Thursday, 27 November 2014

Towards a New Socialism

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This book (first published in 1993 by Spokesman, Nottingham, England) is our attempt to answer the idea that socialism is dead and buried after the demise of the Soviet Union.
The core of the book consists of a series of chapters spelling out what we believe would be efficient and democratic methods for planning a complex economy. We also examine issues of inequality and its elimination, systems of payment for labour, a democratic political constitution for a socialist commonwealth, the commune as a set of arrangements for living, and property relations under socialism.
The book "Towards a New Socialism" (TNS) is copyright (c) 1993 W. Paul Cockshott and Allin Cottrell. The copyright holders grant you permission to copy and redistribute the English-language text of TNS as you wish -- in printed, electronic or any other form -- on the following conditions: (a) you acknowledge the authorship of Cockshott and Cottrell; and (b) if you make modifications, you distinguish clearly between the text as written by the original authors and your own modifications. Please note that this permission may not apply to translations of TNS into other languages. That is, the publishers of translations of TNS may assert exclusive rights to their translation.
From this page you may access:
  • Information on the printed book from Spokesman or
  • An HTML version of the Introduction.
  • An HTML version of the Table of Contents.
  • The complete book in Adobe's PDF format, or as a postscript file.
  • For your downloading convenience, a zipped version of the PDF file, or a gzipped version of the postscript file.
  • The book in e-book format: TNS.epub. (See for details.)
  • A Czech socialist website that has a translation of the book.
  • Some companion pieces to the book:
    • A new preface (in English) to the forthcoming Czech edition of the book. Quite a substantial piece, which answers several questions about the book. In US letter format, preface-us.pdf, or A4 format, preface-a4.pdf.
    • 'Calculation, Complexity and Planning: The Socialist Calculation Debate Once Again' (Review of Political Economy, July 1993) in PDF format: calculation_debate.pdf. Our analysis and response to the historic 'socialist calculation debate' involving Mises, Hayek, Lange and others.
    • 'Socialist Planning After the Collapse of the Soviet Union' (Revue européene des sciences sociales, 1993) in PDF format: soviet_planning.pdf. Analysis of what went wrong with central planning in the USSR, and implications for the socialist calculation debate.
    • 'Information and Economics: A Critique of Hayek' (Research in Political Economy, 1997) in PDF format: hayek_critique.pdf. Counter-argument to Hayek's influential critique of socialist planning in his article `The Use of Knowledge in Society'.
    • 'Economic Planning, Computers and Labor Values' (working paper, 1999) in PDF format: aer.pdf. Includes a detailed consideration of the argument of Samuelson and Weiszäcker on optimal pricing under socialism.
    • 'Un modèle de planification efficace', a summary of our ideas on socialist planning, prepared for the Marx Congrès II in Paris, September-October 1998, in PDF format: paris_paper.pdf.
    • "Slides" for a talk given by Allin Cottrell at the Primer Encuentro de Pueblos y Estados por la Liberación de la Patria Grande, Sucre, Bolivia, October 2006: sucre.pdf.
Update on computer speeds: One of the themes of our work is that the speed of modern computers makes a real difference to the feasibility of efficient economic planning. In 'Socialist Planning After the Collapse of the Soviet Union', for instance, we assess the time-order of the calculations required for planning in detail a ten-million product economy. We use for reference the figure, at that time on the cutting edge, of one billion calculations per second for an advanced multiprocessor. Such figures date quickly. IBM recently announced (Feb 12, 1998) the signing of a contract with the US Department of Energy and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for the delivery, by the year 2000, of a computer capable of 10 trillion calculations per second -- 4 orders of magnitude faster than our 1993 benchmark.
See also: the Reality website; the webring for the New Historical Project: the end of capitalism.

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