Centralization doesn't wo-

*blocks your path*

Seriously though, how do market "socialists" and capitalists explain the astronomic rise of Amazon and similar tech giants without resorting to fallacious thinking?

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porky says it's because it's a business that knew the right way to advertise and market their unique brand
I say it's because porky got greedy and the sheep just want the latest goods as fast as they can get it.

Someone make an "amazon is actually existing cybernetic socialism made by cockshott gang" pic.

I'm pretty sure that's what every Leigh Phillips book is, pic very much related

politburos will never be as effective as Amazon though
multinational corporations (which are essentially sentient capital) are ruthlessly effective at optimizing logistics and distribution

Socialists have been making this point for literal centuries.

It has, so far, not penetrated the notably thick skull of your average bourgeois economist.

That's why socialism won't get rid of Amazon, it'll be a worker's takeover of Amazon, so quick the site won't even be down.

I'm not convinced Amazon level efficiency is needed but militaries are perfectly capable of transporting goods to the front line through far harsher conditions than amazon goods typically travel through. Last mile delivery can be managed by local post like it is now.

Explain yourself.

just fuck my efficiency up desu
I'd rather have a politburo

Supply chain problems and shortages are endemic to planned economies.
A politburo cannot replicate the decentralized economic calculation of tens of thousands of competing firms.


the politburo can calculate everything now with all the stuff outlined by Cockshott, all the ML governments thus far have failed to have done so.

i'll believe it when I see it

Amazon is a politburo.

Amazon predicts what people will buy and ships it to closer warehouses. It's already doing the calculation.

1. Amazon is only a single (albeit very large) corporation, it does not handle the logistics of an entire country's economy, which is what politburos seek to do.
2. Corporations have spooky emergent qualities, almost like an ant colony. Like I said earlier, they are basically sentient capital and able to perceive and pursue their own self interest (accumulation of additional capital), which incidentally creates incredibly efficient supply networks. I don't think a Politburo can replicate that.

It's good to hear that liberal larpers like (you) can't into gimp.

I'm not saying read cockshott. Read, or at least watch, Žižek, please.

Amazon isnt a decentralized economy. Its centralized.

Amazon does logistics larger than most countries on the face of this planet.

lol k



I'm not a market socialist, but their big point when it comes to corporations is that they are heavily subsidized by the state. For Amazon for example, there were plenty of states in the US that were willing to not charge Amazon any income tax for their new headquarters, a great luxury no regular business would ever get to have. This privilege and perpetual corporate welfare is why they continue to exist and take over at astronomic rates.

I'm not saying planned economies don't work, i'm saying that historically they have been bad at producing/distributing consumer goods
it sounds like you skipped mises/hayek and went straight to cockshott. The economic calculation problem is fairly significant, I don't think you are giving it enough respect.
i've been found out
i've watched a bit of zizek already, and will read some soon.

It litterally isnt. You can litterally simulate a market more efficiently and quicker than having a free market with human dicisions. Its just a meme about "eh is just tooo complicated guys a computer can never be fast enough to do it but humans using excl sheets and fucking each other over and barely knowing any information are way more efficient and will totally tend towards the perfect distribution".

The internet isn't real life

Then how did you lose?

lose? Elaborate

A lot of the efficiency of Amazon has nothing to do with high-tech this or computer that, but it's a simple effect of scale. There is a chapter in Capital dealing with the efficiency gains from cooperation (marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch13.htm). It's mostly the summarized wisdom of what other thinkers have said about it and you don't need the context of the rest of the book to understand it. Adam Smith already talked about it: When you split up a task into several tasks that are done one after another by different people, the training time per person goes down, and you save the time spend on switching positions/tools in your hands/etc that a single person switching between the tasks has.

Consider a smaller retail business. One and the same person may unload the packages delivered by a truck (each package containing multiple units of one or a few distinct items), open and check the packages, and put the contents in some storage room. At Amazon, these mini-task are done by different people, to put a package on the conveyor belt, cut them open with a box cutter, scan the bar codes, and so on. So, you don't have to drop and pick up different tools all the time just for handling one package. Also, people wear different gloves. Those unloading wear gloves that enhance your grip and those cutting boxes open wear gloves (mildly) protective against cutting yourself. Some people wear boots with great protection against heavy things falling on your foot, but these boots themselves are heavy, so only people in sections where this is a considerable risk have to wear them. How this would work out at a Mini-Amazon? People would either have to switch gloves and boots more often (losing time) or wear less optimal gear (again, losing time). And it's likewise with the computer programs you use at work, it's not some evil new dimension of exploitation, but another instance of the general principle. A single person having several programs open and switching between them all the time to do different tasks takes longer to do them and likely makes more mistakes.

