The Political Economy of Complexity: The Case of Cyber-Communism
29 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2022
Date Written: January 18, 2022
This article analyzes cyber-communism and the feasibility of socialist planning from complexity theory. It first introduces the most known definitions of complexity in economics, namely computational and dynamic complexity. This enables to construct a complexity political economy from which then deal with cyber-communism. This work emphasizes the impossibility of central planning of a complex system due to the noncomputability of a global optimum, a self-reference problem, and the existence of emergent dynamics. It also highlights the notion of cultivation, as an attitude of respect for institutions and transpersonal coordination mechanisms, as central elements in a complexity political economy. In contrast to cultivation, the article presents the concept of control, which corresponds to traditional economics, as the belief in the effective alteration of economic variables by a group of planners or policymakers. The work concludes that cyber-communism is contrary to a complexity political economy based on cultivation, and that cyber-communist planning is not feasible, ultimately meaning that technology cannot allow socialist planning.
Keywords: complexity theory, emergence, noncomputability, cyber-communism, economic calculation
JEL Classification: B51, B52, B54, C67, C69, P51
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