamental parts of the revolutionary movement. The fact that this text concerns itself only with what it believes is going to be one economic stage of this is baffling and as I opened with, the text is useful for but one thing: making sure that, should Stalinism by miracle arrive again, it will this time be much more efficient and computerized.

Also I'd like to ask if anyone knows more about this, but I found out that he teaches computer science in the same gated community Ticktin does, and Ticktin is one of the biggest proponents of theory of the USSR as "non mode of production". Cockshott doesn't use that terminology IIRC, but basically says the same thing in different words. Did he get that from Ticktin?

I honestly think these distinctions are shit for this whole deal of transition(s!) are theoretically overdeveloped and argumentatively (mostly leftcoms vs. others) over-complicated, usually amounting to a dick-measuring contest of who has the right Marx quote and the right Marx interpretation, or whether Lenin bastardized Marx or not (according to Cockshott: he didn't and he's right). Around these debates something crucial gets always lost: from capitalism to dotp, to lower phase, to higher phase, the number of steps (transitional phases) will be greater than the number of gaps between the "stages". I firmly believe this.

For example he mentions the merger of two socialist countries as a preferable alternative to a federalist structure (if my interpretation is not mistaken). This requires HUGE and UNEVEN changes on a number of levels. Huge, because the already socialist region basically has to accommodate itself to a dumb little brother, provide administrative crutches, etc. Uneven, because country A, by qualitatively changing itself, has to help raise up country B not to A's previous level, but to the new (synthesized, to use Fichte's term) one.

Yeah, we on the same page, fam.

And that's the biggest weakness and strength at the same time of the book, don't you agree?

It's just an obsession with over-qualifying things, really. Most of the steps required from capitalism to DOTP to LP to HP will come naturally and will heavily rely on and accommodate to given country's material realities (leaving aside the debate whether HP is even possible if LP is not global already!) so it's not like a precise map to follow, a plan of the temporal order, and you could also argue that it's not even of the temporal order (does the last capitalist nation have to follow the same steps in the same order or just can jump right in?), but it's a plan of the logical order (meaning: if A,B,C is true you have Y, and if you want Z you need D,E,F, etc.).

I could, but that's a static way of looking at things, as if with each phase we'd pass a point of no-return. Another lesson of the 20th century: the possibility of regressions! I don't care if you think we live in a classless Cockshottian LP region, I don't care if you are right even, since there's always the possibility of sliding back (due to internal or external reasons). Until we are living in a global HP communist united humanity I'm not giving up the fucking party form and its critical function.

>so it's not like a precise map to follow, a plan of the spatial order, and you could also argue that it's not even of the temporal order

I dont understand the rent too much either but the tax makes a lot of sense.
The total value of consumer goods is equal to the total time worked to make said consumer goods. Hence the sum of all prices is equal to the total amount of time worked to make consumer goods. This is still true with supply and demand since an oversupply of one product has an equal undersupply of equal value in other products. You want to keep these equal, because the price should equal its value. So to make sure you can pay people who dont make consumer goods, but at the same time keep the balance of "total hours making consumption goods = total amount of labour vouchers" you need to subtract all labour vouchers rewarded for work that isnt done to make production goods from the total amount of labour vouchers rewarded for making production goods. This is done in the form of a "tax". It technically isnt strictly neccecary (you can just do some divisions) but it serves another purpose as well.
It makes it very easy for everyone to see what is going on. An x amount of their hours is taxed for healthcare, an x amount for school, an x amount for making new stuff, and x amount for the sick and disabled. This makes it very easy for people to understand what they work for and this can be used to make policy decisions. It brings the idea of "budget" into real terms of working hours, instead of having to resort to "hours worked vs real purchasing power". Not doing the tax could be done by just paying with labour vouchers, but this runs a risk of overspending since it is a seeming endless pit of money while the people dont see a decrease in income, but the real income decrease then comes in the form of inflation on the value of the product. This is the exact same end result, the former is just a lot less abstract and a lot more graspable for people, it makes it easy to reason about. Its "Do I want to spend an hour a month to fund art" vs "Do I want to spend 5 million hours on art that will lead to a decrease in purchasing power of some percentage".
Then theres the fact that such non-taxed manner prohibits things like set tax amounts, and set in place an unchangable flat tax rate.

Except for the fact that Marx said in critique of the Gotha programme that the principles that govern the law of value still apply to lower stage communism, but that its content and form are changed. IE law of value is about people making stuff which they own, which they then exchange. Lower stage communism is people making stuff for the collective, and getting stuff allocated in return. Value only matters on a societal level, not between individuals, to measure the cost of products and determine how much you get for each hour of work. Im probably not explaining it very well but marx essentially says lower stage communism is with labour vouchers and that the principles of value still exist, it is so fundamentally different that the law of value (which requires exchange and shit) doesnt exist anymore.
I dont think Cockshott does the right analysis of his own system btw. He argues that his system proves that the law of value exists in socialism, even though a leftcom would analyse his system and say it doesnt have the law of value. I try not to take his ideas about what is and isnt communism or marxism and his ideas about economic planning as a whole, just like I dont take his silly ideas about communes as integral to his economic proposals.

