Capitalism, Socialism, and Property Rights

Why Market Socialism Cannot Substitute the Market

Mateusz Machaj

Agenda Publishing

Capitalism, Socialism, and Property Rights

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Pub Date: April 2018

ISBN: 9781788210355

240 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $90.00

Capitalism, Socialism, and Property Rights

Why Market Socialism Cannot Substitute the Market

Mateusz Machaj

Agenda Publishing

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The comparative analysis of socialist and capitalist economic systems has given rise to a voluminous literature in the history of economic thought, yet detailed analysis of the “market socialism” model, which seeks to imitate the functional efficiency of capitalism by simulating a competitive economy, has been relatively neglected. In this work, Mateusz Machaj seeks to redress this imbalance by providing an in-depth examination of one of the defining issues that separates capitalism from socialism—the system of ownership, or property rights—which, when explored, highlight fundamental problems in the market socialism model.

Taking a broadly Austrian perspective, he shows that the mechanism of efficiency in market socialism is unable to play the part ascribed to it by its theoreticians, because it disregards the fact that property rights are fundamental to the shaping of prices and thus the abolition of ownership in market socialism makes its mechanism of efficiency a fiction. Indeed, Machaj argues, the economic terms used in the model of market capitalism only mirror the names of the real economic variables that cause capitalism to be efficient, not their functions. The book offers new and original insights into the theory of competition, theories of pricing, property laws, and the relation between law and economics, as well as the economics of the market-socialism model. It will be of interest to a wide range of heterodox economists.

About the Author

Mateusz Machaj is assistant professor of economics at the University of Wroclaw, Poland.