Thread: Transitional Mixed Economics

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  1. #1
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    Default Transitional Mixed Economics

    Hello all,

    I encountered some articles that concern the economics of transition from capitalism to socialism. As far as I can tell they are very interesting, and complementary takes on the economics of transition that combine mutualist tactics, with state socialist tactics. It reminds me of AI engineering. Specifically the combination of top down(algorithms), and bottom up (neural networks) engineering. The bottom up structures self organizes into efficient data processors, while the top down structure organizes, and coordinates the data points. The author also seems to come from a background in Bourgeois economics. I'm not allowed to post direct links to the articles, but you should be able to find them if you google "On Transitional Mixed Economics," and "On the Anti-Capitalist Potentials of Cooperative Models," each self published on Medium. I would be interested in hearing other perspectives on these articles.
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    So where the political leverage doesn’t exist for outright expropriation, a program of pressuring the points of leverage must be crafted.

    I find these kinds of proposals to be useful in that they at least *explore* the mechanics / logistics of how to make a material-economic transition to full workers power. This kind of topic is sorely not-covered, and so much of revolutionary theory remains *vague* on the specifics of what initial steps to take, and what material objectives to aim-for.

    On the downside, this kind of treatment sounds like an economic-sided *reformism*, since it doesn't emphasize the political *organizing* of the working class, *for* outright expropriation, favoring baby-steps *instead* -- a path which requires mass political support anyway for its unconventional conscious manipulation of existing market-type dynamics. I don't see any shortcuts or efficiencies here over conventional workers-power organizing for the outright, direct mass seizing of infrastructure.



    With finance, and most primary goods industries now in the public sector, transitional mixed economic techniques can be applied in earnest. Full employment, through state sponsored public works, and R & D, would alleviate many social problems, while driving up the value of labor, and cause the expansion of the public sector. As part of a program of full employment, and building of the cooperative sector, low interests rates, grants, state contracts, and primary goods valued at use value (as in excluding a profit margin), could be offered to workers cooperatives, and co-op associations which meet the requirements (See, On the Anti-capitalist Potentials of Cooperative Models). The program of public works, and cooperative state contracts must not be crafted arbitrarily, but with an eye for the infrastructural, and technological needs of the future. Primarily investment in a distributed solar energy grid. An electrical transportation grid.

    Politically this all sounds like classical liberalism / reformism.


    ---


    I have issues / questions with the following:



    As production costs inevitably increase, and the rate of profit begins to fall, worker/owners will have to devalue their own labor to remain solvent. When the market cycle reaches a crisis of overproduction, which constitutes extremely high production costs, no profit/solvency, and consequently the need to liquidate assets, or deflate as is the common terminology, worker/owners will have to liquidate their assets, or constant capital, and reduce their productive output. Which means they will have to reduce, and share labor hours. These forces, can destabilize co-ops, and subvert their mode of operation. Thus the need to develop production which exists outside these market pressures.

    My understanding is that in a crisis of overproduction the costs of production have *decreased*, across-the-board, which is why so many competitors have invested (constant capital) into their businesses in that field, because the barrier to entry is so low, though the playing field gets more and more crowded / competitive as a result, with lower overall returns.

    Prices fall, indicating oversupply, but the impetus would then be to *internalize valuations* -- not to *liquidate* assets -- to combat the slipping of exchange value, as with stock buybacks, as we've been seeing recently.



    For the purposes of this analysis I will derive a placeholder formula for use value production. Let’s say that the use value of labor should be based on labor time, or Lh, multiplied by the productivity of that labor time, or P.

    Use value of Labor = Lh * P

    Use value of material/products = Lh * ((S * E) A)

    This second formula doesn't make sense to me -- I think it *should* be: Use value = Lh * (A * S) / E, because material scarcity ('S') will artificially *boost* use-value, but environmental concerns ('E') would continue to be an *externality* to the process, undermining overall use-value the more it's socially-valued itself.
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    From the reading of the first paper, which seems to be tackling the crisis of overproduction from a bourgeois economic perspective, the reason why prices for primary inputs go up is because demand for those inputs grow proportionally to the growth of the market in general, whereas the demand for the secondary commodities does not usually grow at the rate of the growth of the market. On the contrary the demand for the secondary commodity will tend to go down with increased production, and competition causing a downward price pressure. So when the value of the primary inputs goes up, and the market value of the secondary commodity goes down that creates a downward pressure on the remaining variable which is labor. According to the paper the methods for lowering the cost of the labor input depends on how developed the industry in question is. At in early stage of development it would consist of increasing productivity which implies increasing fixed capital, then in later stages of development labor hours are increased at the same renumeration rate. At maximum saturation the industry will tend to deflate, or deactivate/liquidate the productive forces. I forget which Marxist thinker it was that claimed that late stage capitalism was charcterized by the destructionn of productive forces. This isn't necessarily an orthodox Marxist view, but it explains the same phenomena with a slightly different mechanism.

    As to the use value formula I think the intent was to compound scarcity with an ecological factor in order to increase the cost of using environmentally unsound materials, and processes. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a better way to express the ecological factor mathematically. It is something that needs to be expiremented with I think.

    The papers in general remind me of NEP economics, which obviously has a spectrum from Bukarin to Preobrazhenski. Which makes it in part a program of radical, or transitional reforms. Or what Preobrazhenski said, primitive socialist accumulation. Which I think is necessary in a day and age where the level of organization of the working classes is fairly low.

    I hope I was able to answer your questions
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    [T]he economics of transition [...] combine mutualist tactics, with state socialist tactics.

    After some extensive digging I've finally found a matrix-based, centralized approach that I came across awhile ago:


    The Leontief Input-Output Model

    http://barnyard.syr.edu/mat183/l32/


    So it's *historical*, but I have my own approach that isn't constrained to local locality-type geographic units, doesn't depend on 'representative' political personages, and allows for a truly bottom-up process of self-selected, self-determining post-capitalist liberated-labor voluntarism that even takes into account the relative hazard / difficulty / distastefulness of each socially-necessary work role by using a *multiplier* for such, onto the actual labor hours completed for each specific work role -- liberated-labor hours, times the multiplier, equals the number of *labor credits* that the work role is worth (budgeted-for), while *no* commodity production takes place, since all quantities produced go to pre-planned recipients, based on self-reported, daily ranked lists of demands (#1 through infinity). These ranked inputs of preference can be *collated* at whatever scale / level specified, from a locality, region, continent, or at the *global* level.


    labor credits framework for 'communist supply & demand'






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    It reminds me of AI engineering. Specifically the combination of top down(algorithms), and bottom up (neural networks) engineering.

    What kind of algorithm(s) do you think might conceivably be used here? Perhaps the input-output matrix described at the link above?

    And how could neural networks conceivably be implemented? How could they -- dependent on abstract, albeit real-world, modelling -- be superior to actual, explicit, per-person consumer-type (and/or socio-political) demands / orders / requests / slot donations, as described in my labor credits framework?



    consumption [demand] -- Every person in a locality has a standard, one-through-infinity ranking system of political demands available to them, updated daily

    consumption [demand] -- Basic human needs will be assigned a higher political priority by individuals and will emerge as mass demands at the cumulative scale -- desires will benefit from political organizing efforts and coordination

    consumption [demand] -- All economic needs and desires are formally recorded as pre-planned consumer orders and are politically prioritized [demand]

    consumption [demand] -- A regular, routine system of mass individual political demand pooling -- as with spreadsheet templates and email -- must be in continuous operation so as to aggregate cumulative demands into the political process

    ---


    ( Again: )



    It reminds me of AI engineering. Specifically the combination of top down(algorithms), and bottom up (neural networks) engineering.

    I've previously described the structure of this situation:



    [T]he layout of *work roles* would be the 'bottom' of 'top-down' (though collectivized) social planning, and would be the 'top' of 'bottom-up' processes like individual self-determination.

    ---



    The bottom up structures self organizes into efficient data processors, while the top down structure organizes, and coordinates the data points.

    I'd welcome any elaboration here -- why do we need 'efficient data processors' at the bottom-up scale, and what would they potentially do, exactly? And how exactly would 'coordinating the data points' be done over a broad geographical expanse (centralization), and what criteria would be used for such 'coordination', especially regarding socially-needed work roles, and how would specific personnel for those work roles be decisively selected?



    From the reading of the first paper, which seems to be tackling the crisis of overproduction from a bourgeois economic perspective, the reason why prices for primary inputs go up is because demand for those inputs grow proportionally to the growth of the market in general, whereas the demand for the secondary commodities does not usually grow at the rate of the growth of the market. On the contrary the demand for the secondary commodity will tend to go down with increased production, and competition causing a downward price pressure. So when the value of the primary inputs goes up, and the market value of the secondary commodity goes down that creates a downward pressure on the remaining variable which is labor. According to the paper the methods for lowering the cost of the labor input depends on how developed the industry in question is. At in early stage of development it would consist of increasing productivity which implies increasing fixed capital, then in later stages of development labor hours are increased at the same renumeration rate. At maximum saturation the industry will tend to deflate, or deactivate/liquidate the productive forces. I forget which Marxist thinker it was that claimed that late stage capitalism was charcterized by the destructionn of productive forces. This isn't necessarily an orthodox Marxist view, but it explains the same phenomena with a slightly different mechanism.

