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Participatory Economics : 10 claims

by Elco B Sat May 6th, 2006 at 05:04:47 PM EST

Participatory Economics (Parecon for short) is a type of economy proposed as an alternative to contemporary capitalism. The underlying values are equity, solidarity, diversity, and participatory self management.  Znet organises from 1 to 6 june his first Z Sessions on Vision and Strategy in Woods Hole,Mass. US.
The purpose is :

  • To explore ideas about long term vision and related long and short term strategy and program, to reach agreements and clarify persisting differences
  • To facilitate people laying a basis for working together
  • To facilitate people establishing joint projects
  • To generate enough agreement to initiate some joint or collective work
  • To generate enough agreement to initiate continuing and/or enlarging group connections

Fot this sessions, Michael Albert has prepared a paper offering 10 claims about vision and strategy of participatory economics.

Inspiring stuff:

Claim 1: We need shared institutional vision to inspire hope, incorporate the seeds of the future in the present, and guide gains that will take us to where we want to wind up. We must create such vision.

Claim 2: Classlessness ought to be part of our economic goal. We must end the rule of the capitalist class over
labor. We must also end the rule of the coordinator class over labor.

Claim 3: Beyond classlessness, for the economy we also ought to seek positive economic values including equity, solidarity, diversity, self management, ecological balance, and economic efficiency in utilizing assets to meet needs and develop potentials

Claim 4: While economics is profoundly important, which is why we seek to build a pareconish movement, we do not live by economics alone and economics is not alone profoundly important. A pareconish agenda for movement building must address other central sides of social life consistently with parecon's economic structure but also respectful of equally prioritized agendas to revolutionize those other sides of life.

Claim 5: Seeking classlessness as in Claim 2 as well as the positive values of Claim 3 as well as accommodating economy to gains in other spheres of social life and vice versa as in Claim 4, compels us to reject private ownership of productive property, corporate divisions of labor, top down decision making, markets, and central planning.

Claim 6: Seeking the classlessness advocated in Claim 2 and the proposed positive values advocated in Claim 3 and the broader social aims hinted at in Claim 4, and rejecting the capitalist and coordinator institutions dismissed in Claim 5, leaves us needing to advocate new economic institutions, including the defining structures of participatory economics which are self managing workers and consumers councils, remuneration for duration, intensity, and onerousness of socially valued work, balanced job complexes, and participatory planning.

Claim 7: Requirements for our own projects, organizations, and movements ought to include patiently incorporating the seeds of the future in the present, including self managed decision making, balanced job complexes, equitable remuneration, and cooperative negotiated planning, as well as central features of other dimensions of the new world we seek.

Claim 8: Seeking participatory economic institutions requires that we not only create in the present pareconish institutions as described by Claim 7 as well as in fuller descriptions elsewhere, but that we also fight for changes in capitalist institutions. Demands made against existing institutions ought to enhance people's lives, advance the likelihood of further successful struggle, and advance the consciousness and organizational capacity to pursue those further aims. These provide the yardsticks for measuring success.

Claim 9: At some point in the future vast movements will have features such as those noted above as well as many others, of course, and will on the basis of their merits become vehicles toward winning and finally will also help compose the infrastructure of a new world. This will not happen, however, until people self consciously make it happen.

Claim 10: When a capable and caring group agrees on Claims 1 through 9, it becomes incumbent on them to collectively seek wider agreement from a still larger group and to solidify their inspiring intellectual unity into a more practical organizational and programmatic unity, in accord with all the claims.

Creating a vision for the future, isn't it what we are doing on ET?

Classlessness, this means revolution !  Even to obtain 'one man  one vote' in our Belgian democracy a hard struggle was needed and bloody demonstrations occured.
Classlessness looks like a far dream more then ever with the current CEO-capitalism.
A redefinition of GDP is needed. We have to find another word for 'externalities'. Rejecting current value's isn't good enough; a whole new set of positive value's must be created and implemented.

I post this ideas, because sometimes I have the feeling we put to much energy in commenting, analysing and criticising what happens today. We follow 'their' agenda instead of pusching ours.

Will have to think on this...but thanks for putting this together.

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Sun May 7th, 2006 at 10:59:02 AM EST
This is fascinating. I can't comment further because I need to wrap my brain around it but I'm definitely intrigued.

Intrepid Liberal Journal
by Intrepid Liberal Journal on Sun May 7th, 2006 at 02:54:49 PM EST
Thank you for posting this. A pity I cannot contribute anything meaningful, still trying to pace my brain up to office work... But I 120% support your initiative;

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Tue May 9th, 2006 at 11:05:52 AM EST

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