Sunday, January 21, 2007

Habitual socialism

Vladimir A. Chudov

Summary. At manufacturing firm, whoever may be its owner, boss, all property inside it indivisible. There is no private property inside factory fence. So the only possible type of production relations here is socialist one. This unavoidably influence psychology of hired labor employed in this factory. But outside if the factory, after work, the same people act at the market as consumers, and their psychology substantially influence current economic processes.

In the end 20-th century a tendency of applying psychology to economic studies has emerged. This is highlighted also by practice of awarding Nobel Prizes for studies of influence exerted by psychology of customers on general course of market processes. But market is only one component of human activity in the sphere of consuming, trade and distribution of goods. Exactly this problem of just distribution is of special interest to left-wing politicians; their voters often view social justice as elementary egalitarianism.

But to be able to distribute anything (just or not so just), one need, at first, have those goods produced. And organization of production is subject of professional interest of not so numerous managers, entrepreneurs and scientists. They are also anxious about psychology of employee, but in other aspect – only as participants of production process. Are these scientists anxious about the fact that the same person is simultaneously producer and customer, active participant of processes both of producing and buying of goods? How his psychology is formed and how it influence on his behavior in both of those spheres of human activity? Politicians of right wing also should think about it.

From this perspective, it is of interest to think about simple question: does a metal turner sell details to fitter? No, and nobody ever sells anything to anybody in course of industrial process. And this is so everywhere, throughout the world, irrespective of country and its social order. Why? After all, already two and half centuries ago Adam Smith had demonstrated how efficiently commodity-money relations work in sphere of distribution. Why he has no followers using commodity-money relations in sphere of production? It would be too far-fetched to classify so methods of Taguchi (Japan) or their simplified variant — Lapidus method (USSR). What is the problem? Point is that is impossible in principle.

In production firm property is indivisible irrespective of its ownership (private, state, joint-stock company, cooperative). Within the bounds of one enterprise, on single territory, there can be no private property. This is dictated by united technological chain, assigning successive division of labor. That is why commodity-money relations are impossible in production process. All-encompassing planning and administrative management, strict chain of command and undivided authority are obligatory there, the principle of hired labor (do what is required and take what is given). Technical documentation is the law, without choice. Instead of freedom and democracy — working discipline and regulations. If you do not like it, quit (in Stalin days, go under tribunal). And right to strike also exists, but only in democratic countries. How to describe this order? This is ordinary socialism, though local, and every firm has its own peculiarities.

This is so not only everywhere, but always, to begin with the first manufactories. Long before utopian or “scientific” socialism, long before historical materialism, before even coinage of the very word “socialism”. Formal slogan “from everybody by abilities, to everybody by labor” is slyness, it does not specify who really estimate these abilities and this labor; and objective estimation is not possible here, only subjective opinion of bosses, as in army.

Apart from abovementioned duality of person as producer and customer, the company employing him is also dualistic by its nature. It is like two-faced Janus: in relations with other firms it behaves as private-property agent of market, but in internal customs there is complete domination of socialism. Marxism has trained us to see as antipodes, antagonists market and socialism. But in reality they are two faces of one medal — capitalism, the two of its integral parts. One of them usually is associated with chaos, another with order, but together they represent unity of antipodes. Synthesis of these two principles ensures the maximal effectiveness of communal activity of humankind. It seems that this approach can help to cast a fresh glance at psychological problems of economics and management, and also on roles and function of political parties — left or right.

In conclusion, the author came across a strange phenomenon: inside any industrial company, in bowels of commodity producer, along technological chain there are no commodity-money relations, nobody ever sell anything to anybody. This fact does not require any substantiation or quotes from classics, it exists objectively and independently of our will, intents or emotions. And attempt to discover the root cause of this fact leads to conclusion that it is indivisibility of property inside firm. And social community without private property since old times is called socialism.

It only remains to paraphrase Mayakovsky:

– and socialism is so nasty thing — exists, and don't care a straw!

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