Oh definitely. But I must semi-smugly point out that you started with saying "thats not socialism" and "marx actually said x or y is socialism".
So if we agree that its basically semantic masturbation, lets go on.

I think his argument for this was purely from an economic efficiency standpoint. If planned economies are more efficient than non planned, than turning two socialist economies into one will be even more efficient. His argument is that because prices compress all information down into a one dimensional vector, you cannot plan as well. You could see it like the two socialist countries are two companies buying and selling to each other, using prices and price signals, rather than merging and directly allocating and planning resources.
It would have a lot of pitfalls and I definately agree it can be a shit idea if the other country is underdeveloped, but I think its a good goal in the long run as even the incorporation of this new region will bring with it some benefit to the better developed region such as some speciality they can produce more efficiently, some resource they didnt have or simply more resources and shit in general which allows for bigger things to be done.

It certainly isnt a book on how to do the transition. It is written as an advisory piece to the USSR and published after it collapsed. So I think we should read it not as a full theory on how2revolution, but more of a "hey if you ever want to do what the ussr did with its economy, maybe do this instead" type of book.

Fair enough

"Consumer good" is literally the term for a type of commodity. My suspicion that Cockshott doesn't understand the genesis of the value form with statements like these, again which you find all along the book, are confirmed by this again. Again the fact that Cockshott believes that Marx argued that socialism was only about the distribution of surpluses leads me to believe that Cockshott's notion of the labour voucher is one in which the labour voucher is just an alternative method of having money-capital. This gigantic amount of technocratic scheme completely misses the point of labour vouchers; which is for the purpose of obtaining rationed goods. In all phases of communism methods of planning outside of the rationing function of the vouchers would already be happening, and the vouchers would not factor into that. "Lower vs. higher phase", as

points is also not a rigid process, just as communism arising out of the DotP isn't. You wouldn't wake up one day and be like "woah, we have full communism now, time to throw those vouchers away!"; it's a gradual process, one which however is always predicated on as much as possible, actively (and this means politically, and politics is something Cockshott simply avoids mentioning altogether, as if it doesn't exist) annihilating categories of the capitalist mode of production.

Again, talking about the existence of price and value under a communist (or "socialist", i.e. lower phase communist in Marx) society once again just confirms for me that Cockshott's quest is one for the scientific management of value production.

Marx explicitly says that after the revolutionary transformation of society (DotP), the most basic economic content of communism, lower phase or higher phase, is one in which value no longer prevails; where it's change in content to the point where this is as such. How this can inspire Cockshott to concoct systems for scientific management of value production is here beyond me; the aim is in underdeveloped communism then to ASAP do away with this value no longer performative as value in any way, to obtain the maxim of "to each according to his abilities", yadda yadda; a society of complete, free access to means of production and excess produce.

Can you address the rest of my post? You again avoided the key point of where politics lie in this blueprint of Cockshott's, and also to address Cockshott's misreading of the Communist Manifesto, and his relationship to Ticktin and his theory of the USSR as non-MoP, from the same gated community where he teaches CompSci.

Another question actually: since I don't follow Cockshott's activity at all (I've only read some things about him and parsed TaNS), how does he stand in political views today? Is he still a USSR apologist, a Maoist, does he actually engage with workers' movements at all or comment on them? I guess that and a general overview of what he actually does nowadays.

Oh man, I was hitting my head against the wall whenever he projected an Oedipal relationship onto a post-family context (e.g. in the commune rotation of duties is preferable because [and he just hints that] would mean that wymyn will be stuck in the communal kindergarten for lyf) almost to the point of naturalizing the genders (wymyn lik babbies and man lik competitive chobs).

At least he's somewhat honest around the last paragraphs of that chapter. Let's leave room for experimentation, and push for communes through policy, not by brute force. OK, in my reading that eventually creates a city map of big green blobs of communes and grey zones for the introverted misanthropes between them. ;)

One more thing Cockshott was weak on: tourism. (The fear of the dirty capitalists smuggling in VHS porn, I kekked) IMO he basically described capitalist tourism, and lacked ideological disciprine (read: it didn't want to purge out the capitalist from the tourist). If you think that we should allow in idiots who want to swim in our lakes or whatever, allow a ridiculous industry to accommodate them, you are describing a capitalist logic of development. Instead: let's have basically two fixed priced tourist packages: first, a two week one, you stay wherever you can or want, you go wherever you can, there are no tourist guides but there's a mandatory and centrally appointed guide who shows you around for two days and explains to you in your native tongue how the production process/property relations/communes, etc. are different here then you are left to do whatever you want (I'm not describing North Korea here). As a two weeker, you buy a fixed consumption package that is limited to certain products (you won't be allowed to buy a refrigerator or a car in our country but your fixed package allows you to eat yourself to death for two weeks). Then, a two-monther package, which is the really ideological one: you pay a lower sum, but you live here (read: work) for two months, get classes in your free time, etc.

