Saturday, May 5, 2012

5/5/2012: Marx v Austrians: 0:1... still

A superb and a must-read paper on virtues, failures & quantifiability of 'alternative' ideological structures: Capitalism, Socialism and Calculations, by Brent Butgereit and Art Carden.

The paper is now published in the Economic Affairs, Vol. 31, Issue 3, pp. 41-45, 2011  but you can get a working paper version of it free here.

Per authors: "The merits and demerits of what we call ―capitalism have been sources of much attention since Adam Smith...  We consider the criticisms of the Smithian capitalist system as stated most prominently by Karl Marx, and we evaluate Marx‘s proposed solution to the evils of capitalism—specifically, socialism. We also explore the contributions of Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek to the debate about whether Marx‘s proposed alternative was really an alternative.

Mises and Hayek provide powerful critiques of Marx‘s socialist vision by addressing the problem of economic calculation and the inability of central authorities to acquire knowledge diffused and distributed across an entire society.  We question whether Marx offered a solution and then consider more recent attacks on capitalism and its alleged destruction of cultural capital.

The theoretical contributions of Mises and Hayek are supported by recent empirical contributions suggesting that liberal political economy is robust."

Worth a read!

1 comment:

ballynally said...

It seems to me that presenting a scoring line (0-1)claiming losers and winners is exactly the kind of framing we dont need in this day and age.The article provides such generalities about opposing views, leaving out historical factors like the influence of one system on the other. Without the threat of communism our social democratic model in europe never would have happened, for instance.And we do not live in a complete market driven society either, if you look at the protection of vested interest.It should be up to society to chose the parameters that the various systems can operate in, to counter the many threats a system makes to the general well-being of the public. To me that debate is vital at the moment. Unfortunelaty, it looks like goal scoring from left and right is the order of the day, and helps no one