Economics/Class Relations

Is Socialism Better Than Capitalism? A Soho Forum Debate

I would hold to a much narrower definition of socialism and capitalism than either of these guys. Capitalism is the historic alliance between state and capital which provides capital with the power to command labor. Socialism is the idea of abolishing market relations, commodification, and the law of value. Most right-libertarians are either plutocratic-capitalist-statist apologists (the “Wal Mart Uber Alles” types)  or if they are more radical, implicit individualist-anarchists. Most modern “socialists” are proponents of some kind of social democratic statist “workers capitalism.” Actual anarchism means separation of economy and state, which implies a diversity of economic arrangements, whether market exchange, gift economies, communes, labor exchanges, mutual aid networks, barter networks, or something else. One of the failures of anarchist theory is the failure to develop an independent heterogeneous economic paradigm of its own, apart from the socialist/capitalist dichotomy.

Jacobin’s Ben Burgis says yes, Soho Forum’s Gene Epstein says no.

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