Oh, for sure. I had this fixation throughout, man "this BADLY needs an update." It's comic how badly some technological arguments have aged (he keeps pleading that it's technologically feasible when the average mobile phone now has ten times the computational pwower than a PC then.)

But that's just the easy stuff. IMO, it would be interesting to build in the developments in software/online trends into it, for instance, how would a socialist facebook look like? An online interface for socialist citizens? But I'm more devilish: I want to see arguments for Zizek's "more alienation please!" mixed with Cockshotts model, just to piss of liberals. I've seen libs cry their eyes out because big bad Zizek says that he really doesn't want three ISPs to chose from just one that is given and works, and that's it. For them this is literally totalitarian hell. Well, lets take it one notch further: I want to receive some vouchers from the planning agency in exchange for abdicating my right to chose 80% of my consumption, clothes, food included. I literally want some kind of state appointed fucking specialist to do an exam on me, look at my family's medical history and tell me that I should follow "diet C", then signal this request towards the center and by becoming a much more "computable" economic participant (I'm becoming a planners dream) I want compensations from the planning agency in vouchers. Similarly I want to have an exam of the spatial dimensions of my body and I want to receive the same fucking clothes every winter/summer/autumn, every year.

That's one possible approach, definitely for the STEM crowd. Replace appeals for morals with efficiency, the beauty and simplicity of these algorithms, and stupidity of anarchy of capitalist mode of prod, etc.

Am I the only one who imagined him being a bit of an internet-feminist white knight, always ready to defend the lady's honor, the first to insert IRL sessions a part about how this all relates to wymyn?


No mate stop being retarded. A consumer good is something that is made to be used by individual consumers instead of being used for the means of production.

That is definately true, but not in the way you think. Cockshott has shown he doesnt really understand value form and law of value (or he is just a tankie and thinks stalin was right).

He definately has a very rigid view on this shit and thinks in steps, rather than evolution. We should take his ideas and develop them into something that allows us to better transition into full communism.

Eh, yes and? Whats wrong with that in and of itself? I agree he grasps onto the whole "we need to do socialism 100% right" too much and doesnt see that its supposed to drive society to a state where we dont need labour vouchers anymore. That said, the theoretical groundwork for this can prove to be invaluable.

No because I dont disagree with them.

No idea I just read a few things from him on his blog that were kind of retarded.

We'll see more and more countries join other countries that are already differently advanced towards socialism. So DotPs joining LPs, and if the cause is advanced enough globally I don't think that reformist joiners could be ruled out. But this is again too schematic. Realistically, though, and sticking to my conviction of requiring dozens of transformational phases we'll see post-revolutionary countries joining other countries that themselves are not in sync on their road of development. Maybe this is a setback, maybe at a certain point this means that altogether some phases can be skipped towards LP, I don't know.

Can you name a few people who understand it correctly?

Look up punctuated equilibrium, punctuated gradualism, and phyletic gradualism, please.

Interesting. I was also playing around with some ethereal strains of thoughts like that but I couldnt really solidify them. I think something like that would be good, I dont really like the whole "big resorts with fur coats" bullshit, even if "but it brings in da foreign money yo".

Hopefully non-existant. It doesnt add any value and sucks up all your energy and manipulates you phychologically.

Jesus christ. You dont happen to be into findom are you?

A bit, but lets not bully our dear comrades too much.

Yea some phases will probably be skipped if enough countries are advanced enough. A small cappy country surrounded by LP commies could just have its economic system be imposed on them by geopolitical preassures without needing the whole revolutions thing.


Will do.

(Just so you know I am saying a lot of shit that x or y doesnt understand marx but I dont want to come off as a smug shit because I could very well be wrong, so dont read too much into it).


It's not very helpful or productive, tbqfhwyf.

Engels was a revisionist and a porky too. Not my comrade. Only marx' primary school works should be trusted.

I know im hurting my own credibility but I am not the type of person to claim to know it all and im naturally very wary of claiming things to people who know more than me in fear of making a mistake. Plz dont bully, im just talking about marx as I understand him atm.

"Prepubescent Marx never worked a day in his life!"
"Yeah, but look at these A's he got on his math tests!"

Wew lad, you are contributing to creating non-simple labour and all schoolchildren should be rewarded labour vouchers for their work and their efforts be added to the total deprecation of all their work over their lifetime.

