August 27th, 2009

Kastelo Verda

State Capitalism


State capitalism
, for Marxists and heterodox economists is a way to describe a society wherein the productive forces are owned and run by the state in a capitalist way, even if such a state calls itself socialist.[1] Within Marxist literature, state capitalism is usually defined in this sense: as a social system combining capitalism — the wage system of producing and appropriating surplus value — with ownership or control by a state apparatus. By that definition, a state capitalist country is one where the government controls the economy and essentially acts like a single giant corporation. There are various theories and critiques of state capitalism, some of which have been around since the October Revolution or even before. The common themes among them are to identify that the workers do not meaningfully control the means of production and that commodity relations and production for profit still occur within state capitalism.

This term is also used by some advocates of laissez-faire capitalism to mean a private capitalist economy under state control, often meaning a privately-owned economy that is under economic planning. In the 1930s, Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini claimed that Italian Fascism's economic system of corporatism could be seen either as a form of state capitalism or as state socialism, as he claimed that both were essentially the same.[2] This term was often used to describe the controlled economies of the great powers in the First World War.[3] In more modern sense, state capitalism is a term that is used (sometimes interchangeably with state monopoly capitalism) to describe a system where the state is intervening in the markets to protect and advance interests of Big Business. This practice is in sharp contrast with the ideals of both free market and laissez-faire capitalism.[4]


Most current Communist groups descended from the Maoist ideological tradition still hold to the description of both China and the Soviet Union as being ‘state-capitalist’ from a certain point in their history onwards — most commonly, the Soviet Union from 1956 to its collapse in 1991, and China from 1976 to the present day. Maoists and ‘anti-revisionists’ also sometimes employ the term ‘Social-imperialism’ to describe socialist states that they consider to actually be capitalist in essence — their phrase, "socialist in words, imperialist in deeds" denotes this.


Kastelo Verda

A Menu of Different Economic Systems


Basic types Economic systems

The basic and general economic systems are:

There are several basic and unfinished questions that must be answered in order to resolve the problems of economics satisfactorily. The scarcity problem, for example, requires answers to basic questions, such as: what to produce, how to produce it, and who gets what is produced. An economic system is a way of answering these basic questions, and different economic systems answer them differently.

Division of economic systems

Typically, "hands-on" economic systems involve a greater role for society and/or the government to pick goods and services, with the stated aim of ensuring social justice and a more equitable distribution of wealth (see welfare state). Meanwhile, "hands-off" economic systems give more power to private individuals (and perhaps corporations) to make those decisions, rather than leaving them up to society as a whole, and often limit government involvement in the economy. Often the primary concern of "hands-on" economic systems are usually egalitarianism, while the primary concern of "hands-off" economic systems is usually private property. Libertarians target individual economic freedom as a primary goal of their "hands-off" policies, though in general, most types of economic systems claim that their system of economic organization is either most efficient or socially effective. The following list divides the main economic systems into "hands-on" and "hands-off," it attempts to structure the systems in a given section by alphabetical order and in a vertical hierarchy where possible.


"Hands on" systems


 "Hands-on" Private-oriented Systems

A system in which large privately-owned entities control or direct the economy in their favor, or in which private shareholders invest in and own enterprises that are operated by the state or by employee cooperatives.


 "Hands-on" State-oriented Systems

Economic systems in which the state directs or controls economic activity through economic planning.


 "Hands-on" Communal-oriented Systems

Economic systems in which a collective, such as a commune or cooperative directs or plans large-scale economic activity.


 "Hands off" systems


 "Hands-off" Private-oriented Systems

Economic systems in which the economy is controlled privately in a usually decentralized fashion and operated based on market principles.


 "Hands-off" State-oriented Systems

Economic systems in which the state runs, owns and/or manages its own resources and enterprises in a free-market economy with minimal regulation and without government planning.

  • Socialism
    • Socialist market economy
    • Various socialist proposals in which the means of production are owned and operated by the state in a free-market system with no government regulation
    • Mixed Economies That are more market-oriented but contain a number of state-owned enterprises that operate in the market and are subject to market forces.


 "Hands-off" Communal-oriented Systems

Economic systems that are characterized by decentralized cooperative or collective ownership that operate in market economies or decentralized, collectively-planned economies.


 "Compromise" Mixed systems

Economic systems that contain substantial state, private and sometimes cooperative ownership and operated in mixed economies - i.e, ones that contain substantial amounts of both market activity and economic planning.


 List of economic systems


An etymologist's approach to economic systems, this list attempts to sort all possible economic systems in alphabetical order, without any division or hierarchization.