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Encyclopedia > Participatory economics

Participatory economics, often abbreviated parecon, is a proposed economic system that uses participatory decision making as an economic mechanism to guide the allocation of resources and consumption in a given society. Proposed as an alternative to contemporary capitalist market economies and also an alternative to centrally planned socialism or coordinatorism. It emerged from the work of activist and political theorist Michael Albert and that of radical economist Robin Hahnel, beginning in the 1980s and 1990s. An economic system is a mechanism which deals with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services in a particular society. ... Participation in political science and theory of management is an umbrella term including different means for the public to directly participate in political, economical or management decisions. ... Buyers bargain for good prices while sellers put forth their best front in Chichicastenango Market, Guatemala. ... Resources comprise the base material for an activity or industry: factors of production, the economics term human capital, human resources (HR) and innovation natural resources resource (computer science) resource (Web) resource (Windows) resource (Macintosh) resource (political) resource (project management) Resource Distribution, human influence and the effects of trade. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with consumption (economics). ... Human relationships within an ethnically diverse society. ... Capitalism has been defined in various, but similar, ways by different theorists. ... A market economy (aka free market economy and free enterprise economy) is an economic system in which the production and distribution of goods and services takes place through the mechanism of free markets guided by a free price system rather than by the state in a planned economy. ... A planned economy is an economic system in which decisions about the production, allocation and consumption of goods and services are planned ahead of time, usually in a centralized fashion, though some proposed systems favour decentralized planning. ... Socialism is a social and economic system (or the political philosophy advocating such a system) in which the economic means of production are owned and controlled collectively by the people. ... Coordinatorism is an economic system in which control is held neither by people who own capital, nor by the workers, but instead is held by an intervening class of coordinators, typically in the roles of managers, administrators, engineers, university intellectuals, doctors, lawyers. ... Activism, in a general sense, can be described as intentional action to bring about social or political change. ... A political theorist is someone who engages in political theory. ... Categories: Stub | 1947 births | 20th Century philosophers | U.S. philosophers ... An economist is an individual who studies, develops, and applies theories and concepts from economics, and writes about economic policy. ... Robin Hahnel is a Professor of Economics at American University. ... 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday. ... This article is about the year. ...


The underlying values that parecon seeks to implement are equity, solidarity, diversity, and participatory self-management. It proposes to attain these ends mainly through the following principles and institutions: The Court of Chancery, London, early 19th century This article is about concept of equity in Anglo-American jurisprudence. ... Solidarity (Polish: Solidarność; full name: Independent Self-governing Trade Union Solidarity — Niezależny Samorządny Związek Zawodowy Solidarność) is a Polish trade union federation founded in September 1980 at the Gdańsk Shipyards, and originally led by Lech Wałęsa. ... Diversity is the presence of a wide range of variation in the qualities or attributes under discussion. ...

  • workers' and consumers' councils utilizing self-managerial methods for decision making,
  • balanced job complexes,
  • remuneration according to effort and sacrifice, and
  • participatory planning.

Albert and Hahnel stress that parecon is only meant to address an alternative economic theory and that it must be accompanied by equally important alternative visions in the fields of politics, culture and kinship. Stephen R. Shalom has begun work on a participatory political vision he calls "parpolity". Elements of anarchism in the field of politics, polyculturalism in the field of culture, and feminism in the field of family and gender relations are also discussed by the authors as being possible foundations for future alternative visions in these other spheres of society. A Balanced job complex is a collection of tasks within a given workplace that is balanced for its equity and empowerment implications against all other job complexes in that workplace. ... Remuneration is pay or salary, typically monetary compensation for services rendered, as in a employment. ... Politics, sometimes defined as the art and science of government[1], is a process by which collective decisions are made within groups. ... The word culture, from the Latin colo, -ere, with its root meaning to cultivate, generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. ... Kinship is the most basic principle of organizing individuals into social groups, roles, and categories. ... Stephen Rosskamm Shalom is a professor of political science at William Paterson University in New Jersey. ... Parpolity or Participatory Politics is a theoritical political system proposed by Stephen R. Shalom, professor of political science at William Patterson University in New Jersey. ... Anarchism is derived from the Greek αναρχία (without archons (ruler, chief, king)). Thus anarchism, in its most general meaning, is the belief that forms of rulership are undesirable and should be abolished. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Feminism is a diverse, competing, and often opposing collection of social theories, political movements, and moral philosophies, largely motivated by or concerning the experiences of women. ...

