Friday, May 16, 2008

Communal property vs. economic development in controlled capitalism

A question that comes up in relation to Russia and the New Economic Plan. The theory of the Anarchists and of the Socialist Revolutionaries was that the traditional forms of collective property that still existed among peasant farmers could be used as the basis for a leap towards a collective, socialist, society. There was indeed communal property and communal decision making in some places. This is great, and fits in with the idea of adapting forms of society that have potential into a struggle for a new society instead of waiting for them to be eliminated by capitalism and after that trying to move towards a collective society. The question that I have is how economic development could advance in that situation. The collective decision making and traditions from pre-capitalist times may be good, but they're dirt poor. How exactly do you integrate some forms of economic development based on the idea of a limited market system with the basic village commune system of collectively run agriculture? I'm not sure, but it's a question that hasn't gotten a lot of attention. There's probably a lot of fertile ground to go over there.

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