GNP and the Effort/Reward Relationship
As is well known, Marx’s suggestion of abolishing the private ownership of the means of production was not conceived as an aim in itself, but as a means of abolishing what he described as ‘exploitation’ and ‘alienation’. Briefly and in plain language, exploitation means the appropriation of the fruits of other people’s labour. In Marx’s understanding, it results from any kind of private ownership where working people are either slaves, or serfs (bondsmen), or are hired. Alienation is the label for the psychic aspects of any exploitative social system. Depending on whether more stress is being laid on the aims or on the means, two types of socialism can be distinguished. On the one hand, achievement socialism, where the stress is on realisation of final aims, that is abolition of exploitation and alienation. On the other hand, institutional socialism, where the leadership tend to satisfy themselves with the means, that is with the socialisation of the means of production, claiming that this institutional change already creates conditions for a qualitative change in labour relationship, thus implying the abolition of exploitation.
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