Thing is, I found the recommendation obvious because of the mathematical argument I had come up with myself before seeing it again in TANS.
That's like saying the village should have a barber that always shaves those who don't shave themselves. A rule that is impossible to implement. Did you not understand the math?
>Signs of societal rot first manifest in representational structures and not caused by them.
Vulgar materialism, reaching the level of unintentional self-parody. The structures in question aren't like photos of a world that exists in exactly that shape regardless of the photos made, these structure are shaped by the surroundings and shape the surroundings in turn. That the influence from the entire rest of the world to these structures is stronger than the other way around should go without saying (but I guess I have to spell it out when dealing with a sophist), and ther is some influence the other way around, of course. If our ideas and thinking tend to be stronger influenced by surroundings than the other way around, then of course it is silly to believe that the signs of societal rot first manifest in representational structures. So you contradict yourself, first claiming an extremely vulgar materialist viewpoint, then assuming the conscious regulatory designs of humans being updated in synch with the development of the world around you, if not anticipating it.
I'm familiar with that claim by "Marxist" poseurs, and I don't think it holds up to historical analysis. The majority principle is the principle of how the workers organize themselves, these procedures used in unions that in the eyes of bourgies seem to mimic modern parliamentarism to some degree are actually older than that and can be traced back to medieval guilds. There is no strong tendency of capitalism being associated with general voting rights, and inasmuch as these rights exist, they are the provisional outcome of the class struggle, they are an achievement of the working class - an achievement, which is under constant threat of roll-back by ruling-class shills and which is fundamentally restricted by constitutions that don't allow the majority principle to over-rule property rights.

tl;dr: You are ignorant of class-struggle history and have problems with grasping basic logic.

You are one of those who is truly autistic, no?


A voting procedure can be strongly deterministic in the sense that it delivers the same outcome if fed the same input twice (with the exception of ties, to have that unlikely we can add a two criteria of resolvability: 1. that any tie can be broken by a change involving only one ballot pattern changing, 2. that as the number of ballots grows, the probability of a tie shrinks towards zero in the limit). But different voting procedures occasionally produce different outcomes with the same ballot data, even if the procedures are all strongly deterministic. For that matter, a pair of strongly deterministic procedures can disagree more often about outcomes from the same data than a pair of non-deterministic procedures. Just because a voting procedure is deterministic doesn't mean that the people voting aren't influenced by all sorts of random crap either.
What is proposed in Towards a New Socialism is not that a random person should be drawn by lot and so become a powerful dictator, lottery is proposed as a method of creating groups. You don't know the math, and you follow your intuition here about what the effects of chance are. Your intuition here is complete trash. You just look at a tiny part of a big system that works in a deterministic or probalistic fashion and jump to unwarranted conclusions about whether the whole system is tidy or chaotic.
Fascinating, but if you had actually read TANS you would know that it is not about revolutionary strategy, and it doesn't pretend to be. It describes a goal, and not getting there, which has something to do with the historical context in which it was written.
As opposed to that professional judge who gave long sentences to youth and who got financial rewards from the prison-industrial complex for doing so? Or how about the fact that judges hand out much more lenient sentencing after gouging on food? Frankly, you sound like you suffer from a petit-bourg elitist attitude without any skills to justify that, chump.

isn't actually in the TANS pdf itself, but was a supplement article, whoops. Anyway, you can quickly figure it out yourself. Just ask yourself this: Suppose there are two parties and you know exactly what the preferences of each voter are. You are tasked with sorting the voters into separate groups that vote in separate single-winner elections. 1. What is the minimum size of support party A neeeds to win if you help party A? 2. Suppose the winners of these elections don't directly form the highest body, but vote for candidates among themselves to elect to a higher level. Once again, you are tasked with separating the people into groups. What is the minimum size of support party A needs on the grassroot level, now? 3. How does this change with more delegation levels?

You can also apply a one-drop-of-blood rule and say a book that references some work by a haram author is 100 % haram as well, but this is totally paranoid. And it's an absurd standard you make up for Cockshott and Cottrell that you certainly don't apply to yourself.
How do co-ops do it? Or do they not exist, since they can't exist according to what is going on in your head? Assigning credit for the work a group has done, can be done with a program like this one: Though that does not say anything about the size of the total that the group has done. I think the key to make this work without having a distinct group of evaluators is having overlapping group membership, and that voting on the renumeration level of tasks is linked with what tasks you are willing to do yourself. That is, for your vote to reduce the remuneration of something to be effective, you must be up for doing that yourself at that level of remuneration you propose. That should reign in the jokesters and trolls. You quote from TANS:

It's not randomness which does that, but an unchecked majority principle. How a group deals with a minority current within it is orthogonal to the question whether that group came about by lot. Usually, rules of order like Robert's, even though in the end they are about majority, do have something about different people having their say, and some back and forth, the standard process takes time and some steps can be skipped by super-majority. Voting procedures like x-for-x rating (mentioned in give minorities some power, as do those that require super-majorities in general. However, these usually only give power specifically to the minority which likes the status quo, a voting procedure empowering minorities without having a conservative bias would use ballot lottery as a fallback/threat in case super-majority isn't reached. However, the big question remains how that would be enforced (I don't think it is a coincidence that minority rights which are guarded well are directly related to private property, those minorities know a thing or two about force and violence.) Trivially, you have something which gives you some power even if your ideas or taste is different from the mainstream by using labour vouchers.

