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market socialism


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The doctrine that socialism can and should be achieved without a massive state apparatus. Market socialists believe that while capital can and should be owned cooperatively, or in some cases by the state, decisions about production and exchange should be left to market forces and not planned centrally. Market socialism is intertwined with industrial democracy because the most difficult practical questions often turn out to be: If capital is cooperatively owned, who decides how to dispose of it? And do cooperators get one vote each, or votes in proportion to the capital they have contributed? Robert Nozick has argued (in Anarchy, State and Utopia) that the comparative scarcity of producer cooperatives shows that people have freely chosen to live under capitalism instead. Market socialists such as D. L. Miller have denied this, arguing that a capitalist economy is structurally biased against market socialist enterprises.

Subjects: Politics.


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