Contents


Institutional framework of participatory economics

The decision making principle

One of the primary propositions of Parecon is that all persons should have a say in each decision proportionate to the degree to which they are affected by it. For example, an individual who is the only one using a desk at work should have a practically complete control over the organization of his or her desk so long as such organization does not have adverse effects impacting others significantly. The same logic implies that in more socially interactive contexts, decision-making power would be relatively more dispersed and inclusive, distributed in proportion to the degree which actors are impacted by decisions. Robin Hahnel explained the principle using the example of pollution, Robin Hahnel is a Professor of Economics at American University. ...

"if only the residents of ward 2 of Washington, D.C., feel they are adversely affected by a pollutant released in ward 2, then ward 2 is the relevant region. But if the federation representing the residents of all wards of Washington, D.C. decides that a pollutant in ward 2 affects the residents of all wards, then the entire city of Washington is the relevant region...However, the above procedure in the annual planning process protects the environment sufficiently only if present residents in the region of impact are the only ones who suffer adverse consequences. While this is the case for some pollutants, it is often the case that future generations bear a great cost of pollution today. The interests of future generations must be protected in the long-run participatory process and by an active environmental movement..." [1]

This decision-making principle is often referred to as self-management. In Parecon, it constitutes a replacement for the mainstream economic conception of economic freedom, which the authors have argued is an inadequate and misleading concept, incapable of providing useful guidance for situations where people's freedoms conflict. They argue its very vagueness has allowed it to be abused by capitalist ideologues. In the "ABC's of Political Economy" and "Economic Justice and Democracy", Hahnel offered critiques of the mainstream concept as formulated by Milton Friedman in "Capitalism and Freedom." For example, Hahnel argues that "the first problem with Milton Friedman's way of conceptualizing the notion that people should control their own economic lives is that it merely begs the question and defers all problems to an unspecified property rights system...The second problem is that while Friedman and other champions of capitalism wax poetic on the subject of economic freedom, they have remarkably little to say about what is a better or worse property rights system...What is entirely lacking is any attempt to develop criteria for better and worse distributions of property rights." [2] This article is the current U.S. Collaboration of the Week. ... A federation (Latin: foedus, covenant) is a state comprised of a number of partially self-governing regions (often themselves referred to as states) united by a central (federal) government. ... Milton Friedman Milton Friedman (born July 31, 1912) is a U.S. economist, known for his work on macroeconomics, microeconomics, economic history, statistics, and for his advocacy of laissez-faire capitalism. ...


Consumers' and producers' councils

To implement the decision making principle, a parecon would be organized in consumers' and producers' councils. Many individuals would participate in both types of councils. These would be the respective equivalent of workers' councils. Consumers are individuals or households that consume goods and services generated within the economy. ... In microeconomics, production is the act of making things, in particular the act of making products that will be traded or sold commercially. ... A workers council is a council, or deliberative body, composed of working class or proletarian members. ...


Geographically, these councils would probably be nested with neighborhood councils, ward councils, city or regional councils and a country council. Decisions would be achieved either through consensus decision-making, majority votes or through other means compatible with the principle. The most appropriate method would be decided on by each council. Neighbourhood is also a term in topology. ... A city council is the most common style of legislative government in a city or town. ... Consensus decision-making is a decision process that not only seeks the agreement of most participants, but also to resolve or mitigate the objections of the minority to achieve the most agreeable decision. ...


Local decisions like the construction of a playground might be made in the ward or city consumers' council, probably interacting with both city and countrywide producers' councils. Countrywide decisions, like the construction of a high-speed mass transportation system, would be discussed by the country consumers' council, possibly interacting with a city producers' council in the city where the materials are produced, or countrywide or international producers' councils. Cranes are essential in large construction projects, such as this skyscraper In project architecture and civil engineering, construction is the building or assembly of any infrastructure. ... Combination playground structure for small children; slides, climbers (stairs in this case), playhouse A playground is an area designed for children to play freely. ... A taxi serving as a bus Public transport comprises all transport systems in which the passengers do not travel in their own vehicles. ...


The producers' councils would probably correspond to workplace councils in each workplace and similar workplaces would group into nested councils on successively larger geographical and linguistic scales. Map of the Earth ( Medium) ( Large 2 MB) Table of geography, hydrography, and navigation, from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... Linguistics is the scientific study of human language, and someone who engages in this study is called a linguist. ...


