Wednesday, March 20, 2013

In print again: The Alternative to Capitalism

Theory and Practice have reprinted work originally published in State Capitalism: The Wages System Under New Management (1986) and Non-Market Socialism in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (1987, edited by Rubel and Crump) in a cheap print edition  The Alternative to Capitalism by Adam Buick and John Crump. It combines a brief critique of state capitalism/'socialism' with a clear exposition of the principles of non-market socialism.

One theme of the book is to make a radical distinction between capitalism and socialism, which implies the impossibility of a reformist approach to creating socialism. This reminds me of part of the conversation between 'George' and the 'Professor' in Philoren's 1943 work Money Must Go! ('And in its place the production of goods for use and free distribution, a World Commonwealth of all mankind, and a real civilisation), where (p. 13) the Professor reminds George that:
You can patch an old pair of trousers till there are more patches than trousers. But that won't make a new pair. It is, in fact, likely to fall to pieces, which, you will agree, would be rather awkward.
The Alternative to Capitalism also explains what a world without money might look, just as in Philoren's work (p. 16) the Professor explains to George:
I am not proposing the abolition of money alone, nor a return to barter. In fact, the abolition of money alone, would solve no problems and would no doubt create many difficulties. But what I do propose is, that THE WHOLE SYSTEM OF MONEY AND EXCHANGE, BUYING AN SELLING, PROFIT-MAKING AND WAGE-EARNING SHOULD BE ENTIRELY ABOLISHED AND THAT INSTEAD, THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE SHOULD ORGANISE AND ADMINISTER THE PRODUCTION OF GOODS FOR USE ONLY, AND THE FREE DISTRIBUTION OF THESE GOODS TO ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY ACCORDING TO EACH MEMBER'S NEEDS. (Capitalisation follows the original.)

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