I wrote a post a few days ago about the supposed advantages of prices/markets in economic organisation. I figure I might as well write a related post now about their key disadvantages.
This post won’t be primarily a critique of capitalism, because many of the problems of capitalism flow not from its market-driven nature but from its nature as a class society controlled by an exploitative elite.
Rather, my main goal is to explain why I adopt the label ‘communist’ rather than the broader ‘socialist’. Socialist means merely the rejection of classes, the subordination of the economy to collective democratic control.
But the question of how that control is exercised, of whether private control of some goods remains, of whether market-like structures remain, or remain for some goods or classes of goods but not for others (most obviously, for products but not for means of production) – that is left open.
‘Market socialism’ is thus a meaningful term, and one adopted by many. ‘Communism’, conversely, implies a more thorough-going rejection of property and of markets – that if they do appear, it is in a very very minor, fragmented, momentary way, not as a prominent factor of society. It is connected also with ideas of a change in culture, and the greater prominence of non-mercantile motives and relationships.