Sage because I have posted so much already.

Because a rando on the internet said so, without any supporting reason given? Marx in Critique of the Gotha program seemed to think otherwise, at least for what he called the lower stage of communism in there.
There are several writers with all sorts of different backgrounds arguing for sortition, and if this review of John Burnheim's autobiography is anything to go by, the influence of Hayek was just one among several: Quote from there:

>I went and did some "research" on Cockshott. In the past he was a baby-eating eurocentric China-obsessed mass-murdering moralist you guys!
Good for you. How about discussing the book?
So, the problem you and cigar man have is that Cockshott and Cottrell moralize too much and that they are too economistic and you also have a problem with the chapter about communes (because it doesn't fit into your claim that it is too narrow or what)? You don't make any sense.
Cockshott completely disagrees with Ticktin on that and has called that a nonsensical concept.

That's the purpose of these vouchers in TANS as well. No individual obtains ownership of a factory or land by amassing labour vouchers. Nor does any ministry or local government amass labour vouchers for that purpose.

All these posts by cigar guy and his friend are complete rubbish of that LOOK-AT-ME-AN-INTELLECTUAL-LOOK-AT-ME-PLEASE type. It's just an endless torrent of denouncing others for not being as "deep" and r-r-r-radical as you are without anythingwhatsofuckingever to back up. Neither of you seem to have decent familiarity with economics (Marxist or otherwise), logistics, computing, democratic theory, cybernetics - it's just the faint feeling of a proximity to actual knowledge you got from twitter/tumblr sloganeering. You have MEME-AIDS and it's terminal. I'm surprised you aren't using trips yet. I hope the thread will turn around after this shitfest and end on a more insightful note before hitting the bumplimit.

You got some issues, man.

Some simple rules for a sensible socialist price policy of consumer items: Note that these rules are not about fixing a price, but setting limits to how some prices might move relative to each other.
OQC rule (from ): When there is an objective-quality consensus that one product is better than another, it shouldn't become cheaper at any point.
Breadpig rule: When you are attacked by a monster that is half-pig and half-bread, you must When one product contains a strict subset of inputs of another product, it should not be more expensive. (This is named after a problem with subsidizing bread so much that farmers fed it to pigs instead of just giving pigs just the grains.)
Six-pack rule: When there are several products that are only different in that they are different quantities of the same thing, the bigger ones shouldn't have a price that is higher per the same amount. (This is a bit of a tricky issue since the bigger package might have some higher production cost because of additional material used to bind things together.)

All these rules apply to the pricing before considering transportation cost to stores and stores increasing the prices in some fashion. Then there is also the locality-based markup: Places where consumer-items are stored and offered pay different rent based on location, with places in more busy areas of course paying more than at the periphery. They have to cover that cost by charging more for the consumer items. Moreover, they have to cover transportation cost. The way they add to these prices can also take into account local demand. The prices after this increase have to obey above three restrictions as well.

Less sure about the following. This potential rule is only for what the price is not allowed to look like after the locality-based markup: There seem to be some psychological trickery going on with pricing. In the country I live in, a lot of things in stores are priced 9.99 or 4.99. So, if there is some persistent cognitive bias in how shoppers handle these prices (there seem to be relevant thresholds at 5 and 10), maybe a few very specific numbers for prices shouldn't be allowed at all.


It might be too late, but does anybody have that .jpg on recommended readings/textbooks for Soviet Cybernetics? It had an ornate background, and I distinctly remember one of the recommended textbooks being a Calculus one. The .jpg would always be posted in every cybernetics thread since the last year or so.

Pic unrelated.

The article "Cybernetics in the service of communism" has been taken down (months after we linked it) Suspicious?

here is a cached copy: &cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=es

I believe they just updated the website because if they were really concerned they would have asked google to take down the cache too

not asked , but forced.

Well-meaning people often suggest to subsidize products that cover basic needs to help poor folks. But this subsidy goes towards helping the poor and not so poor alike, people who need it and people who can do without. Moreover, it's not just that people who don't need the lower subsidized price of some item then buy the same amount of it as they would without the subsidy, rather they buy more, as they use the thing in a rather careless matter, since they can get a very cheap replacement - though it isn't so cheap for society as a whole to cover that. Another problem of subsidized products is people smuggling them abroad. It makes more sense to make sure that the poor people aren't too poor. Taking care of the income level at the bottom targets the people who actually need the help, it is much more simple than regulating many product's prices with subsidies, and it avoids the smuggling issue.

