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Many have looked at the Soviet Union-style command economy and from their studies conclude that socialism is not possible. The problem with a centrally-planned model of socialism was its inability to cope with change. It lacks any kind of feedback mechanism which allows for mutual adjustments between the different actors in such an economy. It is completely inflexible. We did witnessed in the USSR how it was unable to determine prices by central planning. Prices were set, re-set, fixed then re-fixed, plans were made then re-appraised, re-defined, changed and dropped. Comparisons with Soviet Union and the aspiration of a moneyless society is comparing oranges with apples. Just as the reformists tried to confuse nationalisation (or as many anarchists labelled it, state-socialism) with free access socialism. It is a complete red herring.
We would describe socialism as a self-regulating, self-adjusting inter-linked and inter-dependent system. Decisions will be made at different levels of organisation: global, regional and local with the bulk of decision-making being made at the local level. In this sense, a socialist economy would be a polycentric, not a centrally planned economy. Free access to goods and services denies to any group or individuals the political leverage with which to dominate others.
Industries and productive units could use mathematical aids to decision-making such as operational research and linear programming to find the most appropriate technical method of production to employ. As neutral techniques these can still be used where the object is something other than profit maximisation or the minimisation of monetary costs.
Another technique already in use under capitalism that could be adapted for use in socialism: so-called cost-benefit analysis and its variants. Naturally, under capitalism the balance sheet of the relevant benefits and costs advantages and disadvantages of a particular scheme or rival schemes is drawn up in money terms, but in socialism a points system for attributing relative importance to the various relevant considerations could be used instead.
Since the needs of consumers are always needs for a specific product at a specific time in a specific locality, we will assume that socialist society would leave the initial assessment of likely needs to a delegate body under the control of the local community (although, once again, other arrangements are possible if that were what the members of socialist society wanted). In a stable society such as socialism, needs would change relatively slowly. Hence it is reasonable to surmise that an efficient system of stock control, recording what individuals actually chose to take under conditions of free access from local distribution centres over a given period, would enable the local distribution committee (for want of a name) to estimate what the need for food, drink, clothes and household goods would be over a similar future period. Some needs would be able to be met locally: local transport, restaurants, builders, repairs and some food are examples as well as services such as street-lighting, libraries and refuse collection. The local distribution committee would then communicate needs that could not be met locally to the body (or bodies) charged with coordinating supplies to local communities.
Once such an integrated structure of circuits of production and distribution had been established at local, regional and world levels, the flow of wealth to the final consumer could take place on the basis of each unit in the structure having free access to what is needed to fulfil its role. The individual would have free access to the goods on the shelves of the local distribution centres; the local distribution centres free access to the goods they required to be always adequately stocked with what people needed; their suppliers free access to the goods they required from the factories which supplied them; industries and factories free access to the materials, equipment and energy they needed to produce their products; and so on.
Within the SPGB's concept there does exist a flexibility in determining allocation of resources and determining the requirements and wishes of communities. There does indeed remain with those of us who desire a moneyless economy a justified suspicion of those Leftists who wish for a capitalism without the capitalists and the anarcho-capitalists who desire capitalism without the state. Who just are the real utopians ?
In a socialist society, there will be no money and no exchange and no barter.
Goods will be voluntarily produced, and services voluntarily supplied to meet people's needs. People will freely take the things they need. Socialism will be concerned solely with the production, distribution and consumption of useful goods and services in response to definite needs. It will integrate social needs with the material means of meeting those needs. Common ownership means that society as a whole owns the means and instruments for distributing wealth. It also implies the democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth, for if everyone owns, then everyone must have equal right to control the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth.
By the replacement of exchange economy by common ownership basically what would happen is that wealth would cease to take the form of exchange value, so that all the expressions of this social relationship peculiar to an exchange economy, such as money and prices, would automatically disappear. In other words, goods would cease to have an economic value and would become simply physical objects which human beings could use to satisfy some want or other.The disappearance of economic value would mean the end of economic calculation in the sense of calculation in units of value whether measured by money or directly in some unit of labour-time. It would mean that there was no longer any common unit of calculation for making decisions regarding the production of goods.
Socialism is a money-less society in which use values would be produced from other use values, there would need no have a universal unit of account but could calculate exclusively in kind .The only calculations that would be necessary in socialism would be calculations in kind. On the one side would be recorded the resources (materials, energy, equipment, labour) used up in production and on the other side the amount of the good produced, together with any by-products. Calculation in kind entails the counting or measurement of physical quantities of different kinds of factors of production. There is no general unit of accounting involved in this process such as money or labour hours or energy units. In fact, every conceivable kind of economic system has to rely on calculation in kind, including capitalism. Without it, the physical organisation of production (e.g. maintaining inventories) would be literally impossible. But where capitalism relies on monetary accounting as well as calculation in kind, socialism relies solely on the latter. That is one reason why socialism holds a decisive productive advantage over capitalism by eliminating the need to tie up vast quantities of resources and labour implicated in a system of monetary/pricing accounting.