    Okay, thanks for the explanation -- that makes sense. I did a search on those two terms together and maybe it's:


    Henryk Grossman - Law of the Accumulation and Breakdown. 1929

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/gro...kdown/ch01.htm


    https://www.google.com/search?q=%22l...hrome&ie=UTF-8


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    As to the use value formula I think the intent was to compound scarcity with an ecological factor in order to increase the cost of using environmentally unsound materials, and processes. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a better way to express the ecological factor mathematically.

    Well, exactly -- your outlining of the ecological factor is *congruent* with what I already stated, and I provided a *revised* formula that shows industrial productivity to be *counterposed* to the incorporation of environmentally sensitive practices. In other words the more time and effort spent on keeping the environment undamaged, the worse-off the material productivity will be, and vice-versa.



    It is something that needs to be expiremented with I think.

    The papers in general remind me of NEP economics, which obviously has a spectrum from Bukarin to Preobrazhenski. Which makes it in part a program of radical, or transitional reforms. Or what Preobrazhenski said, primitive socialist accumulation. Which I think is necessary in a day and age where the level of organization of the working classes is fairly low.

    I hope I was able to answer your questions

    Yeah, thanks for the follow-up.
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    What I meant by the AI engineering metaphor, and the reference to combining mutualist, and state socialist strategies, is that in early transitional mixed economy, socialism will have to rely on, and kinda of subvert some of the strengths of the market including spontaneous organization, and dispersed economic calculation. Part of that is waking the class consciousness of worker-owners to the realization that combining into broad associations in order to use price, and financial mechanisms to insulate them from market forces is necessary. Mechanisms including production, and coordinated distribution for need. If worker cooperatives started to spontaneously organize on the market, and to form broad associations, and began to experiment with these mechanisms, that would relieve the burden to some degree on the state sector for making calculations of demand, or need, especially for service industries, and new fledgling industries. So early to mid level development of socialism could involve the coordination of cooperative associations by the planned distribution of primary goods, and financial resources by the public sector. These resources distributed in context of priorities established hopefully democratically by the whole socio-economic structure. So in essence the co-op associations are like the neurons, which self organize, and process economic data to establish needs, and demands, production outputs, and projections. Whereas the state coordinates these associations through an allocation algorithm, by which primary goods, and finances are allocated, and in such a way as to comply with the priorities established collectively.

    I think that this method of utilizing dispersed calculation in a transitional mixed economy will only need to exist as long as the technology associated with the information economy, and the internet of things, that being the availability, and massive proliferation of tiny computer processing sensors, that interconnect all the means of production, as well as the products, and producers themselves, are developed fully. Once this cybernetic planning structure is enabled, and even automated, then I think post capitalism, or post scarcity anarchism can actually be developed.

    I do think a system of labor credits will probably be necessary in the socialized sectors of the economy where production, and distribution for need occurs, at least for some time. Your matrix seems likely, although I think it would be good to experiment with different potential models.

    Also I don't know if this answers some aspect of your question but I think socially needed work roles, or even public sector work roles themselves could potentially be filled through a system of Corvee labor. So that everyone owes like a month out of the year to the public sector. So that everyone in the society works in two, or potentially three sectors throughout the year. That is just an idea, but one that could solve the pressure of lack of workers control in the public sector.

    Do you think it would be beneficial to organize a collective of Marxian Economist to carry out the economic modeling of different socialist models?
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    What I meant by the AI engineering metaphor, and the reference to combining mutualist, and state socialist strategies, is that in early transitional mixed economy, socialism will have to rely on, and kinda of subvert some of the strengths of the market including spontaneous organization, and dispersed economic calculation. Part of that is waking the class consciousness of worker-owners to the realization that combining into broad associations in order to use price, and financial mechanisms to insulate them from market forces is necessary. Mechanisms including production, and coordinated distribution for need.

    Okay -- thanks for the elaboration.

    I'm unsure how your 'broad associations of worker-owners' would 'use price and financial mechanisms' for 'production and coordinated distribution for need'.

    I have to let you know that I'm *very* skeptical of *any* exchange-value / currency vehicle, even in the early stages, and/or as a transitional instrument -- currency should be abandoned as quickly as is politically and logistically possible, in favor of socially-valuing the hours and skill levels of *liberated labor*, as my 'labor credits' formulation does.

    Here's from another current thread on this topic:



    First, a distinction: My proposed 'global syndicalist currency' and my proposed 'labor credits' are two *different* material-economic vehicles, and they would function differently and separately.

    The *point* of these formulations is to address the empirical need to join [1] local bottom-up, and [2] broader-geographic top-down modes of revolutionary organization. 'Syndicalism' implies 'local workplace workers' collectivist self-organizing', and so such a first-step would be bottom-up revolutionary workers reorganization of productive efforts, away from commodity production, and into the international population of revolutionary workers' communities. Whatever production could be done by such revolutionary workers, beyond its own self-reproduction going-forward, would be the 'surplus labor value', enjoyed internally, and put-into a 'global syndicalist currency', with all recordkeeping being fully transparent internally, among such like-minded revolutionary workers

    The point of the 'global syndicalist currency' is to provide an accurate system of *internal accounting* and cross-commonality of liberated labor value for all active revolutionary workers, worldwide.

    The 'socialism' phase in the diagram indicates a *material-economic* shift to the use of (circulating) *labor credits* -- which is a different vehicle from the prior 'global syndicalist currency' (that was for the initial *revolutionary* transition away from private ownership of the means of mass production, and commodity production).

    There's a little bit of a discrepancy in the text there -- the whole diagram is an older formulation of mine, back from 2009, and the 'labor credits' *don't* actually measure surplus labor value (internally) in any way. What their use would signify is a fully-internal control of all productive machinery by the world's working class, since there would no longer be any objective need to compete with private production, which would have been fully *displaced* by that point.

    See here for a detailed description of the labor credits framework.

    [7] Syndicalism-Socialism-Communism Transition Diagram






    labor credits framework for 'communist supply & demand'






    ---



    If worker cooperatives started to spontaneously organize on the market, and to form broad associations, and began to experiment with these mechanisms, that would relieve the burden to some degree on the state sector for making calculations of demand, or need,

    I'll assert and maintain that the workers state *shouldn't* attempt 'calculations of demand or need', because, at *best*, such would be *estimations*. Why limit ourselves to *estimations* when the social-information system could use *explicit* empirical information, as from self-created demands lists from any or all individuals, collated over a geographic area by rank position (#1, #2, #3, etc.) -- ?

    I already covered this aspect (at post #4) of a social information system with *real* bottom-up qualitative inputs of 'demand':



    How could [neural networks] -- dependent on abstract, albeit real-world, modelling -- be superior to actual, explicit, per-person consumer-type (and/or socio-political) demands / orders / requests / slot donations, as described in my labor credits framework?


    consumption [demand] -- Every person in a locality has a standard, one-through-infinity ranking system of political demands available to them, updated daily

    consumption [demand] -- Basic human needs will be assigned a higher political priority by individuals and will emerge as mass demands at the cumulative scale -- desires will benefit from political organizing efforts and coordination

    consumption [demand] -- All economic needs and desires are formally recorded as pre-planned consumer orders and are politically prioritized [demand]

    consumption [demand] -- A regular, routine system of mass individual political demand pooling -- as with spreadsheet templates and email -- must be in continuous operation so as to aggregate cumulative demands into the political process

    tinyurl.com/labor-credits-faq

    ---



    especially for service industries, and new fledgling industries. So early to mid level development of socialism could involve the coordination of cooperative associations by the planned distribution of primary goods, and financial resources by the public sector. These resources distributed in context of priorities established hopefully democratically by the whole socio-economic structure.

    I happen to *agree* with this approach, in that the nascent workers state should *start small* ('planned distribution of primary goods'), and build outwards and upwards, to make supply-chain linkages, for increasingly complex and sophisticated products.

    I *don't* favor use of 'financial resources', though, if at all possible, because that's inherently a *capitulation* to the mechanics of capitalism. My 'global syndicalist currency' model, described above, is meant to address this aspect.

    (And the 'daily individual demands lists' from the labor credits framework -- excerpted above -- can itself be used to provide explicit real-world aggregated empirical data from all participating individuals, for cumulative, emergent prioritization over the whole.)



    So in essence the co-op associations are like the neurons, which self organize, and process economic data to establish needs, and demands, production outputs, and projections.

    Your 'co-op associations', over explicit, bounded geographical areas, equates to my populist-collective-demand-oriented 'locality' entity. 'Needs', 'demands', and 'production outputs' are all covered by my 'daily individual demands lists' since, for example, people may be giving 'milk' or 'steel' or 'beer' relatively high rankings (top-ten or whatever) over an extended period of iterations (days).

    'Projections' wouldn't be *as-needed* if all information about need was provided explicitly by those actually formally demanding it, as through the use of 'daily individual demands lists'. Projections *could* be ongoing scenario-mapping ('planning') by productive entities, such as what other factories to associate with and include in supply-chains, etc.

    I'd like to note that this approach of mine *gets away* from conventional personage-relationship-linkages, in favor of focusing on *per-item*, *per-policy* activation for social production, which is what the whole political-economy issue is supposed to be about, anyway.