Remuneration for effort and sacrifice

Promoters of participatory economics hold that it is inequitable, and also ineffective, to remunerate people on the basis of their birth or heredity, their property, or their innate intelligence. Therefore, participatory economics advocates as a primary principle reward for effort and sacrifice. Therefore someone who works in a mine — which is dangerous, uncomfortable, and confers no power whatsoever on the worker — would get a higher income than someone who works in an office the same time, thus allowing the miner to work less hours and the burden of highly dangerous and strenuous jobs to be shared among the populace. Heredity (the adjective is hereditary) is the transfer of characteristics from parent to offspring, either through their genes or through the social institution called inheritance (for example, a title of nobility is passed from individual to individual according to relevant customs and/or laws). ... // Use of the term The concept of property or ownership has no single or universally accepted definition. ... Intelligence is the mental capacity to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. ... Warning signs, such as this one, can improve safety awareness. ... An office is a room or other area in which people work, but may also denote a position within an organisation with specific duties attached to it (see officer, office-holder, official); the latter is in fact an earlier usage, office as place originally referring to the location of one...


Additionally, participatory economics recognizes a certain leeway for exemptions from the remuneration for effort principle. It is suggested that people with disabilities who are unable to work, children, the elderly, the infirm and workers who are legitimately in transitional circumstances, can be remunerated according to need. This said, participatory economics posits an obligation for every able adult to perform some socially useful work as a requirement for receiving reward, albeit in the context of a society providing free health care, education, skills training, and the freedom to choose between democratically structured workplaces with jobs balanced for desirability and empowerment. The term disability, as it is applied to humans, refers to any condition that impedes the completion of daily tasks using traditional methods. ... A male Caucasian toddler child A child (plural: children) is a young human. ... Old age consists of ages nearing the average lifespan of human beings, and thus the end of the human life cycle. ... Health care or healthcare is the prevention, treatment, and management of illness and the preservation of mental and physical well-being through the services offered by the medical, nursing, and allied health professions [1]. The organised provision of such services may constitute a healthcare system. ...


The starting point for the income of all workers in participatory economics is an equal share of the social product in the form of equal consumption rights for private and public goods and services. From this point incomes for private expenditures and consumption rights for public goods can be expected to diverge by small degrees reflecting the choices that individual workers make in striking a balance between work and leisure time, and reflecting effort ratings assigned by their immediate peers. In economics Private good is an opposite of the public good. ... In economics, a public good is a good that is hard or even impossible to produce for private profit, because the market fails to account for its large beneficial externalities. ... In economics and marketing, a service is the non-material equivalent of a good. ... suck my doodle ... Leisure is time spent in non-compulsory activities. ...


Economic planning — feedbacks and successive iterations

Every planning period would begin with the Iteration Facilitation Board {IFB}, using last year's results as a guide, announcing "indicative prices" representing the estimated marginal social opportunity cost for all final goods and services, capital goods, natural resources, and categories of labor. Using these prices as a guide citizens would respond with their private consumption proposals, and participate in the formulation of collective consumption proposals at the neighborhood, ward, municipal, and federation levels. At the same time, worker's councils, industry councils and production federations would respond with production proposals outlining the outputs they propose to produce and the inputs they believe are required to produce them.


Facilitation boards would then calculate excess supply and demand based on the proposals, adjusting the indicative price for each final good or service, capital good, natural resource, or category of labour accordingly. Using the new indicative prices, consumer and worker's councils and federations would revise and resubmit their proposals. Individual worker and consumer councils would continue to revise proposals until they submit one that is accepted by the other councils.


Iterations would continue according to some predefined method which is likely to converge within an acceptable time delay. A feasible plan for the economy is attained when there is no longer any excess demand for any goods, any categories of labor, any primary inputs, or any capital stocks. Iteration is the repetition of a process, typically within a computer program. ... In the absence of a more specific context, convergence denotes the approach toward a definite value, as time goes on; or to a definite point, a common view or opinion, or toward a fixed or equilibrium state. ...


The facilitation boards should function according to a maximum level of radical transparency and only have very limited powers of mediation, subject to the discretion of the participating councils. The real decisions regarding the formulation and implementation of the plan are to be made in the consumers' and producers' councils. Radical transparency is a management method where nearly all decision making is carried out publicly. ...


Job complexes

Some tasks and jobs are more comfortable than others, and some tasks are more empowering than others. To achieve an equitable division of labour, it is therefore proposed that every person must do different tasks, which, taken together, bring an average comfort and an average empowerment.


For instance, someone who works in a facilitation board for one year might then have to work in a steel plant, or in another uncomfortable workplace of his or her choice, for a year, or else would not get a higher salary than the standard for everyone. This assures that no class of coordinators can develop. Coordinatorism is an economic system in which control is held neither by people who own capital, nor by the workers, but instead is held by an intervening class of coordinators, typically in the roles of managers, administrators, engineers, university intellectuals, doctors, lawyers. ...


