What’s Next? Parecon, or Participatory Economics

Published on The Next System.org, by MICHAEL ALBERT, Jan 6, 2016.

People now fighting economic injustice have no right to decide how future people should live. But we do have a responsibility to provide an institutional setting that facilitates future people deciding for themselves their own conditions of life and work. To this end, participatory economics, or parecon, describes the core institutions required to generate solidarity, equity, self-management, and an ecologically sound and classless economy.  

Parecon first advocates self-management by workers’ and consumers’ councils federated by industry and region as society’s primary venues of economic decision making. “Self-management” means people and groups have decision making influence in proportion to the extent to which they are affected by the decision in question.

Self-management” means people and groups have decision making influence in proportion to the extent to which they are affected by the decision in question: … //

… Remuneration should not be determined by power, property, or even personal output: … //
… Incentives for work matter: … //
… good people in a good economy should in fact prefer to work fewer hours, less intensely, and under less onerous conditions: … //
… The challenge is to stave off corporate divisions of labor: … //

… Voluntary self-regulation is a wonderful sentiment, but as a method for allocation, it typically assumes away important underlying complexities:

The inclusion of corporate divisions of labor subverts the prior attainment of council-based self-management and equitable remuneration by the intrinsic class implications the monopolization of empowering work imposes on all actors. Similarly, choosing markets or central planning subverts the prior attainment of council-based self-management in terms of equitable remuneration plus balanced job complexes as a result of the psychology, operational behaviors, and ensuing class implications these allocation methods impose on all actors.

Thus, parecon needs to propose a self-regulating allocation alternative to both markets and central planning that is compatible with its other three defining features. Good allocation requires wise and informed collective self-regulation to arrive at optimal levels of economic inputs and outputs that meet needs and develops potential while fostering solidarity, enhancing equity, and enacting self-management. It must do so in light of an accurate awareness of the true social and ecological costs and benefits of all of our choices.

This is a big list of virtues, but it is what parecon claims to achieve. Parecon’s alternative to market-based, centrally planned, or purely voluntary resource allocation is called participatory planning, which is built on the idea of viable, collective self-regulation. Workers’ and consumers’ councils present proposals, and they implement collective self-management by interactively and cooperatively refining them by negotiating levels of inputs and outputs that are consistent with and depend on the norms of remuneration and balanced job complexes. That is, they collectively self-regulate.

(full long text).


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Aujourd’hui, il y a à peu près un Français sur cinq qui change de travail dans l’année, dans RTL, par VINCENT PARIZOT et CHRISTELLE REBIÈRE, le 6 janv 2016; Le Conseil National du numérique a remis ce matin son rapport à la ministre du Travail. Il prévoit une meilleure couverture sociale pour éviter des générations de précaires;

The New Right in Germany, on teleSUR english, by Florian Zollmann, Jan 5, 2015;

What Happened to the French Left? on JacobinMag, by Clément Petitjean, June 11, 2015: many thought the Parti de gauche would reinvigorate the French left. Why has the effort failed? The July 5, 2015 referendum in Greece raised the hopes of millions of leftists across Europe, but Syriza’s capitulation to its creditors later that month reminded many of the harsh reality of the European left: it is still in a deep, durable state of crisis …;

Lobbyist packt aus – Dr. Alfons Proebstl 85, 11.45 min, von 7777Funki am 6. April 2015 hochgeladen;

… and this:

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