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The Philosophy and Economics of Market SocialismA Critical Study$
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N. Scott Arnold

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780195088274

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195088274.001.0001

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Other Options for Market Socialism?

Other Options for Market Socialism?

(p.234) 8 Other Options for Market Socialism?
The Philosophy and Economics of Market Socialism

N. Scott Arnold

Oxford University Press

The problem posed by this chapter is whether or not there are other market socialist systems that do not face the difficulties found in the last two chapters. The first suggestion of the chapter is to explore the possibilities of changes of equity ownership in the market socialist system. The suggestion stems from the fact that one of the most serious weaknesses of the worker control-state ownership model is that the capital provider is not the ultimate decision-making authority and residual claimant. By contrast, one of the salient advantages of the characteristic organizations of a free enterprise system is that its functions are all joined. In other words, the latter organizations, unlike the organizations in the worker control-state ownership model, have equity owners. Thus, in the classical capitalist firm and the open corporation, those who are ultimate decision makers and residual claimants cannot exploit the primary providers of capital because they are the primary providers of capital. Other forms of ownership in the market socialist economy are also suggested. Finally this chapter goes back to the socialist vision of a good society. While the socialist system is able to eliminate alienation in the workplace, this is not enough to compensate for its failure as an alternative to capitalism. This chapter sees a defeat of socialism and a limited victory for capitalism.

Keywords:   equity ownership, good society, capitalism, socialism, capital

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