Comparison of participatory economics with other economic systems

Opposition to market alternatives

Free market and rational choice theorists and others argue that any alternatives to the market economy will provide weak incentives. Milton Friedman, for example, criticises such alternatives because he does not believe there is any incentive for innovation or production as time progresses. He has argued that it is very difficult and inefficient for central planners to guess or approximate values and demand for goods and services and that it is better to let prices float freely by allowing the market to determine them.[citation needed] However, participatory economics is not a centrally planned system. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Decision theory. ... In economics, an incentive in anything that provides a motive for a particular course of action — that counts as a reason for preferring one choice to the alternatives. ... Milton Friedman Milton Friedman (born July 31, 1912) is a U.S. economist, known for his work on macroeconomics, microeconomics, economic history, statistics, and for his advocacy of laissez-faire capitalism. ... A market economy (aka free market economy and free enterprise economy) is an economic system in which the production and distribution of goods and services takes place through the mechanism of free markets guided by a free price system rather than by the state in a planned economy. ...


In the particular case of participatory economics, critics argue, the problems with incentives will go much deeper. Workers are paid based on effort and sacrifice, rather than on output, and so are likely to utilize strategies which increase the appearance of effort even if they reduce output. Workplaces receive no reward for quantity of production, so unless IFB quotas are established and an enforcement mechanism adopted (as per Soviet Policy), workplace productivity would again be reduced.[citation needed] A third concern is the rise of gray markets and black markets. As individuals would not be able to greatly enhance their quality of life within the economic system, nor to legally procure goods not approved by their consumer council, there would be strong incentives for workers to focus their energies on the gray and black market economies. Soviet redirects here. ... The grey market (in U.S. spelling, gray market) refers to the flow of goods through distribution channels other than those authorized by the manufacturer or producer. ... The black market or underground market is the part of economic activity involving illegal dealings, typically the buying and selling of merchandise or services (for example sexual services in many countries) illegally. ...


Participatory economist Michael Albert believes that people should be paid (either morally or as an economic incentive) “only for useful effort and sacrifice, [...] but the amount paid should reflect the outlay of effort, not the value of the product.” Friedman and many microeconomists disagree, believing that wages should be paid based on the value that the labor adds and on the skill of the worker.[citation needed] Otherwise, they argue, there would be little incentive to become a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, an architect, or even an entertainer, as a participatory economy provides no additional reward for the high skill required to do such a job.[citation needed] Hence, they conclude that the parecon incentive structure will result in a society with mainly low-skill jobs requiring minimal effort, with a few poorly-skilled doctors, engineers, architects, lawyers, and entertainers. Categories: Stub | 1947 births | 20th Century philosophers | U.S. philosophers ...


Participatory defense

On the notion of informational incentives, Robin Hahnel has argued that “participatory planning is not central planning.” “The procedures are completely different and the incentives are completely different. And one of the important ways in which it is different from central planning is that it is incentive compatible, that is, actors have an incentive to report truthfully rather than an incentive to misrepresent their capabilities or preferences.” [3] Hahnel has also written a detailed discussion of parecon’s desirability compared to capitalism with respect to incentives to innovate. [4] Notably, innovation is often the outcome of cumulative creativity, which typically cannot be legitmately attributed to individuals. In capitalism, patent laws, intellectual property rights, industry structures, and barriers to market entry are institutional features that disproportionately reward individual innovators while ensuring that the dispersal of new techniques and technologies occurs at a slow pace. Hahnel notes that, in contrast, “in a participatory economy all innovations will immediately be made available to all enterprises, so there will never be any loss of static efficiency.” [5] This position concurs with the more empirically oriented work of Pat Devine, with whom Hahnel has worked as a visiting scholar at Manchester University, and whose work has demythologised Austrian and mainstream theories of entrepreneurship while highlighting the potential for participatory approaches. Robin Hahnel is a Professor of Economics at American University. ... A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a government to an inventor or applicant for a limited amount of time (normally maximum 20 years from the filing date, depending on extension). ... In law, particularly in common law jurisdictions, intellectual property is a form of legal entitlement which allows its holder to control the use of certain intangible ideas and expressions. ... In economics and especially in the theory of competition, barriers to entry are obstacles in the path of a firm which wants to enter a given market. ... // Introduction Pat Devine began his academic studies in economics at Balliol College, Oxford. ... University of Manchester Motto: Cognitio Sapientia Hvmanitas Knowledge, wisdom, humanity. ...


