Small business in a Marxist economy

How would a small business like a restaurant, a dress shop, a day care center or a put put course be run?

Essentially by and for the state, like the rest of the economy. Remember that the state is the only supplier of the raw materials (food, cloth) that a shop would turn around and retail. Maybe it isn’t directly state-run but to obtain ration allotments it would have to be licensed by the state and overseen by the bureaucracy. Imagine a grocery store that can only buy food from the Department of Agriculture, and does all it’s business in food stamps. As for non-material services, day care was socialized and again run by the state.

Maybe in the Soviet Union and pre-reform China there were the equivalent of ragpickers and handymen, doing odd jobs directly for ration coupons, but even they would have been viewed by the authorities with suspicion, being considered lumpenproletariat no more reputable than beggars or tramps.



Try again when you have something approaching the slightest semblance of a clue what you’re talking about.

Actually, that goes for the OP, too. A “Marxist economy” is just a communist economy–and a communist economy may or may not have evolved under a Marxist historical trajectory.

Oh, I see. You were talking about Marx’s [del]fantasy[/del] theoretical version of communism, not what actually came about in countries that called themselves Marxist.

Watch the insults, please. Such can earn warnings from cranky mods who’ve been at trade shows all day. No one wants that.

Do they?

I assume it would be run reasonably well as long as the local authorities let it, i.e. if they were benefiting from it. But get on Commissar Lidomovich’s bad side even one time and watch out.

Well that is why I said Marxist and not communist.

ok, but how are people paid? what about resources and the actual construction of the business, the brick and mortar part? how is the owner rewarded for his enterprise? and would Marx really approve of Commissar Lidmovich abuse of power?

The fact that asked a question should preclude you from telling me to “Try again when you have something approaching the slightest semblance of a clue what you’re talking about.” shouldn’t it?

Judging vaguely from the Chinese example, the “brick and mortar” could be as little as a table set up somewhere, though I can imagine someone claiming a corner of an existing pre-Marxist building and operating quietly.

I assume even Marxist economies have some kind of currency unit or medium of exchange.

I don’t expect Commissar Lidomovich would much care about Marxist theory when he’s applying his interpretation of Marxist practice.

1 - I’m trying to understand how it is supposed to work.
2 - You don’t throw out capitalism just because some people abuse the system do you?

Well, some real-life examples of small-business entrepreneurship in China might be informative and I don’t guess they’re difficult to find, though I imagine a large aspect will be how “Marxist” is this economy? A purely theoretical model as Marx envisioned or full-on Stalinist autocratic?

Heck, full-on capitalism’s response would be for the large business to send goons to bust up the small business.

You are simply not going to get useful answers for several reasons, but the most important one is that “Marxism” is flypaper for teh crazies from the extremes. Its definition is rather dodgy, to the point that despots who call themselves “Marxist” and democrats who call other countries or revolutionaries that, are primarily using the word for shock value. Because of that, this thread will simply devolve into steaming bullshit, dominated primarily by right-wing types who authoritatively claim to understand Marxism the way stock traders claim to understand the economy.

In short, the way you framed you question invalidated it from the get-go, expect invective, nonsense and theory, do not expect any valuable information, at least, none easily extracted from whatever content follows.

You are probably right. So here is my next question to you. How come Marx gets blamed for the failings and evils of communism but no blame is assigned to Greenspan, Milton Freedman, John Maynard Keynes, etc, get blamed for the failings and evils of free market capitalism? More specifically, is one side really worse than the other “in theory” or are they both bad and judged though the lens of capitalist bias?

Blame is kind of pointless in this context, unless we can make use of the failings (i.e., learn from them). But to actually do that, we have to take the hard step of shedding our biases and try to really examine the vector-web of causes related to those failings. For instance, in the crash of '08, was Graham-Leach-Bliley the most important causal factor, or was it the CRA? Did the Bush tax cuts factor in, or was it bad management at the GSEs? Or was the some other factor/set of factors that were more important? Unless we can let go of our biases and be willing to take a possible boot-to-the-gut, we will never be able to look deep enough to get useful answers that will help us avoid future problems.

I tend to think that the only road to stability is an unthinkable hybrid of Marxism and Libertarianism, where people are allowed reasonable control of their own affairs, can only thrive through real coöperation, and are restrained from striving for imperialistic expansion by a bunch of impartial jack-booted thugs. Trade and markets are not antithetical to the Marxist ideal, per se, and working together without particular hope of becoming fabulously wealthy is not really Capitalist poison. There is some common ground to be had, if we look hard enough and try to make it work.

ok well i hope some good discussion comes but i am afraid that you are right, it may be mostly bickering and whatnot.

One difference, which you can read about in The Fatal Conceit, is that capitalism wasn’t designed, it evolved over centuries; people like Friedman, Smith, Keynes, and Ricardo worked to understand, describe and analyze economics, they didn’t propose capitalism as a clean-sheet, fresh idea. Conversely, communism was proposed in this fashion, though what communist nations turned into wasn’t what Marx intended, nor were they necessarily consistent with his writing.

Someone like Greenspan might be equivalent (not morally, of course) to someone like Mao, a booster of a particular ideology, but capitalism has no Marx figure*.

  • Depending the degree to which you believe that communism was ever practiced pre-Marx, and the degree to which you think that matters.

It looks like you can read this academic article “A Postwar Perestroika? A History of Private Enterprise in the USSR” from the Autumn 1998 Slavic Review with some sort of free registration.

According to the preview:

That may be, but the issue is that what Marx wrote was raw utopian fantasy with a petulant veneer of “science”. There’s no real answer to the OP because all Marx has, or could, say was that the proletariat would make everything come out all right.

Is this saying that Marxism is largely the idea of one person and therefor easier to criticize a philosophy that has been assembled from many sources? why does that matter? why not judge Marxism piece by piece? is that not the same as judging separate parts of an aggregate? You know more than I do so I’m asking for a clarification.

looks interesting, thank you

ok but how does that invalidate his thinking instead of just invalidating parts of it?