Production for use

Production for use is a phrase referring to the principle of economic organization and production taken as a defining criterion for a socialist economy. It is held in contrast to production for profit. This criterion is used to distinguish socialism from capitalism, and was one of the fundamental defining characteristics of socialism initially shared by Marxian socialists, evolutionary socialists, social anarchists and Christian socialists.[1]

This principle is broad and can refer to an array of different configurations that vary based on the underlying theory of economics employed. In its classic definition, production for use implied an economic system whereby the law of value and law of accumulation no longer directed economic activity, whereby a direct measure of utility and value is used in place of the abstractions of the price system, money, and capital.[2] Alternative conceptions of socialism that don't utilize the profit system such as the Lange model involve the use of a price system and monetary calculation.

The central critique of the capitalist profits system by socialists is that the accumulation of capital ("making money") becomes increasingly detached from the process of producing economic value, leading to waste, inefficiency, and social issues. Essentially, it is a distortion of proper accounting based on the assertion of the law of value instead of the "real" costs of the factors of production, objectively determined outside of social relations.