We have all seen the infamous supply-and-demand graph, which is supposed to show how the economy in the real world works. Two very fine lines are shown to illustrate the connection between price, quantity supplied, and quantity demanded. Thinking about that for a minute, the hubris of that graph should become clear. Just because we know what quantity we currently are selling at the current particular price and that it's likely that we can sell more units at a lower price and fewer units at a higher price doesn't mean that we somehow exactly know these price-quantity combinations. We can advocate that socialism should use prices for consumer items and a supply-and-demand mechanism that aims for establishing prices that cover reproduction, as is done in "Towards a New Socialism" by Cockshott and Cottrell. Supply and demand are over-rated. The idea of price flexibility that is held up as a virtue by mainstream economists is actually something which would be extremely annoying and screw with our ability to plan our daily activities. It makes some sense to have prices change when a product buffer gets very huge or very small to counteract that, but to have prices change a little bit all the time due to subtle changes in the buffer is not something I would recommend doing, as that would drive everybody insane (except the economists, who already are in that state of mind).

We have talked about ordering products into tiers of importance by people voting with median ratings. Something like that would be absolutely necessary for a system without prices, but the usefulness of it is not restricted to such systems. This rating system could be combined with a system similar to that in TaNS. But if the aim isn't to have subsidies for products, what could these ratings regulate? Answer: the volatility of prices. Things getting a high importance rating should get prioritized in how quickly we address discrepancies between supply and demand. So when two products with a different rating are under-supplied relative to demand and there is some input used in the production of both, the input goes first to the product with the higher importance-rating. A high rating also means having a bigger product buffer. The point bears repeating: We are not talking about any subsidy for products here. We are talking about insurance against the chaos of supply and demand when it comes to the products the people deem most important.

We cyclical now

The cybernetics thread shouldn't be cyclical, that means losing early posts entirely. Cyclical threads only work when the topic is wanky unimportant pointless bullshit like /leftytrash/ or Rojava.

bring it up in the mod feedback thread

it's just a guarantee it won't sink, jeez

Cyclical removed on request. Great thread btw, make sure to archive it when it hits the bump limit and make a new one.

That's a cute Stalin.

was it this? was in the empirical marxism reading list

It's automatically archived:

Does Cockshott write somewhere extensively about transitioning from capitalism?

Not that I know of TBH.

whats the bumplimit again?

I think thats a very valid point. I think that voting or doing general ratings on how important certain things are is important to decide the buffer. But I would think that we could simply use the regularity of purchase and the volume of purchase to determine such properties. Things like bread and eggs are bought with far higher regularity than luxery products such as cars. Cars or expensive watches do not need big buffers, because if you can get a car at the "normal" price right away, its not that big of a problem. You dont plan your budget around such purchases. You do plan your purchases around expenses such as the cost of water, electricity, food and, to a lesser extend, clothes.

also non-automatic archived

450 I think?

so basically "cybernetics" is just what Allendes Chile wanted to do?

i didnt read the whole book it was bleak and uninteresting as fuck t b h

What allende wanted to do is certainly part of it but its not at all the entirety of it.

well whats the other important parts asides from an emphasis on automation and efficiency?
put it in dot points im not getting it


How to plan production society wide and react to changes in consumer demand while taking into account the cost in labour time.

Cybernetics is just control theory applied to society. Think of pic related but replace System with Society, Sensor with Surveillance and Controller with Technology. It's Silicon Valley's wet dream and they are pushing it hard. All the technology buzzwords you hear today – smart city, internet of things, machine learning, big data, etc. – are aimed to finally replace the liberal world order with the cybernetic world order.

Read Tiqqun:

How so Silicone Vally is capitalist?

Do you have any idea of how much corporations (especially bigger ones) make use of computerized planning?

Developing ERP systems is a billion dollar business. That's not to say cybernetics is bad, quite to the contrary, you can see it being implemented already. Just imagine how easy it'd be to collectivize MoP which already use planning.

The problem with corporate cybernetics is that it’’s supper centralized which will be hard to rework to decentralized socialism.

Cybernetics is bad because it's about control of humans by machines.

That's not bad nor good in itself, maybe your argument is something about freedom but free will is an illusion. Also the machines have not an agenda themselves, they are ultimately under control of the proletariat (programmers, engineers, maintenance, etc…)


ok ok … "so far"
making a uncontrollable human-like thinking machine is a dumb/suicide move

computers are just really sophisticated calculators and that's what we'd use them as in cybernetic planning

Quoting le deep French thinker Mr AIDS-is-just-propaganda-welp-now-I-die Foucault:
Wow, we all learned a lot about programming logistics from that quote, didn't we.
>Blahblahblah this unparalleled murder impulse that drives cybernetics blah
>Cybernetics is war against all that lives and all that is lasting.
Oh, no :( The Tiqqun kids know out about our real plans. Get em, my Cyberlads!
>Norbert Wiener, an American savant of Russian origin, was charged with developing, with the aid of a few colleagues, a machine for predicting and monitoring the positions of enemy planes so as to more effectively destroy them (…) The whole history of cybernetics has aimed to do away with the impossibility of determining at the same time the position and behavior of bodies.
… That's a concept of quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is about subatomic particles, such as photons, electrons, and the brain behind above crap.

