In my view, the best scholarly economic work on socialism is that by Ludwig von Mises, ”Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth”. For a summary and evaluation, See the Postscript ”Why a Socialist Economy is ‘Impossible’” by Joseph T. Salerno, to the above. Salerno says:
In “Economic Calculation in a Socialist Commonwealth,” Ludwig von Mises demonstrates, once and forever, that, under socialist central planning, there are no means of economic calculation and that, therefore, socialist economy itself is “impossible” (“unmöglich”)--not just inefficient or less innovative or conducted without benefit of decentralized knowledge, but really and truly and literally impossible.Nonetheless, socialism as an ideology and a program is a route to power, regardless of its universal failures and technical impossibilities. People are eager to help others, be part of a movement to do good, and to feel involved. Disguise the program with feel good rhetoric—social justice, equality, shared responsibility, hope, change, and helping the poor (Sound familiar?). Raise consciousness by characterizing the status quo as in crisis with impending disaster; as unjust and unfair; and as a system of exploitation. Then, socialism can win, as it has with Obama, be empowered, and then utterly fail.
At the same time, he establishes that the necessary and sufficient conditions of the existence and evolution of human society is liberty, property, and sound money: the liberty of each individual to produce and exchange according to independently formed value judgments and price appraisements; unrestricted private ownership of all types and orders of producers’ goods as well as of consumers’ good; and the existence of a universal medium of exchange whose value is not subject to large or unforeseeable variations.
Abolish all or ever one of these institutions and human society disintegrates amid a congeries of isolated household economies and predatory tribes. But not only does abolition of private ownership of the means of production by a world embracing socialist state render human social existence impossible: Mises’s analysis also implies that socialism destroys the praxeological significance of time and nullifies humanity’s uniquely teleological contribution to the universe