The Alternative to Capitalism

The Alternative to Capitalism

by Adam Buick and John Crump

Capitalism is an exchange economy in which most wealth, from ordinary consumer goods to vast industrial plants and other producer goods, takes the form of commodities, or items of wealth that have been produced with a view to sale on a market.

Although states have intervened in capitalism ever since it came into existence, in so far as the aim was merely to interfere with the operation of world market forces, their intervention was only at the level of the division, not the production, of surplus value. However, over the past 100 or so years, there has been a definite trend in capitalism for states to go beyond merely trying to distort the world market, and to involve themselves in the actual production of wealth by establishing and operating state enterprises.

If state capitalism is not socialism, what is? In other words, if state ownership and management of production does not amount to the abolition of capitalism but only to a change in the institutional framework within which it operates, what would be the essential features of a society in which capitalism had been abolished?