By Noam Chomsky

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1 But interesting as their proposals of organization of individual industries are and relevant as is the discussion to which they gave rise to many of the problems discussed in England at the present moment, they cannot be regarded as socialist proposals of the kind discussed here, but belong to the halfway house between capitalism and socialism, discussion of which for reasons mentioned above has been deliberately excluded from the present work. 10. MISES, MAX WEBER AND BRUTZKUS The distinction of having first formulated the central problem of socialist economics in such a form as to make it impossible that it should ever again disappear from the discussion belongs to the Austrian economist Professor Ludwig von Mises.

A complete renewal of society must be the goal. In this essay I hope to show that it is a mistake to believe on these grounds that the efforts of theoretical economics are unnecessary. This branch of knowledge can never be neglected-not even in the event of socialism being carried into practice. As to whether socialism can be carried into practice I shall not decide here. But for the sake of argument let us supp0se that It IS. In this case, admittedly, many of the problems which now demand our attention would disappear, but this is by no means true of all the problems, nor of the most important ; these would merely assume other forms.

Cannan, A History of the Theories of Production and Distribution, 1893, 3rd edition, 1917, p. 395. Professor Cannan has later also made an important contribution to the problem of the international 26 NATURE AND HISTORY OF THE PROBLEM way, for the simple reason that no concrete socialist proposal of how these problems would be overcome existed to be examined. 1 It was only early in the present century that at last a general statement of the kind we have just examined concerning the impracticability of socialism by the eminent Dutch economist, N.

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Anarchism, Marxism & hope for the future by Noam Chomsky


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