How Socialism Can Organise Production Without Money - Adam Buick & Pieter Lawrence (1984)

1. LABOUR-TIME ACCOUNTING OR CALCULATION IN KIND?

In 1920 Ludwig von Mises published an article "Die Wirtschaftsrechnung im sozialistischen Gemeinwesen", which was translated into English in 1935 as "Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth" and published in Collectivist Economic Planning: Critical Studies on the Possibilities of Socialism edited by Fron Hayek. His basic argument was that socialism would be impossible because, without money and prices fixed by the market, society would not be able to do economic calculations rationally. Or, as he put it, "where there is no free market there is no pricing mechanism; without a pricing mechanism, there is no economic calculation".

Marx and Engels and the 'Collapse' of Capitalism - John Crump (1969)

Marx Cartoon
In 1786, three years before the outbreak of the French Revolution, Gracchus Babeuf wrote:
 
"The majority is always on the side of routine and immobility, so much is it unenlightened, encrusted, apathetic . . . Those who do not want to move forward are the enemies of those who do, and unhappily it is the mass which persists stubbornly in never budging at all."
 
The events of 1789 disproved his gloomy predictions but, by the time Babeuf became prominent, the reaction was already setting in.

We Don't Want Full Employment, We Want Full Lives! - Ken Knabb (1998)


If a household gets a washing machine, you never hear the family members who used to do the laundry by hand complain that this “puts them out of work.” But strangely enough, if a similar development occurs on a broader social scale it is seen as a serious problem — “unemployment” — which can only be solved by inventing more jobs for people to do.

Why Capitalism Will Not Collapse : Our View of the Crisis - Edgar Hardcastle (SPGB) (1932)

edgar hardcastle

We are in the midst of a crisis that is world-wide. Every country feels its ravages. Millions and millions of workers are unemployed and in acute poverty. Everywhere there is discontent and a feeling of insecurity, and the prestige of even the strongest of governments has been shaken. All sorts of emergency measures have been hastily adopted, but the depression still continues. Working men and women who normally ignore such questions, are now asking why the crisis has occurred, what will be its outcome, and whether it could have been avoided. In some minds there is a fear, and in others a hope, that the industrial crisis may bring the present system of society down in ruins, and make way for another.

Marx, Theoretician of Anarchism - Maximilien Rubel (1973)

Frans Masereel - Die Stadt

Marx has been badly served by disciples who have succeeded neither in assessing the limits of his theory nor in determining its standards and field of application and has ended up by taking on the role of some mythical giant, a symbol of the omniscience and omnipotence of homo faber, maker of his own destiny.

The history of the School remains to be written, but at least we know how it came into being: Marxism, as the codification of a misunderstood and misinterpreted body of thought, was born and developed at a time when Marx’s work was not yet available in its entirely and when important parts of it remained unpublished. Thus, the triumph of Marxism as a State doctrine and Party ideology preceded by several decades the publication of the writings where Marx set out most clearly and completely the scientific basis and ethical purpose of his social theory. That great upheavals took place which invoked a body of thought whose major principles were unknown to the protagonists in the drama of history should have been enough to show that Marxism was the greatest, if not the most tragic, misunderstanding of the century. But at the same time this allows us to appreciate the significance of the theory held by Marx that it is not revolutionary ideas or moral principles which bring about changes in society, but rather human and material forces; that ideas and ideologies very often serve only to disguise the interest of the class in whose interests the upheavals take place. Political Marxism cannot appeal to Marx’s science and at the same time escape the critical analysis which that science uses to unmask the ideologies of power and exploitation.

Can Banks Create Credit? - Edgar Hardcastle (1971)

money out of a hat?

Confusion about banking operations and the power of bankers has been in evidence for a long time. It was known before 1848, and that year saw the publication of two works putting opposite points of view. One was Lectures on the Nature and Use of Money in which John Gray outlined a scheme which was the forerunner of the Social Credit Movement founded by Major Douglas in the nineteen twenties. The other was John Stuart Mill’s Principles of Political Economy which contained the following:

'Anti-Capitalism' as Ideology... and as Movement? - Aufheben (2002)

WTO protesters 2005

A new international movement emerges?

The recent mass actions in Genoa are the latest in a series of impressive mobilizations against 'globalization'.[1] The most radical elements involved, especially here in Britain, have adopted the definition 'anti-capitalism'.

What is Capitalism? - Adam Buick & John Crump (1987)

paul petard - cubicles

In this pamphlet we shall identify the essential features of capital­ism and then go on to discuss state capitalism and the nature of the capitalist class. We shall be describing in Marxian terms, concisely but thoroughly, the economic mechanism and set of social relation­ships that constitute capitalism. We believe Marx’s analysis to be in general still valid even if, the institutional forms of capitalism have changed from those of Britain in the nineteenth century which Marx studied.

The Materialist Conception of History - Edgar Hardcastle (Socialist Studies) (1995)

The purpose of this pamphlet is to show that the capitalist social system is a dynamic and not a static organisation, having developed out of previous social systems. The historical role of capitalism was progressive insofar as the means of production, hitherto small and fragmentary in character, were welded into the gigantic productive organisations we know today. The social powers of production however are not under the control of society and the relations of production do not serve the interests of the producers, the working class. The social classes have been reduced to two, a property-less working class forming the vast majority, and a property owning capitalist class, the minority. The relations of production are anti-social because the object behind production is not the satisfaction of social need but the amassing of profit and the accumulation of capital.

More Lenin or less Lenin? - Socialist Standard (2004)

leninism 57 varieties

The Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia put the clock back in the sense that before the First World War the radical wing of the international Social Democratic movement was making progress towards positions similar to those of the Socialist Party in Britain but, after 1917, most of those involved were side-tracked into supporting the Bolsheviks. For many this was only a temporary dalliance, but the damage had been done. Crucially, when they were to break with the Bolshevik regime they did not entirely break with the Bolsheviks' ideas, regarding themselves as “leftwing communists” as they called themselves; in particular they accepted that the Russian revolution had been some sort of “working-class” revolution which had gone wrong but which still had some positive lessons for workers in the rest of Europe.