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The End of Socialism and the Calculation Debate Revisited

  • The Review of Austrian Economics

Tags Calculation and KnowledgeInterventionism

07/20/2005Murray N. Rothbard

The Review of Austrian Economics 5, no. 2 1991

At the root of the dazzling revolutionary implosion and collapse of socialism and central planning in the "socialist bloc" is what everyone concedes to be a disastrous economic failure. The peoples and the intellectuals of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union are crying out not only for free speech, democratic assembly, and glasnost, but also for private property and free markets. And yet, if I may be pardoned a moment of nostalgia, four-and-a-half-decades ago, when I entered graduate school, the economics Establishment of that era was closing the book on what had been for two decades the famed "socialist calculation debate." And they had all decided, left, right, and center, that there was not a thing economically wrong with socialism: that socialism's only problems, such as they might be, were political. Economically, socialism could work just as well as capitalism.

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