File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/97-01-21.060, message 40


Subject: Re: RE: M-I: planning please
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 15:34:18 -0500 ()


     Sorry, Adam, but this is just all wet, especially when 
it comes to planning capital investment.  You don't think 
that capitalist planners look at the prices of their inputs 
and outputs when they are planning investment and output 
decisions?  They most certainly do.  Where do you think 
that they get the expected rate of return estimates that 
they come up with for such decisions.  It is certainly not 
on the basis of "funny internal prices."  It may be vulgar 
commodity fetishism, but it is what they do.
Barkley Rosser
On Mon, 20 Jan 1997 14:39:41 -0000 Adam Rose 
<Adam-AT-pmel.com> wrote:


> 
> I have one comment on the planning debate.
> 
> The market socialists assert that planning without prices is 
> impossible.
> This assertion contradicts what actually happens now, under capitalism.
> 
> While the purpose of most ( but not all ) capitalist planning is the 
> realisation
> of exchange value in the market place, most planning within state or 
> company bureuacracies is not done on the basis of market price. It is
> done either in terms of real human beings and real machinery, or on 
> a sort of funny land internal "price" which actually is nothing more 
> than
> a sort of internal counting mechanism for the actual underlying living 
> and
> dead labour. This planning is done by workers today already, although 
> the
> decisions between different plans are done by capitalists in 
> competition
> with one another. Some worker somewhere in Ford's corporate structure
> did the calculation which came to the conclusion that for a given 
> number of
> cars and a certain increase in automation, only two factories would be 
> necessary to produce the next model of the Escort where three were
> necessary for the last one. This is already under today's capitalism a
> basically technical calculation, not one done on the basis of price, 
> but
> on the basis of real humans and real machines.
> 
> What creates and maintains capitalist anarchy alongside capitalist 
> planning is the competition between capitalists. This happens in the
> market place between corporations and between states militarily
> and strategically. Each car company is quite capable of roughly
> planning the quantity and quality of living and dead labour required
> to increase its production by 10%. The problem isn't that they are
> incapable of performing the calculation accurately enough, it's that 
> they can't ALL expand production by 10%, or if they do all increase
> production to this extent, the money they get for the results of their 
> correct resource planning is less than they planned for.
> 
> This anarchy reproduces itself down the different layers of state and
> corporate beauracracies, since the anarchic context within which
> capitalist planning takes place creates sudden panics and slack 
> periods.
> Each layer of bureuacracy can only defend itself by hoarding resource
> and systematic over exaggeration of the resources required to fulfill
> its responsibility. This hoarding is done in competition with the layer
> above, the layer below, and other members of the same layer, in the
> bureaucracy, corporate or state.
> 
> In summary : capitalists already get workers to plan resources on a
> large scale. We already have the techniques and social organisation
> necessary to carry out planning unmediated by price. Workers are quite
> used to using these methods already . What prevents this planning from
> actually working is the anarchic environment within which capitalists 
> plan -
> the central component of which is the market mechanism.
> 
> 
> Adam.
> 
> Adam Rose
> SWP
> Manchester
> Britain.
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> ----------
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> 
>      --- from list marxism-international-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu ---

-- 
Rosser Jr, John Barkley
rosserjb-AT-jmu.edu




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