Socialism Revised and Modernized: The Case for Pragmatic Market Socialism

By James A. Yunker | Go to book overview

phenomenon raises serious questions as to the adequacy of incentives to effort among top corporation executives under contemporary capitalism, and suggests the possibility that the Bureau of Public Ownership could exert stronger disciplinary control over these executives. If 100 percent taxation were to become a reality, the class of capital owners would no longer be relevant. They would have no financial incentive whatever to concern themselves with the property return being produced by corporations, and the pressures they currently exert toward the efficiency of the corporate executive elite (however effortless and/or inadequate these pressures might be) would disappear altogether. Thus the 100 percent taxation plan cannot be taken seriously by anyone who possesses proper appreciation of the implications of the separation of ownership and control which is manifestly present in the contemporary capitalist economy.


NOTES
1.
Proponents and opponents alike customarily envision "socialism" in broader terms than these. In addition to public ownership of capital, socialism is frequently identified with central planning, business regulation, paternalistic welfarism, pure egalitarianism (i.e., as favorable to equalization of labor income as well as property income), and communalism (public ownership of personal consumption goods as well as the means of production). The identification of these various concepts with socialism" is grounded in the complex intellectual and real-world history of socialism. The popular, professional, and polemical literature which traces this history is tremendous. The range of style and treatment is enormous, from popular surveys such as Edward Hyams ( 1974) through college textbooks such as Ben Aggar ( 1979) to scholarly works such as George D. H. Cole five volumes ( 1953- 1960) and Carl Landauer two volumes ( 1960). There are also several documentary compilations available, such as those edited by Irving Howe ( 1976) and Emile Burns ( 1982). As the present work is not an analysis of historical socialist thought but rather a contemporary reformulation and advocacy of socialism, little reference will be made to the historical literature. However, study of that literature will affirm that the pragmatic market socialist proposal is fully compatible with the core of socialist philosophy as defined by Karl Marx and as still enshrined in the typical dictionary definition of socialism, exemplified by the following: "a political and economic theory and movement for the reform of society by the substitution of collective for individual ownership of capital and property" ( Universal English Dictionary).
2.
The nature and purpose of direct public intervention in the market capitalist economy is treated in such textbooks and treatises as those by Clair Wilcox ( 1960), Dudley Pegrum ( 1965), Alfred Kahn ( 1970), Elizabeth Bailey ( 1973), and William Shepherd ( 1985). Influential skeptical evaluations of regulation include those of George Stigler ( 1971), Richard Posner ( 1974), and Sam Peltzman ( 1976). These

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Socialism Revised and Modernized: The Case for Pragmatic Market Socialism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Title Page ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - A New Perspective on Socialism 1
  • 2 - The Pragmatic Market Socialist Proposal 29
  • Notes 58
  • 3 - Pragmatic Market Socialism: Pro and Con 67
  • Notes 92
  • 4 97
  • Notes 140
  • 6 - Investment, Growth, and Entrepreneurship 175
  • Notes 199
  • 7 - People's Capitalism 205
  • Notes 234
  • 8 - Capitalism and Democracy 241
  • Notes 257
  • 9 - Capitalism and History 259
  • Notes 273
  • 10 - Prospects for Change? 277
  • ANALYTICAL APPENDIX 291
  • References 307
  • SUBJECT INDEX 325
  • NAME INDEX 333
  • About the Author 338
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