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Participatory Economics - Beyond capitalism, communism, and socialism

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posted on Jan, 15 2010 @ 03:39 AM
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We don't want government telling us what to do right?

We don't want some half-wit boss or police officer telling us what to do right?

We don't want corporations, banks, and Wall-Street telling us how to make a living right?

Here's an exciting/interesting vision for the future that provides a societal framework beyond what we've traditionally practiced in capitalist, communist, and/or socialist societies. It's called participatory economics, or Parecon for short. It's based on bottom-up, classless/non-hierarchal economies which are based on equality, solidarity, diversity, and localized democracy.

If nothing else, I personally believe Parecon can at least help set the stage for people to start brainstorming on ways to move BEYOND our current system and into something that works better for us all.

I'm not 100% sure where I stand on Parecon, whether I fully support it or not, but being an Anarchist, I'm turned on by the ideas and I'd like to hear what you all think about it. Here are a few introductory videos on the subject:


Michael Albert on Parecon - part 1


Michael Albert on Parecon - part 2



Intro to Participatory Economics



Introduction to Participatory Economics-Michael Albert



Links on Parecon:

www.zcommunications.org...

en.wikipedia.org...




posted on Jan, 15 2010 @ 04:48 AM
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Originally posted by NoHierarchy
We don't want government telling us what to do right?


If its based on reason and benevolence I dont mind the Government managing some of the big stuff.



We don't want some half-wit boss or police officer telling us what to do right?


Only an adolescent mind is scared of polices and bosses. Adults dont see them as superior but as equals.



We don't want corporations, banks, and Wall-Street telling us how to make a living right?


You are 100% responsible for your life. You seem to believe Wall-Street and Banks are, but Banks are nothing other than a service offered to you - its your responsibility to accept or refuse that service.



Here's an exciting/interesting vision for the future that provides a societal framework beyond what we've traditionally practiced in capitalist, communist, and/or socialist societies. It's called participatory economics, or Parecon for short. It's based on bottom-up, classless/non-hierarchal economies which are based on equality, solidarity, diversity, and localized democracy.


You are saying this goes beyond socialism and communism, but it being bottom-up and classless/non-hierarchal its just yet another variation of Communism.



If nothing else, I personally believe Parecon can at least help set the stage for people to start brainstorming on ways to move BEYOND our current system and into something that works better for us all.


In your belief that the system is at fault you miss that the individual is also at fault and if the individual changes, his/her life changes. Life is full of diversity and everyone goes down a different path in accordance with his/her choices.

Those who make poor choices begin blaming "the system" and "the powers that be" for their problems.



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 12:34 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
If its based on reason and benevolence I dont mind the Government managing some of the big stuff.

Well that is necessary for the time being, however, in an ideal world the government does not control or oppress us, no? And I'm not speaking of some lofty unachievable utopia, we can absolutely (and must) achieve environmental sustainability and a reduction in oppression/suffering of human beings.



Only an adolescent mind is scared of polices and bosses. Adults dont see them as superior but as equals.

I'm not afraid of polices/bosses, I'm saying they're fundamentally UNEQUAL to the rest of us, thus their lord-like power over us. And to counter your notion, I see it as adolescent and pathetic to acquisce to authority figures without question or resistance when appropriate. There are models of society and business in effect right now around the world where true democracy/freedom reigns, things like cooperatives and community justice where every person has an equal share of the pie and the decision-making. Nobody is above or below another. This has actually proven to be more efficient and more fulfilling to workers/people than top-down structures.



You are 100% responsible for your life. You seem to believe Wall-Street and Banks are, but Banks are nothing other than a service offered to you - its your responsibility to accept or refuse that service.

You're putting words in my mouth. I never said Wall-Street/Banks are responsible for my life, what I'm saying is that they've gained quite a lot of power/leverage over economies, consumers, debtors, and the populace. You'd be an absolute fool to deny that they have real powers that actually affect real people beyond that person's control. This is wrong when such powerful/rich entities end up screwing large portions of the populace over, and it happens all the time. You seem to have this very childish/simplistic view of the marketplace and products/services. It's absolutely not anywhere near as simple as that. There are serious problems in our system, unacceptable ones, and it's not simply a matter of voting with your dollar, that is NOT Democracy.



You are saying this goes beyond socialism and communism, but it being bottom-up and classless/non-hierarchal its just yet another variation of Communism.

No... being bottom-up, classless and non-hierarchal is not just "another variation of Communism". You can't simply lump all non-hierarchal societies as a form of some commie conspiracy. If you actually analyze the tenets/writings of the original thinkers behind communism/capitalism, they essentially wanted the same thing- the common man/populace controls markets/governments without a top-down tyranny of the wealthy/powerful over the rest of us. Well... the problem is that in theory capitalism/communism sound fine and dandy, but in practice they have lead to tyranny, oppression, theft, and environmental destruction. This is in part because they're adapted within our hierarchal civilization, part because they expect PERFECTION out of imperfect people, and in part because they allow for a tyrannous middle-man to transition. Something like Parecon can cut out the middle-man and go straight from grassroots to an alternative to oppressive hierarchies.


"Every one of your systems is a utopian system. Democracy would be heaven-- if people would just be better than people have ever been. Of course, Soviet communism was supposed to have been heaven too ... Your justice system would work perfectly if people would just be better than people have ever been. And of course your schools would work perfectly under the same conditions." - Daniel Quinn, My Ishmael



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 12:37 AM
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In your belief that the system is at fault you miss that the individual is also at fault and if the individual changes, his/her life changes. Life is full of diversity and everyone goes down a different path in accordance with his/her choices.
Those who make poor choices begin blaming "the system" and "the powers that be" for their problems.

The system is at the most fault for our societal ills. And yes, a solution is going to TAKE individuals to make a change, however, the enemy is not human nature or the poor or criminals or not loving each other enough. The enemies are the unquestioned and even unrecognized foundations of our civilization which allow positions of extreme poverty/wealth, master/slave to exist at all. Not to mention our habit of producing massive food surplus via totalitarian agriculture giving rise to poorer food health, unsustainable population growth, and subsequent destruction/depletion of resources and our land base.

That's such a silly notion that people are only unsuccessful or screwed-over because of their own choices. You're playing that tired old blame-the-victim game in some self-gratifying attempt at spreading 'positive' attitudes. Positivity, responsibility, vision, these are all fantastic and paramount to living as an individual and living a fulfilled life. However, there are much much larger and more powerful forces at work within the systems of society which very obviously and effectively oppress, inhibit, and harm people and the environment. You must think of our way of life in terms of the root systems that make it up, not as the collective actions of individuals coming together in some kind of magic. Humans are very cultural and we behave and survive as we must within the system we were born into. Problem is, the system we were born into is troubling and unsustainable and we've been left to clean up the mess. Sucks but we still have to get our .s on straight and clean up the mess regardless. We can't simply stick our .s in the sand and "be positive/happy" our way out of it.



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