The failure of command central planning in the twentieth century has led to a general disillusionment within the socialist movement worldwide. Some alternatives to capitalism have been proposed since the end of the Cold War, but none has offered an alternative form of economic calculation. This book explains how modern information technology may be used to implement a new method of economic calculation that could bring an end to capitalism and make socialism possible.
In this book, the author critically examines a number of socialist proposals that have been put forward since the end of the Cold War. It is shown that although these proposals have many merits, their inability effectively to incorporate the benefits of information technology into their models has limited their ability to solve the problem of socialist construction. The final section of the book proposes an entirely new model of socialist development, based on a "needs profile" that makes it possible to convert the needs of large numbers of people into data that can be used as a guide for resource allocation. This analysis makes it possible to rethink and carefully specify the conditions necessary for the abolition of capital and consequently the requirements for socialist revolution and, ultimately, communist society.
Information Technology and Socialist Construction will be of interest to students and scholars of political economy, the history of economic thought, labour economics and industrial economics.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part I: The Logic of Capital 1. The Seemingly Unbreakable Capitalist Laws of Motion 2. The Great Silence: Marx and Engels on Socialism Part II: The Defense of Capital 3. The Socialist Calculation Debate: The need for a reckoning 4. Capitalism’s Defenders: Morality and Organic Economy Part III: The Renewed Challenge to Capital 5. Proposals for Worker-Managed Market Economies 6. The Proposal for a Participatory Economy Part IV: The End of Capital 7. Introducing Socialist Laws of Motion 8. The Transition to Socialism and the Meaning of Communism
Daniel E. Saros is Chair of the Economics Department and Associate Professor of Economics at Valparaiso University, USA.