Markets, Socialism, and Information: A Reformulation of a Marxian Objection to the Market

Social Philosophy and Policy 6 (02):200- (1989)
Abstract
One of the paradoxes of recent political and economic theory is that, in spite of a period of extended economic difficulty, there has been a growing consensus concerning the virtues of the market economy. In particular, there has been a trend in socialist theory to argue that not only are socialism and the market not incompatible, but that some version of market socialism is the only feasible, practicable, and ethically and politically desirable form of socialism. Notable proponents of this view with whom this paper will be particularly concerned are Selucky, Nove and Hodgson. I will not, in this paper, address the question of whether the market and socialism are necessarily incompatible. Neither will I examine the whole gamut of political and ethical issues surrounding the relation of the market to democracy, freedom, individual rights, and so on – not because they are unimportant, but because they require more extended attention than I could give here. My concern will rather be with some of the economic arguments to which defenders of market socialism have appealed
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