    Whereas the state coordinates these associations through an allocation algorithm, by which primary goods, and finances are allocated, and in such a way as to comply with the priorities established collectively.

    I look to *de-specialize* this objectively-needed centralized process that you're describing -- I also think that we shouldn't be striving to make this process so 'hands-off', as with the carry-over use of the market mechanism or even with an unbiased technocratic-type algorithm.

    And, if we don't let ourselves be dependent on any finance-enabling currency vehicle, then there won't be any possibility of getting *bogged-down* by such, or in having to manually, methodically *scrutinize* every transaction (too 'hands-on'), to provide an administrative (political) judgment / value-quantified result over the same.


    Pies Must Line Up






    ---



    I think that this method of utilizing dispersed calculation in a transitional mixed economy will only need to exist as long as the technology associated with the information economy, and the internet of things, that being the availability, and massive proliferation of tiny computer processing sensors, that interconnect all the means of production, as well as the products, and producers themselves, are developed fully. Once this cybernetic planning structure is enabled, and even automated, then I think post capitalism, or post scarcity anarchism can actually be developed.

    Certainly. I'm *all for* the inclusion of a Big Data approach, since we're now living in an era where such means are available to us. I conceive of this approach as being most applicable to scenario-planning, as in how factories should be linked-up to produce most efficiently for a combined area of relatively predictable demand.



    I do think a system of labor credits will probably be necessary in the socialized sectors of the economy where production, and distribution for need occurs, at least for some time. Your matrix seems likely, although I think it would be good to experiment with different potential models.

    (I'll just briefly note that the 'labor credits' *do* circulate, but they only apply to performed *labor hours*, times a multiplier for hazard / difficulty / distastefulness. The multipliers for all work roles could be on a scale of 1 through 10+, compiled from exit surveys for each particular work role -- ultimately the multipliers would *float* for each specific instance of usage, to balance-out unmet popular demand, with available-and-willing supplies of liberated-labor, for non-commodity / free-access / direct-distribution social production.)



    Also I don't know if this answers some aspect of your question but I think socially needed work roles, or even public sector work roles themselves could potentially be filled through a system of Corvee labor. So that everyone owes like a month out of the year to the public sector. So that everyone in the society works in two, or potentially three sectors throughout the year. That is just an idea, but one that could solve the pressure of lack of workers control in the public sector.

    Everyone 'owes' some portion of their time to the public sector -- ??

    This is politically *arbitrary*, no matter what the actual duration of time might be formalized as being.

    Please consider that *everything* in a post-capitalist political economy would be the 'public sector', because all private property relations would have been annihilated.

    However, if you're talking about the initial revolutionary period itself, during upheaval, there could easily be a case for this use of a formal workers state, per the dictatorship-of-the-proletariat, to *infringe* and *impose-on* the individual, for the sake of decisively collectively *overthrowing* capitalist (bourgeois) rule with a *successful* proletarian revolution, worldwide.

    But, post-capitalism, the principle of *self-determination* would mean that no one could be coerced for their (liberated) labor, since that would definitely be anti-communistic in nature.



    Do you think it would be beneficial to organize a collective of Marxian Economist to carry out the economic modeling of different socialist models?

    Again, I think we can do better than abstract modelled 'estimations' if we simply use a system that aggregates demands over a local area ('locality') (or greater), per rank position (#1, #2, #3, etc.), per individual, per day.
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    Referencing the second paper "On the Anti-Capitalist Potentials of Cooperative Model," it essentially says that where there are worker-owners producing on the market there is the potential that they begin to form associations that coordinate in various ways, such as price fixing, forming financial structures such as credit unions for financial benefit, and developing preferential exchange rates, and I would add forming purchasing cooperatives. And where this coordination starts to develop the potential for production for need, and coordinated distribution begins to exist. This potential isn't exploited inevitably, but as a result of the level of class consciousness of worker-owners. The amount of production for need is proportional to the size of the association, which implies that use value, and exchange value coexist as the associations grow, and eventually link up with the public sector, and each other. Now you have to imagine these associations of worker cooperatives to be, in an economic sense, worker states in a microcosm. As such the same potentials exist as they grow, and develop. Also it's worth mentioning that the worker cooperative movement across the globe is flourishing, and has in reality formed broad associations. It seems like a lost opportunity for Marxian economist to ignore their potential for primitive socialist accumulation, and not develop strategies for them to begin to utilize a growing proportion of use value production.

    As for the use of currency, I think a parallel system of labor credits could, and probably will come into being in parallel with normal market currencies. Use value production, and any medium of distribution it uses, will have to organically overcome exchange value production, and its medium of exchange. So the fastest way to my mind to eliminate market currency is by the swift development of a public, and cooperative sectors which can develop use value production, and a system of labor credits. If you want what I consider a crucial read that concerns most of these topics, read "From NEP to Socialism," by Evgeni Preobrazhenski. Even though the technological reality has changed since then. Blockchain could make it easier to create a system of labor credits.

    The social information system your talking about to determine need, or demand will also have to be developed organically I think. And I could see them being pioneered, and even differentiated by cooperative associations. I don't see anyone developing a system in the abstract, and finding an way to implement it on a large scale in its pure form. Although hypothetical systems are the starting point for at least conceptualizing these systems of information organization. I see small experiments ironing out how develop these information systems.

    In reference to the public sector not using financial strategies, I think that would be potentially ignoring a powerful mechanisms for incentivizing collectivisation. Once again I would refer you to the aforementioned work by Preobrazhenski. In context of class struggle, ignoring an incentive mechanism could hamper the development of a socialized sector.

    About a system of Corvee labor, I was speaking in context of the public sector in a pre post capitalist form. But even still, in post scarcity anarchism there still may be necessary jobs that are unpopular, and the community may see fit to implement corvee labor to fill those jobs. Post scarcity anarchism, or post capitalism doesn't imply to me a negation of responsibility of citizenship.

    Also I meant the computer simulation of different socialist models could be insightful, but I have yet encountered someone who agrees.
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    Referencing the second paper "On the Anti-Capitalist Potentials of Cooperative Model," it essentially says that where there are worker-owners producing on the market there is the potential that they begin to form associations that coordinate in various ways, such as price fixing, forming financial structures such as credit unions for financial benefit, and developing preferential exchange rates, and I would add forming purchasing cooperatives. And where this coordination starts to develop the potential for production for need, and coordinated distribution begins to exist.

    Doesn't this strike you as being *too similar* to capitalist market dynamics, though -- ? You're describing the equivalent of worker-owned businesses of today, while the larger *political* norms of revolution have to take a backseat to this exchange-value-based *economic* landscape, resulting in a *patchwork* of adjacent communes (communalism). In other words there's no political *ethos* in common to strengthen a sense of common cause, as there is with communism. All that happens is that the basic economic unit is 'bumped up' to the commune as a whole, up from the individual. At the inter-communal level there still remains the question of how one commune is supposed to relate to the next -- it sounds like *market transactions* would be relied-on, meaning that *finance* would have to function, and so core capitalist dynamics are fully brought back into play such as the cost of money, speculation on future prices, arbitrage, etc.

    Would the impetus for labor and material activity *really* be impelled by 'production for need', and, if so, how does your professed market-type dynamics fit into that, and, if not, do you really think that market-type dynamics would be sufficient to *effect* 'production for need'?



    This potential isn't exploited inevitably, but as a result of the level of class consciousness of worker-owners. The amount of production for need is proportional to the size of the association, which implies that use value, and exchange value coexist as the associations grow, and eventually link up with the public sector, and each other. Now you have to imagine these associations of worker cooperatives to be, in an economic sense, worker states in a microcosm. As such the same potentials exist as they grow, and develop. Also it's worth mentioning that the worker cooperative movement across the globe is flourishing, and has in reality formed broad associations. It seems like a lost opportunity for Marxian economist to ignore their potential for primitive socialist accumulation, and not develop strategies for them to begin to utilize a growing proportion of use value production.

    I can't thoroughly *object* to what you're describing here, since it's basically a localist, organic type of *syndicalism*, which *is* a good 'first-step', but my concerns are about the negative *implications* of retaining market-type exchanges and exchange-values.

    Since you posit a 'public sector', that implies that there would also be a 'private sector', or the increasing and use of exchange values for the sake of private-entity accumulation. Would this indeed be possible, or what would *prevent* a continuation of the capitalist market dynamic of primitive accumulation, as is manifested today? If workers are also co-owners of the means of mass production, then *that* implies *equity* that can be sold and bought, just like capitalist assets today. (There's no general overall 'primitive socialist accumulation' if the means of mass industrial production are parceled-out to 'worker-owners' on a financial equity basis.)



    As for the use of currency, I think a parallel system of labor credits could, and probably will come into being in parallel with normal market currencies. Use value production, and any medium of distribution it uses, will have to organically overcome exchange value production, and its medium of exchange. So the fastest way to my mind to eliminate market currency is by the swift development of a public, and cooperative sectors which can develop use value production, and a system of labor credits. If you want what I consider a crucial read that concerns most of these topics, read "From NEP to Socialism," by Evgeni Preobrazhenski. Even though the technological reality has changed since then. Blockchain could make it easier to create a system of labor credits.

