Review of Theodore A. Burczak’s Socialism after Hayek
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For most Austrians, the collapse of the Soviet Union just proved something that we had long since known. Socialism as we understand it (i.e., the elimination of private ownership of the means of production) is impossible; or, to be more precise, rational economic calculation in the absence of private property and so in the absence of competition between severally owned firms over resources, meaningful prices which reflect relative scarcities and profit and loss accounting, is impossible. Attempts by market socialists like Lange (1936) to come up with a “competitive” response to the Austrian critique, as Lavoie (1985) has shown, have failed to answer Austrian concerns. Interestingly, they have not taken Marx all that seriously either, abandoning key features of his program like his concern for alienation and exploitation. Burczak, however, does not commit either sin. His Socialism after Hayekis a stimulating book that is grounded in Burczak’s deep appreciation of both the Austrian...