A few weeks ago I posted Seth Ackerman's article about market socialism. There were a few responses to Ackerman's article posted to the Jacobin blog, but none that I felt addressed the problems in his original proposal for a market socialism that retained the market as a way to correctly determine prices (particularly for capital) yet completely socialized profits. As my comrade Paul insightfully noted, Ackerman's proposal is grounded in the native tendency of the capitalist system toward "the decoupling of economic ownership and management."
But while Ackerman's market socialism may take its basic plausibility from the immanent contradictions of capitalist society, as Walker argued, the real grounds upon which the realization of this market socialism might be realized politically were never specified, leaving it as little more than an academic exercise. Perhaps more fundamentally, the question remains as to whether Ackerman's proposal earns the name of 'socialism' by fundamentally overturning the basic features of capitalism, or whether it perpetuates these features, the most important of which is wage labor. In other words, this potential form of market socialism envisions a way to reinvest society's surplus more equitably, but leaves intact the basic form of the production of that surplus.