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Market abolitionism is a belief that the market, in the economic sense, should be completely eliminated from society. Market abolitionists argue that markets are morally abhorrent, antisocial and ultimately incompatible with human and environmental survival and that if left unchecked the market will annihilate both.

In large countries in the modern world, the only significant alternative to a market economy has been central planning or coordinatorism as was practiced in the early U.S.S.R and in the People's Republic of China before the 1990s. Other proposed alternatives to the market economy —participatory planning as proposed in the theory of Participatory economics ("Parecon"), and the idea of substituting a gift economy for a commodity exchange—have not yet been tried on a large scale in the modern industrialized world, though alternative organizational methods have been implemented successfully during short periods of time: the early stages of the Russian Revolution before it was taken over by the Bolsheviks[1][2][3], and the Spanish Revolution before it was crushed by the alliance of liberals and communists[4].


Market Abolitionists

Michael Albert, creator of Znet and co-creator of participatory economics, considers himself a market abolitionist and favors democratic participatory planning as a replacement. He and several colleagues, including Robin Hahnel have elaborated their theory of "parecon" in books, on Znet, and in Z Magazine.

Notably, Noam Chomsky is one of those who have expressed the opinion that a truly free market would destroy the species as well as physical environment. He also favors a democratic participatory planning process as a replacement to the market.[1]

Criticism against the abolition of markets

Economists such as Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek and Brink Lindsey argue that if the market is eliminated along with property, prices, and wages, then the mode of information transmission is eliminated and what will result is a highly inefficient system for transmitting the value, supply, demand, of goods, services, resources, along with an elimination of the most efficient mode of market transactions. Opinions as to what would follow range from the total collapse of civilization and mass starvation to mere disaster.

Mutualists like Kevin Carson advocate gift economics-based "Free Market Socialism" (which is not the same as Market Socialism) as an alternative to both Capitalism and State Socialism, noting that a decentralized system can be self-regulating.

See also


  1. ^ Rocker, Rudolf (2004). Anarcho syndicalism: Theory and Practice. AK Press.  
  2. ^ Berkman, Alexander (2003). The ABC of Anarchism. Dover Publications.  
  3. ^ Noam Chomsky. "Notes on Anarchism". In Daniel Guérin, Anarchism: From Theory to Practice, 1970; Retrieved 2009-12-22.  
  4. ^ Chomsky, Noam (2003). Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship. The New Press.  

External links



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