    Your conception of 'labor credits' is based on a *downslope* from the initial soviet society and political economy of post-revolution Russia. (I'll note that my own 'labor credits' operate differently from any conventional, pre-existing, labor-voucher-type conception.)

    Proponents of *any* labor-vouchers-type system are unable to *reconcile* rates paid for gift-economy-type liberated labor, with the realm of market-based, fluctuating *prices* for consumable goods and services -- in other words it's once again not significantly different than status-quo capitalism.


    Pies Must Line Up






    ---



    The social information system your talking about to determine need, or demand will also have to be developed organically I think.

    You mean 'implemented' organically -- certainly the daily aggregated prioritization lists would have to derive from actual participants, the details of which could not be specified or prescribed in-advance, in a 'blueprint' approach. This 'labor credits' approach of mine is a *framework*, and not a blueprint.

    But, being a framework, the model provides absolute *flexibility* for all possible configurations and realtime realities -- for any given geographic area a simple 2D, rows-and-columns (spreadsheet) *database* would suffice to handle ongoing entries into the political discussion, through to implementations. Here are the fields of the database:




    ISSUER

    AUTOMATIC TIMESTAMP UPON RECEIPT (YYYYMMDDHHMM)

    ACTIVE DATE (YYYYMMDD)

    FORMAL-ITEM REFERENCED (OR AUTOMATICALLY CREATED), IF ANY

    FORMAL-ITEM NUMERICAL INCREMENT, 001-999, PER DAY, PER UNIQUE GEOGRAPHIC UNIT

    GEOGRAPHIC LEVEL INTENDED-FOR ('HOUSEHOLD', 'ENTITY', 'LOCALITY', 'REGION', 'CONTINENT', 'GLOBAL')

    GEOGRAPHIC SOURCE UNIQUE NAME, ABBREVIATED

    FIRSTNAME_LASTNAME_BIRTHYEAR(YY)

    INDIVIDUAL'S ITEM RANKING, 0001-9999 (PER DAY)

    RANK-ITEM TYPE ('INITIATIVE', 'DEMAND', 'PROPOSAL', 'PROJECT', 'PRODUCTION RUN', 'FUNDING', 'DEBT ISSUANCE', 'LIBERATED LABOR INTERNAL', 'POLICY PACKAGE', [necessarily consumer-type] 'ORDER', [necessarily consumer-type] 'REQUEST', [necessarily consumer-type] 'SLOT DONATION')

    TITLE-DESCRIPTION


    WORK ROLE NUMBER AND TITLE

    TENTATIVE OR ACTUAL HAZARD / DIFFICULTY MULTIPLIER

    ESTIMATE-OF OR ACTUAL LABOR HOURS PER SCHEDULED WORK SHIFT

    TOTAL LABOR CREDITS (MULTIPLIER TIMES HOURS)

    ACTUAL FUNDING OF LABOR CREDITS PER WORK SHIFT (FUNDING ITEM REFERENCE REQUIRED)

    SCHEDULED DISCRETE WORK SHIFT, BEGINNING DATE & TIME

    SCHEDULED DISCRETE WORK SHIFT, ENDING DATE & TIME

    AVAILABLE-AND-SELECTED LIBERATED LABORER IDENTIFIER


    DENOMINATION

    QUANTITY, PER DENOMINATION

    TOTAL LABOR CREDITS PER DENOMINATION

    SERIAL NUMBER RANGE, BEGINNING

    SERIAL NUMBER RANGE, ENDING



    (The fields are seen as column headers, along with a sample scenario, in the background of this graphic):


    labor credits framework for 'communist supply & demand'






    The geographical extents would be specified by anyone in these two fields:

    GEOGRAPHIC LEVEL INTENDED-FOR ('HOUSEHOLD', [necessarily material-productive] 'ENTITY', 'LOCALITY', 'REGIONAL', 'CONTINENTAL', 'GLOBAL')

    GEOGRAPHIC SOURCE UNIQUE NAME, ABBREVIATED


    So, briefly, if a mass demand for milk production, for example, occurred at the *local* level -- 'household', [material-productive] 'entity', or 'locality' -- *and* milk was also being demanded at *another* locality, someone might introduce a *new* proposal explicitly for the 'regional' level that combined the demands of both Locality 'A' and Locality 'B', on a trajectory for becoming a mass-discussed 'initiative', [mass] 'demand' item, 'proposal', 'project' / 'production run', and final formal 'policy package'.



    And I could see them being pioneered, and even differentiated by cooperative associations. I don't see anyone developing a system in the abstract, and finding an way to implement it on a large scale in its pure form.

    There's no possible 'pure form' because the details of actual demands, etc., are impossible to predict ahead-of-time. (Again it's *not* a 'blueprint' approach.)



    Although hypothetical systems are the starting point for at least conceptualizing these systems of information organization. I see small experiments ironing out how develop these information systems.

    Sure, and that's the point -- pre-revolution it's a learning tool and a way to help conceptualize the potential logistics needed for a socialism-type approach to political economy. Trial runs / simulations would certainly help with making sure that the framework model *is* well-generalized and flexible over all conceivably possible configurations / permutations.



    In reference to the public sector not using financial strategies, I think that would be potentially ignoring a powerful mechanisms for incentivizing collectivisation. Once again I would refer you to the aforementioned work by Preobrazhenski. In context of class struggle, ignoring an incentive mechanism could hamper the development of a socialized sector.

    I still remain absolutely skeptical of any approach that allows exchange values to exist post-revolution.



    About a system of Corvee labor, I was speaking in context of the public sector in a pre post capitalist form. But even still, in post scarcity anarchism there still may be necessary jobs that are unpopular, and the community may see fit to implement corvee labor to fill those jobs.

    Don't you realize, though, that, with *this* formulation, you're bringing back the role of the *state* -- ?

    Also, if this overall global 'patchwork' of communes / communities / localities is the social norm, then there are no universal *standards* in place -- someone who didn't *want* to do 'Corvee labor' for the public good could just *escape* to another commune, possibly, one that *didn't* have forced requisition of labor.



    Post scarcity anarchism, or post capitalism doesn't imply to me a negation of responsibility of citizenship.

    Also I meant the computer simulation of different socialist models could be insightful, but I have yet encountered someone who agrees.

    Well, I appreciate the 'simulation' initiative, and you can feel free to use my 'labor credits' system for any conceivable simulation that you can think-up and run.
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    Let's imagine for a moment the three criteria for a Marxist informed socio-economic paradigm shift. The first two would be an inversion of private ownership of the mean of production, and wage labor, the third being a conversion of the mode of production from production for exchange values, to production for use values. Each of these criteria requires specific analysis, and actions to be taken in order for the required transformation to occur. And even so it is conceivable, even probable that the criteria be met at different rates, under different conditions of struggle. For instance, it would require a near simultaneous revolution across most of the globe, in order to achieve pure production for use values. Whereas, the first two criteria are met in small bubbles spontaneously across the globe today. Given the disparity of time, and effort it would actually take to achieve these three criteria, do we ignore the achievement of the first two because the third has not been met, or do we try and develop strategies to encourage the third where the first two have been met. Evolution, we are told, acts on existing structures. We as Marxists should act to affect existing structure as well, to adapt them to further meet the criterion of liberation. All this implies that either from an anarchist perspective, or a state socialist perspective we will need to work with mixed value production.

    As to the development of cooperative associations, these do rely, and react to market dynamics. As they are producing for exchange value. But we Marxist know that the dynamics of the market creates certain imperatives, imperatives that can be used to motivate the formation of cooperative associations. The need for liquid capital at favorable interest rates (credit unions), the need to consolidate supply in order to halt price pressures (price fixing) , the need to acquire primary inputs, and consumer goods at the lowest possible cost (preferential exchange rates/ purchasing cooperatives). So what would the motivation be for these cooperative associations to start producing some percentage of use value, and coordinated distribution? The motivation comes from the realization that in an early form use value production boils down to producing, and distributing goods at cost, between members of the association. Obviously distribution at cost would save everyone a pretty penny. So in an early form you have distribution of equivalent values at cost, not at profit, which would cause a net savings for all the worker owners in these associations. So I'm getting the bread you baked at cost, and your getting the grain I grew at cost. Therein lies the motivation for these associations to grow, and include more industries. That is also where the motivation for different cooperative association to utilize distribution of equivalent values at cost comes from, instead of using a market pricing mechanism to motivate the transaction. Eventually they could control a larger swath of the supply chain, which means the valuation would reflect market costs less, and start to become a unique valuation entity. When the cooperative associations begins to interact with a public sector that produces, and distributes primary goods, this is when use value production fully emerges from at cost production. The reason being the primary goods represent the beginning of the value chain, and so no market distortions of value need be included in the valuation. I hope that made some sense..

    I'm sorry to say I haven't been able to fully absorb your social information aggregation system. I haven't had the time to fully analyze your work. Even though I find it interesting. That is primarily why I haven't commented accurately, or extensively. I would maybe suggest self-publishing an e-book to compile the information, and make it easier to access, and absorb. I would also say thank you for working towards such innovations. It is a thankless, profitless task I'm sure.

