Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Four Stages of the (D)evolution of Socialism

1. Utopian socialism (wouldn’t it be nice if we all became one big, loving family composed of entirely selfless individuals?), confronted with the incentive problem (why exert oneself in the absence of profit rewards?), turns into "scientific" socialism (The New Socialist Man will exert himself even in the absence of profit rewards).

2. "Scientific" socialism, confronted with the calculation problem (in the absence of private property in the means of production and the competitive price system, how do you rationally allocate resources?), turns into "market" socialism (socialist managers can be ordered to act as if they were market entrepreneurs).

3. "Market" socialism, confronted with its own logical inconsistency (if socialist managers become market entrepreneurs, then it is not socialism anymore, and if they do not, then they cannot solve the calculation problem), turns into social democracy (let the market produce and distribute goods, but the state will redistribute them).

4. Social democracy, confronted with the logic of interventionism (interventionism, by encroaching on voluntary social interactions, necessarily backfires, thus necessitating its total abandonment in favor of laissez-faire or its intensification that ultimately leads back to cruder forms of socialism), turns into BS/"postmodern" socialism (why should we care about all those supposedly logical arguments and allow them to get in the way of our struggle for "social justice"? What good is logic anyway? It's just a totalizing metanarrative like any other!). And it goes on happily ever after. Or does it?

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