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The Capitalist State and Its Economy: Democracy in Socialism

ISBN: 978-0-76231-176-7, eISBN: 978-1-84950-326-6

ISSN: 0161-7230

Publication date: 5 July 2005


We revisit the model of socialism proposed in our Towards a New Socialism (1993) and attempt to answer various questions that have been raised regarding the connection between our view of socialism and our perspective on capitalism, the process of transition to socialism, the failings of the Soviet model, the relationship between socialism and communism, the role of direct democracy under socialism, and the use of labor-time calculation in a socialist economy. We argue that the contradictions of capitalist property relations, and of the accumulation process on a world scale, are set to present once again the necessity of the abolition of private property during the 21st century, and offer some thoughts on transitional forms that could implement this abolition. We defend the ideas of direct democracy and economic calculation in terms of labor time, and argue that these elements distinguish our proposals from the Soviet model. We trace the demise of the latter both to specifics of the Russian situation and to more general problems of Leninism, notably Lenin’s conception of the council state, and of socialism as a long period during which the productive forces are built up in preparation for an eventual communism.


Cockshott, W.P. and Cottrell, A. (2005), "REFLECTIONS ON ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY", Zarembka, P. (Ed.) The Capitalist State and Its Economy: Democracy in Socialism (Research in Political Economy, Vol. 22), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 217-258.



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