    Again I don't think exchange value can be abolished, if anything it may wither away. But attempts at a legislative abolishment would only create a black market, or maybe a barter system. So I think Marxists that are serious about affecting a paradigm shift have to get comfortable with impure structures. In terms of financing it is merely an exercise of making sure that those who have access to liquid capital intend to create with it a structure that complies with the new order of things. So incentivizing good structures with access to liquid capital, and deincentivizing bad structures by limiting access to liquid capital. In a transitional context where socialism has yet to be fully achieved this is an invaluable mechanism for promoting gradual collectivization. The gains of the NEP which actually were considerable, would have been halved or more if it had not been the usage of this financial lever.

    Really my fascination with Corvee labor comes from my Incan heritage. From studying the accomplishments of their society you observe how powerful an economic mechanism Corvee labor actually was. Nor do I think it is a critical component of socialism, just an interesting socio economic mechanism. Also I think the political or class aspect of the state will wither away, but the apparatus of justice, and social coordination will remain. In the conditions of this democratic residue of a state I think certain policies like corvee labor could be implemented as a fair way to allocate unwanted but critical jobs. If the citizens disagreed your absolutely right that they could go to another commune, which I think is a good thing. Those other communes would have to develop their own policies regarding unwanted critical jobs.

    Also communes would probably federate under a basic social contract, so I think there would be universal standards broadly speaking.
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    Let's imagine for a moment the three criteria for a Marxist informed socio-economic paradigm shift. The first two would be an inversion of private ownership of the mean of production, and wage labor, the third being a conversion of the mode of production from production for exchange values, to production for use values. Each of these criteria requires specific analysis, and actions to be taken in order for the required transformation to occur. And even so it is conceivable, even probable that the criteria be met at different rates, under different conditions of struggle. For instance, it would require a near simultaneous revolution across most of the globe, in order to achieve pure production for use values. Whereas, the first two criteria are met in small bubbles spontaneously across the globe today. Given the disparity of time, and effort it would actually take to achieve these three criteria, do we ignore the achievement of the first two because the third has not been met, or do we try and develop strategies to encourage the third where the first two have been met. Evolution, we are told, acts on existing structures. We as Marxists should act to affect existing structure as well, to adapt them to further meet the criterion of liberation. All this implies that either from an anarchist perspective, or a state socialist perspective we will need to work with mixed value production.

    I'm not trying to be entirely dismissive, and I do appreciate the objective trade-off between adjustment and expediency (expediency benefits from lesser transitionalism / adjustments, from everyone).

    That said, though, I'm still uncomfortable with too much acquiesence to existing economic mechanisms -- as in retaining markets and exchange values -- when options exist, like my 'global syndicalist currency' and 'labor credits' models, to go straightaway into a nascent, revolutionary, workers-only material economy.

    As far as *topology* goes, I wouldn't be against 'small bubbles spontaneously across the globe' -- meaning localist *seizures* of the means of mass industrial production -- but it only *benefits* us in general to discuss feasible *approaches* and *methods* of doing this logistically, and all other types of socio-political-material transitions that may surround such.

    I really don't get your insistence on everyone having to put-up-with / work-with 'mixed value production', because saying so is just as wantonly *prescriptive* as calling for a patchwork of communes (anarchists), or calling for a top-down vanguard-party-type control of the proletarian revolution (Trotskyists). Much about which avenue to take would depend almost fully *deterministically* on actual conditions of class struggle at the time, as we're seeing with the ongoing teachers strikes and related other organized labor actions. (I find the anarchist approach to be very *optimistic*, with its 'evolutionary' pace and lack of centralizing / top-down organizing.)

    So, in brief, we can both espouse more of a 'hybrid' approach, but being too prescriptive one way or another is by-definition *premature*, in my estimation.



    As to the development of cooperative associations, these do rely, and react to market dynamics. As they are producing for exchange value. But we Marxist know that the dynamics of the market creates certain imperatives, imperatives that can be used to motivate the formation of cooperative associations. The need for liquid capital at favorable interest rates (credit unions), the need to consolidate supply in order to halt price pressures (price fixing) , the need to acquire primary inputs, and consumer goods at the lowest possible cost (preferential exchange rates/ purchasing cooperatives). So what would the motivation be for these cooperative associations to start producing some percentage of use value, and coordinated distribution? The motivation comes from the realization that in an early form use value production boils down to producing, and distributing goods at cost, between members of the association. Obviously distribution at cost would save everyone a pretty penny. So in an early form you have distribution of equivalent values at cost, not at profit, which would cause a net savings for all the worker owners in these associations.

    What *I'm* hearing is that you want the transportation sector to work for free.



    So I'm getting the bread you baked at cost, and your getting the grain I grew at cost. Therein lies the motivation for these associations to grow, and include more industries. That is also where the motivation for different cooperative association to utilize distribution of equivalent values at cost comes from, instead of using a market pricing mechanism to motivate the transaction. Eventually they could control a larger swath of the supply chain, which means the valuation would reflect market costs less, and start to become a unique valuation entity. When the cooperative associations begins to interact with a public sector that produces, and distributes primary goods, this is when use value production fully emerges from at cost production. The reason being the primary goods represent the beginning of the value chain, and so no market distortions of value need be included in the valuation. I hope that made some sense..

    I certainly don't fault you on your intentions, but since your premise of a revolutionary-transitional material economics relies so much on conventional exchange values, the only real difference I can ascertain is that you don't want to have to pay wages to those doing the socially-necessary work, even though this proposed "alternative" economy would still require money from those who want to make purchases of needed finished goods and services, for life and living.



    I'm sorry to say I haven't been able to fully absorb your social information aggregation system. I haven't had the time to fully analyze your work. Even though I find it interesting. That is primarily why I haven't commented accurately, or extensively. I would maybe suggest self-publishing an e-book to compile the information, and make it easier to access, and absorb. I would also say thank you for working towards such innovations. It is a thankless, profitless task I'm sure.

    The tinyurl.com/labor-credits-faq is a comprehensive treatment on the labor credits framework -- you may want to catch-up since you've been unable so far to address any of the content from that proposed model of mine. I'll be here to clarify any topic or issue from the same, if you specify it.



    Again I don't think exchange value can be abolished, if anything it may wither away. But attempts at a legislative abolishment would only create a black market, or maybe a barter system.

    You're assuming that a 'state socialist' (workers-state) approach would be *inadequate*, which only serves to expose a stereotyping *fatalism* on your part. If a nascent proletarian revolution continually grew and spread it would thoroughly *displace* market relations altogether, which is supposed to be the *point* of working class revolution anyway.

    I wouldn't *recommend* a specialized-administration, bureaucratic-elitist formulation for any kind of alleged workers state, but instead would posit that *some* kind of broad-based, centralized organization of rank-and-file revolutionary workers *would* be necessary, so as to present a consistent, disciplined, unified face to the class enemy, and also for the sake of internal coordination.



    So I think Marxists that are serious about affecting a paradigm shift have to get comfortable with impure structures. In terms of financing it is merely an exercise of making sure that those who have access to liquid capital intend to create with it a structure that complies with the new order of things. So incentivizing good structures with access to liquid capital, and deincentivizing bad structures by limiting access to liquid capital. In a transitional context where socialism has yet to be fully achieved this is an invaluable mechanism for promoting gradual collectivization.

    Wouldn't it be far more politically preferable to *negate* all existing capital and currency (and finance, and exchange values), in favor of beginning a 'primitive accumulation of socialism' -- ?

    Consider:



    Primitive socialist accumulation (sometimes socialist accumulation) was a concept put forth in the early Soviet Union during the period of the New Economic Policy. It was developed as a counterpart to the process of the primitive accumulation of capital that took place during the early stages and development of capitalist economies. Because the Soviet economy was underdeveloped and largely agrarian in nature, the Soviet state would have to be the agent of primitive capital accumulation to rapidly develop the Soviet economy. The concept was proposed as a means to industrialize the Russian economy of the era through state capitalism, because the Russian economy was too underdeveloped to implement socialism at the time.

    Industrialization is mostly complete throughout the world now, so that's no longer an ongoing material concern -- and my 'global syndicalist currency' aptly addresses the empirical need for 'primitive socialist accumulation', at post #6:



    First, a distinction: My proposed 'global syndicalist currency' and my proposed 'labor credits' are two *different* material-economic vehicles, and they would function differently and separately.

    The *point* of these formulations is to address the empirical need to join [1] local bottom-up, and [2] broader-geographic top-down modes of revolutionary organization. 'Syndicalism' implies 'local workplace workers' collectivist self-organizing', and so such a first-step would be bottom-up revolutionary workers reorganization of productive efforts, away from commodity production, and into the international population of revolutionary workers' communities. Whatever production could be done by such revolutionary workers, beyond its own self-reproduction going-forward, would be the 'surplus labor value', enjoyed internally, and put-into a 'global syndicalist currency', with all recordkeeping being fully transparent internally, among such like-minded revolutionary workers


    The point of the 'global syndicalist currency' is to provide an accurate system of *internal accounting* and cross-commonality of liberated labor value for all active revolutionary workers, worldwide.

    The 'socialism' phase in the diagram indicates a *material-economic* shift to the use of (circulating) *labor credits* -- which is a different vehicle from the prior 'global syndicalist currency' (that was for the initial *revolutionary* transition away from private ownership of the means of mass production, and commodity production).