Woah what a brutal critique. I'm sure nobody will ever take these clowns seriously after this!

Oh, look the typical pomo passive-aggressive reply with ZERO actual content. This pompous and paranoid poo is what you think constitutes theory? You didn't read it, you just heard from "intellectual" people you are "friends" and who didn't read it either that it's radical, and you think it has something to do with this thread (which you also have not and will not read). And it is radical, radical anti-communist. More Tiqqun BS:
>A system, to the extent that it is a system, is never pure and perfect: there is a degradation of its energy to the extent that it undergoes exchanges, in the same way as information degrades as it is circulated around.
Imagine being this retarded about computers.
>Entropy, considered as a natural law, is the cybernetician’s Hell. It explains the decomposition of life, disequilibrium in economy, the dissolution of social bonds, decadence…
Entropy is behind the evil sluts and the fucking hippies with their weed! *shakes fist angrily at the entire universe* They also quote the Nazi Heidegger warning about the evil commie cybernetics being the end of humanity.
If you believe that you will also believe that you can fix capitalism by introducing fair prices. They quote Yona Friedman:
Muh horseshoe totalitarianism.
Can you tell me what Tiqqun intended to say with that? Do you believe Tiqqun did intend anything more here than pretending to be profound?
Imagine having zero grasp of statistics and trying to write about that, "critically". Let's just take the words of experts in a field and bash them together in random sentences, then you are an expert yourself! You can't tell the difference after all.
Actual quote. That's the kind of thing you can put into your "theory" that you know your "friends" will "read". I guess I'm the first person who has actually read the whole thing, so how do I feel about that achievement, you wonder. Hrmpf. There is a saying: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

what does the cybernetics crew think of THIS plan by china to use 'big data' to run the economy there?

Needs subscription, sends us a copy?

sorry, here it is

Would you say voting constitutes such a bad machine?

I think it is a very poor article and that you should have read the thread before posting: &

doesn't cybernetics predate control and dynamic system theory?


I think it's possible to have in a sense fixed prices for consumer items, and, even if planners are quite ignorant about who wants how much of what, still 1. see the pricey and unpopular things eventually finding a way into the hands of consumers and 2. avoid that people climb over each other to get super-popular and under-produced things either. But I'm not sure what the advantages of these alternative mechanisms are, and don't think it's worth doing that way just for the sake of doing things differently than capitalism.

1. Synchronized vouchers. Vouchers don't just have an expiration date, vouchers correspond to a production period. To obtain a consumer product you have to obtain it with a voucher of the corresponding period. It isn't important here that it is a very weird question when the production of a thing really started (the Big Bang?), what matters is that a voucher is only useful for a finite pile of things that shrinks over time. So, there is no speculation what you might be able to get in the future with the vouchers, the production of things you can now get with that is something of the past. If it's true of the stuff produced that there are more than enough people who would be willing to take it if they could have it for free, it stands to reason that getting the stuff off the shelves won't be much of an issue, even as the price stays where it is. As time goes on, the amount of things you can get with the vouchers shrinks, and some people will be frustrated that they couldn't get what they wanted the most. Some may say to themselves that they wouldn't have worked so many hours if they had known the pathetic choice they have now with the vouchers, as more lucky people were faster in snatching the things they hoped to get. But now is now. Faced with the choice of letting the vouchers expire or obtaining something with it, they choose that it's better to spend them. (There is still a subtlety in here in that even though the sum value of unspent vouchers directly corresponds to the sum of prices of unsold stuff from that period, that doesn't mean that it works out on an individual level that everybody can spend every voucher. There are ways of addressing this, which some redistribution/lottery for the rest, this works out as long as people can't expect how they will benefit from this sort of exception.)

