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Marx and Market Socialism

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Abstract

Karl Marx went on record as ruling out any role for the market in a socialist economy. ‘Within the cooperative society based on common ownership of the means of production’, he wrote, ‘the producers do not exchange their products’ (Marx, 1938’ p. 8). Marx’s collaborator, Frederick Engels, stated their position even more bluntly: ‘The seizure of the means of production by society puts an end to commodity production … [and at that point the market is to be] replaced by conscious organization on a planned basis’ (Engels, 1939, p. 309). Clearly, neither Marx nor Engels saw any role for markets in a socialist society.

Keywords

  • Market Economy
  • Socialist Economy
  • Market Socialism
  • Commodity Production
  • Socialist Society

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

I would like to express my gratitude to Robert Heilbroner whose 1969 course on Comparative Economic Systems at the New School for Social Research sparked my interest in market socialism. He has continued to be a source of intellectual stimulation and personal support in the years since then. Among Heilbroner’s many writings on the issues, his ‘Reflections on the Future of Socialism’ (1969) still stands as a remarkably prescient and insightful survey.

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© 1993 Ron Blackwell, Jaspal Chatha and Edward J. Nell

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Roosevelt, F. (1993). Marx and Market Socialism. In: Blackwell, R., Chatha, J., Nell, E.J. (eds) Economics as Worldly Philosophy. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-22572-9_14

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