A Brief History
Chapter 5: The economics of socialism
In chapter 5, on the economics of socialism, several distinctive Austrian visions of a post-capitalist future are compared. I contrast the alternative approaches to the economics of socialism taken in the first three decades of the twentieth century by Otto Neurath, who advocated a moneyless planned economy; Otto Bauer, who was strongly influenced by the ideas of the Guild Socialists in Britain; Karl Polanyi, who spent the 1920s in Vienna and was an early proponent of market socialism; and Otto Leichter, who argued that the labour theory of value could be used by future socialist planners. The chapter ends with two very different proposals, by Rudolf Goldscheid, who advocated a ‘state capitalist’ system, and by Walter Schiff, who mounted a vigorous (though not uncritical) defence of the central planning system that had recently been introduced in Stalin’s Russia.
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