Can socialist planning work?
With economic crisis sweeping the globe, many people are asking if there is a better way to organise society. Kate Connelly and Esme Choonara explain how a planned socialist economy might work.
Planning does exist under capitalism – but it takes place within individual firms rather than across society as a whole.
Capitalism is also extremely undemocratic. Even in the parts of the world where we get to vote for parliamentary representatives, we have no control over most economic decisions that shape our lives.
Because production isn't tied to what people need, crises occur where companies find that their products can't be sold. Karl Marx explained that capitalism is the first economic system where you can have a crisis of overproduction, rather than a crisis of scarcity.Socialist planning is about completely different priorities – producing for need, not for profit. It is impossible to determine what those needs are without extending democracy and involving the mass of the population in decision-making. . . . read more