Market socialism: oxymoron or just plain moronic?

KFCThese days the ‘99%‘ and ‘Another World is Possible‘ are slogans fluttering atop many a radical social movement. Yet on those occasions activists’ deliberations turn to what a post-capitalist future might look like, there will be a lot of talk about participatory democracy, community networks, the decentralisation of power and so on. The state might (might!) occasionally get a look in as something that can facilitate the building of the new society, but what definitely will not are markets and market-type mechanisms. And it’s entirely reasonable why they should not.

Ostensibly, the world economy has had 35 years worth of free market fundamentalism. The tearing down of tariffs and protectionism has been accompanied by an orgy of privatisation, speculation, and offshoring. Markets are the only political game in town. They have been introduced by hook and by crook into public services. In country after country, tax payers cash have been thrown at markets to lubricate them. Continue reading