This article – ‘Socialism and the Market: The East European Experiment’ – is now in the final stages before publication in New Proposals, so I have removed the initial post and provide here the abstract:
This study reassesses a body of research that has largely been forgotten: Eastern European market socialism of the 1960s-1980s. It does with the objective of recovering important insights and also identifying problems that need to be addressed. Thus, the study begins with an overview of the practices of market socialism, which was pursued to varying degrees in the 1960s. While some (USSR, East Germany and Czechoslovakia) turned back to centrally planned economies in the 1970s, others (especially Yugoslavia and Hungary) pursued further reforms. This material provides the back for analysis of three theoretical breakthroughs and their attendant problems: the market as a neutral “economic mechanism,” as a crucial effort to detach a market economy from its assumed integral connection with a capitalist socio-economic system; the tensions between planning and market, where I seek a more dialectical formulation; and the ownership of the means of production, which risked ignoring the liberation of productive forces. Although there occasional references to Chinese practices and theory, a full study of a socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics is the subject of a follow-up article.
Keywords: market socialism; Eastern Europe; economic mechanism; planning and market; ownership of the means of production; liberation of productive forces.