There are many other positive effects of scale. Some heavy objects, when moved by two people, can be moved faster than twice the speed a single person moving it would achieve. Machinery and tools age mostly through usage, but they also age a bit just with the passage of time, so it's cheaper when a tool is constantly in use, which is not something that happens that much in a small business. Or just consider the work it takes to create the walls and roof of a rectangular storage facility, and how this doesn't quite double when you double the length. (All these effects and more were pointed out by Marx and others before him.) It is fundamentally mistaken to view the high profits of companies like Amazon and Walmart simply as a result of leverage, the big player bullying the small ones. Breaking up these companies would destroy efficiency. However, it is true that they use their leverage that way. The solution is nationalizing.

Amazon is a planned economy. It is the exception that companies use market-like procedures internally.

No. It's not at all like that. Bee/ant metaphors only work with distinct agents that follow non-synchronized simple goals that somehow add up to an order, as if there were a higher intelligence and some central database, without that central brain and database actually existing. You may try this model for small biz units interacting with each other. But at Amazon, there literally is a central database telling you what to do, and what you do is not based on following a simple program inside of you reacting to others using only local knowledge, it is very much a top-down structure.

It seems perfectly possible that an Amazon-style system could be used to create a planned consumer economy. The problem is that such a system requires the exploitation of human labor and the elimination of workers' agency in order to maintain tight, efficient supply chains. There is no way to liberate workers from such a system of hierarchical control and toil unless you remove human labor from the system entirely.

.t no proof or explanation as to why

Splitting work between people who can focus on repetitively doing the same part isn't something exclusive to centralized big corps though. I've frequently seen this arise organically among groups of people doing such things as checking exams etc. I think splitting up molochs wouldn't hurt if cooperation was still somehow preserved between the parts.

Point is, this doesn't end at any scale reached.

It's bigger in money terms than plenty countries. If a corporation with an economic size of a small country can be centrally planned, so can a national economy.

Which doesn't mean that any future model of socialism will be bad. Authors like Cockshott and co. have dedicated their lives precisely to model a new conception of socialism that learns from the mistakes of past attempts. Pic related since I'm fucking tired of this Holla Forums-tier meme.

The efficiency of Amazon can't be owed entirely to it's economy of scale though - what about ?

I mean, just read the descriptions of Amazon in this very thread. It's Taylorism-on-steroids plus global economies of scale, with employees' actions, equipment and movements standardized and precisely regimented. Read the stories of peoples' working conditions in Amazon warehouses right now. The whole point of the system is making human labor as efficient as possible, right? So if the workers strike for whatever reason, or slow down the pace so they aren't constantly getting injured or suffering heatstroke or dropping from exhaustion, the system breaks down and the supply chain backs up because there's no slack left. An Amazon-style planned economy ultimately requires coercion and hierarchy to function and keep labor compliant and productive, if it is to maintain any kind of productive advantage of some kind of decentralized system of small-scale production.

The only reason it is so brutal is because it still has to at least attempt to produce profits. Under socialism you could easily solve most of the issues by simply shortening the workday and employing more people.

Amazon's ability to make accurate predictions depends on their large scale. The larger they get the more data they have to train their predictive models. It's a dialectical relation.

Atomic take.
Market socialists are actually worse than liberals and capitalists.

Amazon did what Sears did but better. Amazon is to 2018 what Sears was to 1918. See the Willis Tower? It used to be the Sears Tower, and it was once the tallest building in the world, a massive shining monument to Sears's total dominance over capitalism, and capitalism's triumph over Communism. Within twenty years of it's construction Sears had sold it, and within thirty years Sears found itself having to merge with Kmart just to survive against the juggernaut that was Walmart. Now Sears probably won't last another two years, since they are bleeding money so quickly.

That said, all these businesses are not inherently centralized. Amazon, Walmart, Sears and every capitalist enterprise relies upon a huge distribution network, formed by a decentralized road, rail, air and sea network which allows capitalists to plop down distribution centers wherever they want, without fear of having to buy property near the central node. Just look at Amtrak or the Interstate Highway System - no central node. It's the veins of commerce.

The difference between Amazon and a central planning board is that people won't make "Bezos killed the most Amazons" memes for 50 years if Amazon fucks the dog. It is remotely possible that a supermarket chain could kill people, but nobody's life depends on Amazon (yet).

Amazon's employees do

Amazon does have a "central node" though. Not sure where you are going with this. Their "network" is just a bunch of distribution centers. Their actual company is fairly centralized. It's very similiar to how a central planning system would work.

Amazon's web services which makes them far more money than their retail branch is also very centralized.