The Buddha said: “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared”
It is the main job of socialists not to theorise about the exact workings of a future economy, but to educate people on the main principles that might underpin a future communist society in its lower and higher phases, and then give them the tools - in the form of socialist democracy - to do the work themselves. Unless we say more about the goal we are striving for, we relinquish the future to those who insist that all there is an eternity of capitalism. If you dont have an alternative to capitalism you are stuck with capitalism. It is all very well to criticise capitalism - thats easy! - but the really hard thing is to put forward a viable alternative to put in its place. Its only through speculatiing about alternative in more and more details that we can begin to put more flesh on the bare bones on the idea, that we can invest with more credibility. It is important not to confuse two quite different things: 1) A basic statement of the core features of a future communist/socialist society 2) Speculative commentrary about the finer details of life inside such a society. Free access socialism is the shortest and most effective route to meeting human needs. It immediately cuts out all the kind of work that performs no socially useful fiunction whatsoever but only keeps capitalism ticking over. If anything , given current levels of productivity, We can even envisage there being a shortage of socially useful work for people to do in free access communism. It will be able to produce so much more with so much less
Free access socialism, or higher phase communism as Marx called it, is not some futuristic science fiction scenario but has existed as a potentiality within capitalism itself from at least since the beginning of the 20th century. It is not predicated on some "super-abundance" of wealth being made available to people but rather on the very real possibilty of being able to meet our basic needs. We dont say free access communism (socialism) will be a world without scarcities. Free access communism is not based on the assumption that we stand on the threshold of some kind of comsumerist paradise in which we can all gratify our every whim. We refer to the very real possiblity of society being able to satisfy the basic needs of individuals today, to enable us all to have a decent life. The elimination of capitalism's massive strucutural waste is the prime source of productive potential; it will make huge amounts of resources available for socially useful production in a society in which the only considertation is meeting human needs, not selling commodities on a market with a view to profit. In higher communism there is no exchange. None whatsoever. Consequently there is no "bartering" of each other's abilities or needs. You freely give according to your abilities and you freely take according to your needs. Its as a simple as that.