On Market Socialism

  • Paresh Chattopadhyay
Part of the Marx, Engels, and Marxisms book series (MAENMA)


market Socialism (MS for short) as a conceptual category signifies an economic system where (at least) the principal means of production are owned either by the State or by some form of collectivity—like for example self-managed workers’ cooperatives—and where the allocation of goods and resources for productive and individual (personal) consumption follows the market rule by operating basically through the price-wage system. As a theoretical category, MS arose in the interwar period but had a new lease of life after the Second World War. This was accentuated within a section of the left academics after the collapse of the Party-State regimes in Russia and Eastern Europe and the apparent victory of “neo-liberalism” across the globe. Considered as a viable alternative to Capitalism, MS would combine—so it is thought—economic efficiency with democracy and equity while avoiding an authoritarian command economy with administrative allocation of goods and resources. For the purpose of this chapter, we will be exclusively concerned with MS as a theoretical category and leave aside various practical measures of Market Socialism that were adopted in Eastern Europe and Russia, and later, in China and Vietnam in view of what was perceived as economic inefficiency of the administrative command economy.1


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Paresh Chattopadhyay
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Quebec in MontrealWestmountCanada

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