Some socialists are “market” socialists, others are “planning” socialists. “Planning” usually means central planning, though not always. Robin Hahnel and others have for a while been advocating a system of democratic economic planning, though I think it would be fairest to say that this is somewhere in between a planning and a market system. The rough idea is that different social units – individuals, workers’ councils, neighbourhood “consumption councils”, federations, etc. – submit information about what they would like to consume and what work they are willing to do, then receive back a set of indicative prices based on the inputs offered and outputs demanded. In light of these prices (which they most likely won’t accept) they revise their offers – e.g. increasing the work supplied or reducing the goods demanded – and, feeding in these new offers, receive back a new set of indicative prices. The process iterates until some critical mass of units have accepted the resulting prices.
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