From International Socialist Review, Vol.24 No.3, Summer 1964, p.95.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
On the Economic Theory of Socialism
by Oskar Lange and Fred Taylor
edited by Benjamin E. Lippincott
University of Minnesota Press, McGraw-Hill Paperback, New York, 1964. 143 pp. with bibl. $2.15.
This is a paperback edition of a work first printed in 1938. It consists of Professor Taylor’s presidential address to the American Economic Association in 1928; a long article by Oscar Lange, noted Polish socialist economist, first published in 1936; and an introductory essay by University of Minnesota political scientist Benjamin E. Lippincott, summarizing in laymen’s language what these two technical works demonstrate.
The books offers a valuable analysis of how a nationalized planned economy might operate. It demonstrates in terms of bourgeois economics that in such an economy the consumers could determine what was produced, and that resources would be allocated efficiently, – in brief, that all the advantages of a free competitive economy would be maintained, while eliminating economic crises and poverty.
The authors show that all of this could be done using a price system and defined rules of management, rather than an elaborate bureaucratic apparatus. Their system offers an interesting model by which the deformations introduced into the Soviet economies by the Stalinist bureaucracies may be evaluated.
Last updated on 3 June 2009