Planning the Market: The AES and Capitalism
This chapter discusses the extent and nature of the Alternative Economic Strategy’s break from Keynesianism, as well as the AES’s own anti-capitalist alternative. It focuses mainly on Stuart Holland, the strategy’s dominant economic theorist, and argues that it is inaccurate to suggest that he ‘jettisoned’ Keynesianism. In fact, Holland built upon ideas previously associated with Labour’s right. Arguably the most distinctive feature of Holland’s socialism was its lack of the old Labour left’s faith in state ownership and planning as viable alternatives to private capital and market competition. This pessimism about anti-capitalist alternatives also prevailed among other AES proponents. Although frequently noted for its radical demands for state control, arguably the AES represented a moderation of Labour-left thinking since the 1950s.