    There's a little bit of a discrepancy in the text there -- the whole diagram is an older formulation of mine, back from 2009, and the 'labor credits' *don't* actually measure surplus labor value (internally) in any way. What their use would signify is a fully-internal control of all productive machinery by the world's working class, since there would no longer be any objective need to compete with private production, which would have been fully *displaced* by that point.

    See here for a detailed description of the labor credits framework.

    [7] Syndicalism-Socialism-Communism Transition Diagram






    ---



    The gains of the NEP which actually were considerable, would have been halved or more if it had not been the usage of this financial lever. [access to liquid capital]

    The NEP system isn't *desirable* from a revolutionary perspective -- it was *imposed* in an authoritarian manner due to emergent, objective, empirical conditions at the time:



    The NEP represented a more market-oriented economic policy, deemed necessary after the Russian Civil War of 1918 to 1922, to foster the economy of the country, which was almost ruined. The complete nationalization of industry, established during the period of War Communism, was partially revoked and a system of mixed economy was introduced, which allowed private individuals to own small enterprises,[2] while the state continued to control banks, foreign trade, and large industries.[3]

    ---



    Really my fascination with Corvee labor comes from my Incan heritage. From studying the accomplishments of their society you observe how powerful an economic mechanism Corvee labor actually was. Nor do I think it is a critical component of socialism, just an interesting socio economic mechanism. Also I think the political or class aspect of the state will wither away, but the apparatus of justice, and social coordination will remain. In the conditions of this democratic residue of a state I think certain policies like corvee labor could be implemented as a fair way to allocate unwanted but critical jobs. If the citizens disagreed your absolutely right that they could go to another commune, which I think is a good thing. Those other communes would have to develop their own policies regarding unwanted critical jobs.

    Also communes would probably federate under a basic social contract, so I think there would be universal standards broadly speaking.

    You're *equivocating* again -- if 'universal standards' are to exist there then *can't* be 'other communes [that] develop their own policies'.

    At this point you may want to distinguish your conceptions of 'public sector' and 'private sector' as they would be defined in the context of this 'mixed value production' approach of yours.

    Also, I think you're off-focus from the revolutionary goal of producing for human *need*.
  14. #11
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    Literally never said anything about the transportation sector, or the wages of those who perform socially necessary labor. Are you replying to the right post?

    [FONT=Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif]"If a nascent proletarian revolution continually grew and spread it would thoroughly *displace* market relations altogether, which is supposed to be the *point* of working class revolution anyway."[/FONT]


    [FONT=Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif]This comes across as platitude, or religious liturgy, devoid of real economic detail. Exchange valuation, and markets have never successfully been abolished in history. I merely represent the perspective that displacing market relations requires a meticulous, and informed era of socialist construction from within the reality we actually subsist in. Also it is not prescriptive to describe things that already exist, or have existed. Cooperative associations exist and function successfully, the form of state socialism I describe has existed successfully. Attempting to adapt two existing structures to complement each other towards a singular goal, may not be illogical.

    Why is a concept like primitive socialist accumulation, and the strategies represented in the NEP important? Precisely because the world is not fully industrialized, and many of those underdeveloped countries have the highest levels of class struggle in the world. Countries like my homeland Ecuador, Venezuela, and Bolivia. The NEP is important because you cannot forcibly expropriate small peasants in those countries, the backlash would destroy the economy, on top of being unjust. It is important because in those countries there is no choice but to try to build gradual, voluntary collectivization from some form of state socialist base. They can't just decree an end to exchange value production, if that were even possible, their economies are to underdeveloped to comply. They can't wait for the US, and Europe to transition, they have to build from where they are at, or be crushed. Even in the US you can't guarantee there will ever be the support to expropriate small, and medium sized business. The most you could probably accomplish is expropriating the big monopolies. From that point incentives, an other economic mechanism would have to be used to continue the transition. I'm not trying to be dismissive but this is pretty obvious stuff..

    The NEP is important historically because it represent the shattering of the illusions of many of the socialists, marxists, and communists that came before. That believed that market relations could be simply abolished, and replaced with some simple planned allocation mechanism. The reality that Lenin, and the two top economist in the party, Bukharin, and Preobrazhenski, came to was that the NEP needed to be maintained until the revolution in Europe occured. Preobrazhenski even thought it would need to continue after the revolution in Europe. And that collectivisation, and production of use values would have to be grown gradually, and voluntarily. Keep in mind this is after a full revolution. And yet both Marxists, Anarchist that don't want to cave to reality insist the NEP was a retreat. The reality being that the NEP is the only economic innovation, produced from an entire century of struggle, really worth studying.

    Anyways thank you for your replys. I don't know that I have anything else to really comment on from this point. Take care.
    [/FONT]
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    As to the development of cooperative associations, these do rely, and react to market dynamics. As they are producing for exchange value. But we Marxist know that the dynamics of the market creates certain imperatives, imperatives that can be used to motivate the formation of cooperative associations. The need for liquid capital at favorable interest rates (credit unions), the need to consolidate supply in order to halt price pressures (price fixing) , the need to acquire primary inputs, and consumer goods at the lowest possible cost (preferential exchange rates/ purchasing cooperatives). So what would the motivation be for these cooperative associations to start producing some percentage of use value, and coordinated distribution? The motivation comes from the realization that in an early form use value production boils down to producing, and distributing goods at cost, between members of the association. Obviously distribution at cost would save everyone a pretty penny. So in an early form you have distribution of equivalent values at cost, not at profit, which would cause a net savings for all the worker owners in these associations.


    What *I'm* hearing is that you want the transportation sector to work for free.


    Literally never said anything about the transportation sector, or the wages of those who perform socially necessary labor. Are you replying to the right post?

    In *my* mind 'distribution' equates to the service-labor of transport -- and since you haven't addressed how wages would work within a 'cost-only' context, it really sounds as though you just want everyone to share the same arbitrary ethos and norms of 'at-cost', or 'equivalent values', (and/or 'corvée labor'), when this "alternative" economics doesn't even say how a unit-value would be arrived-at, exactly.

    In other words, how would various types of (liberated) labor be compared to one-another, as for materially-correct ratios of wage rates from one to the next? It really sounds as though you'd be fine with letting *all* values / rates *float*, which is almost identical to what we're living in today under the market mechanism of exchange-value valuations. With *your* system if *anyone* 'slipped' and removed themselves from the proper superstructural ethos of 'at-cost', and backslided to personal objectives of increasing one's own owned exchange values, such could probably be kept hidden for quite awhile until casually discovered. And would there be societal *sanctions* against the practice of arbitrage, for example -- ? How would such sanctions be collectively enforced?


    ---



    "If a nascent proletarian revolution continually grew and spread it would thoroughly *displace* market relations altogether, which is supposed to be the *point* of working class revolution anyway."


    This comes across as platitude, or religious liturgy, devoid of real economic detail. Exchange valuation, and markets have never successfully been abolished in history. I merely represent the perspective that displacing market relations requires a meticulous, and informed era of socialist construction from within the reality we actually subsist in. Also it is not prescriptive to describe things that already exist, or have existed. Cooperative associations exist and function successfully, the form of state socialism I describe has existed successfully. Attempting to adapt two existing structures to complement each other towards a singular goal, may not be illogical.

    The only reason exchange valuations and markets are still being used is because the bourgeoisie *enforces* it -- with the advent of proletarian revolution and worker-controlled production there could be a full social realization of *abundance*, which would make the current economic practice of exchanges too cumbersome a process for anyone to want to continue. Full-automation, free-access, and (pre-planned) direct-distribution would be far more efficient in terms of material costs, and would be far more organized and explicitly specific than the market's *speculative* method for pooling capital for the sake of infrastructure and productive activity.



    Why is a concept like primitive socialist accumulation, and the strategies represented in the NEP important? Precisely because the world is not fully industrialized, and many of those underdeveloped countries have the highest levels of class struggle in the world. Countries like my homeland Ecuador, Venezuela, and Bolivia. The NEP is important because you cannot forcibly expropriate small peasants in those countries, the backlash would destroy the economy, on top of being unjust. It is important because in those countries there is no choice but to try to build gradual, voluntary collectivization from some form of state socialist base. They can't just decree an end to exchange value production, if that were even possible, their economies are to underdeveloped to comply. They can't wait for the US, and Europe to transition, they have to build from where they are at, or be crushed. Even in the US you can't guarantee there will ever be the support to expropriate small, and medium sized business. The most you could probably accomplish is expropriating the big monopolies. From that point incentives, an other economic mechanism would have to be used to continue the transition. I'm not trying to be dismissive but this is pretty obvious stuff..

    Well, I appreciate the attentions and efforts you've put towards this topic of post-capitalist material-economic valuations -- the topic is consistently overlooked by most, and I happen to think it's of critical importance because this question of *how* *to* provide solid collectivist-based valuations is a *prerequisite* to successful revolution, in my mind.

