Plan and Market   Marx and Mechanism




If we at present refute certain concepts and propositions that have been considered as absolutely and unequivocally true by Marxist economists this does not necessarily mean that we are in contradiction to Marx's own ideas. Marx himself said very little about the concrete organization of a socialist economy. His economic theory was above all a critical analysis of the capitalist system. Only a few passages of a more or less general character pertain to problems of socialism. The majority of the concepts and propositions of the political economy of socialism were developed by one of the following ways:

Marx's general remarks about socialism were 'elaborated' and 'made specific' by his followers.
By inference from Marx's criticism of capitalism.
By inclusion of principles that did not originate with Marx but with other socialist thinkers who were Marx's forerunners, contemporaries or followers.

It is not surprising that such a process could have led to components of the "Marxian" economic theory of socialism that are in direct contradiction with Marx's own theory and can be considered a distortion of his views.












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