Socialism is a decentralised or polycentric society that is self-regulating, self-adjusting and self-correcting, from below and not from the top. It is not a command economy but a responsive one.Planning in socialism is essentially a question of industrial organisation, of organising productive units into a productive system functioning smoothly to supply the useful things which people had indicated they needed, both for their individual and for their collective consumption. What socialism would establish would be a rationalised network of planned links between users and suppliers; between final users and their immediate suppliers, between these latter and their suppliers, and so on down the line to those who extract the raw materials from nature. The responsibility of these industries would be to ensure the supply of a particular kind of product either, in the case of consumer goods, to distribution centres or, in the case of goods used to produce other goods, to productive units or other industries. Planning is indeed central to the idea of socialism, but socialism is the planned (consciously coordinated and not to be confused with the central planning concept ) production of useful things to satisfy human needs precisely instead of the production, planned or otherwise, of wealth as exchange value, commodities and capital. In socialism wealth would have simply a specific use value (which would be different under different conditions and for different individuals and groups of individuals) but it would not have any exchange, or economic, value.
Needs would arise in local communities expressed as required quantities such as kilos, tonnes, cubic litres, or whatever , of various materials and quantities of goods . These would then be communicated according to necessity .Each particular part of production would be responding to the material requirements communicated to it through the connected ideas of social production. It would be self -regulating, because each element of production would be self-adjusting to the communication of these material requirements. Each part of production would know its position. If requirements are low in relation to a build-up of stock, then this would an automatic indication to a production unit that its production should be reduced. The supply of some needs will take place within the local community and in these cases production would not extent beyond this , as for example with local food production for local consumption .Other needs could be communicated as required things to the regional organisation of production. Local food production would require glass, but not every local community could have its own glass works . The requirements for glass could be communicated to a regional glass works. The glass works has its own suppliers of materials and the amounts they require for the production of glass are known in definite quantities. The required quantities of these materials could be passed by the glass works to the regional suppliers of the materials for glass manufacture. This would be a sequence of communication of local needs to the regional organisation of production, and thus contained within a region.
Local food production would also require tractors, for instance, and here the communication of required quantities of things could extend further to the world organisation of production . Regional manufacture could produce and assemble the component parts of tractors for distribution to local communities. The regional production unit producing tractors would communicate to their own suppliers, and eventually this would extend to world production units extracting and processing the necessary materials.
Production and distribution in socialism would thus be a question of organising a coordinated and more or less self-regulating system of linkages between users and suppliers, enabling resources and materials to flow smoothly from one productive unit to another, and ultimately to the final user, in response to information flowing in the opposite direction originating from final users. The productive system would thus be set in motion from the consumer end, as individuals and communities took steps to satisfy their self-defined needs. Socialist production is self-regulating production for use.Stocks of goods held at distribution points would be monitored, their rate of depletion providing vital information about the future demand for such goods, information which will be conveyed to the units producing these goods. The units would in turn draw upon the relevant factors of production and the depletion of these would activate yet other production units further back along the production chain. There would thus be a marked degree of automaticity in the way the system operated. The maintenance of surplus stocks would provide a buffer against unforeseen fluctuations in demand .The regional production units would in turn communicate its own manufacturing needs to their own suppliers, and this would extend to world production units extracting and processing the necessary raw materials.
We are seeking ultimately to establish a "steady-state economy" or "zero-growth" society which corresponds to what Marx called "simple reproduction" - a situation where human needs were in balance with the resources needed to satisfy them. Such a society would already have decided, according to its own criteria and through its own decision-making processes, on the most appropriate way to allocate resources to meet the needs of its members. This having been done, it would only need to go on repeating this continuously from production period to production period. Production would not be ever-increasing but would be stabilized at the level required to satisfy needs. All that would be produced would be products for consumption and the products needed to replace and repair the raw materials and instruments of production used up in producing these consumer goods. The point about such a situation is that there will no longer be any imperative need to develop productivity, i.e. to cut costs in the sense of using less resources; nor will there be the blind pressure to do so that is exerted under capitalism through the market.
It will also create an ecologically benign relationship with nature. In socialism we would not be bound to use the most labour efficient methods of production. We would be free to select our methods in accordance with a wide range of socially desirable criteria, in particular the vital need to protect the environment. What it means is that we should construct permanent, durable means of production which you don’t constantly innovate. We would use these to produce durable equipment and machinery and durable consumer goods designed to last for a long time, designed for minimum maintenance and made from materials which if necessary can be re-cycled. In this way we would get a minimum loss of materials; once they’ve been extracted and processed they can be used over and over again. It also means that once you’ve achieved satisfactory levels of consumer goods, you don’t insist on producing more and more. Total social production could even be reduced. This will be the opposite of to-day’s capitalist system's cheap, shoddy, “throw-away” goods and built-in obsolescence, which results in a massive loss and destruction of resources.

Simply put, in socialism there would be no barter economy or monetary system. It would be a economy based on need. Therefore, a consumer would have a need, and there would be a communication system set in place that relays that need to the producer. The producer create the product, and then send the product back to the consumer, and the need would be satisfied.

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