Albert and Hahnel have voiced detailed critiques of centrally-planned economies in theory and practice. Yet they would argue that central planning’s dismal performance hardly lets capitalism off the hook. As Hahnel has summarized, “the truth is capitalism aggravates prejudice, is the most inequitable economy ever devised, is grossly inefficient — even if highly energetic — and is incompatible with both economic and political democracy. In the present era of free-market triumphalism it is useful to organize a sober evaluation of capitalism responding to Friedman’s claims one by one.” [6]


One reason why proponents of parecon would consider the non-specific criticisms outlined above misplaced is that, unlike historical examples of central planning, the parecon proposal advocates the use and adjustment of price information reflecting marginal social opportunity costs and benefits as integral elements of the planning process. Hahnel has argued emphatically against Friedman’s a priori tendency to deny the possibilty of alternatives: A priori is a Latin phrase meaning from the former or less literally before experience. In much of the modern Western tradition, the term a priori is considered to mean propositional knowledge that can be had without, or prior to, experience. ...

Friedman assumes away the best solution for coordinating economic activities. He simply asserts “there are only two ways of coordinating the economic activities of millions — central direction involving the use of coercion — and voluntary cooperation, the technique of the marketplace.” [...] a participatory economy can permit all to partake in economic decision making in proportion to the degree they are affected by outcomes. Since a participatory system uses a system of participatory planning instead of markets to coordinate economic activities, Friedman would have us believe that participatory planning must fall into the category of “central direction involving the use of coercion.” If after reading chapters 8 and 9 you decide that participatory planning is clearly not central direction through coercion, no matter what else you may like or dislike about the procedure, you will have discovered that Friedman’s assertion that there are only two ways of coordinating economic activities — for which he offers no argument whatsoever — is erroneous. [7] Coercion is the practice of compelling a person to act by employing threat of harm (usually physical force, sometimes other forms of harm). ...

The critique of markets

A primary reason why advocates of participatory economics perceive markets to be unjust and inefficient is that only the interests of buyer and seller are considered in a typical market transaction, while others who are affected by the transaction have no voice in it. For instance, the sale of highly addictive drugs, like alcohol and tobacco, is in the interest of the seller and (at least in the short term) in the interest of the buyer, but others outside the transaction end up bearing costs in the form of social problems and medical treatment. When vehicles using fossil fuels, and manufactured, distributed and marketed by pollution-emitting processes, are sold, others outside the transaction end up bearing costs in the form of pollution, and resource depletion, of what may be considered under economics as a common pool good. The market price of such vehicles and drugs does not include these additional costs, which are referred to in economics as externalities. The implications of significant external effects invalidate market efficiency regardless of the economic calculations of market actors because in such cases prices will not accurately reflect opportunity costs. In chemistry, an alcohol is any organic compound in which a hydroxyl group (-OH) is bound to a carbon atom of an alkyl or substituted alkyl group. ... Species N. glauca N. longiflora N. rustica N. sylvestris N. tabacum Ref: ITIS 30562 as of August 26, 2005 Tobacco (, L.) refers to a genus of broad-leafed plants of the nightshade family indigenous to North and South America, or to the dried and cured leaves of such plants. ... Vehicles are non-living means of transport. ... Coal rail cars in Ashtabula, Ohio Fossil fuels, also known as mineral fuels, are hydrocarbon-containing natural resources such as coal, oil and natural gas. ... The terms common-pool resource (CPR) and common property regime (CPR) (as well as common property resource) are often used interchangeably. ... An externality is the effect of a transaction between two individuals and a third party who is not concerned to, or played any role in the carrying out of that transaction (Milton Friedman). ...


In contrast to parecon, mainstream economics suggests that the problem of externalities can in large part be addressed by the use of Pigovian taxes — extra taxes on goods that have externalities. If the taxes are set so that the after-tax cost of the good is equal to the social cost of the good, the direct cost of production plus cost of externalities, then quantities produced will tend toward a socially optimal level, according to economic theory. Mainstream economists tend to downplay the prevalence of negative externalities. Hahnel observes, "more and more economists outside the mainstream are challenging this assumption, and a growing number of skeptics now dare to suggest that externalities are prevalent, and often substantial. Or, as E.K. Hunt put it externalities are the rule rather than the exception, and therefore markets often work as if they were guided by a "malevolent invisible foot" that keeps kicking us to produce more of some things, and less of others than is socially efficient." [8] A Pigovian tax is a tax levied to correct the negative social side-effects of an activity. ...


