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Economic Crisis Shows Need For Planned Economy

Written by: Ned K. on 17 May 2020


The economic crisis in Australia and indeed the whole capitalist world, magnified by the shutdown of industries due to the Corona Virus, has been a big shock to millions of people.

Millions of people thrown out of work, millions more on reduced hours. This situation forced the Morrison Government in Australia to introduce Job Keeper. Thousands of businesses applied for it and hundreds of thousands of workers received $1500 gross a fortnight under the scheme. An inadequate relief measure for most, but the Government hoped it was enough until it was time "to get people back to work again", code for a return to the free market economy of capitalism so employers could resume chasing maximization of profits again.
A return to the chaos of the free market of capitalism is all the capitalist class rulers can envisage. However, the masses of people in Australia are learning through their own experience just how fragile this market economy is and how quickly it can destroy their living standards and way of life.

People also saw how reliant the capitalist economy in Australia is on the decisions of multinational corporations and the governments who serve them. Whole industries shut down and many more stagnated due to their reliance on overseas markets to sell their services or products.

The media commentators and some politicians of various persuasions cried out that the solution to this problem was for business in Australia to become less reliant on one country or a couple of countries for their export markets. "Diversification" is to be the saving grace for the Australian people!

The Australian people are questioning the whole system as well they might. They hear a lot from individual captains of industries and from politicians about planning. Ah yes, "planning'"! Ask any CEO how important planning is for their company.

They are right but they never say that planning of the whole economy of production and services for people is needed.

Why not? Surely if planning is good enough for their own business it is good enough for a society wide value?

The problem is, their planning is in order to maximize profit whereas the planning the people want and need is planning that drives an economy serving the people and not profit maximization.

Imagine if all the wealth created by working people that was in excess of daily needs was held in common for social needs instead of disappearing in to the bank accounts of multinational corporations. Imagine also if the means of production could be converted (as occurred in wartime) to produce what was needed for the people in times of crisis such as the Corona Virus?

A planned economy with production and services for the needs of the people is something that people sense is needed and also possible. That possibility requires private, competitive ownership of the means of production to cease. It has to be replaced by public, cooperative ownership vested in a new form of people’s state power.

The only problem is that the ruling minority class and their state apparatus are standing in the way.

In the course of time the people will find a way to overcome this historically obsolete class with experiences like the Corona Virus pandemic providing rich lessons of why this is needed.



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