Cooking the Books: Answer on a Postcard (to Lord Finkelstein)

Lord Finkelstein, in your column in the Times (30 August) entitled ‘True socialism always ends with the Stasi’, you invited readers to send you a postcard correcting any misunderstandings on your part. Unfortunately, a postcard is not large enough.

You do correctly understand that in socialism ‘market exchange is replaced by friendly, voluntary co-operation and free provision’. Your misunderstandings begin when you say that, reading Paul Mason’s book Postcapitalism, you wondered ‘how he might get someone, for instance, to clean station platforms or do any extra shift without being paid’.

You describe as ‘preposterous’ the idea that people would be prepared to work at such jobs, or any job, ‘for nothing’.