Albert and Hahnel favour Pigovian taxes as long a market economy is in place, which sometimes appear as green taxes, over other solutions to environmental problems such as command and control, or the issuance of marketable permits. However, Hahnel, who teaches ecological economics at American University, argues that in a market economy it would be predictable that businesses would try to avoid the "polluter pays principle" by shifting the burden of the costs for their polluting activities to consumers. In terms of incentives he argues this might be considered a positive development because it would penalize consumers for "dirty" consumption. However it also has regressive implications since tax incidence studies show that ultimately it would be poor people who would bear a great deal of the burden of many pollution taxes. "In other words, many pollution taxes would be highly regressive and therefore aggravate economic justice." [9] Therefore it is recommended by him that pollution taxes be linked to cuts in regressive taxes such as social security taxes. In the end Hahnel argues that Pigovian taxes, along with associated corrective measures advanced by market economists, fall far short of adequately or fairly addressing externalities. He argues such methods are incapable of attaining accurate assessments of social costs: Green economics loosely defines a theory of economics by which an economy is considered to be a component of the ecosystem in which it resides. ... A planned economy is an economic system in which economic decisions are made by centralized planners, who determine what sorts of goods and services to produce, and how they are to be priced and allocated. ...

"Markets corrected by pollution taxes only lead to the efficient amount of pollution and satisfy the polluter pays principle if the taxes are set equal to the magnitude of the damage victims suffer. But because markets are not incentive compatible for polluters and pollution victims, markets provide no reliable way to estimate the magnitudes of efficient taxes for pollutants. Ambiguity over who has the property right, polluters or pollution victims, free rider problems among multiple victims, and the transaction costs of forming and maintaining an effective coalition of pollution victims, each of whom is affected to a small but unequal degree, all combine to render market systems incapable of eliciting accurate information from pollution victims about the damages they suffer, or acting upon that information even if it were known. [10]

Others argue that markets sometimes provide a very effective means for estimating efficient taxes for pollutants where in the absence of a market-based solution there is often insufficient information to esimate the true cost of the externality. An example of such a system is the auction of "pollution permits" by the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in the 1990s cited by Tim Harford in "The Undercover Economist". The problem for the EPA was that no one knew how much it would cost the power producers to reduce their sulphur emmissions and the producers themselves had no incentive to tell the EPA the true cost of the cleanup. So they had no prior basis to set the level of the charge. They decided to levy an externality charge in the form of pollution permits that producers would have to buy at auction for the right to emit Sulphur Dioxide. When the EPA conducted the auction, the bids were surprisingly low- the pollution was much cheaper to reduce than anyone had told the EPA, thus the desired environmental outcome was easily achieved. Rather than try to estimate the cost of the environmental impact of Sulphur Dioxide, and thereby attempting to achieve the "efficient amount of pollution", the EPA decided on the amount of pollution they were prepared to tolerate and then auctioned the permits to determine their market value.


The critique of private ownership and corporations

Advocates of Parecon say the basis of capitalism is the concept of private ownership, which confers upon every owner the right to do with their property as they please, even though decisions relating to some property may have unwanted effects on other people.


This concept extends to private property belonging to corporations that are not human, cannot ever die, and have the ability to extend their power and influence indefinitely. In the course of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a stepwise juridical revolution made corporations into “juridical persons” with the rights of citizens under the concept of corporate personhood. A corporation is a legal person that exists quite separately from the natural persons who work with and for it. ... Corporate personhood is a term used to describe the legal fiction used within United States law that a corporation has a limited number or subset of the same constitutional rights as a human being. ...


At the same time, every corporation has its own set of owners, human or otherwise, who have the right to do as they please with it, as people outside a corporation do not have any right to interfere with its activitties while it abides by the law. Although market economists note that all consumers can influence corporations through their own market interactions, or the buying and selling of their goods, services, or even shares, advocates of parecon are unsatisfied with this as this influence has a limited extension, and organization of collective consumer action is difficult in a market economy. The theoretical possibility of the state interfering for the benefit of the public is unlikely, and advocates of parecon interpret economic history to demonstrate that it is more often the other way around, through means of plutocracy. Being huge agglomerations of economic power, large corporations tend to interfere with the decision-making of states by lobbying for legislation and policy that suits their interests or, in many cases, by bribery, or by financing huge propaganda campaigns for the success of some political candidate who would support the corporation’s interests. An example included the corporate slogan “what is good for General Motors is good for America.” In some cases, there have been corporate-backed coups. However, Milton Friedman claims that such corporate lobbying is only possible in states that allow for significant state interference within the economy. In financial terminology, stock is the capital raised by a corporation, through the issuance and sale of shares. ... A plutocracy is a form of government where all the states decisions are centralized in an affluent wealthy class of citizenry, and the degree of economic inequality is high while the level of social mobility is low. ... Lobbying is the professional practice of public affairs advocacy, with the goal of influencing a governing body by promoting a point of view. ... Bribery is a crime defined by Blacks Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions as an official or other person in discharge of a public or legal duty. ... It has been suggested that Propaganda in the United States be merged into this article or section. ... General Motors Corporation (NYSE: GM), also known as GM, is an American automobile maker with worldwide operations and brands including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Holden, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saturn, Saab and Vauxhall. ... A coup détat, or simply a coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government, usually done by a small group that just replaces the top power figures. ...