    I'll just quickly point out that my 'labor credits' system *does* provide societally-sanctioned material incentives for those who do the socially-needed labor that most wouldn't do, and it does it without requiring any commodification or exchange-values:



    labor [supply] -- Labor supply is selected and paid for with existing (or debt-based) labor credits

    labor [supply] -- Labor credits are paid per hour of work at a multiplier rate based on difficulty or hazard -- multipliers are survey-derived

    communist administration -- Distinct from the general political culture each project or production run will include a provision for an associated administrative component as an integral part of its total policy package -- a selected policy's proponents will be politically responsible for overseeing its implementation according to the policy's provisions

    labor [supply] -- All workers will be entirely liberated from all coercion and threats related to basic human living needs, regardless of work status -- any labor roles will be entirely self-selected and open to collective labor organizing efforts on the basis of accumulated labor credits

    labor [supply] -- Workers with past accumulated labor credits are the funders of new work positions and incoming laborers -- labor credits are handed over at the completion of work hours -- underfunded projects and production runs are debt-based and will be noted as such against the issuing locality

    Also:


    -> Why should anyone give a shit about labor credits?



    Let's say that 'work-from-home mattress testing' is the *easiest* work role ever known, and so the multiplier for it is a '1' -- one hour of liberated-labor yields 1 labor credit.

    'Spreading manure on a field' happens to be a '4' according to the mass work-role exit survey, but, as things turn out, people have *not* yet automated this kind of farmwork, yet *many* people are demanding beer, which requires this role, and other kinds of farmwork, for its production.

    While engineering students and a worldwide legion of hobbyists unobtrusively work in the background on automating this task once-and-for-all, some others note the disparity between supply and demand and opportunistically announce that *they* will do this kind of work, to produce an abundance of beer for the greater region, but only at a multiplier rate of '6'.

    Why would *anyone* give a shit about labor credits and agree to do shitwork, even for an increased rate of labor credits, you ask -- ?

    Because anyone who can command a *premium* of labor credits, as from higher multiplier rates, are effectively gaining and consolidating their control of society's *reproduction of labor*. Most likely there would be social ('political') factionalism involved, where those who are most 'socially concerned' or 'philosophically driven' would be coordinating to cover as much *unwanted* work territory as possible, all for the sake of political consolidation. Increased numbers of labor credits in-hand would allow a group to *direct* what social work roles are 'activated' (funded), going-forward.

    Perhaps it's about colonizing another planet, or about carving high-speed rail networks that criss-cross and connect all seven continents underground. Maybe it's a certain academic approach to history and the sciences, with a cache of pooled labor credits going towards that school of educational instruction. Perhaps it's an *art* faction ascending, funding all kinds of large-scale projects that decorate major urban centers in never-before-seen kinds of ways.

    Whatever the program and motivation, society as a whole would be collectively *ceding ground* if it didn't keep the 'revolution' and collectivism going, with a steady pace of automation that precluded whole areas of production from social politics altogether. Technology / automation empowers the *individual* and takes power out of the hands of groups that enjoy cohesiveness based on sheer *numbers* and a concomitant control of social reproduction in their ideological direction. The circulation and usage of labor credits would be a live formal tracking of how *negligent* the social revolution happened to be at any given moment, just as the consolidation of private property is today against the forces of revolutionary politics and international labor solidarity.

    tinyurl.com/labor-credits-faq



    ---



    The NEP is important historically because it represent the shattering of the illusions of many of the socialists, marxists, and communists that came before. That believed that market relations could be simply abolished, and replaced with some simple planned allocation mechanism. The reality that Lenin, and the two top economist in the party, Bukharin, and Preobrazhenski, came to was that the NEP needed to be maintained until the revolution in Europe occured. Preobrazhenski even thought it would need to continue after the revolution in Europe. And that collectivisation, and production of use values would have to be grown gradually, and voluntarily. Keep in mind this is after a full revolution. And yet both Marxists, Anarchist that don't want to cave to reality insist the NEP was a retreat. The reality being that the NEP is the only economic innovation, produced from an entire century of struggle, really worth studying.

    I'm sorry, but this is too much of a capitulation to market practices -- historically the October Revolution *didn't* spread to Europe, so the improvised material-economics of its subsequent *implosion* is *not* to be admired or adopted for future socialist-type implementations. Russia was woefully underdeveloped at the time, a technological problem we simply don't have today.



    Anyways thank you for your replys. I don't know that I have anything else to really comment on from this point. Take care.

    Okay, it's been good having your input. Feel free to return to this thread anytime.
  16. #13
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    By at cost distribution, I mean that the values that are distributed reflect the labor, and material costs without a profit margin factored in. So obviously transportation costs, as in the labor hours of the driver, and the petrol, and vehicle maintenance costs would also be reflected in at cost, or non-profit distribution of equivalent values within a cooperative association. This is essentially the transmission of the market material costs, plus that of labor times Lh * M. The transmission of use values would consist of the transmission of labor times, and the use value of the materials based on there amount and scarcity Lh *(A * S). At cost or non profit distribution of equivalent values as you can see by comparing the formulas is an intermediary step in valuation, between pure exchange valuation, and use valuation. The reason why this intermediary step in valuation is potentially necessary, in the development of use valuation in co-op associations, is because the beginning of the supply chain may not be represented in the economic structure coordinating to achieve use valuation. As such those primary goods which represent the beginning of the supply chain are procured from the market at exchange value, and that exchange value is reflected in, or contaminates the at cost, or non profit transmission of values. On top of which all the needs of the worker owners may not be met by the products distributed in the co-op association, which implies they may need to produce a certain amount of exchange values in order to satiate those needs. This implies producing on one hand for at cost distribution within the association, and on the other hand for exchange value in order to acquire market goods. Or mixed value production. These limitations affect work owners at all scales including that of a worker state, and will continue to do so until primary goods can be sourced at use value, and the products distributed by the associations and public sector meet all potential needs.

    Referring back to the potential of cooperative associations, their ability to potentially coordinate the production, and distribution of use values, an ability that comes from the structure of the association which has been developed really as a structure of mutual aid. This is comparable to unionized workers engaged in class struggle forming, and utilizing a strike council to coordinate their labor activism. As we know that strike council which coordinates labor activism, will develop, and evolve to coordinate the production, and distribution of use values given time, and a mandate. Similarly the purchasing cooperative, credit union, preferential exchange, and price fixing structures of worker cooperatives, could, given the right mandate, evolve, and develop into structures which coordinate the production, and distribution of use values.

    Those engaging in Marxian economics from a transitional approach must, I think, take an embattled perspective. We must illuminate how little islands of worker owners which exist in a vast capitalist sea can firstly survive, and secondly grow, in order to have the opportunity to begin to produce, and distribute use values. These strategies we illuminate must not presume a successful global revolution, on the contrary we must presume a global revolution does not occur. That socialist construction be long, gradual, and arduous. Only then, I think, will our economic theories be sufficiently robust to eventually deliver a workable socialist system.

    - - - Updated - - -

    By at cost distribution, I mean that the values that are distributed reflect the labor, and material costs without a profit margin factored in. So obviously transportation costs, as in the labor hours of the driver, and the petrol, and vehicle maintenance costs would also be reflected in at cost, or non-profit distribution of equivalent values within a cooperative association. This is essentially the transmission of the market material costs, plus that of labor times Lh * M. The transmission of use values would consist of the transmission of labor times, and the use value of the materials based on there amount and scarcity Lh *(A * S). At cost or non profit distribution of equivalent values as you can see by comparing the formulas is an intermediary step in valuation, between pure exchange valuation, and use valuation. The reason why this intermediary step in valuation is potentially necessary, in the development of use valuation in co-op associations, is because the beginning of the supply chain may not be represented in the economic structure coordinating to achieve use valuation. As such those primary goods which represent the beginning of the supply chain are procured from the market at exchange value, and that exchange value is reflected in, or contaminates the at cost, or non profit transmission of values. On top of which all the needs of the worker owners may not be met by the products distributed in the co-op association, which implies they may need to produce a certain amount of exchange values in order to satiate those needs. This implies producing on one hand for at cost distribution within the association, and on the other hand for exchange value in order to acquire market goods. Or mixed value production. These limitations affect work owners at all scales including that of a worker state, and will continue to do so until primary goods can be sourced at use value, and the products distributed by the associations and public sector meet all potential needs.

    Referring back to the potential of cooperative associations, their ability to potentially coordinate the production, and distribution of use values, an ability that comes from the structure of the association which has been developed really as a structure of mutual aid. This is comparable to unionized workers engaged in class struggle forming, and utilizing a strike council to coordinate their labor activism. As we know that strike council which coordinates labor activism, will develop, and evolve to coordinate the production, and distribution of use values given time, and a mandate. Similarly the purchasing cooperative, credit union, preferential exchange, and price fixing structures of worker cooperatives, could, given the right mandate, evolve, and develop into structures which coordinate the production, and distribution of use values.

    Those engaging in Marxian economics from a transitional approach must, I think, take an embattled perspective. We must illuminate how little islands of worker owners which exist in a vast capitalist sea can firstly survive, and secondly grow, in order to have the opportunity to begin to produce, and distribute use values. These strategies we illuminate must not presume a successful global revolution, on the contrary we must presume a global revolution does not occur. That socialist construction be long, gradual, and arduous. Only then, I think, will our economic theories be sufficiently robust to eventually deliver a workable socialist system. The alternative, from an economic perspective, is inactivity.