2. Virtual queues. People stand in line for things, but not really: They order things online and stand in a virtual waiting line. It's not that the first person to click on something gets it, you join a waiting line and your position in the waiting line is something you pay for with an entirely separate pseudo-currency. (The particular method could be something similar to a Vickrey auction, with people too far back in the line to receive something not actually having to pay anything). You see, it's possible to square the circle: Things could be priced based on labor-time, planners could be incredibly dumb with quantities, people could be all paid the same per hour worked, and yet this could work and it could be in a way a very meritocratic system, based on how this queue-position budget got allocated to people.

bump because amount of sliding is hitting new high. Also, I told BO that I'll abuse my new vol powers in order to keep this thread clean, so I'll all delete all spam from this thread, such as non-oc "bump" posts, non-argument "cybernetics is lame, lel" posts, and MAYBE even some off-topic shit. I won't harm any criticism or discussion, so don't respond to obvious b8 or else I WILL NOT delete them, and feel free to bump thread, without fear of hitting bump limit, if you see it to be low in catalog I would personally say 10+ page, but I'm not your boss. Also, feel free to stop by on IRC and tell me that I'm rulecuck for wanting to police this thread, but I believe this is much better approach than cycling thread.

Here's an auction system for the simulated queue for a thing, generalizing the Vickrey auction: If there is a constraint that no individual is allowed to get more than one unit: There are K units of the same thing, then the K highest bidders receive one unit each, paying the price of the highest non-winning bid. The constraint of one unit per person seems unnecessary and bureaucratic however.

So, suppose you can specify what you are willing to give for a second, third, etc. unit of the same things, and following the rule of thumb about diminishing marginal utility, this succession of numbers you are allowed to state has to be decreasing in a weakly monotonic way. That means you can state a willingness to pay the same or less for additional units. First, we tread all these statements like separate bids for single items. So, if there are K units, they are assigned to wherever the K highest bids come from. A person who makes three of the K highest bids will get three units. Setting the amount that is actually paid per unit equal to the highest non-winning bid would mean a risk for you to increase the amount you pay by how you formulate one of your own non-winning bids, so instead we set this in a different way: The first unit anybody gets has a price equal to the highest non-winning bid from people who got zero units. The second unit anybody gets has a price equal to the highest non-winning bid from people who got no more than one unit (this includes the people who got zero units). The third unit anybody gets has a price equal to the highest non-winning bid from people who got no more than two units, and so on.

Recall that this only sets the cost for being early enough in the simulated waiting line to get stuff, and you still pay the standard per-unit price for the item on top of that. (Though I suppose this auction system could also work in a different context, and there determining all one pays.)

so what is the difference in Cockshott's system from the piece-rate system of stalinism?,_1956–62

You want that the selling price at the store ideally just covers base production cost + store cost (storing, transport, other stuff), nothing more, nothing less. If there is some item A that sells for a bit less than BC + SC and there is some other item B that sells for more just by the same amount, these deficiencies do not make up for each other, what counts is that the size of the gap should be as small as possible, right? (If that's what you intent, I agree with that position.) How to compare a big store and a small store? Shouldn't the measure be about the absolute average difference per voucher cent err minute, spent in there?

Alas, there still seems to be a problem. When you compare encyclopedias, how do you measure quality? If the average quality of an entry is your sole measure, an "encyclopedia" with exactly one entry can look very good in that comparison. Surely, when you are looking for information about a thing a very short and superficial entry is better than no entry at all. Likewise, I am worried that using the absolute average discrepancy for a spent voucher minute as the sole indicator of the quality of a store would incentivize having a very small range of consumer products with the most reliable demand. I think it should be taken into account how bad shops do on average estimating demand for a particular item (and if your shop beats the average of that performance, you are good, even if you don't estimate its demand well compared to some other products that have very reliable demand). And there should be some customer-service rating making up part of the performance score.

did china google cockshott?

China have so enormous computing power that they can turn entire eurasia into cybernetic socialism in a week. But nope, fascist communist cyberpunk dystopia with chinese characteristics where all transactions of workers is public, but most equal party members can keep their income and work done hidden is preferable to them. Posadas was right, we should have listened.

Cheers. Also what irc?

Well a week would be a fucking miracle. I'm currently in chink land and it's a mess organisation wise. It really still is a developing nation. So much informal, small business. But all the little shitty dirty shops that do not have their own water or gas pipes do use smartphone payments, since wechat makes it piss easy. But I doubt they could turn into a socialist cybernetic country anytime soon, not that the cpc would want to do that. Please don't deport me chinese secret service I promise not to discuss politics with anyone irl.

Like everything. Did you read the book? You don't get paid by piece you make at all, you get paid by the hour, and there's no quotas with which you can earn more shit. There's also no circulation of the current y. The goal also is to reduce work, rather than industrialise a nation.

They could not be more different.

official Holla Forums one . If I'm not online, try 4 hours later.
yes, this was my point. Chinese cyberpunk overlords with forced BTC-backed payments keeping people in voluntary debtslavery is the future we choosed.

Cockshott talked about different pay levels based on productivity in TANS.

Cockshott talked about the possibility of different t productivity rates, but that's not at all based on your output measured in things, but a general intensity. Its like the old geezer or disabled person can work at their own rate without people feeling ad if they get the short end of the stick or the disabled man feeling obligated to work above his capacity.

Reply to top so I can quickly jump up and down on phone