Promoters of parecon hold that the pursuit of private profit and power by these kinds of corporations is not in the interest of the majority of citizens.


Comparison with other socialist movements

Advocates of Parecon say the intention is that the four main ingredients of parecon be implemented with a minimum of hierarchy and a maximum of transparency in all discussions and decision making. This model is designed to eliminate secrecy in economic decision making, and instead encouraging friendly cooperation and mutual support. For the various types of hierarchy, see hierarchy (disambiguation) A hierarchy (in Greek: Ιεραρχία, it is derived from ιερός-hieros, sacred, and άρχω-arkho, rule) is a system of ranking and organizing things or people, where each element of the system (except for the top element) is subordinate to a single other element. ...


Although participatory economics falls under the left-wing political tradition as well as also under the anarchist political tradition, it is described as being specifically designed to avoid the creation of powerful intellectual elites or coordinatorism, which is perceived as the trap into which the economies of the communist states of the 20th century fell. The Industrial Workers of the World, however, pioneered the archetypal workplace democracy model, the Wobbly Shop, in which the self-managing norms of grassroots democracy were applied. In politics, left-wing, political left, leftism, or simply the left, are terms which refer (with no particular precision) to the segment of the political spectrum typically associated with any of several strains of socialism, social democracy, or liberalism (especially in the American sense of the word), or with opposition... Anarchism is derived from the Greek αναρχία (without archons (ruler, chief, king)). Thus anarchism, in its most general meaning, is the belief that forms of rulership are undesirable and should be abolished. ... Coordinatorism is an economic system in which control is held neither by people who own capital, nor by the workers, but instead is held by an intervening class of coordinators, typically in the roles of managers, administrators, engineers, university intellectuals, doctors, lawyers. ... This article is about one-party states governed by Communist parties. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies) is a famous international union currently headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. It contends that all workers should be united within a single union as a class and the wage system abolished. ... Workplace democracy is the application of democracy in all its forms (including voting systems, debates, democratic structuring, due process, adversarial process, systems of appeal, and so on) to the workplace. ...


Participatory economics is not in itself intended to provide a general political system, though clearly its practical implementation would depend on the accompanying political system.


While many types of production and consumption might become more localised under participatory economics, the model does not exclude economies of scale. ...


A few workplaces have been established based on principles akin to parecon:

  • ParIT Worker CO-OP, A CO-OP dedicated to strong parecon principles and facilitating Parecon adoption through using exclusively free software.

South End Press is a non-profit book publisher which is run on a model of participatory economics, and was founded in 1977. ... Nickname: City on a Hill, Beantown, The Hub (of the Solar System), Athens of America Official website: www. ... Z Magazine is an independent monthly magazine focusing on political, cultural, social, and economic life in the United States and considered to be very left-wing. ... The NewStandard is an independent, nonprofit, ad-free news website. ... Aerial View of Syracuse Syracuse is an American city in Central New York. ... G7 Welcoming Committee Records is an independent record label started by Chris Hannah, Jord Samolesky of Propagandhi and their friend Regal in 1997. ... Propagandhi is an anarchist punk rock/thrash band formed in Winnipeg, Canada in 1986 by Chris Hannah and Jord Samolesky. ... Template:Hide = Motto: Template:Unhide = Unum Cum Virtute Multorum (One With the Strength of Many) Established: 1738 (Fort Rouge),1873 (City of Winnipeg) Area: 465. ... // Underground Café and Alternative Bookstore The Underground Café and Alternative Bookstore (herein referred to as UCAB) is a collectively run, vegan, fair trade café and bookstore started - and currently operated - by VAC (Vision Action Collective or Viable Alternatives Collective). ... Template:Hide = Motto: Template:Unhide = Fredericpolis silvae filia noblis (Fredericton noble daughter of the forest) Established: {{{Established}}} Area: 131. ... This article is about Free Software as defined by the sociopolitical Free Software movement; for information on software distributed without charge, see freeware. ...

