Markets vs planning

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Schoolchildren in the US are commonly taught to conceive of the broad variety of political-economic systems, both those extant and those possible, as divisible into two essential and opposing categories: “markets” and “planning.”

Markets in the Next System

“Markets,” in this formulation, offer opportunities for commerce which make people free, while “planning” oppresses people through inefficient resource rationing.

Markets in the Next System

It is taken for granted that “markets” and “capitalism” are synonymous; likewise “planning” and “socialism.” The problems with this formulation are legion, but particularly egregious is its utter ahistoricity: inconveniently for the schoolteachers formulation, markets predate capitalism by thousands of years.

Markets in the Next System

See also socialist calculation debate.

I would (surprise surprise) prefer something that has a little bit of each - e.g. P2P accounting.

1. Elsewhere

1.1. In my garden

1.2. In the Agora

1.3. Mentions

This page last updated: 2022-06-04 Sat 15:51. Map. Recent changes. Source. Peer Production License.