Socialism in the Twenty-First Century
Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM (PST)
- Chair: Robin Hahnel, American University
Stable Job or IPhones? The Dilemma of Innovation in Socialism
AbstractPerhaps the greatest strength of capitalism has been its ability to promote sustained technological progress over long periods of time. Socialism must also promote sustained technological progress while avoiding the problems associated with technological change under capitalism. Socialism faces a fundamental dilemma regarding technological change: The abolition of unemployment has been one of the major historical goals of socialism. However, technological progress is inherently disruptive, and creates insecurity for jobholders. This paper proposes ways to promote technological advance in planned socialism while also providing meaningful employment security.
Information Technology and the Socialist Mode of Production: A Simulation of the Point Allocation System
AbstractMany socialist proposals do not take advantage of modern information technology in their theoretical frameworks. This paper presents a new vision of the socialist mode of production in which information technology is used to coordinate the activities of many different consumers and workers’ councils. In this proposal, consumers select “use values” from a “General Catalog” and organize them in “needs profiles.” Based on consumers’ relative valuations of use values, workers’ councils are awarded “points,” which are used to obtain means of production via a cooperative allocation process.
Social Equity Funds in a Pluralist Socialism
AbstractSocialism needs to be pluralist in its conception of ownership and control, its treatment of contending political formations, and its acceptance of different strategies, values, and technologies. This paper argues that these objectives can be furthered through the use of “social equity funds” -- pools of capital established for the purpose of promoting the interests of a social group or political orientation. This paper describes the institutional forms such funds might take, their governance, and different means by which they can acquire and build capital.
- P2 - Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies
- P3 - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions