Socialism, Bureaucracy and the Market – 10
The information revolution
When Joseph Stalin was leading the Soviet Union, there was no internet, no information revolution and therefore there was no possibility of obtaining real-time data about the multi-faceted national economy. Nonetheless, as a result of the socialist economy enormous gains were achieved in country-wide economic development as well as in people’s living standards. Contributing greatly to these achievements were (a) ambitious plans and inducements to go beyond the plans; (b) mass enthusiasm and (c) iron discipline.
Since then, most countries’ economy (whether capitalist or socialist) have become significantly more complex, with many millions of items being produced. The best planners cannot by themselves fully predict for and plan into existence all the inter-related elements of a giant economic system.
Capitalism has an intrinsic “corrective” system — as brutal and inhuman as it is: if a given product does not have an (adequate) market, the company producing that item(s) loses money or may even go bankrupt. Workers are fired and they and their families are often doomed to a poverty-stricken or even worse “existence”.
Socialism, on the other hand, is a humanistic system – without exploitation, unemployment, mass misery, etc. Under socialism, the workers of an enterprise should not suffer irreparable harm just because some item(s) does not find adequate demand.
But the socialist system requires an on-going, current and omnipresent system of information on whether products are meeting people’s needs and to what degree.
That information is now available and available very widely — with the information revolution:
“Development of technologies (such as computers, digital communication, microchips) in the second half of the 20th century that has led to dramatic reduction in the cost of obtaining, processing, storing, and transmitting information in all forms — text, graphics, audio, video.” (businessdictionary.com)
More on these capabilities:
“What is The Internet? The Internet is a massive network of networks, a networking infrastructure. It connects millions of computers together globally, forming a network in which any computer can communicate with any other computer as long as they are both connected to the Internet. Information that travels over the Internet does so via a variety of languages known as protocols.
«What is The Web (World Wide Web)? The World Wide Web, or simply Web, is a way of accessing information over the medium of the Internet. It is an information-sharing model that is built on top of the Internet. The Web uses the HTTP protocol, only one of the languages spoken over the Internet, to transmit data. Web services, which use HTTP to allow applications to communicate in order to exchange business logic, use the the Web to share information. The Web also utilizes browsers, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, to access Web documents called Web pages that are linked to each other via hyperlinks. Web documents also contain graphics, sounds, text and video.» (Webopedia, Dec. 22, 2016)
Thus, socialist economic planners, factory managers, workers, the government and the general population would have these powerful informational tools available to obtain and disseminate up-to-date statistics, summaries and trends of any and all aspects of the economy. From the sales of any specific item to inventory data to evaluations of the production and product distribution of any factory, farm, etc. to current knowledge of the status of entire branches of the economy and the economy as a whole.
Tied into this “web” would be widespead consumer and user feed-back mechanisms – important information on the use and acceptibility of any and all products. All this would be readily available to planners, producers and the public at large.
While the future sales and disposition of any item cannot be definitively predicted – in either capitalism or socialism – the immense power of the information revolution provides ample tools to obtain and analyze past and current performances, to discern and evaluate trends and to formulate reasonable and objective plans and projected modifications for the future.
Правительство США жестоко нарушало мои права человека при проведении кампании террора, которая заставила меня покинуть свою родину и получить политическое убежище в СССР. См. книгу «Безмолвный террор — История политических гонений на семью в США» — «Silent Terror: One family’s history of political persecution in the United States» — http://arnoldlockshin.wordpress.com
Правительство США еще нарушает мои права, в течении более 13 лет отказывается от выплаты причитающейся мне пенсии по старости. Властители США воруют пенсию!! Всё это — ещё доказательство, что настоящий действующий закон в США — Закон джунглей.
ФСБ — Федеральная служба «безопасности» России — вслед за позорным, предавшим страну предшественником КГБ, выполняет приказы секретного, кровавого хозяина (boss) — американского ЦРУ (CIA). Среди таких «задач» — мне запретить выступать в СМИ и не пропускать большинства отправленных мне комментариев. А это далеко не всё…
Арнольд Локшин, политэмигрант из США