    Also, as I eluded to earlier, the whole world is not fully industrialized. Not every region in the world can undergo fully socialization. They haven't the factories, and petty bourgeois farming is still how many, many people live. I give you my homeland of Ecuador as an example, or Rojava for another. While leftist groups are in power in both of these places, the only strategies really available to them is that of primitive socialist accumulation, and in such away as to not crash the market economy. That is the sad, embattled reality on the cutting edge of class struggle. My work is a response to this reality my people subsist in. So it is important to not have a perspective dominated by the reality in the developed world. Because the truth is the most cutting edge social experiments are occurring in, and are limited by the developing world.
    Last edited by Aristarchus; Yesterday at 10:37.
  17. #14
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    By at cost distribution, I mean that the values that are distributed reflect the labor, and material costs without a profit margin factored in.

    Okay, understood, of course, but my concern is how would *wages* be arrived-at using this 'at-cost' norm -- ?

    And, of course, how would a collectivist administration make sure that these post-capitalist values would be *interchangeable*, as noted in this graphic:


    Pies Must Line Up






    ---



    So obviously transportation costs, as in the labor hours of the driver, and the petrol, and vehicle maintenance costs would also be reflected in at cost, or non-profit distribution of equivalent values within a cooperative association. This is essentially the transmission of the market material costs, plus that of labor times Lh * M. The transmission of use values would consist of the transmission of labor times, and the use value of the materials based on there amount and scarcity Lh *(A * S).

    I'm 'philosophically' opposed to this kind of approach because it's an attempt to put valuations onto *materials*. This procedural step could be soundly *dropped*, in favor of *qualitative* descriptions, post-capitalism, like '800 tons of Material A to Locality B'. In the context of communism all producers -- like the producers of Material A -- would have free-access to all *component* materials (raw materials), from the commons, so at most there would just be a social need to *record* the transaction and make that kind of information available on the Internet, etc.: 'Locality A got 400 tons of Material 0, and 400 tons of Material 00, to make 800 tons of Material A to ship to Locality B'. *This* is a decent way of getting *off of* exchange-value-type valuations, in favor of aiming towards use-value-type descriptions. (It's also enabled using my 'labor credits' framework model.)



    At cost or non profit distribution of equivalent values as you can see by comparing the formulas is an intermediary step in valuation, between pure exchange valuation, and use valuation.

    Use-valuation implies self-selected, willing *recipients* for whatever's about to be produced, or has already been produced and is currently in storage. Here's the question: How would liberated social-production possibly *prioritize* among many, many individual-type *demands* for the same stuff, say shoes, and ramp-up industrial mass production accordingly?

    The problem with using a regular linear formula here is that it tends to imply some kind of sitting *authoritarian* administration over these matters, using the formula in a top-down way to route materials presumably correctly -- which wouldn't be such a bad implementation, apart from its inherent specialization / substitutionism, except that I never hear of any inclusion of *prioritization* within such a centralized system. If, for example, a local factory can only produce 10 million units of a specific good at a time, and outstanding demand happens to be for 100 million units of it, who exactly should get that initial 10 million units, and why, and who should have to wait for the remaining 90 million units to be produced before receipt, and why -- ?



    The reason why this intermediary step in valuation is potentially necessary, in the development of use valuation in co-op associations, is because the beginning of the supply chain may not be represented in the economic structure coordinating to achieve use valuation. As such those primary goods which represent the beginning of the supply chain are procured from the market at exchange value, and that exchange value is reflected in, or contaminates the at cost, or non profit transmission of values.

    You're making my argument *for* me -- I *agree* that the 'exchange value [...] contaminates the at-cost [formalization] of [use-values]'.

    Given your understanding here, why not just say that exchange values / money should be *eliminated* as quickly as possible, in favor of *qualitative*, narrative-like descriptions of the situation at-hand -- ?



    On top of which all the needs of the worker owners may not be met by the products distributed in the co-op association, which implies they may need to produce a certain amount of exchange values in order to satiate those needs.

    You're positing (repeatedly) that there's some sort of inherent *advantage* to using exchange values in an otherwise human-need-oriented and use-value-based material-economic paradigm (post-capitalism), but I certainly don't see what this purported advantage *is*.

    If a local worker co-op needs certain goods or materials from outside, such *should* be provided through the communistic 'commons', via direct-distribution, so that no exchanges are even *necessary* -- the co-op would then have what it needs to do *its* thing, to produce its goods / resources / materials for the 'commons', likewise, to satiate human need.



    This implies producing on one hand for at cost distribution within the association, and on the other hand for exchange value in order to acquire market goods. Or mixed value production. These limitations affect work owners at all scales including that of a worker state, and will continue to do so until primary goods can be sourced at use value, and the products distributed by the associations and public sector meet all potential needs.

    Again, you're showing some kind of *bias* towards the functioning of the *private sector*, as though a renewed 'primitive accumulation of capital' would be necessitated in the here-and-now to lift-up and enable a truly 'commons' type of *public sector*.

    I can understand a realistic objective need for a (temporary, per-item, per-policy) *centralized administration* -- at whatever scale -- for the sake of social coordination around whatever material objective, but I *can't* abide the continuation of the market mechanism for the sake of a *stagist* 'primitive accumulation of capital' when we all know that the motive force is (liberated) *labor*, and *not* the continuation of capital / exchange values.

    Here's from my model, on this point:



    communist administration -- Distinct from the general political culture each project or production run will include a provision for an associated administrative component as an integral part of its total policy package -- a selected policy's proponents will be politically responsible for overseeing its implementation according to the policy's provisions

    ---



    Referring back to the potential of cooperative associations, their ability to potentially coordinate the production, and distribution of use values, an ability that comes from the structure of the association which has been developed really as a structure of mutual aid. This is comparable to unionized workers engaged in class struggle forming, and utilizing a strike council to coordinate their labor activism. As we know that strike council which coordinates labor activism, will develop, and evolve to coordinate the production, and distribution of use values given time, and a mandate.

    Okay.



    Similarly the purchasing cooperative, credit union, preferential exchange, and price fixing structures of worker cooperatives, could, given the right mandate, evolve, and develop into structures which coordinate the production, and distribution of use values.

    If you're so concerned about getting to an implementation based on *use values*, why are you arguing so stridently for a stagist step of using *exchange values*?

    I think it's because of the inherent limitations of your adopted topology, that of a *patchwork* layout of individual, self-sufficient *communes* across the material-economic landscape. With *this* layout the separatist communes have no common basis for material cooperation, and so the knee-jerk concept here is to rely on the *market* mechanism, and exchange values, to provide some kind of a common-material-denominator across and between any and all adjacent communes.

    Don't you realize that, with this approach of yours, you're getting *pulled down* into the inherently increasingly-abstract eddy-current dynamics of exchange-type valuations -- ? (In other words, what would prevent your system from re-developing *financial derivatives* all over again, duplicating the very capitalist dynamics that you're purportedly distancing yourself from -- ?)



    Those engaging in Marxian economics from a transitional approach must, I think, take an embattled perspective. We must illuminate how little islands of worker owners which exist in a vast capitalist sea can firstly survive, and secondly grow, in order to have the opportunity to begin to produce, and distribute use values. These strategies we illuminate must not presume a successful global revolution, on the contrary we must presume a global revolution does not occur. That socialist construction be long, gradual, and arduous. Only then, I think, will our economic theories be sufficiently robust to eventually deliver a workable socialist system.

    You're describing the conventional libertarian small-scale 'mom-and-pop' approach -- you're sounding exactly like a petty-bourgeois, which is *not* revolutionary whatsoever.



    By at cost distribution, I mean that the values that are distributed reflect the labor, and material costs without a profit margin factored in.

    But, again, how does one *arrive at* the 'cost' of (varying types) of liberated labor if profit is removed from the equation -- ? Does a worker just act like a contractor and 'set' the rate on their own particular labor, seeing if the market will 'bear' it -- ? That's not proletarian-type *cooperation*, that's the effective *self-commodification* of labor, when the point of socialism is to *de-*commodify, as with abandoning exchange values, especially regarding labor, because commodification conflicts with the *human needs* of labor, as to *not* self-exploit into a system of increasing exchange-valuations.



    Those engaging in Marxian economics from a transitional approach must, I think, take an embattled perspective. We must illuminate how little islands of worker owners which exist in a vast capitalist sea can firstly survive, and secondly grow, in order to have the opportunity to begin to produce, and distribute use values. These strategies we illuminate must not presume a successful global revolution, on the contrary we must presume a global revolution does not occur. That socialist construction be long, gradual, and arduous. Only then, I think, will our economic theories be sufficiently robust to eventually deliver a workable socialist system.

    The alternative, from an economic perspective, is inactivity.

    You're *not* a socialist if you think that there's no alternative to using the market mechanism.



    Also, as I eluded to earlier, the whole world is not fully industrialized. Not every region in the world can undergo fully socialization. They haven't the factories, and petty bourgeois farming is still how many, many people live. I give you my homeland of Ecuador as an example, or Rojava for another. While leftist groups are in power in both of these places, the only strategies really available to them is that of primitive socialist accumulation, and in such away as to not crash the market economy. That is the sad, embattled reality on the cutting edge of class struggle. My work is a response to this reality my people subsist in. So it is important to not have a perspective dominated by the reality in the developed world. Because the truth is the most cutting edge social experiments are occurring in, and are limited by the developing world.

    I fully agree with your empirical description here, but I certainly *don't agree* with your particular approach.

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