Cybersocialism and the Future of the Socialist Calculation Debate

Authors

  • Jan Philipp Dapprich University of Potsdam, Germany
  • Dan Greenwood University of Westminster, United Kingdom

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.23941/ejpe.v17i1.781

Abstract

In the long running debate about the desirability and feasibility of a planned socialist economy, Austrian economists proclaim victory. Drawing from Mises and Hayek, they stress that the problem of deciding the most economic methods for producing goods and services is not simply, as some early socialist responses suggested, a ‘computational’ one but is rather epistemological. Hence, they reject recent ‘cybersocialist’ claims that developments in computational technology offer potential for addressing the ‘socialist calculation problem’ famously formulated by Mises, long before the advent of computer technology. Yet this theoretical claim by Austrians hinges more than is recognised upon the capacity of rapidly evolving computational technologies and their potential applications. We highlight the need to re-appraise Austrian conclusions, attending closely to the distinction offered by Mises between supply and demand-side calculation. Recent cybersocialist proposals should be viewed as opening up several different avenues of research relating to different aspects of the long-running socialist calculation debate, including the inter-relationships between economic calculation, incentives and innovation.

Author Biographies

Jan Philipp Dapprich, University of Potsdam, Germany

Jan Philipp Dapprich is a postdoctoral researcher in political theory at the University of Potsdam. His research spans from political philosophy to heterodox political economy. He is a guest editor for an upcoming special issue of the Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics on Democratic Economic Planning. His recent publications include ‘Optimal Planning with Consumer Feedback: A Simulation of a Socialist Economy’ (Review of Political Economy 35:4, 2023) and ‘Tokens make the world go round: socialist tokens as an alternative to money’ (Review of Evolutionary Political Economy 4, 2023).

Dan Greenwood, University of Westminster, United Kingdom

Dan Greenwood is Reader in Politics at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster. His research is in the fields of governance, public policy and political economy. His recent publications include ‘Effective governance and the political economy of coordination’ (Palgrave, 2023).

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Published

2024-07-06

How to Cite

Dapprich, J. P., & Greenwood, D. (2024). Cybersocialism and the Future of the Socialist Calculation Debate. Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 17(1), aa-aa. https://doi.org/10.23941/ejpe.v17i1.781