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The Philosophy and Economics of Market SocialismA Critical Study$
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N. Scott Arnold

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780195088274

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195088274.001.0001

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Why Market Socialism?

Why Market Socialism?

(p.34) 2 Why Market Socialism?
The Philosophy and Economics of Market Socialism

N. Scott Arnold

Oxford University Press

The dispute between capitalism and socialism is highlighted by the events in the late 1980s and beyond, which witnessed the repudiation of central planning. Though the reason for the repudiation remains a mystery, the intellectual milieu of the era already came up with a consensus that the inefficiencies of central planning are serious and might lead to something catastrophic, necessitating reforms that is centered upon its replacement by the market. This chapter introduces the concept of market socialism. It is used to refer to any centrally planned socialist system that tries to take scarcity value into account in a more systematic way than which they have previously done, with, however, no commitment to decentralized market pricing, that is, to letting firms charge whatever they think the traffic will bear. Market socialists give premium to economic efficiency and freedom of occupational choice.

Keywords:   market socialism, central planning, efficiency, private ownership, alienation, commodity fetishism, exploitation

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