See also

Anarchism is derived from the Greek αναρχία (without archons (ruler, chief, king)). Thus anarchism, in its most general meaning, is the belief that forms of rulership are undesirable and should be abolished. ... Anarchist economics entails theory and practice relating to economic activity within the philosophical outlines of anarchism. ... A cooperative (also co-operative or co-op) comprises a legal entity owned and democratically controlled by its members, with no passive shareholders. ... Collective agreement is a labor contract between an employer and one or more unions. ... A guild is an association of people of the same trade or pursuits (with a similar skill or craft), formed to protect mutual interests and maintain standards of morality or conduct. ... // What is Inclusive Democracy? Inclusive democracy is a new conception of democracy, which, using as a starting point the classical definition of it, expresses democracy in terms of direct political democracy, economic democracy (beyond the confines of the market economy and state planning), as well as democracy in the social... The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies) is a famous international union currently headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. It contends that all workers should be united within a single union as a class and the wage system abolished. ... The movement for Post-Autistic Economics was born through the work of Sorbonne economist Bernard Guerrien. ... Participatory democracy is a broadly inclusive term for many kinds of consultative decision making which require consultation on important decisions by those who will carry out the decision. ... Parpolity or Participatory Politics is a theoritical political system proposed by Stephen R. Shalom, professor of political science at William Patterson University in New Jersey. ... Syndicalism refers to a set of ideas, movements and tendencies which share the avowed aim of transforming capitalist society through action by the working class on the industrial front. ... Transformative economics is an alternative theory of socio-economics derived from Progressive Utilization Theory, also known as PROUT - a social philosophy developed by Indian philosopher Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar in 1959. ...

References

  1. ^ Economic Justice And Democracy: From Competition To Cooperation pp. 198-200, Hahnel, Routledge, 2005
  2. ^ Economic Justice And Democracy: From Competition To Cooperation pp. 49, Hahnel, Routledge, 2005
  3. ^ Economic Justice and Democracy: From Competition to Cooperation, p. 221, Hahnel, Routledge, 2005
  4. ^ Economic Justice and Democracy: From Competition to Cooperation pp. 241, Hahnel, Routledge, 2005
  5. ^ Economic Justice and Democracy: From Competition to Cooperation pp. 240, Hahnel, Routledge, 2005
  6. ^ Economic Justice and Democracy: From Competition to Cooperation ch. 4, Hahnel, Routledge, 2005
  7. ^ Economic Justice and Democracy: From Competition to Cooperation pp. 81, Hahnel, Routledge, 2005
  8. ^ Economic Justice and Democracy: From Competition to Cooperation, 85
  9. ^ Economic Justice and Democracy: From Competition to Cooperation, 274
  10. ^ Robin Hahnel, (2004). "Protecting the Environment in a Participatory Economy". Accessed February 13, 2006.

February 13 is the 44th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External resources

Note that several of the printed resources listed below are also available online.


Online resources

  • Participatory economics website
  • Vancouver Participatory Economics Collective
  • A Marxist critique of Parecon
  • Participatory Economy and Inclusive Democracy - A critique
  • Audio material regarding Participatory Economics
  • Capitalism and Parecon: A Comparison
  • The Parecon wiki
  • An online debate between David Schweickart and Michael Albert
  • Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies)
  • Labor Commission of the Socialist Party USA
  • Anarchist debate on Parecon
  • [1] Parecon Worker CO-OP using decentralised networks and Free Software
  • [2] Creating global tools for Parecon/Free Software Usage

Printed resources

. The Princeton University Press is a publishing house, a division of Princeton University, that is highly respected in academic publishing. ... South End Press is a non-profit book publisher which is run on a model of participatory economics, and was founded in 1977. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Participatory economics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3772 words)
Participatory economics, often abbreviated parecon, is a proposed economic system that uses participatory decision making as an economic mechanism to guide the allocation of resources and consumption in a given society.
Promoters of participatory economics hold that it is inequitable, and also ineffective, to remunerate people on the basis of their birth or heredity, their property, or their innate intelligence.
Although participatory economics falls under the left-wing political tradition as well as also under the anarchist political tradition, it is described as being specifically designed to avoid the creation of powerful intellectual elites or coordinatorism, which is perceived as the trap into which the economies of the communist states of the 20th century fell.
Participatory economics - definition of Participatory economics in Encyclopedia (1187 words)
Participatory economics, or parecon, a participatory economics system proposed as an alternative to other systems such as capitalism and coordinatorism, emerged from the work of the radical theorist Michael Albert and of the radical economist Robin Hahnel, beginning in the 1980s and 1990s.
Parecon only addresses economics, but its creators see it as complementary to changes in other areas: for example, anarchism in the area of politics or feminism in the area of family and gender relations.
Although a participatory economy probably falls under the left-wing political tradition (and also under the anarchist political tradition), it is specifically designed to avoid the creation of powerful intellectual elites ("coordinatorism"), the trap into which the economies of the communist countries of the 20th century fell.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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